How to Maintain Sod

Cereal Leaf Beetle
September 6, 2018
The Lawn Overseeding Guide
September 29, 2018

How to Maintain Sod



  1. Saturate the area with water immediately. Be sure water has gone through the sod and into your soil beneath. Note: One gallon of water within the first hour of installation does as much good as six gallons of water three hours later.
  2. Depending on the time of year, during periods of little rainfall and high air temperatures, sod and soil must be kept wet for the first 10 days or more after installation. After sod has adhered to your soil, watering can be reduced. During cooler periods, the key is to make sure the sod and soil are simply kept moist (not saturated as you would do the first time after laying the sod; this is because the cooler temp’s will maintain soil moisture quite well).
  3. When temperatures are 85 degrees F or above, lightly hand water the sod and the sod bed as it is installed. This will keep grass from wilting until installation is completed and when larger amounts of water can then be applied.


CAUTION: Never allow grass to “wilt” and keep traffic off sod during periods of heavy irrigation.



  1. The first mowing should be made after the sod has started to root or when sod pieces cannot be easily pulled up from the soil.
  2. On the first mowing, be sure to have the mower set high enough to prevent removal of more than 1/3 of the leaf blade, and reduce engine rpm’s to avoid lifting sod.
  3. After sod is fully rooted, follow normal mowing procedures cutting bluegrass at 3 inches, ryegrass at 3.25 inches and fescue at 3.50 inches, alternating directions, returning clippings to the lawn (NOT collecting them) and keeping mower blades sharp.

CAUTION: Mowing should be frequent enough that no more than 1/3 of the total leaf surface will be removed in any given mowing.


Follow-Up Irrigation

  1. After sod is well rooted (2-6 weeks after installation), watering will be necessary if the sod starts to wilt during periods of stress, especially during the 1st summer following the sod installation. Once the lawn begins to establish, the watering practices should be adjusted to put down about ½” of water every 3 to 4 days, depending on the weather.  This is approximately 1 hour per section with average water pressure.  To more accurately measure how much water is being put down set a rain gauge or coffee can under the sprinkler and time how long it take to fill it to the ½” mark.  Continue to water the lawn throughout the fall until temperatures are consistently below 50°F (or until the beginning of December).  This will help ensure that the lawn establishes properly before the onset of potentially damaging winter conditions.  If laying sod in the spring, water the lawn as described above until the lawn is extremely well-rooted (8-12 weeks).  Since grass plants take up to one full year to fully mature, it is very important to water spring seeded lawns throughout any dry spells during the first summer.  Otherwise, some of the new sod may be killed if the weather conditions are severe.
  2. Please remember, watering your new lawn is as important as the money spent to have to work done. The better the sod is watered, the more quickly the lawn will establish, and the overall quality of the lawn will be enhanced.  If you have any questions at all about the watering or maintenance of your new lawn, please give our office a call: (717) 299-2112 or toll free at 1-888-246-5433, or e-mail the lawn department at and we’ll be glad to help you every way that we can!


CAUTION:  Water should never be applied at rate that is faster than it can be absorbed by the soil.


Organic Approach LLC   128 Weaver Road   Lancaster, PA 17603   717-299-2112 voice   717-290-6805 fax