From Seedlings to Sod: How to Water New Lawns

Newly seeded or sodded lawns require special irrigation and attention. There is a delicate equilibrium that must be maintained so the new sod can take root or the new seeds can grow strong.

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

A newly seeded lawn should be watered daily and may need as many as four light waterings in a single day. To keep the seedbed moist, but not saturated, make sure to water to a dept of one to two inches until germination occurs. You’ll know germination has happened when there is a green cast to the lawn and seedlings are ¼ to ½ inch tall.

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

A newly sodded lawn requires watering one or two times a day. You should begin irrigation immediately after laying the sod. In fact, you should plan your sodding process so that a section of laid sod can be watered while other areas are being sodded.

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.

A free consultation is the first step to having a lush lawn

We are St. Louis’ and Saint Charles’ irrigation company leader for residential and commercial customers, and we’re expanding rapidly throughout the Midwest for one simple reason: we only use the best parts and hire and train professionals who can live up to our name.

You’ll see the difference in everything we do – from understanding every challenge as you see it, to leaving no questions unanswered about how we can help your lawn stay green and healthy.

We are Professional Irrigation Systems. And if you believe like us that quality, service, and value still matter, then you’re ready to grow with the pros. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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