With spring in full effect and summer right around the corner, gardeners and landscapers from all around the world have started working on their yards, as well as their gardens. Flowers have been planted, trees have begun to grow leaves once again, vegetation is sprouting everywhere as far as the eye can see.
However, every good landscaper knows that the key to a complete garden, and a complete yard for that matter, is a good lawn. While it may be nothing too fancy, a lawn is the glue that holds the garden together, spreading its lush greens from one end of a property to another.
But what about the gardeners who can’t grow their own grass? What about those who have a dirt patch for a yard- an arid wasteland that instead of leaving onlookers and visitors with a sense of peace, instead blows dust into their face. There is an answer for those who want to get their yard up to that grassy par, and that answer is sod.
But how does one, once they have it, maintain sod? How does one make it grow or better yet, how does one make sod thrive? The answers to these probing questions will be discovered in this article.
The new sod has come in. Either a landscaper came in and did it themselves, or the savvy gardener went out and did their own install, either way, there is a newly former lawn on their property and... well, now what?
This part of the article is going to examine what the average homeowner should do after they have gotten some new sod installed. It will go over the watering of the sod, when and when not to mow, as well as what to do after the initial growth cycle of the sod has completed.
One of the key factors in sod maintenance is the watering. This may seem like a no-brainer to the average gardener, of course, plants need water to grow, but what trips up a lot of beginner landscapers is just how much water is needed.
The very same day the sod is installed, it needs to be watered. In fact, enough water needs to be applied to the newly formed grass that at least 2 inches of soil below the sod itself can be reached. This is to promote healthy root growth and, in layman’s terms, keep the grass where it’s supposed to be.
On the second day, this is where things get tricky. A decent amount of water needed to be applied on the first day, but from now on the sod should just be kept somewhat watered. At this time the sod is growing very small roots, so large amounts of water would be detrimental to the grass’s growth. The distinction is this- keep the ground moist, but not soggy. This process will take about a week or two, and four to six short waters during the day should do the trick.
Another thing that trips up beginner landscapers and gardeners is the “when” in “when to water”. Evening watering should be avoided, as it can sometimes promote fungus growth within the new grass. Also, as time goes on, the frequency of watering can also start to slow down. This will all lead to the very first time a gardener mows their new lawn.
The first mow shouldn’t be done until at least 2 weeks after the sod has installed. In fact, people, in general, should do their best to stay off the sod until the day of that first mow. Moving around on the sod before that day could cause it to shift or dislodge.
Keep in mind that the mow should be kept on a shorter blade. This is to ensure that not too much stress is put on the plant.
3. The next couple of weeks
So the first mow of the sod has been finished. There are a couple more things that have to be done in the weeks following.
For starters, the watering can slow down. Gardeners can see how well the sod's roots are doing by pulling lightly at the corner of one of the pieces of sod. If they are met with resistance, then they can take some waterings off of their daily schedule. Also, should the homeowner desire, a couple more minutes can be added to each watering session (as the roots have now gotten deeper, more water is going to be required in order to reach them). This process can continue until the gardener has reached a point in which they are only watering about once a day.
Four to six weeks after the installation it’s time to fertilize. Fertilizing, for those who aren't in the know, is done to once again promote root growth. Those roots are what is keeping that new sod in place, so it's safe to say that they are fairly important.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind or perhaps to do with new sod:
- Use a lawn roller. Helping those roots, as previously mentioned, is very important, and a lawn roller can do just that. The use of this integral tool can be done right after installation. Usually, if a landscaping company is hired to install the sod, a lawn roller will have already been used, but for those gardeners and landscapers doing on their own renting one of these and rolling it over the newly installed sod will help promote root growth.
- Don't water before installation. This can be tempting, but muddy grounds can lead to shoddy sod jobs. Try to keep the ground as dry as possible before the sod installation job begins.
And so, this article about sod and its maintenance comes to an end. At the end of the day, everyone everywhere from Stouffville to Los Angeles needs grass, and sod can do that for those out there who can't grow it naturally.