Laying sod is a quick and simple way to turn your dirt lot or patchy yard into a gorgeous and thickly covered grassy lawn. Whether you are covering the entire area or just need to do some spot patching, sod can give you a luscious lawn in mere minutes.
Soon after the sod has been laid, you may think it’s safe to walk on. However, sod will need a fair bit of time to establish a root foundation before it can safely be walked on. Most landscapers recommend at least two weeks to give the sod a chance to grow roots before you actively walk on it.
However, some sod and the soil you placed it upon may develop anchoring roots sooner than other types. There are a few ways you can check the root formation to see whether or not your sod lawn is safe to walk on and maintain.
Developing a Strong Root Base
The most important thing for your freshly laid sod lawn is to ensure it develops a strong root system. These roots not only help keep the sod in place, but also help ensure it can withstand being walked on by children, adults, and pets.
When you laid your sod, you should have done so on a prepared soil base. The difference in soil preparation can mean the difference in a quick and strong growing root foundation, and a slower growing or shallow root base.
In order to help your sod develop strong anchoring roots, proper watering is extremely important. Throughout the first two weeks, you should water your sod on a daily basis. Ensure the sod does not become flooded or waterlogged, but also try to make sure it does not dry out completely between waterings.
If you must walk on the sod in order to water all areas of it, take very slow and steady steps. Walk lightly when possible, and try not to scrape your feet or scruff the sod as this can break the newly forming roots.
Early Sod Maintenance
In addition to proper watering throughout the first two weeks, your sod will also need mowed. While this seems very counterproductive on a very newly laid sod lawn, mowing can help encourage the grass to put energy into root production more than grass height.
The first mowing should be done one week after laying the sod. As with watering, you should walk as lightly as possible on the new sod when mowing. This process is extremely important for new sod lawns and should not be skipped.
Children and pets should be kept off of a sod lawn for two to three weeks. Pet urine can quickly damage or even kill large parts of your new sod lawn and roots.
Early sod lawn maintenance may take a bit of patience and some time on your part, but it will lead to long term positive results when it comes to a strong and healthy root base.