From Seedlings to Sod: How to Water New Lawns
You want your lawn to grow healthy and green, which requires you to be a helicopter parent for a while until its roots are strong and deep. You might want to use an app to keep track of the watering schedule or keep a very structured calendar so you don’t miss a watering.
An irrigation system will help you use only the appropriate amount of water necessary to make your lawn flourish and grow as quickly as possible. Irrigation systems are cost-effective because they help you conserve water. If you just stood outside with a hose in hand, you’d end up using more water in a less efficient manner.
Watering New Grass Seed
You need to make sure not to stress the seedlings of a new lawn to the point of wilting. Light applications of water to a depth of ⅛ to ¼ inch one to four times day.
Apply one bail of straw per 1,000 square feet at time of seeding to help shade the ground and prevent rapid drying of the soil surface. Straw will also reduce seedling damage from the force of larger sprinkler drips. It’s best to water with a light mist when you’re trying to establish a new lawn.
As seedlings reach two inches in height, gradually reduce the frequency of watering and water more deeply. After your new lawn has been mowed a few times, deep and infrequent waterings are the best to maintain a healthy and lush lawn.
How to Water New Sod
Water your new sod so that both the sod strip and the top inch of soil below the sod are wet. The initial irrigation will take about an inch of water to completely wet the sod.
After watering, lift up pieces of sod at a few locations to determine whether it has been adequately watered. Continue watering one to two times a day with light irrigations to prevent wilting and to ensure the soil is moist just below the sod layer.
As the sod becomes established and roots penetrate the soil below, gradually reduce the watering frequency. Just like newly seeded lawns, once the sod has been mowed two or three times, irrigate your new lawn deeply but infrequently.
Do not overwater or saturate your new sod because that will inhibit the sod roots from growing into the soil below.
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