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Watering a Newly Installed Lawn Faqs
By Don Schlup

Before you order your sod to be installed, make sure your sprinkler is working properly. In addition, you will need hoses and sprinklers to water the newly laid sod after it is installed.

The first watering of newly installed turf grass is important. Begin watering immediately as soon as an area of 15' by 15' has been installed. This is the approximate area covered by a "frog eye" sprinkler head.

As soon as a sprinkler zone has been installed, turn it on and begin soaking the newly installed sod. As other zones are installed, turn them on one at a time. By following these suggestions, water has probably penetrated the sod into the dirt.

Continue watering each zone until the water has soaked up the 4-6 inches of soil under the sod. Pull back a corner of the sod and push a screwdriver into the soil. It should push in easily.

Now that the sub-soil is wet, the subsequent watering times will probably be less. Your focus is to keep the new sod wet for the next 2 weeks. This may require you to apply 2-3 applications each day.

Make certain that the water is getting to all areas of your new lawn. Corners and edges are easily missed. They are vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near the building dry out faster because of reflected heat and may require additional water.

Become a keen observer. The grass will show signs of dehydration by various color changes in the turf blades.

  • 1st Stage - Grass has a purplish tint.
  • 2nd Stage - Grass blades turn steel grey and footprints are left when walked upon.
  • 3rd Stage - Grass blades turn straw color.

Grass is a wonderful plant. Even if it turns straw color, given additional water and reasonable time, it will grow new leaves and can be restored to the lush green color at the time of installation.

During the 3rd week, begin transitioning to the procedures given for an established lawn.

Become a keen observer of the landscape. Adjust grass needs to the condition of the day. Use water wisely. Plants won't waste water, but people do!