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Contact us today for more information: 866-493-8311
Contact us today for more information:
866-493-8311
Sod Care

Soil Preparation, Watering, & Caring For Your Lawn

A good soil preparation can save you 30% more water in your landscape, so it's important to get this step right. Turf Master Sod Farms offers soil preparation services and we are happy to take care of this crucial work for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, here are some important guidelines to keep in mind. Subsoil or rip 6 – 10 inches deep. Till 4 – 8 inches deep. Apply organic matter/compost at a minimum of 3 cubic yards per 1000 sq. ft. For optimal results, apply 6 cubic yards per 1000 sq. ft., especially for hard soils. After ripping, amending, tilling, and grading; the soil is ready for planting.

Consider Investing in an Irrigation System

Water is most accurately applied when using a quality sprinkler system with an ET controller on well prepared soils. (For explanation of ET, please scroll to the bottom of this page.)

Watering times will vary for each sprinkler zone depending on type of sprinkler head, location, slope and temperature.
An irrigation system that is properly designed, installed, and maintained will uniformly and efficiently deliver water to your lawn and save you valuable time and money.

Soil Preparation

  • Subsoil or rip 6 – 10 inches deep.
  • Till 4 – 8 inches deep.
  • Apply organic matter/compost at a minimum of 3 cubic yards per 1000 sq. ft. For optimal results, apply 6 cubic yards per 1000 sq. ft., especially for hard soils.
  • After ripping, amending, tilling, and grading; the soil is ready for planting.

Water Requirements for Freshly Laid Turfgrass

Cooler Months (March, April and November) Watering Guide

Water Needs of Newly Laid Turfgrass:

  • WEEK 1: It is critical to water new turf the first 7 days. New sod requires 2" of water per day for the first 7 days. Total amount should be split up over 4 or 5 watering periods each day.
    The warmer the temperature, the more water you need to apply!!
  • WEEK 2: After the first 7 days, water at the rate of 1" per day for 7 days; split up over 2-3 watering periods each day.
  • WEEK 3: If watering restrictions allow, water 1/2" per day every other day for 7 days. After the first two or three weeks, revert to watering 2 times per week as local watering restrictions allow, based on the inch per month rates in the chart below.
  • WEEK 4 through first season: Water as needed with hose & hand sprinkler. Do not allow drying the first year. Turf is not fully established until after the first season!
May, September and October Watering Guide

Water Needs of Newly Laid Turfgrass:

  • WEEK 1: It is critical to water new turf the first 7 days. New sod requires 2" or more of water per day for the first 7 days. Total amount should be split up over 4 or 5 watering periods each day.
    The warmer the temperature (over 90 degrees), the more water you need to apply!!
  • WEEK 2: After the first 7 days, water at the rate of 1"-2" per day for 7 days; split up over 2-3 watering periods each day.
  • WEEK 3: If watering restrictions allow, water 1" per day every other day for 7 days. After the first two or three weeks, revert to watering 2 times per week as local watering restrictions allow, based on the inch per month rates in the chart below.
  • WEEK 4 through first season: Water as needed with hose & hand sprinkler. Do not allow drying the first year. Turf is not fully established until after the first season!
Summer "Dog Day" (June July and August) Watering Guide

Water Needs of Newly Laid Turfgrass:

  • WEEK 1: It is critical to water new turf the first 7 days. New sod requires 2" or more of water per day for the first 7 days. Total amount should be split up over 4 or 5 watering periods each day.
    The warmer the temperature (over 90 degrees), the more water you need to apply!!
  • WEEK 2: After the first 7 days, water at the rate of 2" per day for 7 days; split up over 2-3 watering periods each day.
  • WEEK 3: If watering restrictions allow, water 1 - 2" per day every other day for 7 days. After the first two or three weeks, revert to watering 2 times per week as local watering restrictions allow, based on the inch per month rates in the chart below.
  • WEEK 4 through first season: Water as needed with hose & hand sprinkler. Do not allow drying the first year. Turf is not fully established until after the first season!
Winter Watering Guide (December, January and February)

Water Needs of Newly Laid Turfgrass:

  • WEEK 1: It is critical to water new turf the first 7 days. New sod requires 1" of water per day for the first 3 days. Total amount should be split up over 3 or 4 watering periods each day, if possible!
  • WEEK 1: After the first 3 days, water at the rate of 1/2", every other day for the rest of the week.
  • WEEK 2: If watering restrictions allow, water 1/2" every 3rd day. After the first two or three weeks, revert to watering once per month as local watering restrictions allow, based on the inch per month rates shown in the chart below.

If there is no natural precipitation during the winter months when your sprinklers are shut off, it may be necessary to hand-water. The warmer the temperature, the more water you need to apply!
If snow is on the new sod Don't water! Don't worry until the ground starts to thaw out.

Water Needs of Established Turf Ater The First Year:

Water needs per month, is shown in the chart below, depend on proper preparation, installation, and maintenance. Watering for the first season must be 20% more than the chart below.

The water needs shown in the chart are based on Kentucky Bluegrass. Fescue can use up to 30% -40% less water than Bluegrass, Turf Master EnviroturfTM can use up to 40% less water, and Canadian Blue FescueTM can use up to 40% -50% less water than Bluegrass.

  Attractive Acceptable Alive but brown/dormant
March* ¾" ½'' ½''
April 2" 1 ½" 1"
May 2 ½" 2" 1"
June 4" 3" 1"
July 4" 3" 2"
August 4" 3" 2"
September 2 ½" 2" 1"
October 1" 1" 1''
November 1" ½'' ½''
December-February ½" 0" 0"
Annual Totals 23 ½" 16 ½" 10''

*The water needs shown in the chart are based on Kentucky Bluegrass.

Plants don't waste water,
People Do!!!

Fertilization

It is highly recommended that you fertilize with Turf Master’s High Phosphorus fertilizer at the time of installation.

  • Each lawn has different fertilization needs depending on the sod type, environmental conditions, soil type and maintenance.
  • The first fertilization of the year should be done in March and the last fertilization in mid October.
  • Bluegrass typically needs fertilization 4 - 5 times per year.
  • Fescue, Fescue blends and Turf Master Enviroturf™ typically need fertilization 2 - 3 times per year.
  • Canadian Blue Fescue™ typically needs fertilization 1 - 2 times per year.
  • Call or come by Turf Master to find out what Turf Master Fertilizer blend is currently recommended for your lawn.

Mowing

  • You can mow 10 days to 2 weeks after laying new sod.
  • Turn the water off for 1 full day before mowing.
  • When mowing never remove more than one third of the leaf blade.
  • Mowing height is recommended to be 2 ½ - 3 inches.

Advantages of Cool Season Turfs

When placed on properly prepared soil and irrigated correctly, cool season turf can be one of the most xeric plants in your landscape. No other single plant can improve the value of your property while offering these environmentally friendly attributes:

  • Are very traffic tolerant.
  • Can survive heat stress.
  • Can use less water than most xeriscape plants.
  • Removes allergens such as dust and dirt from the air.
  • 8 front lawns have the cooling effect of a 70 ton air conditioner.
  • Acts as a natural filter, reducing pollution by purifying water passing thru the root zone.
  • On a hot day, turf areas will be 15–30 degrees cooler that decks, patios, shrub beds, dirt areas, and walkways.
  • According to US Water Resources Council, lawn watering, swimming pools and automobile washing accounts for only 27.5% of a household’s total water usage.
  • Produce more oxygen than trees, shrubs, and flowers. (2500 sq. ft. of turfgrass releases enough oxygen for a family of 4 every day!)

What is the ET Rate???

The rate at which plants use water is called evapotranspiration or ET. Temperature, humidity, wind, and light all influence the ET rate. When watering, you only need to replace the amount of water that has been lost due to ET.

 
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