If you are installing new sod around your home, then proper installation and maintenance is essential. This includes knowing when and how much to water and fertilize. Below are some tips on how you can successfully establish a sod lawn around your home.
Once your sod is installed, it needs a significant amount of water, especially in the first few weeks. If you do not water your sod enough, it is unlikely that it will survive. As a general rule, make sure to apply at least one inch of water every 2 to 3 days, preferably in the morning time to prevent evaporation. Ideally the soil beneath the sod will be kept consistently moist.
There are a few ways you can be sure that you are watering enough. One method is to place a few coffee cans around the lawn where the sprinklers can access them, and then keep track of water levels. You can also check beneath the sod, by lifting one of the corners and checking the moisture of the soil beneath the sod. Overwatering is just as bad as under-watering, so be sure that the soil is moist, but not soggy. Once the sod is established and has taken root, you can reduce the watering schedule. At this point, you need to only water one inch every four to seven days.
After about four to six weeks, it is safe to fertilize your lawn. Before this point, it is unlikely that the roots will be properly established and thus the fertilizer will just run off instead of being absorbed. Use fertilizer with a ratio of 2-1-1 or 4-1-3 with a pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet. Once the fertilizer has been applied, light watering is advised.