Lawn sod provides a pleasant, easy-to-install landscaping option for large areas of garden space. Once laid, regular maintenance will allow your new lawn grass to thrive in its new environment.
Sod is easy to maintain once fully integrated into the existing soil system but new installations should be treated carefully over the first few weeks.
Sod should never be cut more than 24 hours before it is due to be laid. Vital moisture and nutrients dry out quickly once cutting takes place, so try to plan laying times with precision. Once new sod has been laid, avoid tugging at areas with gaps. Instead, fill with some topsoil and pack in with the head of a rake or similar object. Avoid walking on new sod for at least a week. This will give the roots a good chance to make a strong structure in the soil.
New sod should be thoroughly soaked in the first 2 to 3 weeks of installation. Ideally, watering should take place twice a day to begin with. The best times to water are in the early morning and immediately after sunset. Never water when the sun is at it's height as this can cause a "magnifying glass" effect through water droplets and cause grass to scorch or burn.
Allow for rainfall as part of your watering schedule and never add additional water on rainy days. Always allow sod to dry for a day or so before cutting.
For the first week or so, around half an inch of water is ideal. Try not to exceed this amount especially while the lawn is being watered twice every day. After the first week, watering can be cut down to just once every day but the level of water should be increased to around an inch.
This should allow enough soak to promote effective root growth
There are many different opinions about the best time to cut a new lawn but leaving it for at least a fortnight is highly recommended. It is best to use height as an indication of when to mow new sod, and a level of between 3 to 4 inches is ideal.
Mowers should be put at the highest setting and grass should only be 'topped'. Always cut down in progressive levels with new sod. Trying to cut several inches at once will cause tearing to new sod and should be avoided at all times.
Feeding won't be essential for the first few months, especially as sod sees plenty of treatment during the cultivation stage. After around three months, a light covering can be given to the entire lawn although pesticide and fertilizer combinations should not be considered. Instead, a liquid lawn fertiliser should be used and this can be administered with a hose end sprayer.
New sod can take around two years to fully bed in. Carry on using the same techniques as you would for new sod throughout this time. Lawn seeding can take place to cure tears or bald patches after this time.