when to mow new sod

When to Mow New Sod?

If you have recently improved your landscape by installing some new sod, it is important for you to take care of it properly. You need to learn how to take care of new sod, and that means thinking about how and when you should start to mow it.

What do you need to know about mowing new sod? Take a look at a few important points below, and learn when to mow new sod.

Wait a Few Weeks To Avoid Damage

You do not want to wait too long to mow your new sod, as it could get in the way of your sod’s development. On the other hand, if you know your side too quickly, it might not have enough time to take root in the ground. Therefore, it is prudent to wait between two and three weeks before you mow your sod for the first time.

If it is particularly hot outside, or if the soil conditions are not perfect, it may take a few extra weeks for your sod to be prepared for mowing. You need to give your sod a few weeks to mesh properly with the surrounding soil.

Why Do You Need The Let the Sod Rest?

The first few weeks are referred to as the resting period. You need to give your sod time to develop roots that anchor it into the soil. During the first few days, your sod is going to develop a few roots, but these first few roots are not going to be strong enough to prevent your sod from moving around. Even walking on your lawn after installing sod can be enough to damage the root system, so you should try to stay away from it as much as possible to give your lawn time to take root.

There are some situations where you will need to step on your lawn. For example, you will want to follow the fertilization and watering schedule supplied with the sod to ensure the roots develop properly. You do not want to provide your sod lawn with more water than is recommended. Otherwise, the extra water could backfire, killing those initial roots.

In addition, you should try to avoid watering your lawn after 6:00 PM. You need to make sure the water is able to evaporate after you water your lawn. This might sound counter-intuitive, but your lawn is not going to soak up all the water you provide. If you allow the water to sit on your lawn, it can cause fungus to grow on your sod, killing it.

How To Know if You Sod Is Ready To Mow

After two weeks, you might be wondering if your lawn is ready to be mowed. How do you know if your sod is ready for the initial mowing? You simply need to bend over, grab a chunk of the sod, and pull gently. You do not want to pull this out of the ground, but you are testing the strength of the roots. If your sod stays in the ground with a gentle pull, it means that the sod is ready for its first mowing.

grass and turf soil with roots isolated

How Tall Should Your Blades Be: The Mowing Height

When it is time for you to mow your sod, you must make sure you leave behind enough of each blade to perform proper photosynthesis. If you cut the sod too short, your lawn might not have enough leaf surface area to perform photosynthesis.

The recommended mowing height for different types of sod is as follows:

  • Zoysia: 0.5 to 3 inches
  • Bermuda: 0.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Centipede: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • St. Augustine:1.5 to 2 inches
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Fine and Tall Fescues: 1.5 to 4 inches
  • Bahia: 2.5 to 4 inches

As a good rule of thumb, try to avoid mowing more than half of the leaf blade. That way, you leave enough of each leaf blade intact for photosynthesis. You should also check your mower blades to make sure they are sharp, as this will minimize any stress you place on your new lawn.

Keep Your Lawn Healthy During the Initial Stages

A few final tips you may want to follow to keep your lawn healthy during these first few weeks include:

Fertilize Properly

You should make sure you use the right fertilizer. Different types of lawns require different types of fertilizer, so be sure to listen to your sod supplier. You must make sure you give your lawn the right nutrients if you want the root system to take hold.

Follow the Right Watering Schedule

You should also follow the appropriate schedule when it comes to watering. In general, it is better to spread out the watering over the course of the day. That way, you don't give water time to sit on your sod, which could cause fungus to grow. Your sod should feel spongy once you are done. You might need to increase your watering frequency during the summer, as more water will evaporate during the day.

Minimize Foot Traffic

Try to minimize foot traffic on the lawn. When you initially install your sod, the roots are going to be shallow and vulnerable. Even simple foot traffic could cause some of the roots to tear, impacting the health of your sod. Furthermore, your sod is going to be wet most of the time, and walking on wet sod could cause depressions to form in the grass.

What Happens if You Cut Your Sod Too Early?

If you mow your sod too soon, the corners of your sod could start to peel up as you mow it. Essentially, you are going to pull the root system right out of the ground, and it can ruin large segments of your yard. Therefore, it is better to wait a few weeks before you mow your sod for the first time. Make sure the root system is firmly anchored before you mow it.

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