Houston Grass Sod Installation & Care Tips
Call us at 281-431-7441 for the best prices on the best sod available in the Houston area! We’ve put together our Turfgrass Sod Tipsheet to help our customers install and care for our sod, and now we’ve summarized our Tipsheet in video form. This is Houston Grass South Owner, Michael Romine, talking about tips for sod installation and care.
This is a summary of the sod install and care tips from the video:
Hi, I’m Michael with Houston Grass. The following video is a summary of our tip sheet that can be found at our website at houstonturfgrass.com. In the tip sheet we address several aspects on how to care for sod when you first install it and then how to properly care for it after it has become
established. These tips are based on my years of experience selling and installing grass sod as well as maintaining my own yard. First we cover watering.
Grass Sod Watering Tips
The best advice I can give you about watering is to go purchase a rain gauge. I can tell you generally how long you need to water it to achieve certain water amounts, but different houses and neighborhoods have different water pressures and there are different sprinklers that put out
different amounts of water. If you buy a rain gauge, you’ll know for sure how much you’re applying.
Generally speaking, if the grass is green when you’re installing turfgrass sod, which is usually April through October in the Houston area, you will need to apply two inches of water as soon as you lay the grass. This usually means about eight to ten hours of watering with a sprinkler. I like to spread this out over two days to give the water a better chance of soaking in and creating less runoff.
The purpose of the heavy watering up front is twofold. The first reason is to seal the new grass to the existing soil to prevent any air pockets from forming. The second reason is to rejuvenate the grass that has just been transplanted from our Bay City farm to your yard.
After those initial waterings, you will need to begin watering the grass approximately every other day for two weeks for about two hours. Once you can no longer pick up the edges of the pieces of grass, you may begin to decrease the frequency to about one inch of water per week. Usually about two, two-hour waterings.
When the grass is dormant, usually November through March in our area, the watering requirements are less. You still need to do the initial heavy watering, but after that you will only need to water about one inch every two weeks. This equates to about two one-hour waterings per week.
Remember that all the waterings may be supplemented with rainfall. So if we are receiving normal winter rainfall, that usually means that you will not be watering very frequently to achieve this one inch every two weeks. Once the grass is fully established, meaning you can no longer see the
individual blocks and you can no longer pick up the grass, you need to water the grass one inch of water per week during the growing season, which is about two hour waterings. During the dormant season you will only need to water about one inch of water every two weeks.
Mowing After Sod Installation
During the growing season, when the grass is green, if you are following the suggested water requirements you will probably not be able to mow for at least the first two weeks. After that you may raise your mower to its highest setting and barely clip the top of the grass to give more of a uniform look. Then, depending on the time of year, you will slowly be able to decrease the mowing height to about three to three and a half inches. If you plant the grass during the dormant season, you will not want to begin mowing it until it greens up.
Once the grass has become established we recommend mowing the grass during the growing season at three to three and a half inches at least once per week. Remember to never remove more than a third of the leaf per mowing as this causes undue stress on the grass.
Fertilizing Your Grass Sod After Installation
The best thing you can do as far as fertilizing goes is to first get a soil sample tested from your yard. That way you will know what nutrients are lacking and need to be supplemented into your yard. The only thing that you can do if you do not do the soil sample is to use a balanced fertilizer and hope for the best. A good example of a balanced fertilizer would be a fifteen-five-ten or something similar.
When you first install new grass sod during the growing season, we recommend that you wait about one month before fertilizing at a rate of about one half pound per thousand square feet. This usually means using about one half of what is recommended on the back of the bag. So if the bag says to open your spreader to ten, you would want to open your spreader to approximately five. We do not recommend fertilizing while the grass is dormant since the grass is not growing and therefore the grass will not take the fertilizer up into the plant.
Once the grass is established, we recommend using about one half to one point five pounds of the balanced fertilizer per thousand square feet. The label on the bag should tell you what your spreader should be set at to distribute the fertilizer at that rate.
We recommend fertilizing twice per year. Once in April, and once in September. Please see our tip sheet if you would like information regarding the treatment of chinch bugs, weeds, and brown patch.
Please visit our website at houstonturfgrass.com where we have videos pertaining to many of
these topics. Thank you.