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Learn your Lawn: Newly Sodded Lawns

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Sodded lawns require special care and attention to ensure that the rooting system is established properly. For optimal results, we recommend following these tips:

  • Water: Immediately after your new sod is laid, water it deeply so that the water soaks about 4 to 6 inches into the soil. In the following weeks, water it early in the morning, every two or three days, until the sod has rooted. Exactly how often you water will depend on the time of year and amount of rainfall. Once the sod has rooted, it can be treated and watered like an established lawn.

  • Mow: The recommended mowing frequency and mowing height are the same for newly sodded lawns as for established lawns. Maintain a regular mowing schedule throughout the growing season. In general, you should keep your lawn between 2 ½ and 3 ½ inches high, but during the hottest weeks of summer, you may allow the grass to grow as high as 4 inches. Never remove more than ⅓ of the grass blade at each mowing.

  • Fertilize: About three to four weeks after the new sod is laid, apply a slow-release granular fertilizer. After that, continue with regular fertilizing treatments annually.

  • Aerate: Wait until the roots are fully established to aerate the new sod. Sometimes that means aerating in the fall, and sometimes that means aerating in the following spring. Mechanical core aeration is important on newly sodded lawns to reduce the thatch layer and prevent and address common problems, like insects, disease, and poor soil quality.



  • Thatch: Most sod grown at sod farms already has a layer of thatch, the organic material collected between the grass and the soil. The initial thatch content reflects the growing conditions or type of soil in which the sod was grown. Most sodded lawns require aeration after the roots are established to reduce the thatch layer. In some cases, when a thick layer of thatch persists, aeration will be needed annually. 

  • Insects: Newly sodded lawns with heavy layers of thatch may also experience insect infestations, as the thatch layer provides a safe haven for insects. If you suspect an insect infestation in your lawn, contact us right away so we can provide an analysis of your lawn, diagnose the problem, and act quickly to eliminate the infestation.

  • Diseases: Newly sodded lawns with heavy layers of thatch are also susceptible to disease–both in the root and leaf of the lawn. Necrotic Ring Spot, for example, is a disease that is frequently found on sodded lawns that are two or more years old. If you suspect a disease in your lawn, contact us right away and we can provide an analysis of your lawn, diagnose the problem, and act quickly to treat the disease.

  • Poor Soil: Before new sod is laid, it is essential to properly prepare the ground. In most newly developed residential areas, however, the soil quality and quantity is poor and soil preparation is overlooked. This means that new sod lawns are laid on a thin layer of topsoil, resulting in poor rooting. Core aeration can help by loosening and cultivating the problem soil to improve growing conditions.