When you are struggling to achieve a thick lawn, sod installation can be a fast and effective solution. However, it does involve a significant investment into your lawn. If you are considering sod to create a new lawn, you may have questions like, “How long does sod last?” Here is what you need to know.
What Is Sod?
Sod is turf that is grown on a farm to be cut and installed elsewhere. The turf is cut into strips and rolled to be transported to the new property. Once the soil is leveled and prepared, the sod is rolled into place. Since the grass is already mature, the sod offers an almost instant new lawn after installation.
Sod is desirable, as it gives property owners a new lawn without the time delay of planting and growing grass from seed. The germination and first few months of growing is already complete. However, sod does require preparation and after care, which can directly affect how long it will last after installation.
How Long Does Sod Last After Its Rolled?
The first factor in determining how long does sod last after installation is how long it lasts after its rolled. If you are doing your own sod installation, you will need to plan carefully to install your sod rolls quickly. Sod should be harvested, rolled and installed within a few days for the best results.
From the time it is rolled to installation, sod should only stay on the pallets for no more than 48 hours in warm weather. Keeping the rolls in the shade and moist with watering can help preserve them longer. It is best to not have your sod delivered until you are ready for installation.
Preparation for Long-Lasting Sod
Preparing your soil for sod installation can impact how long it lasts. You want to till and level your ground, then remove rocks and other debris. You may need to use weed control several weeks before sod installation to stop weeds from interfering with the grass roots forming a solid root system.
Depending on your soil quality, you may need to add topsoil or fertilizer to improve your sod’s performance. You want the soil to have all the nutrients needed to nourish your new grass and instigate deep root formation.
Caring for Your Lawn After Sod Installation
Preparation is vital for long-lasting sod, but the aftercare is equally as important. While your new grass may look beautiful as the sod is rolled into place, it is far from a permanent lawn. The new roots on the underside of the sod must take hold and create a solid root system for lasting results.
Watering and protection of your new sod will help determine if your sod will last. It will take 15-30 days for your new root system to form. Your sod will require watering daily for at least the first two weeks and heavy foot traffic should be avoided until the root system is formed.
Making Your Sod Last
How long does sod last after installation? It can last for decades if it is well maintained. The preparation and immediate aftercare are crucial elements, as are the long-term maintenance. If you want to protect your investment and have a lasting lawn, here are some tips.
- Mowing the First Year
- Your new sod is made from young grass that is still maturing. You can begin mowing your sod once it has formed its root system, but you do not want to cut more than a third of the length of the grass blades. This means you may need to mow more frequently to keep it the desired length or raise your mower deck.
- Avoid Weed Control and Fertilizer Applications
- While you do want to apply weed control products to the soil prior to sod installation, avoid weed control products right after installation. The same is true for fertilizer. Let the sod mature for a few months before adding more weed control or fertilizer.
- Protect Sod from Disease
- While watering is vital right after installation, you do not want to oversaturate your sod. Too much water can result in fungus and disease. New grass is particularly vulnerable to fungus, so once the root system is in place, gradually reduce watering to once a week to protect sod from fungus and disease.
- Ongoing Maintenance
- All lawns require ongoing maintenance to keep them healthy and sod is no different. For lasting results, you will want ongoing lawn maintenance such as weed control, fertilization, aeration and overseeding.
Sod can be a fantastic way to replace or start a lawn on your property. How long it will last will depend in the quality of sod, preparation, installation and aftercare. For the best results, have your new sod installed by a landscaping professional to ensure it receives the care it needs to flourish.