Taking a lawn from patchy crabgrass and weeds to a luxurious, green carpet takes an investment of time and money, but it has a great payoff: grass you can roll around on. Soil preparation, choosing the right sod for your climate and light levels and correctly installing it are only the beginning of the process. Following through with care and maintenance of the new sod is the final step to a beautiful, healthy, fully established lawn.
1.Immediately after laying sod, really soak it to a depth of 6 inches. This will likely take several hours.
2.Set a watering schedule on a calendar and don’t miss a day unless it rains. Place several pails in the sprinkler’s path. Turn off the sprinkler when the water in the pails measures 1 inch to avoid “drowning” the sod. Do this every other day for the first three weeks to ensure roots are establishing themselves in the soil underneath.
3.Mow after four to seven days. Maintain grass at a height of 2 inches, but allow it to grow at least 1 inch between mowings.
4.After three weeks, change the watering schedule. Water every five to seven days, using the pails to measure when you’ve reached an inch of watering.
5.Fertilize new sod in spring or fall (whichever comes first) at a ratio of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Water the lawn briefly after application.
6.After two months, aerate the established sod with a core aerator to keep soil from becoming too compact and allow oxygen and nutrients to permeate the ground.