landscape crew mowing and edging large green grass area

Your Guide To Sod: The Top 5 Tips and Tricks For Care

Michael Tomaino Michael Tomaino

Sod may seem like a simple process, but it requires your time, energy, and plenty of your attention, which, leads us to the biggest question - are you ready for the commitment sod takes? Sod can be a blessing, but sod can be a curse. Sure, it provides you with a lush, green lawn, but are you ready for the dedicated efforts, patience, and attention to detail? 

We think you are – but we’re here to help, too. 

With our top five sod tips and tricks – from pre-installation processes to post-installation care, the way you look after your sod, and what level of attention you give it, is going to make all the difference. 

Your Pre-Sod Installation Process Matters

The biggest tip we can give you for pre-sod installation is to be ready and prepared with all the small details. Sod is more than just “green side up” installation, especially because new sod is perishable, so you need to be ready to install immediately. First, check your sod by raising it overhead – does it fall apart? Does it tear? If not, you’re on the right track. Before you begin, check the feel of the sod. You want it to be moist with thick, dark grass blades.

We suggest preparing your lawn for sod as if you were seeding. Measure the area, lightly water the ground before installation, and lay the first piece. Install pieces like a seam and water again. Installing sod below hard surfaces or patios? Here’s the ultimate trick - make sure your soil is leveled below any hard surface so that installed sod won’t be higher or lower than your hard surface. 

aerial view of house with green grass and landscape beds

The First Few Days After Sod Installation Matter Most

The immediate days after your sod installation (the first 24-72 hours) are crucial. Watering is going to be key to establishing your sod, so make sure your new addition is getting about ½ inch to about ¾ inch of water daily for the first few days and up to the foreseeable few weeks. Your sod should have a regular, heavy watering schedule, which means that you should certainly apply fungicide to your new grass. The added moisture will mean your lawn is going to be more prone to disease, so find a good, dual-action fungicide (we can recommend plenty!) to apply to your lawn. Ensure you check that the fungicide you choose is compatible with your lawn. 

More than that, you need to ensure that your sod is getting ample and appropriate amounts of fertilizer, regular irritation, and of course, a careful mowing regimen. We’ll dive into these a bit more below. 

Sod beach along ocean being watered with irrigation

Make Sure Your Sod is Getting Enough Water 

Watering your sod in the first two weeks is going to be crucial, especially in the days immediately following your installation. To check and make sure you’re applying enough water to your sod, we suggest lifting a corner of the pieces of your sod and attempting to push a sharp object into the underlying soil. Is it moist and malleable? You’re on the right track. If the soil underneath is hard and brittle, increase your watering routine. 

Know When to Mow (and How to Do It) 

Mowing your sod is one of the best parts about your post-sod care. Why, you ask? Because if it’s growing and needs a mowing, you know your sod installation is working! We suggest that if your sod installation is going well, you either mow after two weeks or when the grass exceeds about 3.5 inches - whichever comes first! The first time you mow your sod grass, we suggest not exceeding a cut of 2 inches (and cutting carefully) to ensure that you don’t damage or pull up your sod. As an extra tip, leave the clippings on your lawn so that the can naturally degrade and return nutrients to your lawn, allowing for stronger, healthier, faster growth. 

Sod is going to have different mowing needs depending on what type of sod it is. For example, if you have St. Augustine grass with coarse leaf blades, you’re going to require a higher cut. Bermudagrass, on the other hand, has finer leaf blade and can be mowed to lower heights. Repeated mowing below recommended heights for your specific sod can cause injury that might be hard to reverse! 

landscape crew member mowing large green grass area

Hire a Landscaping Company that Cares About Your Sod 

The best thing you can do for your sod is work with a company who’s dedicated to giving it the time, effort, and attention it needs. At Landcrafters, sod is practically our middle name (okay, it’s not really, but you get the picture). Hiring a company that cares for your sod and has the know-how and experience to install it is going to make all the difference. Let our 20 years of sod knowledge speak for itself! 

Landscaper inspecting weeds

Want a Landscaping Expert's Help in Tampa Bay? 

With over 20 years of sod installation and care excellence all over Florida's Gulf Coast, we're used to solving any kind of sod-related problem. Landcrafters is a home to seasoned experts who use modern equipment and employ sustainable landscaping technologies. Our secret? We tailor our approach to suit your (and your landscape's) exact needs. 

Get in touch today - we can provide you with an advice (or a no-obligations quote) to get your landscape looking absolutely stunning!

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Michael Tomaino

Michael Tomaino

Head Gardener for Landcrafters, Inc. Michael Tomaino, a cornerstone of Landcrafters since its inception, oversees all aspects of business operations with a wealth of experience. With years of adept team management and leadership under his belt, coupled with a robust educational background, both within and beyond the industry, Michael is dedicated to steering Landcrafters towards becoming the foremost landscape management provider in the Tampa Bay Area.