At NG Turf we often get asked the question: How soon should I mow my grass after installing new sod? It is a great question to ask and the simple answer is: as soon as there is something there to mow.
When can I mow new sod?
Sod needs a resting period between installation and the first mowing to have time to establish roots into the soil. Shallow roots will develop in the first few days after installation, but they are not yet strong enough to prevent the sod pieces from moving if you mow or even walk on the lawn.
Typically, new sod can be mowed as soon as there is something to mow. The first mowing is generally warranted about two weeks after installation.
Test the Roots
Before mowing, check the progress of your lawn by gently tugging at the sod. Begin testing the root attachment around two weeks after installation. The sod should have begun to produce small white roots that keep it from being pulled up from the soil easily. If the sod still comes up from the ground with ease, consider waiting a few more days before mowing.
Will mowing too early cause damage?
Mowing before the sod is fully anchored often leads to the edges or corners of the sod slab peeling up in the mower blades. If this occurs, it can ruin entire sections of the lawn very quickly.
How to Mow New Sod
- If possible, use a walk-behind mower with the cutting height set high to remove only the top of the leaf blade when mowing new sod. Once sod is fully rooted (about three weeks), you can begin regular mowing.
- Cut back on the frequency of irrigations just before the first mow to allow the soil to firm up.
- Don’t wait too long for the first mow. Only 1/3 of the leaf blade should be removed during any single mowing. If more than 1/3 of the blade is removed it will cause unnecessary stress on a lawn trying to establish itself.
Remember to always follow standard mowing best practices:
- Follow the 1/3 Rule
Never cut more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time.
- Use Sharp Mower Blades
Dull mower blades rip the grass blades, leaving a raw, tattered edge rather than a clean slice. In addition to leaving a less pleasing appearance, the dull blades pull on the grass in the process causing stress to the plant. The jagged edges heal more slowly, as well, making the grass more susceptible to disease.
- Don’t Ignore Conditions
Drought, excessive heat, wind, excessive rain, and other weather conditions can cause stress for your lawn. If you ignore these conditions and continue to mow as usual, you could damage your grass.
Is mowing new sod important?
Mowing encourages lateral growth which will help individual sod pieces join together to become one seamless surface. The more lateral growth you have the quicker your sod pieces will connect and look like a more uniform lawn.