Plant Care

Establishing Your New Sod and Ongoing Maintenance Tips For Your Yard

Putting in a new lawn is an investment in your home and can increase its value and provide
immediate curb-appeal. To maintain your investment we always recommend hiring a lawn care professional to maintain your yard once you install new sod. In addition, we have some guideline to review for a happy and healthy lawn.

Watering Your New Sod

Watering will be key to establishing your new sod. General guidelines during establishment are to water ½” to ¾” daily for the first four (4) weeks then every other day for the next four (4) weeks then get on your regular watering schedule. This is a guideline only and will vary depending on the time of year, weather, soil, amount of shade variables.
Fungicide applications and Your New Grass

As with any growing plant that’s been transplanted, sod cut out of the field and laid in your yard will experience stress. When stressed sod is more susceptible to fungus. During this time you are also going to give your sod more water than it is used to. The added moisture is another reason your new lawn can be prone to disease. Because of this we recommend putting down a quality dual-action fungicide. Your lawn professional should have a product they use or you can purchase something at a John Deere Landscapes. As with all products used on your lawn, follow label directions and ensure the product is meant for your particular type of sod.

Mowing Your New Sod

  • New installations are often uneven and care should be taken not to scalp high spots.
  • Mow new grass once sod is rotted, usually after three (3) weeks.
  • Bag clippings only if graa is clumping and shading new grass.
  • Once established, follow ongoing maintenance guidelines for mowing.

Fertilizer Applications And Your New Yard

After grass is established, usually after three (3) weeks, apply a fertilizer appropriate for your type of grass.

Herbicide Applications And Your New Yard

It is typically not recommended to use herbicide on new grass until after it has rooted.

Insecticide Applications And Your New Sod

Treat for insects only as needed based on pre-existing issues with the area where the sod is installed. Read labels carefully and follow instructions for newly laid grass and for your particular type of grass. You may find insecticides as stores like Do Your Own Pest Control.

Planting and Watering guide for Landscape Plants

  • Planting area should have proper light, moisture and drainage for your plant selections.  Plan ahead to make sure the mature size of the plants will not interfere with house structures, other plants and any power/telephone lines.
  • *Planting – Please install your new plants as soon as possible to reduce stress from drying out or improper lighting.  When it is not possible to plant right away, make sure the plants are watered thoroughly on a daily basis. If possible, do not disturb the roots of the plant when it is removed from the pot. If it is root bound, gently loosen the roots as well as remove the excess soil from the top of the root ball.
  • When digging the hole, dig it slightly shallower and several inches wider around than the root ball of the plant.  Put the soil removed aside for backfilling the hole.  Place the plant in the hole making sure the top of the plant’s root ball is slightly higher than the surrounding ground level.  No amendments of any kind are necessary in the backfill soil, extensive research clearly shows that amendments typically do not increase survival or growth after planting.  Once the plant is in place and at the proper depth in the ground, fill in around the roots with the soil you set aside.  Gently press the soil to secure the plant and to remove any air pockets.  If necessary, properly stake the plant.  Make sure no soil or mulch is placed over the rootball!  Mulch should only cover the edge of the root ball since thick layers over the root ball can keep it too moist or too dry.  Mulch on the trunk can also cause bark deterioration and encourage trunk disease.
  • Watering:  After backfilling the hole give the plant a deep steady soaking of water around the base.  Locate the irrigation device so it delivers water to the root ball.  Then continue with the following watering guidelines.  Be aware of local watering restrictions and follow them accordingly.

WATERING GUIDELINES FOR VIGOR

  • Water must be applied gradually to allow water to soak in and not run-off.
  • Faithfully apply 2 to 3 gallons of water per inch of diameter for shrubs and trees.
  • < 2 inch caliper: Water every day for 2 weeks, every other day for 2 months and 2x weekly for one year
  • 2-4 inch caliper: Water daily for 1 month; every other day for 3 mos, and twice weekly for 1 year
  • > 4 in caliper: Water daily for 6 weeks; every other day for 5 months; and 2x’s weekly for 1 year.
  • Provide supplemental watering during dry periods for up to several years after planting drought tolerant and plants.

ESTABLISHMENT TIMES

  • Herbaceous perennials, bunch grasses, ferns, aquatics: 4 weeks to 3 months.
  • Small shrubs;  6 months to 1 year
  • Larger shrubs, palms and trees: 3 to  months per inch of trunk diameter.  In other words, one year or more in most instances.

MULCHING

  • Apply a 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch such as Pine Bark Nuggets, Cypress Mulch or Red Mulch.  Mulch is essential to moisture retention.

COLD PROTECTION

  • In the hours before a frost or freeze event, plants should be well watered to help them weather the drying effect of wind and cold temperatures. Allow enough time for the foliage to dry between frost or avoid getting the foliage wet during watering if possible.  BE SURE TO SHUT OFF ALL IRRIGATION for the duration of freezing temperatures to prevent major damage to the plants.  It is a common misconception that water should be allowed to run during freezing temperatures to rotect plants with ice, but in most cases this will severely damage plants that would otherwise survive a freeze with much less trauma.
  • Plants that are not tolerant of frost or freezing temperatures should be taken inside of an enclosure or thoroughly wrapped with an insulating cover if possible.  Never allow PLASTIC to directly contact plant parts.  Plastic will convey cold or heat ip in the sunlight the next morning, burning plants you intended to protect.  After a soft tissue plant has received a cold burn, the soft mushy damaged tissue should be removed immediately to prevent further decay.  Cold burned woody plants should only be cut back to new growth and fertilized after the threat of frost or freeze is almost over, historically mid-March.
  • PLANTING SPECIFICATIONS FOR TREES ED GILMAN, PROFESSOR, ENVIRONEMNTAL HORTICULTURAL DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA- GAINESVILLE