Tips for Establishing Newly Laid Sod

When sod is first laid it should be watered generously for 3 days. During the first month we recommend that you minimize the use of sodded areas; especially drainage areas such as side swales to prevent ponding caused by footprints. After the initial 3 day “soaking period”, your lawn should be watered for about 2 hours a day in the early morning for approximately 1 week.

Please avoid over watering your lawn because saturation of sod can be just as deadly as lack of water. Your lawn should be cut initially 2-3 weeks after being laid, however, it should not be cut too short for the risk of burning.

Additional Tips

  • Water your lawn frequently.
  • Avoid watering in the hot sun.
  • It is best to water in the early morning. Watering during the day creates a shallow root system and makes the lawn susceptible to burning.
  • To gauge watering, place an empty can about 6ft away from the sprinkler. When there is an inch of water in the can, it is time to move the sprinkler.
  • Reflected heat along buildings dries sod quickly; be sure to water these areas more often.
  • If the temperature is above 25 degrees Celsius, the sod must be watered every day.
  • Avoid walking on freshly laid sod.
  • Avoid concentrated play activities, dog traffic or similar rough usage until 4 weeks have passed.
  • DO NOT fertilize fresh sod that has already been fertilized at the sod farms. It is best to wait until the following year.
  • The basic mowing rule is never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade during a single mowing.
  • Set your mower at a cutting height of approx. 3.5”

It is the responsibility of each Homeowner to maintain the sod on their lot. These steps will assist you in developing a beautiful lawn.

In the City of Kingston, watering restrictions apply between June 15 and September 15. Further details are online at or Please ensure a watering exemption permit is in place.

Updated on March 14, 2017