Your freshly sodded lawn is in place and it’s looking great, right? But looks are a bit deceiving in this case, because while your lawn might immediately lookready for foot traffic and other activity upon installation, it’s actually not.
Your new sod lawn needs time to establish a firm root system before you use it as you did your old lawn. If you walk on your sod before its roots have established, you’re lessening your chances of success.
How long must you wait to use your new sod lawn? The general recommendation is to wait two weeks – but the number of days you wait is really dependent on determining that the lawn has, indeed, taken root. If this seems like a long time to wait, keep in mind you’d have to wait three to four times as long if you’d used seed instead of sod!
It’s easy to determine if the new sod has taken root. Gently lift one corner of a sod piece. If the roots have not fully developed, there’ll be little to no resistance when that corner is lifted. If, on the other hand, it’s difficult to easily lift the sod, the root system has properly developed. It’s best to try this with a couple pieces of sod in different areas of the lawn to ensure the entire surface has taken root.
There are a few things you can do to help your sod lawn develop a strong root system and ensure you enjoy a beautiful, healthy green lawn:
- The first step is to have properly prepared your soil before installing your sod – it will make a huge difference in the quality and longevity of your new sod lawn. Read more in our Preparing For Sod blog post.
- Ample irrigation is critical for sod survival, so be sure to water your sod frequently those first few weeks (depending on the amount of rainfall your area receives in that timeframe) and don’t allow the sod to dry up. NOTE: of course you will likely need to walk on the new sod to water it properly. Just be sure to step lightly and as minimally as possible.
- Just as ample irrigation is critical, too much water can drown the sod, preventing it from taking root. Read our Preparing For Sod blog post for tips on how much water is enough.
- Although this sounds contrary, you will definitely need to mow your lawn about one week after installation. This is a very important step in the sod process so, again, be sure to walk softly when mowing for the first time, and follow any directions you were given by the installer.
A little patience and perseverance will pay off in the form of a lawn you will enjoy and all will admire for years to come!