Walk Softly: How Long to Wait to Use Your Freshly Sodded Lawn
Choosing to install fresh sod is a great choice! You don’t have to wait to have a beautiful lawn. While it is instantly beautiful, you should wait a bit before using it as you would have used your old lawn. You need to ensure that the sod has taken root before using it. The lawn cannot have heavy foot traffic and activity until the root system has established properly.
Why Should I Wait?
It is commonly understood that you need to wait to use your new lawn, but many people don’t know why! You are waiting until your sod has established a strong enough root system. If you start using your lawn before the roots have established, you are lessening your chances of success. A proper root system can take anywhere from 10 days onward to establish. There are a couple of things you should be doing to ensure the development of a strong root system:
- Water the sod frequently for the first few weeks so that it doesn’t dry up. A root system cannot develop without proper watering.
- Do not overwater the area. The sod also cannot take root if it is drowning in too much water. For proper growing conditions check out our Growing Mediums Post.
- Properly prepare the area before installing your sod. This will make all of the difference in the quality of your lawn! Check out our full How-To guide for full instructions on how to properly install sod.
How Long Should I Wait?
It is typically suggested to wait at least two weeks before using your lawn regularly. We think of this as more of a guideline, as you should really wait to see if your lawn has taken root. It probably will within two weeks, but it is best to be sure before using your lawn.
You can easily check yourself to see if sod has taken root. To do so, gently lift one corner on one of the pieces of sod. If there has been minimal or no root development, there will be almost no resistance when lifted. If you have difficulty lifting the corner, the root system has properly developed. Do this to a couple of pieces of sod in different areas to ensure that rooting has taken place all over the lawn.
Despite having to wait 2 weeks, in order to properly water your sod you will need to walk upon your lawn. This is definitely a must, you simply need to walk on it lightly and as minimally as possible. You also need to mow your lawn 6-7 days after installation. This is a step that cannot be missed, so again, be sure to walk softly when mowing for the first time, and follow careful directions.
Well Worth the Wait
Waiting for two weeks may seem like a long time to not be using your lawn. Just think, it takes 3 or 4 times as long if you are using seed before you can use your lawn! It is definitely easier to wait 2 weeks than to wait 2 months. It pays off to be patient… the results are well worth the wait!