Watering Tips for New Sod and Established Lawns

Could your lawn be actually drowning? While most of us are concerned about not watering our lawns enough, more lawns are damaged or destroyed by over-watering than under-watering. The right amount of water will determine your lawn’s overall health, beauty, and ability to withstand use and drought. Here are some of our best watering tips for newly installed turfgrass, established turfgrass and difficult sloped areas.

  • When installing a new sod lawn, be sure to soak it with an inch of water in the first half hour.

    New sod: Proper watering will impact how well the lawn gets established and how well it continues to flourish for years to come. Within the first half hour after the new sod is laid on the soil, apply at least 1” of water. The soil 3” to 4” below the surface should be moist (test this by pulling back the corner of the turf and pushing a screwdriver into the soil).  For the next two weeks, keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering.

  • Established turfgrass: One inch per week is the standard water requirement for most established lawns. This can vary depending on a number of factors including the type of grass you have, as well as temperature and soil variations.
  • Difficult sloped areas: Water runoff can be frustrating. To conserve water and ensure adequate soak-in on slopes, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait 30 to 60 minutes, and restart the watering on the same area. Repeat as necessary.

More smart watering tips

  • Pay attention to the edges and corners. These areas tend to dry out faster than the lawn’s center, and are easily missed by automatic sprinklers.
  • Avoid watering by hand. Having an automatic, timed sprinkler system will ensure uniform irrigation across the entire lawn.

    Avoid sprinkling by hand. Irrigation needs to be uniform. Most of us don’t have the patience, time or “eye” to adequately measure how much water we’re applying.

  • Water from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. This takes advantage of the daily start of the grass’s normal growing cycle, and helps to avoid the risk of wind evaporation and moisture-related turf diseases.
  • Practice infrequent and deep watering. Grass roots will grow only as deeply as their most frequently available water supply reaches. Deeply rooted grass has a larger “soil-water bank” that will help it survive drought or hot weather.

Remember that premium Harmony Turfgrass varieties require less water than other brands, and they are cultivated to have excellent drought tolerance. If you are concerned that you’re cutting back too much on your watering, here are a couple of simple tests: Grass that needs watering will have a gray/blue cast to it, instead of blue/green or green. Also, if your footprints on the lawn don’t completely disappear within minutes, that’s an indication it needs water.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have a great looking lawn that is high enjoyment and low maintenance! And that’s the best of all worlds.

1 Comment

  1. Suzanne G. on October 13, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Hello…Harmony sod from Home Depot was installed in my backyard today. My question is how often to water for the first two weeks here at Central Calif coast as it will be in 80s and low 90s probably until end of October.
    Should I increase the 1″ rule with watering longer and deeper? Also contractor said it would be OK to apply liquid nitrogen and water mix now. Is this correct? Thank you !!!