How to Aerate New Turf Installed from a Sod Farm

Aerating your lawn is an important part of maintaining optimal grass appearance and performance. It helps to alleviate soil compaction and allows air, water, and nutrients to reach the root zone. When laying new turf, it is essential to take steps to prepare the soil before aerating. Start with a soil test to determine the current nutrient level and pH, as advised by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.

This will help you decide how much fertilizer you need to add. Once the soil is prepared, you can begin aerating with a central aerator. This involves removing cores or plugs from the ground, creating multiple small pockets of air. Aeration is essential for keeping soils healthy, aerobic, and alive. Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn.

Watering New Grass

Proper watering is key for healthy growth of new grass.

Before installing new turf, water the soil to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the roots and causing decay. After installation, your irrigation cycle will depend on the quality of your irrigation system, the type of soil, and the climate in your area. New grass installed on clay soil should be watered at least four times a day. For sandy loamy soil, water at least seven times a day. Each irrigation should only consist of enough water to wet the roots.

New grass cannot absorb much water at once and too much water will cause root rot. Start watering early in the morning just after dawn and space out sessions so that the roots have time to absorb all the moisture. Stop watering at night or just after nightfall as roots absorb water much more slowly when the sun sets, which can facilitate overwatering.

How Often Should I Aerate?

Too much water will encourage fungus to form under the roots, which can cause new grass to decay. If the soil is too soft during the first mowing, you may end up tearing out the grass by its roots and have to start over with new grass. Water immediately after laying the grass and continue watering daily for the first week to ensure that both grass and underlying soil remain moist.

Aerating your lawn should be done annually as part of your regular maintenance routine. Watering your new grass at regular intervals will help its roots establish themselves until they are firmly rooted and no longer vulnerable.

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