PDA

View Full Version : Sod question...


davidg32
06-11-2006, 05:26 PM
I am not a commercial landscaper, and I hope that asking this question here is not considered inappropriate.
My father died about a year and a half ago, and my mother wanted to spend some of the life insurance money on getting our yards fixed up because Dad had always complained about how bad they looked.
We had a local landscaper come by and look at the yards, and he recommended that we install emerald zoysia. He stated that zoysia was very pretty, and would grow in very thick and we wouldn't have any weeds. (To keep you all from thinking I'm a babbling idiot, I did not believe that we'd never have any weeds. But I did think that zoysia's thickness after it has grown for a few years might choke a lot of the weeds out and we wouldn't have many.)
He claimed that he would spray Round-Up to kill all the bermudagrass that was currently growing, scrape it all up with a bobcat, and then install the sod. He did not do exactly that, however...he first scraped up the bermudagrass with the bobcat, then went around spraying here and there wherever he saw a root left. Then he installed the zoysia sod.
We watered it very heavily for several weeks, to "wake up" the sod and start the roots to growing. As it began to settle in and green up, we noticed that some of the grass looked different than some of the other. It turned out that some sod squares were NOT emerald zoysia, and some of these (not all) were replaced. But immediately large sections of bermudagrass began growing up, and just about all of the lawn (especially the front) was saturated with it almost immediately. The landscaper claimed that the sod farm sent him some bad sod and that HE should not be held responsible. He and a representative of the sod farm met here one day, and argued back and forth. The sod farm representative claims that it's the landscaper's fault for not first spraying and killing everything...that bermudagrass is extremely hardy, aggressive, and invasive...and that just because the landscaper had scraped the yard doesn't mean he could then see all the roots. The landscaper claims that he DID spray first (I can prove he didn't), and that the sod farm should pay to replace everything.
At the end of last summer, the landscaper said that the sod farm person claims that there is a chemical which will kill all the bermudagrass, without hurting the emerald zoysia. He wants the "settlement" to be that he will come and spray this chemical, and that's it.
A couple of questions, if you don't mind:
1. Is there actually such a chemical? And if so, will it really work as described, i.e.: kill the bermuda, without hurting the zoysia?
2. I know that none of you have actually seen the yard, but in your professional opinion, do you think the landscaper's failure to first spray with Round-Up (or similar product) could be primarily responsible for the fact that excessiave amounts of bermudagrass just sprang up almost immediately?
Any information, experience you could share will be gratefully appreciated.
And as I stated above, I hope that asking this question here is not considered inappropriate or an abuse of the website. I know that the great majority of landscapers out there are dedicated, hard-working and honest people...and certainly do not feel that the one I ran into is in any way representative of the profession.
Warm regards,
David Gardner
davidg32@yahoo.com

AWJ Services
06-12-2006, 07:16 AM
1. Is there actually such a chemical? And if so, will it really work as described, i.e.: kill the bermuda, without hurting the zoysia?
2. I know that none of you have actually seen the yard, but in your professional opinion, do you think the landscaper's failure to first spray with Round-Up (or similar product) could be primarily responsible for the fact that excessiave amounts of bermudagrass just sprang up almost immediately?

Did the Bermuda grass appear in the seams or in the middle of the sections of sod?

davidg32
06-12-2006, 01:13 PM
Both...the bermudagrass is pretty much saturating the whole lawn, especially in the front.

cwlawley
06-12-2006, 06:07 PM
Yes, the landscaper is to blame. If he scrapped the yard up before he sprayed then all he did was merely cut the grass and/or weeds instead of killing them from the root up. Going back to "spot" spray is going to help if the rest of the yard isn't dead as well, those weeds will just move over.

The correct process is to spray, wait 7-10 days then till/scrap up the remaining dead particles, grade and install sod.

Personally, I wouldn't have told you to use Emerald Zoysia in the first place. This is one of the most expensive, although it looks good the grade of the land has to be absolutely perfect to put it down and it must be watered A LOT!

I would let the landscaper know that you are not willing to work this out with him spraying some chemical, which I have never heard of, and then being done with it. I would let him know that you either expect a full refund, or you expect the process to start completely over the correct way and have another company come over to tell you if it looks right or not.

Either way, let us know what happens.

AWJ Services
06-12-2006, 08:06 PM
When Zoysia is healthy it is hard for any grass too grow in it.

The reason I ask about the seams is that usually if it comes up there first it is a dead giveaway that it is from the existing soil.
If it appeared first from within the pieces of sod that were layed well thats a different story.

Were there any gaps between the pieces?

Too really lay Emerald right takes alot of grading.
I prefer to layer it with very loss topsoil and roll it flat then top coat with sand and roll it out then lay the sod.
It is beautiful thats for sure.

It is not for me too say who is at fault but the Landscaper sold you the grass right and not the sod farm?

rob7233
06-13-2006, 12:19 AM
He claimed that he would spray Round-Up to kill all the bermudagrass that was currently growing, scrape it all up with a bobcat, and then install the sod. He did not do exactly that, however...he first scraped up the bermudagrass with the bobcat, then went around spraying here and there wherever he saw a root left. Then he installed the zoysia sod.

First of all, the plant (bermuda) cannot systemically take up roundup via the exposed roots. It must have enough surface area to enter the plant and that happens at the top or leaf structure. Second the landscaper did not follow his own proposal plan. He did this in order to save himself an extra trip out there, thus saving himself time and boosting his bottom line. Simply, he cut corners.

Zoysia is a very high maintenence grass and can be extremely beautiful if done right but requires lots of water,a very regular and proper fert. program along with proper mowing practices. Maybe not the best choice for homeowners that a lack real strong committment to their lawn. Grass is already on average,the most expensive plant for you to maintain in your yard.

Was the sod layed tightly and in a "brick wall pattern" ?? It seems there must have been lots of gaps with install. Maybe not watered in well and rolled with a sod roller to insure the best root to soil contact. As far as the chemical, get the name of it and post it here. I'm not aware of any that would kill only the bermuda and not target the zoysia, no matter how careful you were in the application. Maybe something new, who knows? Still sounds like the landscaper doesn't want to step up and make it right. As much as I might hate it, sometime what appears to be the "Long Way" around IS the shortest way there.. Keep us posted. Take plenty of pictures. Document conversations. My guess is that you're heading to court.

rob7233
06-13-2006, 12:26 AM
Also, was there a written proposal done first (not a receipt for services)? Did he write down how the job was to be done prior to commencement? The landscaper could've also tilled in any remaining bermuda roots after scraping but that would've cost you more $$ since much more time is needed for regrading. Was this guy the lowest estimate that you received ??

AWJ Services
06-13-2006, 09:19 PM
I looked back and I did 3 Installs with Zenith Zoysia over Bermuda.
I never Round up the yards first unless Fescue is going down.
All 3 had no remenants of Bermuda.
A few weeds popped up in the sod peices but other than that no problems.
These were layed with tight seems and the ends rolled down .

Oxmow
06-14-2006, 06:32 PM
There is a chemical called fusilade II that is mainly used to kill bermuda in over the top applications in flowerbeds. Not sure what the toxicity to zoysia is but it targets bermuda. May be helpful in this situation.