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Sodding Tips and Care

How to install Sod

Once the fresh grass is delivered to you, it’s important to have it down within 24 hours. Leaving sod stacked on pallets or sitting  in the heat is a quick way to stress the grass.  During warm months, it’s especially important to get the grass down and make sure it receives water in the same day. Grass may yellow out if it sits on the pallet for more than a few hours as long as this isnt a prolonged period of time it will green back up within a few days.  If the weather is extremly hot usually the top layer of grass will burn up on the pallet making it less likely to survive.  Waters Ave Nursery recomends using these pieces last as they are usually the only few pieces that don't make it.  Even though its hot out NEVER water sod on a pallet, if rain is coming tarp the sod and work it as you can or wait till the next day.  When the water gets trapped in between the layers it will cause a fungus that will almost for sure kill your new lawn.

Now lets get to laying this sod. Line up the first row of sod along a straight line such as a sidewalk or fence. If you don’t have any straight lines in your yard, use a string stretched between two sod staples. The next rows should be set out in “brickwork” fashion and not like a checkerboard. On the outside of the yard overlap every other piece of sod.  When you have layed most of the yard go back and cut the finishing edges usually your adjacent piece will fit into you openings of your over layed sod.  Waters Avenue Nursery Likes to cut sod with either a Machete or a Gas powered edger.

The Next two parts are optional

If you are on a hill its recommended that you use atleast 2 sod staples on every piece of sod that sits on a very step slope to prevent these pieces from washing.  you can either remove them later or let them disappear into your lawn.  

Next if your yard still looks bumpy or you would like to get your roots packed to the ground for a better assurance the yard will take either roll, or pack the yard to achieve this goal.

After you have installed your sod and have finished up on your edges its time to water in the lawn.  Don't wait over night the lawn needs a good soaking in as soon as you have finished laying the yard.

Here are some tips for watering your newly sodded yard. 

Watering is dependent on several things, but in general you want to keep your new lawn damp for the first 15 days.     Some things you should consider while watering including time of year, recent and current rainfall, and type of irrigation/water method being applied.   You want to make sure where your sod gets contact with the soil remains damp.

The best time of the day to Water in Savannah is between 7-10 Am.  Watering after this time can burn up your plants, or not be as efficent.  Water too early in the morning and too much water can sit on your lawn causing fungus.

Make certain that water is reaching all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of irrigation system you use. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near buildings, sidewalks, and driveways tend to dry-out faster because of reflected heat and may require more water.



Day One It is essential to begin watering new sod within immediately after it is laid on the soil. Watering for about 60 minutes with a rotary sprinkler or 18 minutes with a spray sprinkler will generally give you the 3-4" of water your lawn needs.

Week One Make sure you keep an eye on your sod during this first week.  Continue the same watering regiment as the first day.  If an area starts to turn brown, it’s most likely not getting enough water. Wilted or brown grass does not mean the grass is dead, it only shows you that leaves died. If you catch your lawn wilting or browning out early enough and adjust the amount of water to that area you’ll likely see new green leaves emerge in a little more than a week.  

Check your lawn Daily during this period If in the evening when you get home your lawn is starting to stress an wilt applying extra water will be fine but don't wait until 8pm when your lawn isn't going to use the water around 5pm is perfect.

Weeks Two and Three Keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering of approximately 15 minutes for sprays and 45 minutes for rotors or 1/4 inch each watering cycle. Savannah can have extremely hot or windy days keep checking your lawn for signs of distress and adjust your watering if needed.

General Water Maintenance If you plant during the summer months, your sod’s probably going to need more water than sod planted in April, and if you plant in the winter water will only be needed about 1/3 to 1/2 as often dependent on the weather.  

If you get a good rain storm and don't have an irrigation shut off make sure to turn your system off for that day or hit your rain suspend button.  Over watering your yard can cause fungus or disease.

Continue to monitor your watering as your new lawn adjust to its new micro climate. Avoid over and under watering.  Look for signs your lawn gives you to fix the watering issues that your yard is having, for example wilting or puddling.


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