What Is the Proper New Sod Watering Schedule?

A person watering freshly laid sod.

One of the key factors to nurturing new sod is ensuring it receives the right amount of water. Knowing how often to water new sod is important to the success of your lawn. Adhering to the proper new sod watering schedule can give your lawn the right amount of moisture to thrive.

Installing sod can be an excellent way to start a new lawn or replace grass that is struggling. The sod is grown at a turf farm, cut and delivered for installation. While sod looks like lawn the day it is laid, it needs to be pampered with regular watering to ensure it thrives and survives.

Sod comes in rolls, and it is alive when installed. However, the grass will not survive long without water. There are multiple factors that affect the new sod watering schedule, including the type of sod, outdoor temperatures and weather conditions. One thing is true for all new sod – it needs watered the first day.

Day One: Sod Installation Day

The day sod is installed, it will need the first major watering. This initial watering will be the longest to soak the soil underneath the sod. Sprinklers provide the best irrigation method, but you can use a hose.

Once the sod is installed, it should be watered for about an hour or hour and a half.

The first watering should provide 3-4 inches of water. The goal is to provide excess water on this initial watering, then keep the moisture level even over the first few weeks. If your sod is installed early in the day and the temperatures are high, a second watering in mid-afternoon for about 15 minutes may be prudent.

The first sod watering should be completed within a half hour after it is installed. For large lawns, you may need to perform the first watering in shifts. Once a few rolls are laid, water these first before continuing to install the other rolls. Never wait for more than a half hour to provide the first sod watering.

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First Two Weeks

You will want to research your sod type to determine the correct watering methods for your grass. Some grass types need more water, some need less. All sod types will need regular watering for the first two weeks – you do not want the sod to dry out, as it could impact its health.

For days 2-14, you should provide watering twice or more a day. You want the sod to receive an even amount of water, usually for about an hour total each day. The temperature, sod type and time of year can impact how much water is needed, but the sod must be kept moist during the first two weeks.

While you do want to keep the sod moist, you do not want to drown the grass. Over watering sod can occur, especially if it rains or the temperatures are low. Keep in mind during the first two weeks that you want the sod moist, but not soggy. The water should be soaking into the ground, not puddling.

Weeks Two Through Four

After the first two weeks, you can began watering once per day. The root system should be thriving and extending deeper into the soil. Water your new sod for about an hour once a day, which will help the grass roots grow stronger versus watering multiple times a day.

The best time to water your sod is in the morning. This is when the temperature is lower, resulting in less evaporation. Never water your sod in the evening – over watering sod or any lawn at night can lead to fungus and disease that can kill your grass.

Six Month Watering Schedule for Sod

During the first six months after sod installation, you will want to ensure your sod gets enough water. After the first month, you can water less often, about 3-4 times per week. The amount of water needed will depend on your climate, season and grass type.

The goal with new sod is to create deep roots that will help it survive for many years to come. Once the initial six months of nurturing your sod has passed, you should be able to reduce the watering frequency. Healthy lawns should be watered deeply once a week, promoting strong, deep roots.

Installing an irrigation system before your sod is delivered can make it much easier to maintain the right new sod watering schedule. It is a worthwhile investment to ensure your new lawn will thrive through the first few weeks and beyond.
Sprinklers watering lawn.
Knowing how often to water new sod is vital to ensure your new lawn is healthy. For expert advice on nurturing your new sod, talk to your local landscaper. They can provide tips for your specific sod type and climate to help promote healthy grass growth.