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Amount of watering on new sod (and a couple other questions)

Amount of watering on new sod (and a couple other questions)

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  #1  
Old 05-03-13, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: US
Posts: 13
Amount of watering on new sod (and a couple other questions)

Hi all,

I've just spent $7500 on grading & new sod for my whole yard. I'm on a corner lot. Also had all but a couple of trees removed in front & side - $4500 for that. My corner faces south so my "side" faces SE and "front" faces SW. Grass is Bermuda on the front & side and zoysia in back (which is shady). Also the front & side slope ~30 deg. or more from the house toward the street. I can post some pics if you like. We're in North Alabama.

So:
- How much water should I plan on sprinkling - inches per day?
- My water meter is 3/4" as are the lines to the house. However all the sprinkler main lines are 1". I'm in a low pressure area ~35 psi. Should I spend the $1000 to get an additional 1" water meter to feed the sprinklers? (I suspect the answer is "yes") I currently have 6 zones with 4 heads on each zone with 1.5 gal/hr nozzles.
- Any starter fertilizer I should spread? Landscaper said I should get a lawn service. But I recently had to take a 20% pay cut to keep my job so I cannot afford that. (although I really hate pushing a spreader across that ^*&*$% hill.)

Please let me know if I can provide additional information about this.

Thanks very much!
Jim
 
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  #2  
Old 05-04-13, 05:14 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,660
I am surprised that the folks who installed your sod did not give you watering or fertilizing instructions. And, it sounds like the sod is already down. How long has it been down?

The sod is extremely fragile since almost all it's roots were removed when they cut the sod. For about the first month you should be vigilantly watering and try to keep people pets and heavy lawn tractors off it as much as possible. During the first week I water about four times a day depending on weather and cut back to once a day by the end of the first month. Whenever the grass approaches needing it's first mowing stop watering and allow it to dry out so you are not cutting it wet. Tons has been written online about caring for sod lawns so a search will turn up tons of information.

Most advise not fertilizing new sod for the first couple months. You should NOT use a high nitrogen fertilizer (big first number of the three numbers listed on a fertilizer).

If your irrigation system was properly installed the sizes of the zones and the emitters took your current water supply into consideration. So, your irrigation system should be working. Why are you considering an upgrade at this point? Especially now that sod has already been laid? In the normal order of things you would do the digging and any irrigation system upgrades before the soil prep and sod installation since it needs to be dug up to work on it, damaging or destroying your new and expensive sod.

Since you are in the south and will be watering the grass a lot you should keep your eyes open for signs of brown patch. It is most common in mid to late summer and at first you may think your grass is browning from lack of water but over watering promotes the disease as does applying fertilizer at the wrong time.
 
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