New sod care tips?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by newsod, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. newsod

    newsod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello. I recently installed new sod 8 days ago. So far 70% of the sod has stayed green but with the 30% being yellowish (around the edges of each sod piece).

    My landscaper suggested to keep the sod "drenched" because of the heat wave last week. Now that the temps are cooling down a bit (mid 70 to low 80s) how much should I water each zone? I have a total of 8 zones with 1 zone not having any new sod pieces. I have been running my home sprinkler system manually with the assistance of 2 hose connected sprinklers to assure that the sod was soaked.

    Ideally, I would like to run the zones so they have enough water until the afternoon where the temperature will get hotter before dipping down again. Im not sure how long to water each zone in the early morning.

    Any advice
  2. newsod

    newsod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    If it helps, it is Kentucky Bluegrass. Not sure if it is a mix.
  3. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    If the edges are brown check and see if you have ground contact. All sod must come in contact with soil. Water until bottom of sod is wet, not soaked.
  4. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    You need to roll it if you can walk on it if its turning yellow on edges. If all starts turning yellow might need some slow release Fert.
    Once it start growing Mow it high
  5. newsod

    newsod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    The sod is for sure in contact with the soil on the edges. I was not able to water the sod right away because the installer had to go get more sod and said do not water because they were working in that area. So instead of watering asap, it was delayed for 3-4 hrs.

    As for watering, I should water the sod until the soil is moist.

    After 2 weeks of daily watering, does watering every other day seem reasonable?
  6. LandscapeSavannah

    LandscapeSavannah LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 112

    I'm not in your area so Kentucky Blue is not my cup of tea. When everything is down; yes water the hell out of it at first. They should have rolled the lawn, and the deep watering will help stick it down and get it caught up. If it is turning yellow then it could be some areas that are not taking. Sometimes a few patches do not take and need to be replaced. Not often, but sometimes. Your version of yellowing and mine could lead me to believe it is getting too much water and it has a fungus. He should have treated with a fungicide and insecticide anyway. You do this to prevent disease, not treat after it has it. Also you go ahead and treat for any insect issues that may arise. Depending on the amount of sun, watering everyday may be required, but after a week or two cut it back to a pretty normal schedule but you may way to bump up the time on the zones that reach those areas. If you overwater it will get thin and look terrible. You want to keep it hydrated just with what it is going to use. And do not put any fertilizer on it other than milorganite. This stuff is all natural and you can get it at any fertilizer supplier or easily Home Depot. If you put anything else on it you may stunt the growth of the grass. Also, forget using herbicides for a while until it matures some. But this is how we do things on St Augustine, Centipede, and Bermuda sod in the South East.
  7. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Watering should only be done when needed. Do not let the sod dry out. You can tell by lifting the sod to see if the bottom is wet and the condition the existing soil is in. I would not fertilize until the sod is established. Every lawn is different and must be dealt with individually. Cut lawn at a normal height for this time of year in your area. If you can not find a product in your area just hire a landscape professional to do the job for you. Overwatering can also cause damage to your lawn.
  8. newsod

    newsod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks for the tips. I checked the lawn this morning and the yellow spots are spouting green blades! However, I also noticed a few brown mushroom heads. We did have 2 heavy storms in a row so the grass was probably really moist for the mushroom to grow right?

    I will continue manually watering the grass and the third week, let my rainbird do it automatically. Does 20-30mins per zone for 8 zones seem reasonable. Possibly around 5-6AM?

    If it gets hot during the afternoon, I will also make it run again in the afternoon for again 30 mins?
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    In my opinion you should continue to keep the piece of sod moist until the sod has rooted well (means you can not pick it up without much force being applied because the roots have grabbed).

    After the roots have grabbed start easing it off the water little by little (not daily generally) so as not to throw it into shock essentially. The blades of the turf will tell you when they need water by folding/curling. When you see this it means it needs water.

    Once you have reach the allowing grass to show you when you need to water...if need be you can allow the irrigation system to take over. Assuming it has a sensor in working order, you should be able to set your irrigation to deliver 1/2 inch to 3/4 of a inch twice a week.
    Each irrigation system is different based off of pressure, nozzles, heads etc so they will deliver different amounts of water in a set amount of time based on all the information listed.
    You can do a audit your self research "catch can method irrigation" and figure out how much time your irrigation system needs to deliver the amount of water needed.
    If that is too much for you to do as it is often for most of our customers who struggle with watering practice...we tell them to set their zones with pop ups for 20 to 30 minutes twice a week and zones with rotors 45 minutes to a hour twice a week. It may not be perfect but generally we obtain and maintain healthy looking lawns with practice and rarely with the exception of the hottest periods of time see any form of drought stress on the lawns that do this.

    Hope that helps
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What was the soil it was put down on? Sandy or Clay loam?? Makes a big difference in scheduling irrigation...

    If you can walk on it without being 'squishy' under your feet then it is not likely too much water... by the sounds of it you should let it dry out now and allow the roots to get some air...

    When it is HOT with burning sun it has been helpful to many different people to "syringe" the grass during the heat of the day to cool the turf at critical stress times... this does not replace the morning irrigation, but again you want the soil to dry out some once the roots have started anyways...

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