New Sod Care & Troubleshooting
How To Care For Your New Lawn
Thank you for choosing Capitol Wholesale Nursery as your sod supplier. The first fact of new sod care is that
new sod is perishable and must be installed immediately to ensure a successful installation. A light watering of
the ground before installation is helpful in cooling the roots of your new sod and helps to prevent shock. When
the ground is dry it acts like a wick and removes the moisture from the sod.
We recommend using our Bolero™ Sod & Seed Starter “pre-plant” Fertilizer on the ground before
installation. It may be purchased either at the time of your sod order; or from the nursery.
Listed below are some “helpful hints” for the care of your sod during the first three weeks of establishment.
These tips should provide the basics of new sod care and teach you how to further care for a new lawn. By
using the pre-plant fertilizer before installation, rolling the sod after installation, and watering following our
simple list of suggested steps, you are on your way to a beautiful and healthy lawn.
FIRST TWO WEEKS
Proper watering of sod is essential for root establishment of your sod.
• The day of installation enough water should be applied to penetrate the sod and two inches of native soil.
• From day two on, keep your sod and soil moist throughout the day. The roots are short so the sod cannot
withstand large amounts of water at a single time. Other than the first day, the ground under the sod should
never be soggy. Usually watering four to six times during the day for approximately five to six minutes each
time, is required until root establishment has begun. Root establishment will usually begin within seven to
fourteen days depending on the time of year your sod is installed and your environmental conditions.
• Too much water will rob the roots of oxygen and in warmer weather that possibly can lead to disease. The
length of each watering cycle will depend on the soil type with which you are working and the type of irrigation
you have. A clay type soil may need five minutes four times a day where a sandy loam may need seven
minutes, five times a day. You have to judge the minutes given, but here is a tip. If the water is standing under
the sod for more than just a few minutes after an irrigation set has finished or if the soil is soggy, you are
probably giving the sod too much water at one time. Avoid, if at all possible, watering into the evening hours
(after five-thirty am or six pm); this is one of the fastest ways to create a fungus problem.
Please stay off new sod until after the first mowing.
• Try cutting back the frequency of watering just before the first mowing. This will firm up the soil for mowing.
• First mowing should be approximately 14 days after the sod has been installed. In the winter you may need to
wait longer for the roots to establish prior to mowing.
• Never mow off more than 1/3 of the blade during a mowing cycle. Mowing high is much less stressful on new
AFTER TWO TO THREE WEEKS
• Reduce the frequency of times you water at a gradual pace. At the point that you can tug on the corners of
the sod and meet some resistance, you can do away with the latest irrigation set of the day, but you need to
add a couple of minutes to the other sets. Now the roots are deeper and the sod can take a little more water at
a time. In another week or so you can repeat this process until you are watering once a day.
• Deeper, less frequent watering will help roots stretch down deeper and establish quickly into the soil.
• Fertilize your new sod approximately four to six weeks after installation to ensure continued establishment of
the roots. Our Bolero™ Lawn Food is an excellent choice for any blend or variety of sod. It can also be
purchased through all of our distributors.
These Tips are the Best Advice For New Sod Care
• If sod is not rooting: Most sod varieties will begin to root within ten to fourteen days. Check watering schedule
and adjust to a deeper, less frequent watering. Excessive shade will slow down the establishment of the roots.
• Bluish gray spots in the sod: Try increasing minutes per watering and check or adjust sprinkler coverage. The
sod may be stressed because of lack of water.
• Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a condition of the frequent watering schedule and are a temporary nuisance. As
watering gets deeper and less often, mushrooms usually dry up and wither away.
• Gaps between rolls: The sod is shrinking due to lack of water. Increase minutes per watering and frequency to
minimize gaps. Hand watering the gaps will increase root growth and close the gaps.
• Fungus: Diseases need to be eradicated, promptly. Usually fungus occurs when too much water has been
applied in warm weather. The presence of fungus is everywhere; water and heat will activate it. Identify the
fungus and or apply a broad spectrum fungicide to put the disease in check. A second application may be