Tips for installing new sod

Published On: Jul 18 2012 09:18:23 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 15 2012 02:24:10 PM EDT

Install your sod promptly, within the first 24 hours after receiving. Delaying installation can cause the sod to die due to the lack of air, sun and excessive heat while stacked on the pallet.

Preparing the ground for new sod

Removing the old grass first, will insure the new sod makes proper contact with the ground and insure the roots will have a moist bed to grow into. Sod placed on top of old grass will allow air under the sod and cause it to dry out and die. Ideally, weeds should be cleared 7-10 days before installing the new sod. Topsoil or organic matter should be added at this time. The organic material will help the soil to retain water and provide a good bed for the root system to grow into.  The organic material, compost and or topsoil, will also enrich the soil and reduce your long term watering requirements.


Immediately after installation your new sod needs ¾” to 1” of water daily (30 to 45 minutes) for the first 7 to 10 days. The best time to water is in the morning between the hours of 4 -7 am. The following week you can reduce the watering to every other day. The third week you should be able to return to the twice a week watering schedule. Continue to monitor your new sod daily to insure your watering system is working correctly. Dry spots can be caused by maladjusted or damaged sprinkler heads.

Pesticides and Fertilizers

Pesticides may be applied after two weeks, but you should try to insure you have taken care of this before you do your ground preparation. A fertilizer program should begin 3-4 weeks after installation during the growing season.  Do not over fertilize as it can cause damage to the root system. Be sure to inform your lawn maintenance personnel if you use a service that does your weed and pest control.


You should mow as soon as new growth has increased by one third of the installed sod height.

Shade-Tolerant Sod

Shade-tolerant grasses require at least 3 to 4 hours of sun each day. Full sun grasses require 6 or more hours of sunlight to thrive.

Information provided by Mulch & More



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