Q:

How do you maintain sod?

A:

Quick Answer

Maintain sod by watering, mowing and fertilizing the grass. Dethatch and aerate the lawn as necessary to maintain healthy grass. Sod is more expensive than planting seed but provides a lawn that withstands heavy traffic about six months sooner than beginning with seed.

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Full Answer

Determine when to water the sod by checking the soil. If it is dry to a depth of 2 inches, add enough water to moisten it to 6 inches. The best time to water the lawn is in the early morning. If the grass starts wilting, it needs more water.

Mow sod when the grass reaches 2 1/2 to 3 inches high. Set the mower to cut the grass to 1 1/2 to 2 inches high, removing approximately one-third of the growth with each mowing. Avoid cutting the grass too short, as the leaves produce the food it needs for establishing itself in the lawn.

Fertilize the sod throughout the growing season using a slow-release fertilizer. Do not use liquid fertilizers, as they are more difficult to apply and have the potential to burn the grass with too heavy an application.

Grass clippings sometimes build up around the base of the grass plants, giving the sod a thick or springy feel. Use a dethatching rake at the beginning or end of the growing season to remove the excess materials. If traffic on the lawn is heavy, the soil compacts. Aerate the sod after dethatching to improve the health of the sod.

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