Two things that are essential to caring for sod are commitment and water. This is especially true with newly laid sod. If a homeowner is not committed to watering sod, it may not get established properly and the lawn may not flourish in the future.
Watering new sod generally requires substantial amounts of water. On the first day, proper watering will likely take several hours or the whole day. This is because the sod and soil below both need to be thoroughly saturated. This can be tested by walking on the lawn. If the walker appears to sink, then the lawn probably has enough water.
Watering sod should generally begin within 30 minutes of the time that it is laid. If the weather is hot and the ground is dry, immediate watering is especially important. To make sure that the sod receives sufficient water, it is often suggested that a "Y" adapter be purchased for each spigot. This will allow two hoses to supply two sprinklers per spigot, maximizing the covered areas.
Hoses should be long enough so that the sprinklers can be spaced to allow all of the lawn to receive water. In cases where sod is laid on lawns with underground sprinklers, it is important to be sure that the system is functioning properly. If contractors are hired to install the sod, they should have access to control the underground sprinkler system. A hose should also be available in case hand watering is necessary in a particular area.
Sufficient watering means all areas of the lawn need to get proper amounts of water. When hoses and sprinklers are used, they may have to be moved. It is generally recommended that no area be deprived of water for more than 30 minutes on the first day.
The need for thorough saturation of the sod and the ground below generally lasts for about three weeks. This helps give the sod adequate opportunity to take root in the ground below. Watering sod will eventually become easier because once it is saturated, less water and time will be required.
Saturation does not mean that commitment to watering the lawn can waver. The blades of grass that are exposed to the sun and wind will still need water. If areas of the sod change colors from green to brown, this is likely an indication that the lawn is not receiving enough water. The far edges and corners are areas that are often neglected when watering sod. Anyone providing lawn care may want to pay special attention to these areas even after the sod is well established.