Centipede and 419 Bermuda can also be installed in late fall and winter when the grass is dormant. Installing new sod is fairly simple and reliable. Proper preparation and moisture control will ensure your new sod will produce a beautiful lawn or field. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll soon be enjoying a healthy, lush lawn.
Before the sod arrives, loosen the top 4 to 6 inches of soil with a shovel or rototiller. Rake away all roots, weeds, and debris. Add fertilizer and soil amendments, if needed. For best results, collect a soil sample from several areas of your yard and take them to your county extension agent to be analyzed.
Moisten the soil to a depth of about 6 inches to firm up the soil and reveal any high or low spots that need final grading. After leveling the soil, lay the sod avoiding gaps or overlaps in a brick-like pattern. Firm the sod with a roller or some other method. Wait until grass is rooted before mowing for the 1st time–gently lift corner of a slab to see if grass is attached.
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For the first 7 to 10 days, newly planted sod should be watered daily just enough to soak through to the bottom of the block of sod (depth of 3 inches).Thereafter, infrequent, thorough watering by applying at least 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 4 to 7 days when needed to encourage deep roots for a healthy turf. Frequent, shallow watering results in shallow roots.
Watering in the morning reduces evaporation and chances of disease outbreaks. For more information on watering:
Maintaining Your Lawn
Centipede: Proper fertilization of centipede grass is important for plant health. Phosphorous and lime applications should be based on soil test results. Fertilize late April or early May after lawn fully greens up. Also, it is not uncommon for centipede grass to be over-fertilized – 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft per year is ample nitrogen for most established centipede grass lawns. On sandy soils in high rainfall areas, 2 lbs per 1,000 sq ft applied during the year may be needed. (Cutting with a mulching mower can contribute 1 lb nitrogen per 1000 sf.)
419 Bermuda: Fertilize with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium in spring and summer – apply nitrogen at 2 to 4 lbs. per 1000 sq ft per year.
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