When To Fertilize New Sod For Proper Establishment And Growth
Installing new sod to your landscape instantly transforms the entire look of your home. Grass completes your garden and lawn. However, new sod can cost an arm and a leg, so you don’t want to kill it before long accidentally. New sod needs to be fertilized, but you may wonder when to fertilize new sod.
Sod requires regular irrigation the weeks following installation. Even though proper watering is the most important aspect of sod care, fertilizing helps encourage rapid and vigorous growth the weeks following installation.
Beginning Steps For New Sod
Before you worry about when to fertilize new sod, you have to follow a few other steps. The best time to lay new sod is in the spring time! Once you lay the sod down, you should water it twice a day for the first week. For the following three to four weeks, water the sod once a day.
Many people opt to lay an irrigation system to ensure their sod is properly watered. You want to water the sod for a minimum of 15 minutes, soaking into the ground at least ½ inch. Thorough watering helps to root the sod to the soil.
While you can water your sod at any time of the day, you should avoid doing so during the middle of the water. The sun is the strongest, and the water will evaporate faster. You should water in the early morning because the sun isn’t as strong, giving the water plenty of time to soak into the ground. The second best time to water is in the evening, but wet grass overnight increases the risk of a fungal disease.
When To Spread Fertilizer On New Sod
It is best to wait six to eight weeks after you lay the sod to apply fertilizer. Using fertilizer is important for new sod. You want your grass to be green and healthy. Most importantly, fertilizer helps your roots to attach firmly to the soil. Also, it encourages stronger growth that can stand up to frequent mowing.
Some homeowners lay down sod in the fall. If this is the case, you should still wait for the spring until you apply fertilizer because it is dormant. However, you will need to continue to make sure your sod doesn’t dry out. If that happens before roots are firmly established, you’ll have to lay brand new sod. No one wants to do that!
The most crucial rule to remember is not to apply any fertilizer for at least 30 to 60 days after laying down the sod. In the beginning, the root system is short and unable to absorb the nutrients. Most of the fertilizer will end up in the soil under the sod where it is unreachable by the little roots. Also, the harvest farms fertilize sod before delivering to your house, so there is little need before six weeks. However, if the sod appears yellow and not growing well, you can apply 30 days after installation.
Picking The Best Fertilizer
When you go to the store, find a slow-release fertilizer that reduces the chance of overfeeding. You do not want to purchase a fertilizer with a high nitrogen level for the first application. It could lead to an adverse effect! Slow release is also known as controlled release or coated, either with polymer or sulfur. It allows the grass to absorb the nitrogen over a longer period.
To encourage root establishment, gardeners advise that you use a granular turf fertilizer. One that is labeled 5-14-42 will encourage establishment and growth. You could also use a 10-10-10, so long as you opt for a granular formula.
To make the process easier on you, a broadcast spreader will properly fertilize your entire lawn. On average, you will need one pound for every 1,000 square feet. Luckily, the label should tell you how much to apply for your lawn.
The Second Time You Fertilize
It is important to fertilize more than one time to ensure your sod is established and growing properly. After your first application, wait another six to eight weeks. For the second fertilization, you should use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content. An ideal selection is a 20-10-10. You will want to use more fertilizer for the second application. Instead of one pound, you should use two pounds for every 1,000 square feet.
Getting sod may not seem like an exciting time, but your landscape is going to take a huge change. Green grass makes flowers and maintained beds look even nicer! Everyone wants a green lawn. To keep your sod healthy and well-established, learning when to fertilize new sod is important. You shouldn’t fertilize before 30 days. The best plan is to wait six to eight weeks after installation before laying a slow-release granular formula that is low in nitrogen.