Congratulations on laying new sod on your lawn. You can now look forward to a lush, alluring lawn. But when can you walk on new sod? Two weeks is the recommended time to wait before you step on new sod. But the timeline will depend on how soon the new sod establishes itself on your lawn.
While this might sound like a bummer, it’s for a good reason. New sod is still delicate and in need of the most care. And part of the care is eliminating traffic from people and pets in the first two to three weeks.
Why You Should Not Walk on New Sod
It’s tempting to walk on new sod as soon as it’s laid. After all, it’s green, lush, and inviting. However, it still has fragile and shallow roots yet to establish themselves on your lawn.
Waiting gives the new sod time to establish a strong root system that ensures the long-term survival of your lawn. When you walk on it prematurely, the pressure on the root system could damage the fragile roots.
Another negative impact of introducing foot traffic on new sod too soon is soil compaction. Soil compaction occurs when traffic pushes the soil underneath, forcing it to become denser. It eventually hardens, making it impossible for the delicate sod roots to penetrate.
If the soil compacts before the sod establishes itself, the sod will die, and you may need to reinstall it. Compacted soil also results in weed development, the last thing you want on your lawn.
When can you walk on new sod? By walking on new sod too soon, you risk ruining the sod by displacing it. This creates unsightly dips and ruts in your lawn that you may need to fix later.
You also want to keep your pets off the new sod until it forms a deep and strong root system. Pets could urinate and defecate on the lawn, which could cause sod death in the affected areas. They could also rough up the sod, creating mud and unsightly spots.
When Is It Safe to Walk on New Sod?
It is safe to walk on new sod as soon as it takes root. You’ll know sod has taken root by lifting an edge of the sod. If it’s well established, there should be some resistance when you raise it. If it hasn’t, you should keep watering and caring for it until it’s well-established.
The rooting process takes about two weeks when all the conditions are perfect. These conditions include sunlight, moisture, and air. Sod establishes much faster in the spring and summer seasons and is, therefore, safer to walk on sooner.
Take advantage of the warmer seasons to establish your sod lawn, as it will take a shorter time for the roots to anchor firmly to the ground. When you lay sod in the winter, you may have to wait for two to six weeks before it takes root.
How To Walk on New Sod
In addition to the question of when can you walk on new sod, you should be aware of how to walk on new sod to avoid damaging it. The first thing to do is to minimize how often you step on the new sod.
Walking frequently on new sod will damage the leaf blades and kill them. Frequent walking also compacts the soil, making it even harder for the sod to take root and flourish.
Avoid walking along the same track, as it dries out the blades. Using the same routes across your yard creates excessive wear on one part of the lawn.
Avoid heavy traffic, such as carrying heavy furniture or leaving vehicles on fresh sod. If you must carry heavy furniture across the lawn, lay a sheet of plywood. Lay the plywood down when you want to move heavy items, and remove it when you’re down to allow your tuff to receive sunlight.
So, When Can You Walk on New Sod?
You cannot walk on new sod. Wait for at least two weeks before doing so. Walking on newly laid sod is the fastest way to damage it. The roots are still fragile and need some time before they can handle any foot traffic. Give them a minimum of 14 days with proper care before walking on the sod. You should also keep your pets and kids off the new sod as they could damage it.
Hello! My name is Chris, and I am the founder of Yard Floor. When I was a toddler, my family had a lush green lawn. I was at the center of caring for and maintaining this lawn and even proceeded to take an associate’s Degree in landscaping. I am here to share my years of experience with you – be it repairing your mower/tractor or caring for your lawn.