Advice from a sod farm - growing great grass is our business.
Watering sod is critical for its establishment
Start watering your newly laid sod as soon as you have an area large enough to use your sprinkler and avoid getting yourself wet. The soil needs to be moist 3-4 inches below the sod. Depending on the output of your sprinkler, this may take an hour or longer. The soil needs time to absorb the water, so a slow long watering is best, as it gives the soil time to absorb the water rather than let it run off.
When you water your lawn, give it an inch of water. You may need to water your sod for a long time depending on the output of your sprinkler. Water with a sprinkler and check for dry spots where the sprinkler may not reach. Sprinklers can miss edges. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not muddy or squishy. Do not let it dry out!
Yes, while unlikely, it is possible to overwater. You do not want muddy or squishy ground. The best way to check is with your finger, the ground should be damp, not muddy or soupy. Clay soils may need less water, and sandy, well draining soils, may need more water.
You want to leave the sprinkler on until 1" of water has been put on the grass. This can take 45 minutes to 1 hour for most sprinklers. Some of our customers put out a water gauge or an empty can to collect the water from the sprinkler. Check on the container in 15 minute intervals until 1" of water has been collected, then you know how long to have your sprinkler on every morning.
After 12-14 days, check to make sure the sod is rooting by gently pulling up a sod roll. You should see white roots
After two weeks, you can start to cut back and water every 2-3 days. During the first year, you will need to stick to a watering schedule, especially in times of drought. An established lawn will require 1" of water per week.
I am hoping you found this article informative. If you need any further information, we are happy to help.