After the first month of growth, you can decrease the frequency of watering to several times weekly, but increase the length of time of each watering to give deeper moisture penetration.
NOTE: NEVER WATER BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.
2. Weeds and Fertilizing: All soils contain weed seeds, which are bound to pop up along with the new seedlings. Be assured the weed seeds were not in the seed mixture. Weeds usually grow faster than good grass. Be patient, however, as many of the weeds will be eliminated by regular mowing. After a spring or early summer seeding, a weed control fertilizer can be used the following September. A 14-14-14 mixture is recommended. For late summer or fall seedings, delay the weed control application until the following spring. (DON’T FERTILIZE DURING STRESSFUL WEATHER CONDITIONS.)
3. Mowing: Start mowing when seedlings are high enough to cut. Mow when surface is fairly dry. Otherwise, muddy wheels may pull out some seedlings. Set mower at 1 ½ to 2 inches. Mow at an angle the first time and continue to change mowing patterns.
4. Raking Out Straw: Rake out the straw after the 2nd mowing. Be sure to use a flexible rake so as not to pull out any new seedlings.
1. Watering Thoroughly: Proper watering is the single most important step in the establishment of a sod lawn. Give your new sodded turf area at least 1 inch of water within ½ hour of installation. Water daily, or more often, keeping both the sod and soil beneath moist until sod is rooted (about two weeks). Weather conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. Be certain that your new lawn has enough moisture to survive hot, dry, or windy periods. Remember sod strips near buildings often reflect heat and dry out more easily. Also sod strip edges along paths and driveways will be first to dry out and last to root in the topsoil. Be sure these areas get enough water and stay moist.
2. Mowing: Wait until the sod is rooted down before mowing. Try lifting the sod in the middle of a roll of sod to test if it has rooted to the underlying soil. If you can no longer lift up the sod in the middle or on the edges of the sod roll, raise the mower to the highest mowing level and mow your lawn on an angle the first time. Gradually lower the height of the cut and change your mowing patterns on the subsequent mowings. Remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf surface at any one time.
***Try to maintain your turf area to a 2 to 3 inch height. The root system beneath will develop as deep as the leaf surface maintained above the ground.
3. Fertilization: After one growing season, use a proper fertilization program. A fertilizer with the numbers 16-16-16 is good to start with. During the first three weeks, avoid heavy use of the newly sodded turf area. This will insure that the turf area will remain smooth.
Once the leaves drop off the trees in autumn, stop regular watering, then give trees, particularly evergreens, one more thorough soaking before the ground freezes for the winter. However, if it is a very wet fall and the ground is already saturated there is no needed for the soaking.
Fully established, mature trees don’t need regular watering unless the weather is extremely hot and dry for a prolonged period. Their root systems are deep and complex enough to reach water under most conditions.
Newly planted shrubs also need careful watering. Leave a shallow depression around base of the shrub and soak the area. Water deeply again after a few days. In addition to deep watering, cool the newly planted shrubs in hot weather by lightly misting them with a garden hose.
AVOID OVERWATERING! Once a week is enough for subsequent deep watering, except when it’s very hot and dry. Then water is required more often.