Did you recently lay down the turf and now holding your breath while waiting to see your new lawn coming to life? Well, there is a little bit more to having a beautiful lawn than just laying and praying to be honest. If you don’t take care of your new laid turf, there’s risk that all your toil will go to vain. So, here’s how you need to take a little extra care for your new turf:
For your new turf to establish it needs to be moist. So, water the whole area for at least 15 to 20 minutes each day, watering a second time is recommended if the temperatures are over 65º and sunny. Pull back the corner of the turf to check and make sure the water went through the sod and into the soil below well and that it is moist. Do not fertilize or mow the lawn yet.
10 to 21 days:
Water every other day for approximately 30 minutes. By watering for longer periods of time, you are encouraging root growth deeper into the soil. At this point, the sod should be difficult to pull up which means, the root system is establishing, so don’t force it up, just tug lightly to assure good rooting. If the lawn is not rooting, you may not be watering enough. Before watering the lawn, cut the grass as needed. Exercise caution the first time you mow so you do not damage or pull up the sod. If some of the sod does move around, put it back in place and it will grow in. Do not remove more than a third of the grass plant at one time while cutting. If the lawn is too wet to cut, do not water for one more day and then cut the lawn. Do not apply fertilizer to the lawn yet.
3 weeks and beyond:
You may begin to cut the lawn as needed. The lawn should be fairly well rooted and can take normal wear and tear. Water the lawn approximately twice a week making sure to apply 1” of water each week.
You may apply a balanced turf fertilizer six weeks after installation. Look for a fertilizer that has a nutrient ratio of 3:1:2, which indicates the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK). Avoid applying herbicides when it is hot and dry. Wait for cooler weather to apply herbicides.
Rest of the Season:
Your new lawn will need more water the first growing season and especially the first 6 months. As roots grow deeper over the course of a year, it will need less water.
- Keep non-essential foot traffic to an absolute minimum during the initial establishment period.
- The sod will shrink and pull apart if it doesn’t get enough water. So, make sure you are watering it right and well.
- Do not water at night or late in the evenings. New seedlings are susceptible to diseases, which are encouraged by prolonged periods of being wet.
- The turf along the pavement surfaces will get really hot and dry when the temperature is warmer. So, you need to water those well.