Watering New Sod
Newly installed turfgrass sod has crucial watering needs. Proper watering immediately after installation will ensure that the turf gets established, and it will also have an impact on how well the lawn continues to flourish for years to come.
Begin watering new sod within a half hour after it is laid on the soil. Apply at least 1” of water so that the soil beneath the turf is wet. Ideally, the soil 3” to 4” below the surface should be moist.
For the next two weeks, keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering. Pull back a corner of the turf, and push a screwdriver or other sharp tool into the soil. It should push in easily and have moisture along the first 3” or 4”; otherwise, you need to apply more water. Especially hot, dry or windy periods will necessitate increased watering amounts and frequency.
As the turf starts to knit its new roots into the soil, it will be difficult, impossible and/or harmful to pull back a corner to check beneath the turf. You can still use a sharp tool, however, to check moisture depth by pushing it through the turf and into the soil.
Watering Established Turfgrass
The amount of water your lawn receives will determine its overall health.
One inch per week is the standard water requirement for most established lawns. There will also be varying water requirements for seasonal changes, and still more differences due to different soil types; sandy soils, for instance, dry out more quickly than clay-based soils.
Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue cast to it, rather than a blue-green or green color. Also, on a lawn in need of water, footprints will still be present after a half-hour or more, while footprints on a well-watered lawn will completely disappear within minutes.