The quickest method to transform any bare spot of ground into a lush lawn is using sod. It is also the simplest method to transform bare spots of ground into a lush lawn, if you employ experts to perform the installation. However, there are still a few things you should be aware of while caring for sod during those early, vulnerable weeks, such as when and how to mow fresh sod and the best way to cut it without hurting it.
Compared to grass established from seed ( coated or uncoated) , freshly laid sod requires cutting more frequently. A healthy sod can reach cutting length in as little as two weeks. After reading this article I’ve covered below, you will be fully equipped with the knowledge necessary to avoid typical errors many people make when mowing sod for the first time.
When Can You Mow New Sod?
Use recently cut, locally grown sod because it can be a significant investment. Local sod has adapted more readily to your soil than sod from other regions since it has been produced on similar soil.
Roots may be unable to recover if the sod appears dry or yellow. Roots are nurtured, and a wet subsurface promotes growth. In about 14 days, sod that has been properly installed and is being kept wet with 1/2 inch of water each day should have firmly anchored itself to the subsoil. It takes longer for roots to start growing vigorously and maintain that growth when the soil is not constantly moist.
Both premature mowings of sod and protracted waiting might result in grass that is too long to be trimmed in one pass. If, after 14 days, your sod yields to pressure along an edge, it requires more time to acclimatize to its new surroundings. Your fresh grass could become overgrown if you have to wait. Never cut more than one-third of the grass’s blade length off at a time, no matter how long it gets.
When Can I Mow New Sod?
1. Appropriate Height for Mowing New Sod
The ideal length for cool-season grass mixtures is between 2 and 2-1/2 inches. Using the one-third rule, you can safely trim sod grass to 2 inches if it reaches a height of 3 inches. On the other hand, if it takes longer than intended or grows quicker than predicted, trim it to 3 to 3-1/2 inches and then mow it the following day to 2 to 2-1/2 inches.
2. Mowing Heights for New Sod for Different Grasses
|Type of grass
|Fine & Tall Fescues
How Often to Fertilize New Sod?
About six weeks after it has been laid, fertilize new sod for the first time. Apply fertilizer at a rate of no more than 1 pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of grass, or spread slow-release, granular fertilizer with a 10-10-10 or comparable formula, according to the recommendations made by the findings of a soil test.
Wait about four weeks to fertilize the sod when new growth begins to show or the sod has firmly planted if the sod struggled to take root and became established. Don’t fertilize sod that was installed over the winter or during a dormant season until the following spring, when the sod will have greened up.
Tips to Follow Before Mowing New Sod
1. Water New Sod
Proper watering is essential for good growth while caring for new sod. Generally speaking, watering the ground before laying new sod is always a good idea. This will stop the soil from absorbing moisture from the roots and ruining the sod. Your watering schedule after you’ve laid new sod will rely on your irrigation system’s quality, the type of soil you have, and the local climate.
2. Avoid Stepping on New Sod
Our most crucial advice for maintaining new sod is to avoid stepping on it too soon. Pets, kids, and anybody else should stay off freshly planted sod until at least the first mowing. Regularly watering the sod will assist the roots in taking hold, and unless they are well-established, your sod is fragile. Walking on the sod before the roots have cooled off can result in root failure or poor rooting.
3. Properly Fertilize New Sod
Five weeks following installation, freshly laid sod should be fertilized. In addition to regular watering, mowing, and root feeding, fresh sod needs additional maintenance.
By fertilizing the sod, you may stimulate healthy development while also assisting the roots in their ongoing establishment. The sod you have installed, and the soil on your property will impact the sort of fertilizer you use. The greatest choice for new sod is liquid fertilizers.
4. Increase the Watering Frequency in Summer
If you are planting during sweltering summer days, you can increase the suggested watering frequency from 3 to 5 times. This is due to the sod drying out more quickly in hot weather, which causes it to turn brown, contract, and eventually die.
Tips to Follow After Mowing New Sod
1. Water Lawn on Alternative Days
If the sod has already developed strong roots, it won’t likely dry up, even if it is occasionally left without water. Therefore, you can now choose to water your new lawn merely every other day. The watering frequency should have decreased to twice daily, every other day, by the end of the fourth week. You can reduce the frequency even more after a month to once every three days.
2. Reduce the Watering Frequency
Since new sod cannot absorb much water immediately, excessive amounts will result in root rot. Watering your fresh sod should begin just after daybreak in the morning and end in the late afternoon. When the sun sets, the roots absorb water much more slowly, making it simple to overwater them. Overwatering will encourage fungus under the roots, which could lead to the failure of your new sod.
3. Use Water Sprinklers
Now is also the ideal time to build a good sprinkler system if you anticipate needing one in the future. First, because there won’t be any more work for you to do, the time right before the sod is laid is the most economical installation. This also prohibits removing any current grass or plants, which will be optional in the future. These two things guard both your pocketbook and your yard.
What is the Benefit of Mowing New Sod?
A healthy lawn requires regular mowing. The advantages of mowing your lawn more frequently will become apparent as soon as you begin cutting the grass properly. Most lawns benefit from regular mowing in their fight against weeds like crabgrass. Mowing freshly seeded lawns might aid in preventing and eradicating insects like grass spiders.
When you mow your freshly seeded lawn, large sections of the grass leaves that aid in photosynthesis are removed, prompting the plant to produce new leaves while simultaneously producing more shoots. Increased surface area and lawn density result from these new shoots. Turf with a high density is regarded as being of high grade.
Sod is both a project and an investment. There are infinite rolls of sod to transport and join together in a tidy pattern, with edges and corners neatly fitting together and meticulously raking, amending, and moistening the subsurface. Cutting too soon can ruin expensive sod, while waiting too long can create a mess and cost money and time.