If you have new sod on your lawn, you’ll not only have to take care of it, but you’ll also have to train it, too. When new sod is laid, all of the roots are very close to the surface. That’s fine for now, but eventually, you’ll want to promote deeper root growth. You can do this over about 30 days.
Day 1 – 9
Remember that new turf equals shallow roots. So, during the first 10 days, the biggest goal is to prevent the sod from drying out while supporting root growth. This can be achieved with as little as about ½ inch of watering per day, depending on the time of year. The key to this process is splitting the ½ inch of water into separate, brief water applications.
For pop-up sprays, this could be achieved with as little as 8 minutes of run-time in the morning and evening.
For rotors, this could be achieved by running water in each zone for about 15 minutes in the morning and evening.
Such short run times are never recommended for mature lawns, but because this is new sod, longer run times will only soak the soil far deeper than the roots could reach.
Day 10 – 15
After 10 days, it’s usually fine to cut out the evening watering cycle while doubling the run time in the morning. This is so that you can continue to provide ½ inch of water per day, but in a single application. By reducing the watering frequency to once per day, with a deeper soak, you will start to encourage deeper root growth.
Run pop-up sprays for about 15 minutes every morning.
Run rotors for about 30 minutes every morning.
Day 16 – 29
At about halfway through the 30 days, you’ll cu the frequency in half while slightly increasing the run time. Again, the goal is to make the roots follow the water deeper into the soil to stimulate healthy, drought-resistant roots.
Run sprinklers for about 20 minutes every other day.
Run rotors for about 45 minutes every other day.
Day 16 – 29
After 30 days, the turf should be ready for regular maintenance irrigation on your designated watering days.