View Full Version : Mowing sod

03-09-2011, 03:04 PM
I have picked up 3 yards for this coming season that are in a new neighborhood being built. Each of these houses had the sod laid in late Nov 2010. This will be the first time I have mowed lawns with "fresh laid sod" in about 15 yrs.

Being that this is a new neighborhood and the opportunity to pick up more jobs as more people move in, I want to make sure things go smooth.

What are somethings I need to look out for?
What height should I mow at (I usually mow at 2 3/4 - 3 inches)
We cut once every 6-8 days, should that be changed for these lawns?
We do have some pretty hard ground, Alot of clay in the area. Is the sod rooted or do I still have to worry about it pulling up or tearing?

I did notice that there are still a few seems in the lawn where some pieces of sod didn't close up yet.

I'd appreciate any help.

03-09-2011, 03:30 PM
Raise it up and go slow. Depending on how hard the ground is, just the weight of the mower may turn up some edges and you might suck them up. I've found that taking it easy for 3-4 weeks is about all it takes.

03-09-2011, 03:49 PM
Im planning on using my walkbehinds on these yards to limit some weight on the new sod for the first few months. Thus sod went down in Nov. Im hoping that with all the rain the other day and another 3-4 inches between tonight and fri morning that the sod will really set and dig in do to how soft the ground is. I still have about a month to a month and a half before mowing would start on these.

Robert Pruitt
03-09-2011, 03:50 PM
I usually let it go for about three or four weeks so the sod roots can take to the soil. mow opposite from the sod was laid. cut it high.

03-09-2011, 04:32 PM
Crazy ideas it didn't take me 15 years to figure out.

-Ask customer when it was sodded, wait at least 2-3 weeks (more if it's on a slpe), especially as grass isn't exactly soaring up this time of year and it can wait. Wait longer if the grass isn't going to get so tall it flops over and smothers itself.

-walk over, grab a few pieces of sod in various areas, and tug to see if it's rooted in well or not.

-While you're at it, check ground to make sure the customer's heavier-than-usual watering of new sod hasn't left the ground too soggy to mow w/o making a mess.

-use a lighter walk behind mower if possible so as not to damage grass or rut newly amended soil underneath.

- mow it a little higher to avoid potentially grabbing an end and/or sucking a loose piece of sod up into the blades.

Do schools even bother teaching people problem solving and deductive reasoning anymore?

03-09-2011, 04:51 PM
Bruno T - No one said it has taken me 15 yrs, I haven't cut a newly soded lawn in about 15 yrs, **** changes and tech changes everyday so manybe there are some new things I should know ...Ya ever think of that?

Secondly..Read my post... The lawn had sod put down in Nov..Its now March

Third, Im not ******* stupid, Been it this business for 20+ yrs

Fourth, I know I didnt go to the greatest school, But I do have comon sense and do know what Im doing. Just asked a simple question because it had been so long since I did a job with newly laid sod..

For those not being an ass in their replys, Thanks for the help & have a good season.

03-09-2011, 05:17 PM
yeah get used to it man...this forum is full of idiots who think they know it all and that they are better than everyone at lawncare...or anything else for that matter...lawnsite should make a rule...if you can't help nicely then don't post at all...and remove any negative comments as soon as they are posted :)...it would be amazing how much we could learn if everyone helped each other out...it's not like people in other states are your competition lol...get over it already

03-09-2011, 05:47 PM
Kilgoja, Tell me about it, I've been a member for 7-8 yrs and over the last 2 yrs really stopped posting do to it.

Anyways hows work in Al? my buddy is down in southern bama (New Brockton/FT Rucker) and wants me to relocated... NOT Happening, but I love Bama and have family up in Phil Cambell.

03-09-2011, 05:54 PM
main thing is take it slow and hold your breath that nothing happens, new sod always makes me very nervous.

03-09-2011, 06:13 PM
JB1 - Samehere thats why I posted looking for some idea's LOL. The first mowing my nerves will shot..

New Leaf Maint
03-09-2011, 07:51 PM
I used to work doing sod installations and have mowed several new lawns. here's what I would do.

1. Try to pull it up in several spots to see how rooted it is. (you might be surprised how much it rooted in since last fall.
2. If its not rooted well try to give it as much time as you can before you need to mow it (letting the grass get 5"-7" is okay)
3. Often the ground underneath the sod can be very soft especially if they have been watering a lot because its new sod. (You might not have that problem out there but I live in a desert and we water the heck out of new sod) If the ground is soft use as light of a mower as possible and turn off sprinklers (if any) a few days before mowing or wait for a couple days if its been rainy.
4. Raise the deck up to 3"-4" for the first few mowings.

Have fun. I've actually gotten my Walker stuck pretty good trying to mow newer sod in a drainage area along a road.:nono: Not fun and a pain to try to piece the sod back together in the mud after we got the mower out.:weightlifter: I mowed it with a 21" push for like 8 weeks after that.

03-09-2011, 11:15 PM
New Leaf Maint - Thanks for the heads up and tips. Around here (where the jobs ara) is a heavy clay area, ground is solid even with tons of rain but Ill still walk it before I mow & raise the deck the first few mows.