Are you planning to lay sod in your landscape?
When compared to natural “seeded” grass, sod offers several benefits. It grows more evenly, protects the soil from erosion and has an attractive appearance. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for newly laid sod to dry out.
Whether you’re covering just a small area with sod or your entire landscape, you should follow a few tips to prevent it from drying out.
Water at Least 4 Inches Deep
The first few weeks are critical to sod’s overall health and longevity.
If it doesn’t get enough water, it will dry out and turn brown, eventually leading to death.
So, how much water does newly laid sod need exactly?
A good rule of thumb is to water your sod at least 4 inches deep during the first two weeks.
While watering your sod, lift up a corner in a discreet area to determine how deep the water has reached. If it’s still dry at the 4-inch mark, keep the sprinklers turned on.
Lower the pH
Lowering the pH level of your soil can protect newly laid from said drying out. Most types of sod prefer slightly acidic soil in which to grow.
Granted, soil can adapt itself in a range of conditions, but it typically prefers soil with a low pH level of about 6 to 7.
If your soil has a higher, more alkaline pH level, you should address it before attempting to lay sod.
Aerate Before Laying
Before laying sod, consider aerating the soil.
Aerating, of course, involves scoring the soil with many small holes. It’s usually performed when laying grass seed, as it holds the seeds in place while encouraging faster, healthier grass in the process.
But aerating your soil before laying new sod can also prove beneficial.
Sod is real grass, and like all grasses, it has a root structure that soaks up moisture from the surrounding soil.
By aerating your lawn before laying sod, the roots will extend deeper into the soil so that they are able to absorb more moisture.
Cover With a Light Layer of Straw
After laying sod, cover it with a thin layer of straw.
Straw acts as a mulch to minimize water evaporation. The straw will hold moisture, allowing your sod to absorb some of that moisture.
Just remember to use a small, thin layer of straw.
If you cover your sod with a thick layer of straw, it probably won’t get enough sunlight, which of course is equally, if not more problematic than severe dehydration.
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