How to Care for Newly Laid Bahia Sod

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Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or sprinkler system

  • Lawnmower

  • 16-4-8 fertilizer

Bahia grass, known botanically as Paspalum notatum, is a warm-season perennial turf grass that is prized for its tolerance for shade and drought. Sod is a quick way to turn a barren home landscape into a thick, luscious Bahia lawn. Providing newly laid Bahia sod with the proper care is simple and helps to ensure the long-term health and success of your lawn.


Step 1

Keep the soil consistently moist while the Bahia sod works to establish a strong root system. Water the sod for 10 minutes, three times a day, for the first seven to 10 days after laying it.

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Step 2

Check the root development of the Bahia sod 10 days after planting. Tug gently on a sod piece at the edge of your lawn -- if it resists being lifted, the sod is rooting favorably. Reduce the frequency of watering to just once a day for the rest of the growing season. Provide at least 3/4 inch of supplemental irrigation each time you water.


Step 3

Keep foot traffic to a minimum for the first two to three weeks after laying Bahia sod so that it has a chance to become established before sustaining damage.

Step 4

Wait to mow your Bahia sod until it presents new top growth. Mow Bahia grass to a height of 2 to 3 inches, removing no more than 1/3 of the blade each time you mow.

Step 5

Fertilize Bahia sod twice each growing season with a 16-4-8 fertilizer to promote healthy root growth. Fertilize once in early October and once in mid-November, but wait at least four weeks before fertilizing the Bahia lawn for the first time.


Although Bahia is considered a drought-tolerant turf grass, it requires frequent irrigation during the first growing season to become established.