Sod Care - KOTA Territory News

Sod Care

Watering. With proper care, your new sod will provide beauty, a clean playing surface, and an improved environment - and remain a great asset to your property. Your key to success is a well-managed watering, fertilizing, and mowing program.
Give your new lawn at least 1" of water within 1/2 hour of installation.
Water daily, or more often, keeping new sod wet but not saturated until it is firmly rooted (about 2 weeks). Make sure the water is getting to the soil underneath. If the sod lies over and ‘mats' itself, you will need to take a leaf rake and fluff it up. Air and water must flow freely for your sod to thrive.
After the initial watering, pull up a corner in three or four areas and check
that the soil under the sod is wet. In hot weather, you may need to soak twice daily during the first three to five days. Then watering well once a day until rooted in good should be sufficient.
After that, less frequent and deeper watering should begin. Wean the lawn to a normal watering pattern ranging from every third day to once a week. Ideally, soak soil up to eight inches deep and wait to water again as long as possible without causing drought damage. This promotes deep drought-resistant root growth.
Measure the amount of precipitation by setting any container with straight sides in the area being watered. A can works great.
Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry, or windy periods. Water areas near buildings more often where reflected heat dries the turf.
During the first three weeks, avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn. This gives the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with soil, and insures that the turf will remain smooth.
Mowing. Mow to a 2.5" to 3" height as soon as you can walk on the lawn without ruining its grade. If the mower is picking up the sod, wait until it grows in more. Mow often, generally removing no more than 1/3 of the grass height at one mowing. Keep your mower blades sharp.
You may stress your new sod by covering it with too many grass clippings. If you leave a visible trail of clippings when you mow, you should be bagging your clippings. If you have a mulcher mower that's doing its job properly, the grass will be shredded so fine that it's hardly noticeable without rubbing your hand over the surface.
Aerating shouldn't be necessary for another year or two.
Fertilizing. Fertilize three or four times at 6 to 8 week intervals during the growing season. The most important fertilization is the last one in September or October.
Weed and Pest Control. A healthy, well-maintained lawn will resist weeds and insects (far more than a dry, poorly nourished yard. We recommend our 4-step Pro Lawn program
for a balanced, economical lawn care program for the long-term health of your lawn.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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Fax: 605.342.7305

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