How much to water new sod?

How much to water new sod?

BK – posted 19 July 2004 14:54

We recently had to replace our lawn (don’t ask) and we put in new tall fescue sod and a sprinkler system. The sod is one week old. Since we put it in, we’ve watered every morning via a timer before sunrise for about 45 minutes on each section of the lawn (the sprinklers work in sections, one at a time).

This seems to be working well — the sod is pretty much all green except for a strip here or there — except for one thing, and I’m not sure if it’s a result of my watering or it’s just how it is supposed to be. The ground seems awfully soft beneath the sod. Not quite “muddy” but squishy. When I step on the sod, my foot easily sinks into the soil a few inches, and it’s clearly quite damp. Not that I need to mow yet, but even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. The wheels would sink right into the ground and the blade would just scalp the grass.

Is this normal? Am I watering too much? Every book I’ve read says to water “every day” for the first 10-14 days until the roots establish. Okay, but how much every day? How wet should the sod be… say by the end of the day when I get home from work? It seems like it’s still pretty soggy then.

I live in the Washington, DC area. It has been hot and humid with the occasional afternoon shower, but not much in the way of rain, just a lot of overcast.

Any advice appreciated. I can’t afford to replace the lawn again if I accidentally mess it up!

sodkingdom2 – posted 19 July 2004 16:07

You are watering perfect. Just always make sure that when you raise up the sod, that it is wet underneath. Do not let it dry out. Wait 2 weeks before strying to mow, after you have not watered for a day or two.

Good Luck

cohiba – posted 20 July 2004 14:38

Its seems like you are watering enough to me. I too have seen where sod is layed, watered and the ground is softened. All that will change when the roots start to grab into the soil. The roots will stabilize the soil. As for how much to water: moist not soaked. I water until the lifted sod reveals about 1/4″ of moist soil underneath. This ensures that the sod is wet and you are not wasting water that is going pass the rootzone of the turf. Water infrequently and shallow until rooting takes place then water deep and infrequently.

Keep it green!……………

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