So you’ve installed new sod, and your yard is looking better than ever. You’re itching to get out there and enjoy it, but before you plan a garden party or have the kids kicking a soccer ball around, you’re going to want to know how long to wait so that you don’t damage the new sod. There are many factors that can determine when your new soil can be walked on. In this blog, we’ll go over how to make sure your new sod is safe to walk on and tips for keeping it healthy.
What is the best time of year to walk on fresh soil? (The Short Answer).
Your new sod will appear lush and healthy immediately. However, it is best not to walk on it for the first two to three weeks. The first few weeks are critical for the new sod’s success as the root system takes hold. However, other factors may extend this waiting period, so it’s best to know what to look for to determine if the new sod is ready before regularly walking on it.
How to tell if your new sod is good “Safe”Continue to Walk
New sod can be beautiful just by its appearance. Just because it looks healthy doesn’t mean it’s ready for regular use. I’ve put together a couple of ways to test if your new sod is ready for foot traffic. Let’s dive in.
Check out the New Sod’s Appearance
The first thing you want to look for in the initial weeks after the new sod installation is that it’s growing and looking healthy. It’s normal for the new sod to be in shock at first, but it should quickly recover with proper watering and sunshine.
So if the new sod is showing signs of growth and is green throughout a few weeks after installation, this is a good indication that it’s bedding well. However, if the new sod is showing signs of discoloration or general deterioration, then there’s a problem.
Check out the Root System of the New Sod
Once you’re satisfied with the new sod’s appearance, you can move on to checking its root system. To do this, lift one corner. If the new sod has been laid, you may feel resistance to lifting it. It should also be obvious that the root system is visible. New sod roots tend not to be large and white.
It is important to test the new sod in multiple locations to ensure that the root system is well embedded. The new roots can be fragile so be gentle. If the soil is not resilient when you lift it up, it may be struggling to take root.
Factors that Can Impact How Long It Takes To Walk On Sod
There are many factors that can influence the speed at which your sod grows. Let’s see what you can do to ensure the success of your new sod so you can enjoy it as quickly as possible.
The New Sod is Good for Quality and Health
It is easy to install healthy, fresh sod. On the other hand, if your new sod doesn’t look great the day it was installed, for example, it looks yellow and dried out, then this will be a problem, and it will take a lot more TLC to get it healthy.
Before you put down new sod, it is a good idea to test the soil. This will ensure that your soil is nutrient-rich enough to allow it to settle. It is important to properly prepare the ground before you plant the new seed. For example, if you’re laying sod over an area with heavy foot traffic and the soil is compacted, the roots are going to find it extremely difficult to penetrate the soil.
Watering is key to your new sod’s success. Watering should reach 3-4 inches below the soil. It’s best to water twice a day for the first two weeks, then reduce it to once a day for the next couple of weeks.
Your garden should be ready to re-water after this time. Make sure to take into account any rainfall so that you don’t overwater and potentially harm the new sod.
It can make a huge difference in the time it takes for your new sod grow. This is because grass thrives in sunlight. Shaded areas take longer for grass to root than sod placed in sunny places.
Local weather conditions can affect your new sod. If you’re planting your new sod during the growing season, it should root pretty quickly. If you plant your new sod during the dormant periods, rooting may take longer. My best advice is to avoid laying new sod during dormant seasons.
What happens if you walk on new sod too soon?
Your newly installed sod will become weak and vulnerable to damage within the first few weeks. It is possible to cause damage to your turf by walking on it too often. These are just a few of the things that can go wrong when your new turf isn’t properly walked on.
If you walk on your new sod before the roots take hold, you’ll be breaking and redirecting the roots, lengthening the time it takes for them to set. New roots are fragile and need to be re-established each time you walk on them. If you do not do it enough, this can cause irreparable damage.
Before the sod was laid, preparation was necessary to allow roots in the soil to penetrate. If you walk on the new sod too soon, you’ll be compacting the soil and making it much harder for the new roots to take hold.
Tips for when you start walking on your new sod
Believe me, it’s hard to stay away from your new sod. It may look attractive, but it is best to not touch it.
You can gently walk on the plant for the first few weeks and water it. It is important not to walk over the same area too often.
Avoid heavy foot traffic for the first two months. So hold off on hosting barbeques and keep the kids and pets from tearing through the new lawn until you’re confident the new sod has taken root.
Trust me, it will be worth the wait. The sooner you wait, the better.