February 3, 2020

Sod is popular in new construction for the immediate beautifying effect that a crisp, green lawn provides. Though it requires far less maintenance than seeded grass, a bit of upkeep will leave your sod beautiful for years to come.




After the sod has rooted and the heavy watering schedule has been cut back, continue to monitor the lawn for signs of dryness. Paled color, blue or gray spots, brown edges, and gapping can all be indicators that your sod needs more water. Hand water instead of using a hose in small areas to ensure even coverage.


New sod is treated to be pest and disease-resistant, but weather and watering will wash away this protective barrier over time. Keep webworms, grubs, and other pests away with a combination of maintenance to maintain grass resilience and a control product suited to the pest and your grass. Additionally, avoid cutting more than one-third of the blade off when mowing to prevent scalping, which can cause excessive weed growth or even death.


Over time, your sod may start to feel bouncy underfoot or have a visible layer of thatch that prevents water, fertilizer, and sun from reaching the soil. Use a thatching rake to loosen the debris and rake the blades of grass upward. This is best done in late spring or early fall to allow time for the lawn to recover.


Once the sod is rooted, apply a comprehensive fertilizer, following the instructions on the bag to avoid burning. Experts recommend soil testing prior to see what nutrients are already available for plant uptake. After the first time, follow a regular fertilization schedule as required for your type of grass and climate.


New sod can handle light foot traffic within a couple of weeks of installation, and heavy traffic after 4 to 6 months. Discolored spots or visible footprints can indicate traffic-induced stress. Pay extra attention to areas around swing sets, doors, and footpaths to note traffic issues before they cause excessive damage. These areas can be aerated after several days of heavy watering and dethatching to bring water and air back into the soil.

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