The primary goal at this time is for your new grass to develop strong roots. This is accomplished through proper nutrition and appropriate watering in a healthy environment.
Environment: Before planting, inspect and clear the ground, removing any unwanted pest, debris or obstacles. Make sure that the ground is smooth and free from mounds or depressions. Turn the soil so that roots can grow through the loose soil, or remove as much of the old plant growth as possible before laying your sod. As a rule your new lawn will require at least 4 - 8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Nutrition: Healthy soil produces healthy grass. Your grass has been grown at the farm under the best of care and is delivered in optimal health. How do you keep it that way? Take the guess work out by enrolling in our monthly nutritional program. We will send you the appropriate nutritional product the first week of each month to treat your lawn. It is as simple as attaching our free applicator to a water hose and spraying your grass. You can also order any of our nutritional products separately. We suggest that Circle C Farms Turf Tonic 5-30-10 be applied the 1st & 3rd week after installing sod. You can also refer to the Southern Lawn Care Resources for recommendations.
Water: Unless it rains, irrigate every 24 hours the first 7 days so that you have good soil moisture to a depth of 6 inches. The best time to irrigate is in the early morning, prior to 8am. You will need to decide an appropriate amount based on the weather and your soil and lawn environmental conditions, but generally your soil should feel cool, moist, and hold together yet not be soggy or saturated. If the nighttime low temperatures are below 70 degrees, reduce the watering amounts but maintain the soil moisture level. On days that the high temperature exceeds 85 degrees, monitor for signs of dehydration in the leaves. If dehydration is noted, apply water for 5 minutes every 3 hours in the heat of the day if permitted by your local water use laws. This will cool the grass and provide moisture to the leaves. After 7 days begin to cut your irrigation schedule back as soil conditions allow. Your goal is to apply the proper amount of water to promote healthy growth. Be wise with your water use and don’t be fooled into thinking that excessive amounts of water promote quicker or better establishment of you new sod. By following this advice your lawn will better meet your expectations, save you money and conserve our natural resources. Plan how you will irrigate and make sure your irrigation system or method is fully functional BEFORE you lay your sod.
Mowing: Begin as soon as the turf is rooted and does not lift with the passing of the mower. As a rule mow often enough so that you NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the leave blade at any one mowing. Cutting more that 1/3 of the leaf surface at one time can put the grass in shock, which sets it up for disease or overexposure.
Weeks 4 & Beyond
Watering: Cut watering back to maintain good soil moisture, following the same procedures for testing moisture as stated above (Tip - Once your turf has been established and cannot be uprooted easily, use a probe such as a long screw driver to hollow a small hole in the soil. Reach into the hole with a finger and feel the soil for proper moisture).
Nutrition: Hopefully by now, you have received your first monthly nutritional product from us. You can also refer to the Southern Lawn Care Resources for recommendations. The goal is to provide proper nutrition at the proper time.
Environment: REMEMBER your lawn is a living organism and is subject to the conditions to which it is exposed. Moisture, light intensity, air temperature, soil temperature, soil conditions and type, ground elevations, and pests (insects or weeds) all play a role in the health of your lawn. Please monitor and correct any issues that can negatively affect your investment and you will enjoy years of pleasure.
Southern Universities with Advise on how to care for your lawn and deal with potential problems: