How to Keep Sod Lawns Alive After Planting

You’ve taken the leap, a new walk-barefoot lawn has been installed. It’s up to you to keep it alive, take root, and thrive. Hence, New Sod Care tips are absolutely important. We are talking Maximum TLC. Following a few after-sod-installation strategies can preserve your new sod lawn and secure its high quality for life.


How much water does my lawn need?

New lawns need water daily for the first 2 weeks until the roots knit into the soil and to prevent dehydration. New sod can easily dehydrate before roots are formed causing severe damage to your new lawn.  If grass blades turn blue/ gray in color the grass is dehydrated and needs to be watered immediately. Once the roots have knitted to the soil, water every 2 to 4 days watching for signs of the grass being under stress. It may be necessary to water twice a day on hot or windy days.

Established lawns need approximately 1-1.5 inches of water per week during the summer months. Deep watering 2-3 times per week is recommended to encourage deep root growth. Light watering merely dampens the surface and is of little value to the root system.

How long should I wait before mowing?

Mowing can usually be done 2 weeks after installation. The first mowing should be in a diagonal direction to how the sod was laid. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade height.  Scalping or cutting too severely may result in plant shock, making it difficult to bring the plant back and more susceptible to disease.  Future mowing’s should be done with the mower set to a minimum of 2 1/2 inches in height. Leaving the lawn height higher in the summer will help relieve heat stress.

Are mushrooms harmful to my lawn?

Mushrooms are a sign of good moisture and soil. They will not do any damage and will go away on their own. It is not necessary to treat them with anything, but you may rake them out if they bother you.

What if I have a lot of shade?

Ryegrass sod can tolerate a little bit of shade. We do have a matching shade tolerant seed that you can use to overseed in the spring or fall if you notice thinning in your lawn. Our Fescue sod can tolerate a little more shade than the Ryegrass sod, but isn’t a foolproof “shade sod” for heavily shaded areas. Fescue may also need some overseeding.

How often do I need to fertilize?

Most lawns require fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks from April through October. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. Never apply fertilizer by hand, use a rotary or drop spreader for an even application. Water your lawn immediately after applying fertilizer.

How long after installation can I use my lawn?

About two weeks for light or normal use, up to four weeks for heavy traffic or rough activity. It’s now time to sit in that lawn chair and look proudly over your newly installed lawn. Or better yet, grab the kids and take a tumble in the grass . . .

Live And Thriving Lawns

Wow! Great strategies for New Sod Care. These tips are important to our Outdoor Living homeowners. New Sod Lawns are a part of Exterior Design in Landscapes. We’ve many example of thriving lawns in our Portfolio. Need personal attention regarding your lawn and landscape revamp? We are known for our Complimentary Consultations. We also dazzle at landscape videos How-to’s, Before & Afters, and details you need to know! Pop into our channel.

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for Dropping In

Until next time . . . Get Outside Portland!

Kim Thibodeau, Exterior Design Services

Landscape Blogger, Love Walking Barefoot in Lush Green Grass . . .

One Comment

  1. February 4, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Love your website. I’d rather be outside than inside “being” creative. We have lots of lawn and I loved your helpful info on all those landscaping reads. Thank you!