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Sod Care: Watering

Sod Care: Watering

Sod Care: Watering

You’ve just paid to have a beautiful new lawn installed, but how do you keep that sod looking so green?


The first 6 weeks after your lawn is installed is the most critical time. During this time the grass is re-growing its roots and establishing itself in your yard. Because the roots are so tiny and haven’t grown deep into the ground yet, you must make sure that the sod doesn’t dry out. It would be difficult to over water newly installed sod. Keep it wet, not just moist and you will ensure it never dries out.


For the first 2 weeks after your sod is installed, water once a day for about one hour with a sprinkler. Make sure to move the sprinkler occasional to ensure all the sod gets watered, you don’t want to miss any corners or edges. To make sure your sod has got enough water, lift up a corner of the sod and poke your finger into the soil, the soil should be moist to 1” deep.

After 2 weeks you can reduce watering to every 3rd day. After 6 weeks you can start watering only once a week. You should continue watering once a week until your lawn is a year old, this will ensure that the sod is well established. A general guideline if you don’t want to count the number of days is simply to water very well every day until you see healthy growth. Then reduce watering to every second or third day and continue to monitor.

Evening is the best time of day to water. The heat of the day is past so the water is able to really soak into the ground, instead of just evaporating.

So you’ve got this watering routine down, but now it starts to rain, what do you do? Well unless it rains more than 10mm, continue to water as if it hasn’t rained at all. Anything less than 10mm of rain is not sufficient to water new sod.

Some signs that your lawn is getting the right amount of water are:
  • the grass is growing, and it’s growing evenly and thick,
  • the colour is that beautiful, bright grass green
  • and after about 2 weeks it should be difficult to lift up a corner of sod to check the moisture of the soil underneath, since the roots have started growing into the ground.
Some signs that your sod is being under watered are:
  • it’s not growing
  • the colour will have changed to a blueish grey
  • and the grass begins to look wispy and wilted.
Some signs that your sod is being over watered are:
  • the sod is too soggy and spongy when you step on it,
  • there is standing water or puddles remaining on the surface of the lawn,
  • and the colour will change to a pale yellow and eventually brown.

With proper watering you will have a beautiful lawn for years to come!