Purchasing sod is a great investment that beautifies your home and pays off for years to come.
Sod is easy to install, but there are a couple of pitfalls that you need to be careful to avoid!
INSTALLING & CARING FOR NEW SOD
Four mistakes you want to avoid
WAITING TOO LONG TO INSTALL SOD
Sod should be installed as soon as possible. Once the sod is harvested, it begins to decompose. The rate at which this happens is determined by the air temperature. Sod ordered in winter will last for up to a week on the pallet, in the hot summer, it lasts 24 hours or less. Watering the sod while still on the pallet will not help. The heat of decomposition is what makes the sod turn bad, not a lack of moisture.
If you waited too long and the sod is starting to yellow, it may still survive. The rule of thumb is if there is still some green left in the blades it will come back with proper watering.
How to avoid: Make sure your area is prepped and ready for sod prior to delivery. This will make it easy to start installing when it is still fresh!
NOT WATERING IN TIME
If you are installing sod when it is warm or windy out, it is critical that the sod is watered within 30 minutes of unrolling.
How to avoid: Once you have an area of sod big enough for a sprinkler, start watering while you continue to install the remainder of your sod rolls.
NOT WATERING LONG ENOUGH
It is important that sod is watered after install and every day for the first two weeks. Fresh sod has shallow roots and watering is needed so that the roots will grow deeper into the soil. Use a sprinkler do not hand water. A sprinkler will distribute the water slowly over a period of 1 to 2 hours which allows the water time to soak in. Hand watering dumps a lot of water on each area and causes most of it to run off. Aim to water your sod an inch each day for the first two weeks.
How to avoid: Use a sprinkler and put out a coffee cup to ensure you are applying at least an inch of water every morning.
WATERING IN THE EVENINGS
Hot and humid summers provide ideal conditions for fungus to develop. This is made worse by leaving the grass wet overnight. After the first watering (water within 30 minutes of unrolling/installing even if it's in the evening), water only in the morning to give the grass blades time to dry.
How to avoid: If installing sod in the hot summer, set up a timer to water your new sod each morning. Allow the grass blades to dry in the afternoon. Consider applying a fungicide as a preventative measure if it is especially hot or humid, or if we are getting frequent rain during hot weather.