If you’ve recently added a lawn, you may be waiting on sod taking root. What is the process? How long does it really take?
Here are some things to keep in mind.
One basic principle when it comes to sod is that preparation is essential. The condition and makeup of the soil can have a direct impact on how quickly the sod develops a good root system. You want to create the ideal environment for quick, healthy growth, and for the most types of grass, like Kentucky Bluegrass, that looks like well-drained soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. This can be achieved by tilling amendments into the soil, such as lime or sulfur. Compost is also always a good choice to add organic material back into the soil, and it helps loosen and improve the soil’s texture. If the soil is too compacted, the tender new grassroots may have a difficult time pushing through the soil and becoming established. After tilling, go back through with a rake and level the soil. Sod will conform to the ground’s contours, so it’s important to create a level surface before installing the grass. After placing the sod, you can use a lawn roller to make sure the sod has total contact with the soil, with no gaps or air pockets.
Water is Key
Besides good, fertile soil, water is the second key ingredient to sod taking root. After preparing the soil and immediately after installing the sod, it’s a good rule of thumb to water the sod for a minimum of 45 minutes. In order for the roots to grow and develop, they need a moist environment, so it’s essential to keep the soil from drying out. The first two weeks after installation are critical, and moisture should always be present. Aim for watering 15 minutes three times daily for the first two weeks after installation. If the sod is being installed during summer, it may be necessary to water more times throughout the day to prevent the sod drying out or shrinking in the summer heat.
Give It Time
Once installed, the sod will take root within 10-14 days. During this early phase, however, the roots are shallow and fragile. Continue to water regularly throughout the first month after installation. Over time, you can water less frequently but more deeply to help encourage deeper root growth. Fully established roots typically occur after 30 to 45 days. It’s important during this entire first 4-5 weeks to stay off the grass. Foot traffic, pets, and lawnmowers can all cause stress to the young plants and disrupt their growth. Cutting the grass too early can also cause undue stress, so it’s best to wait at least a week before mowing for the first time. Make sure the mower is set to the highest possible height so that the grass isn’t clipped too close to the root.
Contact Monarch Sod
When you make the investment in a new lawn for your home, you want to make sure it’s done right. At Monarch Sod, we can install your new lawn quickly and professionally to ensure your sod is taking root right away. Contact us today for a quick quote, including installation. We serve Utah, Salt Lake, and Davis counties.