Begin watering new turfgrass within a half hour after it has been laid on the soil. Apply at least 2 to 3 centimeters (1 inch) of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally, the soil should be moist 7 to 10 centimeters (3 to4 inches) below the surface.
Watering Tip #1: Pull back a corner of the turf, and push a screwdriver or other sharp tool into the soil. It should push in easily and be moist for the first 3 to 4 inches. If it isn't, apply more water.
Watering Tip #2: Make certain the water is reaching all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of sprinkler system you are using. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near buildings dry out faster because of reflected heat and may require more water.
Watering Tip #3: Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil is adequately moist. To conserve water and ensure adequate soak-in, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait 30-minutes to an hour, then resume watering on the same area. Repeat this start and stop process until proper soil moisture is achieved.
For the first two weeks, keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering. Especially hot, dry, or windy periods will require increased watering amounts and frequency.
Watering Tip #4: As the turf starts to knit its new roots into the soil, it will become more difficult and/or harmful to pull back a corner of turf (watering tip #1), but you can still use a sharp tool to check moisture depth by pushing it through the turf and into the soil.
Watering Tip #5: Water as early in the morning as possible to take advantage of the grass's normal growing cycle, the usually lower wind speeds, and loss of water because of high temperature evaporation.
During the rest of the growing season, most lawns will grow very well with a maximum total of one inch of water a week, coming either from rain or applied water. This amount of water is all that is required for healthy grass, providing it is applied evenly and saturates the underlying soil to a depth of 10 to 15cm (4 to 6 inches).
Watering Tip #6: Infrequent and deep watering is preferred to frequent and shallow watering. This is because the roots will only grow as deep as its most frequent water supply. Deeply rooted grass has a larger "soil-water bank" to draw moisture from, and this will help the grass survive drought and hot weather, which can rapidly dry out the upper soil layer.
Dull mower blades chew grass, rather than clip it, leaving it with a scarred, unhealthy appearance. Always keep mower blades sharp. If mowing is delayed to the point where more is cut than left, the grass will suffer in appearance. Never mow grass when it is suffering from drought, or the lawn will become discolored and unattractive for several days. Water well for a few days before mowing during the dry seasons. Cut to height of 1 1/2" to 2".
When lawns are properly fertilized, they are healthy, green, and generally free of weed invasion. Knowing what and when to feed your lawn is very import. Centipede is a light green grass. Do not continue to apply fertilizer in an attempt to make it dark green. It is a southern grass that thrives in the southern heat; therefore, it is not necessary to apply a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. A fertilizer that is specifically designed for centipede will work best and can usually be found at your local garden center. We also recommend that in the fall, you apply winterizer fertilizer. It will feed the roots all winter long and builds cold hardiness.
**Please note**The above information has been gathered from the NC Sod Producers, Turf Growers International, and years of experience in the sod business. It does not include or imply any guarantee from Kellum Sod Farm, Inc.