When Can You Mow New Sod?

New sod is a great way to instantly transform your yard, but once it’s installed, you’ll have to wait before mowing it for the first time. Depending on the type of grass, this waiting period might be two weeks or longer. Read the following tips to learn the best practices for when and how to mow new sod.

What mowing new sod means

Mowing new sod is a necessary step in the process of establishing a healthy lawn. When done correctly, it can help to ensure that the grass grows strong and thick. However, if mowed improperly, you could damage the new sod and set back its growth.

Why is mowing new sod different from mowing established sod?

When you mow new sod, you are cutting into the grassroots and disrupting their growth. When you mow before the grass has had a chance to develop fully, it can prevent them from becoming thick and healthy.

When to mow new sod

The first time you should mow your new sod is typically two weeks after installation. It’s important not to mow too early, as this can weaken the roots and make the grass more susceptible to disease or pests. You may also need to wait until the sod has been watered for a few days straight before attempting to cut it.

However, if your lawn is growing rapidly, you could wait as long as three weeks. The goal is to let the roots of your new sod establish themselves for a strong foundation. To determine how well the sod is rooted, lift up a corner of the sod. If you can pull it away with little or no resistance, you need to wait longer before mowing.

Newer varieties of grass may require less waiting time, so be sure to follow any specific instructions provided by your landscaper or supplier if necessary.

Factors to consider when mowing new sod:

How tall should the grass be before mowing?

Do not mow new sod until the grass is three to four inches high. When the grass reaches this height, you can safely mow it. When cutting a new sod for the first time, set your lawnmower to cut at the height of two inches. When you mow again in the future, do not cut more than one-third of the total length of each blade of grass at a time. Cutting too much will stress out your new grass and stunt its growth in later seasons.

Soil quality and moisture levels

The quality of the soil beneath the new sod is critical in determining how soon it is safe to mow. If you live in an area with high winds, it is best to wait until the sod has been down for at least two weeks before mowing. This will give the roots a chance to grow stronger and become established in the soil. If your soil is of poor quality or if you have low moisture levels, then you may need to wait even longer than two weeks before mowing.

Is the sod firmly rooted?

It is important to let the sod become firmly rooted before mowing. When you do make a cut, it should be with sharp blades on your lawnmower. If the new grass has been down for two weeks and shows signs of rooting, check to see if you can pull up sections easily by hand. If so, then wait another week before mowing.

When the grass is properly rooted in place, it will not be easy to pull up by hand. If you can no longer easily remove sections of sod after two weeks have passed since your last check, then go ahead and mow the grass following best practices for lawnmower maintenance and sharpening blades.

What kind of mower should I use on my lawn?

If you have a reel mower, it is best to avoid using it on new sod. A reel mower can actually damage the delicate blades of grass in your lawn. If you need to use a reel mower for some reason, be sure to go slowly and cut only the top third off of each blade of grass.

What tools do you need to care for new sod?

If you want to take good care of your new sod, it is important that you have the right tools. When caring for your lawn in its first year, be sure to use a high-quality rake and shovel so that you can properly aerate the soil and remove excess water from your yard.

It is also recommended that you invest in a watering system such as sprinklers or hoses so that your grass gets enough moisture without becoming overwatered. When mowing new sod for the first time, make sure you have sharp blades on hand—otherwise, they could damage delicate roots when cutting through dense grasses or weeds growing underneath them!

The best time to mow your lawn also depends on what kind of mower you will be using. There are risks associated with not mowing your lawn properly, so it is important to understand these factors before making a decision about when you can mow new sod or how tall the grass should be before mowing.

What happens if you mow new sod too early?

If you mow your new sod too soon, it could cause the grass stems and roots to die off prematurely. When this happens, you’ll have to have your lawn replanted or reseeded before it can look its best again.

When allowed to grow for a few weeks without being trimmed back significantly, your lawn’s root system will become stronger and more resistant to future damage.

What are the risks of not mowing your lawn properly?

The risks of not mowing your lawn are many.

  • The grass will become shaggy and overgrown, which can lead to a number of problems. 
  • Unmowed grass can create a fire hazard by providing fuel for a wildfire, it can harbor pests and diseases, and it can block sunlight from reaching other plants in your garden.
  • It is also very difficult to mow your lawn with tall or high grass. When you have a long blade of grass standing up on the ground and you try to run a lawnmower over it, the mower will chop off part of that blade, which is not only bad for your health but also for the soil.

Safety considerations when mowing new sod

Mowing new sod can be tricky. Here are some safety tips to consider when mowing your new sod:

  • When mowing new sod, always use a sharp blade on your lawnmower. Dull blades can tear the grass and damage the soil.
  • Be careful not to scalp the turf when you are mowing. Scalping is when you cut off too much of the top of the grass and it can damage or kill the grass.
  • Make sure that your mower is set at the correct height so that you are only cutting off a third of the length of the grass blade.
  • When turning, always go slow and make wide turns to avoid damaging the sod.
  • Always be sure to use caution when mowing, especially if there are any rocks or other obstacles in your yard that could cause injury. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call a professional who has experience mowing new sod.

Mowing your lawn properly will keep it healthy and looking great. Follow these tips to help ensure a successful outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I water my new sod?

When watering newly laid sod, use a slow trickle that is just strong enough to wet the soil underneath without washing away any of the topsoil or turfgrass roots. When possible, avoid using sprinklers because they tend not to soak up all areas evenly – leading to some patches of grass getting soaked while others go dry. Make sure that you do not overwater either, as this may lead to severe root rot, which will kill off many plants.

Can I walk on my new sod?

It is generally recommended that you avoid walking or driving on your new sod for at least two weeks after installation. This will help keep the soil underneath in good condition so that the roots can grow strong and healthy. After two weeks, feel free to take a walk or drive on your lawn—just be careful not to go too fast or too hard.

How long does it take for sod to root?

Sod will generally start to root within a week or two of being installed. You can tell that the sod has taken root when you see new grass blades growing and the soil is no longer wet. Once the sod is rooted, it should be able to withstand light foot traffic. However, it is still recommended that you avoid walking on your lawn for at least two weeks after installation.

What is the best time of year to lay sod?

The best time of year to lay sod is generally in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler. This will help ensure that your lawn gets off to a good start and has plenty of time to grow strong before summer arrives. If you need to lay sod in the summer, make sure to provide plenty of water and avoid hot, direct sunlight.

Can you water new sod too much?

You can water new sod too much, and this can cause the roots to rot. When watering your lawn, make sure that you do not overwater as this may lead to severe root rot, which will kill off many plants. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call a professional who has experience mowing new sod.


Mowing new sod is one of the most effective ways to keep a new lawn healthy and weed-free. Done correctly, it can also help ensure that the lawn gets enough water and nutrients to get off to a good start. But keep in mind that mowing will not always be appropriate for your lawn, so timing is a crucial part of getting started with new sod. Make sure you know your grass before hitching up your mower.