Secrets To Soding

Published April 12, 2022

Intro:
With lawns, it’s unfortunately true that you never know what you are going to get. Despite all your best efforts, sometimes that perfect green lawn you are dreaming of cannot come about on its own.

With lawns, it’s, unfortunately, true that you never know what you’re going to get.  Despite all your best efforts, sometimes that perfect green lawn you’re dreaming of can’t come about on its own.  When that happens, have no fear – GreenPro is here to help since one of our special services for our clients includes sod.

A quick primer on sod to start, however: it’s important to know that not all sod is created equal.  Different sod flourishes in different parts of the country.  Northerners want cool-season grass (Kentucky bluegrass, for example, or ryegrass or fescue), whereas Southern homeowners will require warm season sod (Bermuda, St. Augustine or zoysia fit the bill nicely). Sunny spots need a grass that thrives on lots of light, like Kentucky blue or Bermuda; shady spots demand a turf that can get by on very little light, like fescue or St. Augustine.  Different sod will be treated differently by different properties, and homeowners should be familiar with the difference.

Oklahoma requires warm season sod – Bermuda, zoysia, and fescue are the most common types of sod that thrive in our fair state.  Zoysia sod has a lush look and feels that many homeowners enjoy; Bermuda tends to be used by football and sports stadiums; fescue keeps your yard green year-round, particularly in shaded areas.

We find that many homeowners will sod their property when they have just completed a new home makeover.  With so much equipment had been over and around their property, the poor property has taken a beating.  You don’t want your beautiful home to be undermined by a lackluster or nonexistent lawn; as a result, sod can be a great solution for the homeowners looking to quickly grow their yard back.  (With proper maintenance, a newly sodded yard can be ready to use in three weeks!)

There are some fantastic benefits to sodding.  By way of a few examples:

  1. Reduces Heat.  Lawns with grass or sod have been found to be 30% cooler than those with rock or dirt surfaces, and 15 degrees cooler than bare soil.  Sod can help release oxygen and clears the air, and is much cooler than rock, concrete, asphalt and artificial turf.
  2. Property protection.  Sod can help control property erosion, reduce noise pollution, and act as a natural dust and dirt filter, as a result preserving your property and making your home a safe haven.
  3. Environmental benefits.  Sod has been found to reduce greenhouse gases and absorb carbon dioxide.  Further, it requires much less water than a traditional lawn.  As a result, for those homeowners seeking an environmentally conscious property, sod can be a great choice!
  4. Property value.  Studies have shown that a well-landscaped yard can add 15% to 20% to the value of your home.  Sod can provide a safe, clean, soft playing surface for children and pets, making it the ideal surface to relax or romp!

That being said, there are some important tips for turf maintenance that we want you to be aware of.

  1. First 2 Weeks.  The secret to establishing new sod?  Watering properly for the first month. Immediately after installation, make sure the sod is watered thoroughly to a depth of 4″ to 6″, making it spongy to the step. (You can determine the depth of moisture by lifting a corner of the sod.)  You should water the new sod 3 to 5 times a day (especially during hot weather!) over the first 7 to 14 days depending on the season. It’s crucial to keep the new sod damp during the first week (stay off it so it can take proper root). Your new sod’s roots will penetrate the soil faster and root sooner if properly watered. At the end of week 2, dry the yard enough so you can mow.
  2. Weeks 3 & 4.  During weeks 3 and 4, transition from frequent daily watering to fewer cycles per day and increase the number of days between watering. In week 3, reduce watering to 1-3 times per day and skip a day between watering if the new sod is not drying out. By week 4, water 1 to 2 times every other day. After week 4, your new yard should be ready to go 2 to 3 days between watering. Water your lawn in the evening or early morning when less evaporation occurs. To reduce run-off on hills and promote deep root growth, reduce watering times in half. One hour later, run the irrigation cycle again and apply the rest of the water. This allows the water to soak into heavy soils.
  3. Mow at the end of Week 2 or if Grass exceeds 3.5″.  Your new lawn should be mowed at the end of week 2 or if you lawn exceeds 3 1/2″ tall. Back off on the watering so the turf is dry to the touch and firm enough to walk on without sinking in. If your new lawn reaches over 3 1/2″, mow off a third of the length even if it has not been two weeks. Do not cut shorter than 2″ for the first few times you mow. Exercise caution the first time so you do not damage or pull up the sod. If some of the sod does move around, don’t worry. Just put it back in place and it will grow in.
  4. The Rest of the Season.  Your new lawn will need more water the first growing season – the first 6 months in particular.  (As roots grow deeper over the course of a year, it will need it less.) The key to new sod care during this time is watering deep but less frequently. This will help the roots grow deep and develop a root system that uses less water. It is okay after the first two months to stress your lawn a little – let your yard dry out a bit and, when you see signs of stress, make sure to water. This will also allow you to fine tune the sprinkler system and adjust heads for proper coverage and change nozzles for more or less water in certain spots.
We hope these tips help you as you approach whether to sod and how best to install it.  At GreenPro we are experts in the types of sod that works best for Oklahoma lawns and landscapes.  Curious? Give us a call; we’d love to help you install the lawn of your dreams!

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