How do you fertilize after laying sod?

Answered by Tom Adger

After laying sod, it is important to fertilize the newly laid surface to promote healthy growth and establishment. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fertilize after laying sod:

1. Timing: Wait until the day after you have laid the sod to apply the first round of fertilizer. This allows the sod to settle and reduces the risk of damaging the newly laid surface.

2. Choose the right fertilizer: Select a high-quality, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for newly laid sod. Look for a balanced fertilizer with a ratio such as 10-10-10 or 16-4-8, which indicates the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the product.

3. Application: Sprinkle the fertilizer evenly onto the surface of the sod. Use a spreader or your hands to ensure even coverage. Avoid applying excessive amounts as it can burn the sod and cause damage.

4. Watering: After fertilizing, water the sod thoroughly. This helps to activate the fertilizer and allows it to penetrate into the soil. Aim for a deep watering to ensure the fertilizer reaches the root zone of the sod.

5. Mowing: Wait for about a week after laying the sod to mow it for the first time. Set your mower to a high setting to avoid cutting the grass too short, as the roots are still establishing. Be gentle when mowing to prevent any damage to the newly laid sod.

6. Second fertilization: Approximately six weeks after laying the sod, apply a second round of fertilizer. This helps to provide additional nutrients for the ongoing growth and health of the sod. Follow the same steps as mentioned earlier for the application and watering.

7. Adjusting fertilizer amounts: The amount of fertilizer required may vary depending on soil conditions and the specific type of sod you have laid. It’s best to refer to the instructions on the fertilizer packaging or consult with a local lawn care professional for specific recommendations.

Remember, while fertilizing is important for the health of your sod, it is equally crucial to follow proper watering and maintenance practices to ensure successful establishment. Regular watering, adequate sunlight, and proper mowing techniques will help your newly laid sod thrive and develop into a lush, green lawn.

Personal experience: When I laid sod in my backyard, I followed these steps to fertilize after installation. I chose a slow-release fertilizer with a balanced ratio and applied it evenly onto the sod surface. I made sure to water the sod thoroughly after fertilizing and adjusted the amount of fertilizer based on the recommendations on the packaging. Following this fertilization routine, my sod established well and grew into a healthy lawn.