Should new sod be fertilized?

Ronald Strahan, Koske, Thomas J.  |  3/26/2008 8:23:23 PM

Good lawns may need help.

Sample and test the soil for nutrients.

Lime if pH is too low.

Good question.

Good sod is well-growing sod – which means it has been fertilized and usually by more than average due to the commercially fast production.

Cut-and-shipped sod has very little roots to take up nutrients until it establishes a few weeks later in warm weather. I generally don’t recommend fertilizer at planting and especially if planted in dormancy; that's putting a nutrient load into the environment with little or no usefulness.

That being said, the installer should have had a soil test run. If lime is needed, then incorporate lime into the sod bed before sodding. Likewise with sulfur if pH is high and acidulation is recommended. If phosporus had tested low, I would try to add high P fertilizer (according to test recommendation) to the sod bed before laying the sod. You may add appropriate fertilizers about 3 weeks or so after laying and then work in a regular schedule for rest of season.

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