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Watering New Sod

sprinkler on in grass
Posted by Catherine Abramavage on April 28th 2022

Advice from a sod farm - growing great grass is our business. 

How to Water Your New Sod

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.

How often should I water sod?

thermometer in grass hot
Please note: If day time temperatures are in the mid 60's or above it is best to install your sod the day it arrives. 

You need to water your new sod everyday for the first two weeks. Water only in the mornings. When you water before 9 am less water is lost to evaporation and you allow the grass to dry before the evening. Put a small Tupperware container out to measure how much water your lawn is getting. The goal is to collect and inch of water in your container.

How much water for new sod?

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!

Can you water sod too much?

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. 

How long to water new sod with a sprinkler.

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.