When to Fertilize New Sod? The Answer Will Establish Proper Sod Growth

A perfectly grown sod gives your garden can convert a dull space into a thriving landscape. However properly caring for sod means it is vital for you to know when to fertilize new sod. To save you money, time and effort, it is best not to let healthy sod go to waste and die.

Thus, knowing when to fertilize new sod must be taken seriously. Aside from the basics like regular watering, fertilizing sod can promote and stimulate vigorous growth.

With this article, I will give you tips on when to fertilize new sod. Moreover, I will also share some of the essential ways of caring and maintaining for your sod to have that perfect landscape appearance. 

When to Fertilize New Sod?

In actuality, the first thing that you require to do upon installing new sod is proper irrigation. To establish a healthy growth, newly installed sod must be watered twice daily during its first week. Followed by watering it once daily for the next three to four weeks. This will encourage healthy and deep rooting.

After a good six weeks of installation, this period is the ideal time to fertilize new sod. During this period, your newly installed sod already developed roots that are deep and healthy enough to absorb all the nutrients it needs.

However, you must also take into consideration the timing of when your sod was installed. You must wait until spring comes to fertilize new sod if the installation was done during the fall or winter.

The reason why you need to wait for weeks before fertilizing new sod is that newly harvested and installed sod still has an insufficient root system. Fertilizing new sod prematurely will just be a waste since it will not be able to properly absorb nutrients.

Another critical thing to note is that farms fertilize sods before harvesting them. This means an additional dose of fertilizer is not immediately required.

Choosing the Best Fertilizer for New Sod

In choosing the best fertilizer for new sod you must first familiarize yourself with its contents. Typically, fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The proportion of these substances are often represented by numbers on the label.

First number for nitrogen, second for phosphorus, and the third number indicates potassium content. For new sod, it is ideal to go for fertilizers that are low in nitrogen for the initial application.

Fertilizers with higher phosphorus content are what you need for new sod. Another important note is to pick fertilizers that contain slow-release formula. This is to prevent possibilities from overfeeding that may result in adverse effects on your new sod.

You can also look into granular turf fertilizers that most gardeners use. It is required to spread one pound of fertilizer per one thousand square feet. Of course, the process does not stop there. After about six to eight weeks from the initial application, you have to apply fertilizer the second time. 

However, at this point, you need to choose a fertilizer with higher nitrogen content. Look for a label that shows the ideal ratio of 20-10-10. This time spread two pounds of fertilizer per one thousand square feet.

Watch this video to find out more about choosing the best fertilizer

Caring for New Sod

Here are a few more tips on how to properly care for new sod.

  • Watering

One of the very basics of gardening is watering your plants. This goes the same with newly installed sod. To ensure healthy root growth you have to establish an effective watering schedule.

Watering twice a day on the first week upon installment and reducing it to watering once a day for the following three to four weeks should do the trick.

  • Keep off new sod

During the first two weeks from the time your new sod has been laid down, it is best to keep off or stay away from it. This is to ensure that the roots will not be disturbed.

  • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides

Using pesticides and herbicides can certainly get rid of bad bugs. However, they also eliminate and kill good bugs. Without good bugs, your new sod will have an unbalanced ecology which is not good in establishing healthy growth. An unbalanced ecology also increases the chances of infestations.

  • Mowing

You might think mowing new sod is bad for it. Contrastingly, new sod can be mowed after a week upon installation. However, you need to this with caution as to not hurt its roots. Be sure your mower blades are sharp and to do mulch mowing at 2.5 to 3 inches of height. 

Tip 1: Letting your sod grow taller than recommended height result to a denser landscape that can have a higher chance of weed infestation.

Tip 2: Cutting too much off your sod will cause the grass to burn easily and die as a result of this.

To have a better idea of how to care for new sod, watch this short clip


There is inevitably a precise time for everything. The best example is knowing when is the ideal time to fertilize sod. Fertilizing new sod too early or too late will not establish healthy growth.

However, doing it properly and at the most adequate time will give you the most impressive lawn everyone wants to achieve. Keep in mind the basic caring techniques for growing sod and the important tips that I have shared that I am sure will come in handy for you.

Was this article helpful in answering your question on when to fertilize new sod? Were you able to pick up important things about proper sod care?

Do you have other suggestions regarding this topic? Feel free to let me know your thoughts by leaving your comment below

Dan Harris

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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