Watering newly installed sod should be twice a day for 10-15 minutes on spray zones and 45-50 minutes on rotor zones for the first 7 days during late spring through late summer. During the next 7 days watering should be reduced to once a day there after. Finally reducing your watering by one day every two weeks until you are watering according to your water restrictions. This is usually between 2 and 3 days a week 1/4″ – 1/2″ of water per day.
These watering guidelines are a general rule of thumb. If your soil conditions contain clay, drainage is an issue, sod is in shaded areas or it has been installed during the cooler months, watering less is a must to prevent take all root rot. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your newly installed sod daily.
If the blades of grass are vertically folded in half this is an indication of water loss through transpiration. To open the blades up an application of water is needed immediately. If you have clay soil, poor drainage, your new sod is shaded or consistent lower temperatures this could take up to two days after initial watering. Keeping an eye on your sod and looking for signs of distress is crucial for its survival. The temporary effects of watering less are usually reversible by adding water. Over watering can not be corrected and will kill your new sod.
Mowing newly installed sod should not be cut for the first 7-14 days after installation. After 7 days slightly pull on a piece of sod. If there is resistance your new sod has began to take root and is safe to cut. St Augustine sod should be cut at 3.5 to 4.5 inches to prevent die out. Dwarf cultivars can be cut at 2-3 inches. Bahia sod should be cut at 4.5 inches. Bermuda sod should be cut at 1-2 inches and is best when cut with a reel to reel mower. Zoysia sod should be cut at 2.5-3.5 inches and is best when done with a reel to reel mower.
Chemicals such as fertilizer, insecticides and weed prevention should not be applied for the first 30-60 days on newly installed sod. You can apply an application of lawn starter fertilizer which has little to no nitrogen and promotes quick root development. Hiring a professional spray company is also recommended to keeping a beautiful lawn.