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Planning on laying sod? You probably are if you’re looking for the easiest and fastest way to have the lush and immaculate lawn you’ve always wanted. Although sod—sheets of pre-rooted grass—is the fastest way to establish your yard, even sod lawns are not entirely maintenance-free, at least not if you want to keep your lawn looking lush and presentable. A properly-timed fertilization schedule is critical to ensuring that the sod properly anchors into the soil and continues healthy growth over the life of your lawn. Here are some things you should know about fertilizers as they relate to your newly (or soon-to-be) installed sod lawn.

How to Calculate Fertilizer Requirements 
Before you fertilize your newly sodded lawn, calculate the required fertilizer rates. Review the front of the lawn fertilizer package (typically recommended by the sod installer) and note the first number in the nutrient ratio (i.e., “23-0-6”). Divide 100 by the first number in the ratio to find the number of pounds of fertilizer required to deliver one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of your lawn. Divide your lawn’s square footage by 1,000 and multiply by the pounds of fertilizer needed to discover how much fertilizer your new lawn needs. If this seems complicated, don’t worry; your Sunnyvale lawn installer will likely tell you exactly how much and what kind of fertilizer your new lawn needs.

Fertilize Newly Laid Sod
Although your newly sodded lawn may look lush and pristine, the first couple of days are a very vulnerable time that can either make or break the look and feel of your yard. Sprinkle fertilizer using a drop spreader or rotary spreader on top of your new lawn the day after it’s installed. After the fertilizer is spread evenly across the entire lawn, water deeply to carry the fertilizer down to the sod’s root level to ensure proper feeding. Mow one week later, leaving the grass clipping on the surface to help fertilize and protect the underlying grass. Then, approximately six weeks later, fertilize the sod a second and final time before moving on to bi-annual fertilizing.