Installing sod is a significant investment in your St. Louis property. To ensure your new lawn thrives, proper care and maintenance are crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide to nurturing your newly installed sod:
Frequency: Water your sod deeply and frequently for the first 2-4 weeks, aiming for daily watering in hot weather. As the roots establish, gradually reduce the frequency to 2-3 times per week.
Depth: Water thoroughly, soaking the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches, encouraging deep root growth.
Time: Early morning or evening watering is ideal to minimize water evaporation.
Timing: Wait until the grass blades reach a height of 4-5 inches before mowing.
Height: Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length during each mowing to avoid stressing the new sod.
Sharpness: Use a sharp mower blade to ensure a clean cut and prevent damage to the grass.
Timing: Avoid fertilizing in the first 4-6 weeks after installation.
Type: Choose a starter fertilizer formulated for new lawns.
Application: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and timing.
Prevention: Maintaining a healthy, thick lawn is the best defense against weeds.
Spot treatment: For hand-removal of scattered weeds, use a garden knife or pull the weeds carefully without disturbing the sod.
Post-emergent herbicides: Consider using a selective post-emergent herbicide for widespread weed control, but consult a professional for guidance.
Avoid excessive foot traffic: Limit walking and playing on the new sod for the first few weeks to allow the roots to establish.
Aerate the soil: Aerating compacted soil improves water and air penetration, promoting root growth.
Control pests and diseases: Monitor for signs of pests and diseases, and address them promptly with appropriate treatments.
Overseeding: Consider overseeding bare patches with the same type of sod or a compatible grass seed mixture.
By following these care guidelines and providing your sod with the necessary attention, you can establish a lush, healthy lawn that will enhance your St. Louis property for years to come.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:
University of Missouri Extension: https://extension.missouri.edu/
National Sod Growers Association: https://turfgrasssod.org/
St. Louis County Master Gardeners: https://stlmg.org/
Remember, the specific care needs of your sod may vary depending on the type of grass, weather conditions, and your individual property. Consulting with a professional landscaper or lawn care service can provide personalized advice and ensure the long-term health and beauty of your St. Louis lawn.”