Yikes! New grass and new plants, what do I do?
One of our biggest challenges in our job in the irrigation business is helping new homeowners get their new grass and plants established. In a perfect world, customers would get their plants installed and then the sod but that doesn't work logistically for landscaping companies. It is very important for customers to realize that irrigation is a tool to assist in the establishment but needs to be managed cautiously by the homeowner. It needs to be adjusted daily with constant supervision (especially during the months where the temperature is over 80 degrees).
Establishing newly laid sod on flat terrain is the easiest thing to get established. Just water the heck out of it. When you add new landscaping and slope, things get challenging. The biggest killer in new plants is root rot, this is when you plants root system constantly sit in a bowl of water. If you water your grass twice a day like instructed and the water drains to new plants it will sit in a bowl of water and create stress for the new plants. Generally you will see signs for the plants indicating they are not happy. This is where the customer needs to step in and water the grass less and possible by hand for a couple days. Just remember, everything you have just planted is in shock, it is a living object that is in a new home. An irrigation system just makes the process of adding water easier, it won't take the burden away. Worst thing you can do is install new landscaping when you don't have the time to help get it established. Kinda like getting a brand new puppy and going to Europe for a month. No bueno.