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Maintenance

Sod Maintenance

Your Thorough Guide to Sod Maintenance

Sod maintenance is quite easy for those who really want to grow a lush green lawn and want to enjoy it for years to come. Jirik Sod Farms and the staff will help you understand the sod maintenance process to ensure adequate care for your new sod. 

Watering Your Sod

Initial watering: As soon as the sod is installed, water all areas until completely saturated like a wet sponge. The initial watering is the most crucial. Proper watering will soak the sod to the point the soil becomes muddy. Most problems with new sod are due to insufficient watering. Following initial watering, sod MUST remain in a wet condition for 10 days to 2 weeks. At this time it is recommended that all traffic be kept to a minimum to allow the sod to settle and root growth to develop.

Following weeks: Continue watering as necessary to keep sod in healthy condition. At this point, you want to lengthen the time between watering to establish deeper root growth. Keep an eye out for edges, small areas and strips along the driveway that are in danger of drying out. Your lawn is still establishing itself so give it lots of attention. 

Take a Look at Some Useful Watering Tips

It is pertinent to note that with multiple types of seed, turf and the varying soil conditions that may exist in your yard that the following may need to be adjusted depending on your area in which you reside:
  • Pull back a corner of the turf in various locations in the yard and push a screwdriver into the soil. It should push in easily and have moisture along the first 3 or 4 inches. If not, apply more water. Once the turf is established, simply push the screwdriver through the turf to check moisture levels
  • Make absolutely certain that water is getting to all areas of your new lawn. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster that the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near buildings dry out faster because of the reflected heat and may require more moisture
  • Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil is adequately moist. To conserve water and ensure a thorough soaking in, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait for 30 minutes to an hour and restart the watering on the same area. Repeat process until proper soil moisture is achieved
  • Don't forget that low spots in your yard may get extra drainage water from the higher parts of the yard. Be sure to keep this under control
  • Soil types, weather conditions and time of year will affect the watering and maintenance of both new and existing yards

Fertilizing Your Sod to Improve the Health and Look of Your Lawn

The three most important elements for a healthy lawn are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These elements promote root growth, provide color and give your lawn vigorous growth. Every bag of fertilizer will have three numbers prominently displayed that indicate the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. 
  • The first feeding should be between April 15 and May 1 depending on the type of spring we have. Typically, a pre-emergent is applied at this time to control crabgrass
  • The second feeding should be applied around Memorial Day. This will help keep your lawn green during the hot summer months
  • The third feeding should be ten days to two weeks on either side of Labor Day. This is to get your lawn back in top shape from the harsh summer months
  • The fourth feeding is for winterizing. This is the one of the most important fertilization's and will ensure nutrients throughout the winter and into the spring as your turf comes out of dormancy
Remember! Always read recommended application rates and follow instructions when fertilizing.

Mowing Your Lawn in 2 to 3 Weeks' Time

If you're mowing for the first time, your initial mowing should take place 2 to 3 weeks after installation. 
  • Mow at an angle across seams
  • Mow at highest setting
  • Bag clippings
  • Water after initial mowing
When mowing, only cut 1/3 of the blade at a time. Roots can be severely shocked by exposing the crown and may take several weeks to recover. Grass that is properly mowed to its recommended height makes lawn care easier. It is more disease resistant, retains more moisture and can successfully compete with weeds and insects.

Don't Forget About the Aeration of Your Sod

Aeration is the process in which a machine mechanically pulls plugs from the ground to allow moisture and air to reach the root of the plant. Most commonly used in spots where there is a lot of compaction of the soil. It is recommended to do this process every year in the spring or late fall.

Taking Care of Your Established Lawn

After 30 days, your lawn should be well rooted and ready to be maintained as an existing lawn.
  • Water at least 1 inch of water a week in two waterings
  • Mow as necessary to maintain a 2 3/4" - 3" height

Regular Maintenance Is Key to a Beautiful Lawn

While replacing an existing lawn or establishing a new lawn, you need to follow the procedure mentioned here for best results.

If the lawn you are repairing is completely worn out and nothing left but a few sprigs of grass and mostly dirt is there, you are going to want to cut down about 1/2" and level off your area to be sodded. 

If the area of your lawn is still somewhat decent and has an adequate base that you are wishing to replace you are going to want to dig out 1" of sod/soil. Making sure that the soil is smooth and relatively debris free. You can achieve this by a finish grade and/or hand raking. 

To promote root development, apply a low nitrogen starter fertilizer to soil prior to installation. Begin by framing with a border roll, stagger rolls making sure to keep seams tight. Identify areas of erosion and steak as necessary.
Call us
for a FREE estimate 
on our sod services at
651-460-6555
If you have any questions regarding sod maintenance, feel free to speak to our knowledgeable team and we will help you in every possible way.
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