Caring for a newly sodded lawn
To prevent drying of planting material, keep the top 1.5 inches of the soil moist.
This may require light watering two or three times a day for 7 to 21 days. Bluegrass
takes 7 to 14 days longer to germinate than other cool-season grasses. As the seedlings
grow and root, water less often but for longer periods. For mixtures containing
bluegrass, do not make the mistake of decreasing water as soon as the seedlings
appear. Continue watering until the bluegrass seedlings emerge. After the third
mowing, water to a depth of 6 to 8 inches about once a week or when needed.
Begin mowing as soon as the grass is 50 percent higher than the desired height.
For example, mow tall fescue back to 3 inches when it reaches 4.5 inches. The frequency
of mowing is governed by the amount of growth, which depends on temperature, fertility,
moisture conditions, the season, and the natural growth rate of the grass. The suggested
height of cut is given in Table 2. The homeowner should cut often enough that less
than 50 percent of the total leaf surface is removed. Use a mower with a sharp blade.
To reduce the danger of spreading disease and injuring the turf, mow when the soil
and plants are dry. If clippings are heavy enough to hold the grass down or shade
it, catch them or rake and remove them. Otherwise, do not bag the clippings. Allow
them to fall into the turf where they will decay and release nutrients. This may
reduce the need for fertilizer by 20 to 30 percent.
Fungicides and insecticides are rarely needed on new lawns, and different planting
methods require different pest control methods. If pesticides are used, always read
and follow label directions.
*Content taken in excerpts with permission from: NCSU Carolina Lawns