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jbell36
05-04-2010, 09:46 PM
on saturday i layed some sod for a customer and today, tuesday, i noticed it was starting to turn brown and doesn't have that fresh look it had on saturday...is this typical until it takes root?

the prep work consisted of "burning" the existing minimal grass/weeds to the ground with a weedeater and laying topsoil fairly thick over that, then simply rolling the sod out (only 500 sq. ft.)

the area gets a fair amount of sunlight and the customer has been watering early in the morning and later in the evening every day...when i rolled the sod back today there was moisture between the topsoil and sod

any help would be appreciated, thanks

SeedPro
05-04-2010, 10:04 PM
Not that unusual, but be sure it is being watered regularly.

Or it will be a real "Sob" job.

:cry:

jbell36
05-05-2010, 12:29 AM
ya i definitely mispelled the title, thanks for the reply though that's good to hear...anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Mr. Vern
05-05-2010, 02:05 AM
I would watch that one closely! I have never had a properly watered sod job turn brown or lose it's lush green look. I have seen them dry out and I have seen them get a fungus. Too early in the season for a fungus out here, and probably too soon after laying as well.
When you inspect the grass, look for a thinned out and grayish blue looking blade. That is a tell tale sign of underwatering, the blade will dehydrate and get thin and discolored. It is critical that you not let the grass get too dried out, once it gets past the permanent wilting point, you will not be able to bring it back. Water the dehydrated areas and within a couple of hours it should snap back. If it is turning brown, it is extremely dehydrated and in danger of being lost. Good luck!
Another thought - you may be checking it shortly after watering so you see the moisture, but it may be getting damaged in between waterings. I would check it just prior to the second watering to see how moist it is then.

bigslick7878
05-05-2010, 12:50 PM
on saturday i layed some sod for a customer and today, tuesday, i noticed it was starting to turn brown and doesn't have that fresh look it had on saturday...is this typical until it takes root?

the prep work consisted of "burning" the existing minimal grass/weeds to the ground with a weedeater and laying topsoil fairly thick over that, then simply rolling the sod out (only 500 sq. ft.)

the area gets a fair amount of sunlight and the customer has been watering early in the morning and later in the evening every day...when i rolled the sod back today there was moisture between the topsoil and sod

any help would be appreciated, thanks

Did you give the homeowner proper instructions on how to water? I did the same type of job over 1k sq ft a week ago and today it needs to be mowed. Lots of homeowners will get out there with a hose for 10 minutes and think that is good enough. It is not even close.

You will have some minor thin spots around the edges but if it is watered properly 95% will be nice and green a week to 10 days later.

It needs a massive amount of water every day to take root as fast as possible, my client runs his sprinkler 1-2 hours a day.

jbell36
05-05-2010, 02:07 PM
ya i told him he needs to water it extensively, i'll talk to him again and make sure he's watering it long enough...is one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening enough?

thanks for the replies

Mr. Vern
05-05-2010, 04:54 PM
an hour of watering sounds excessive. I don't know what type of sprinkler system you are using, but an hour seems way too long and most of the water is likely running off. The key to sod is that the roots have been cut off and so they have no depth into the soil, so you need to keep the top moist while the roots get re-established. This time of year in CA where I am it means twice a day for just long enough to soak the sod itself.

ChiTownAmateur
05-05-2010, 05:34 PM
it's also possible you did everything right and the sod you used was not in good condition. If it didnt' come from the farm quickly to their door it's possible the rooting is bad

JB1
05-05-2010, 05:36 PM
how thick was the topsoil you put down.

bigslick7878
05-05-2010, 06:41 PM
an hour of watering sounds excessive. I don't know what type of sprinkler system you are using, but an hour seems way too long and most of the water is likely running off. The key to sod is that the roots have been cut off and so they have no depth into the soil, so you need to keep the top moist while the roots get re-established. This time of year in CA where I am it means twice a day for just long enough to soak the sod itself.

LOL an hour is far from excessive. How much water do you think a lawn gets when it rains all day? Or for a few hours? A LOT more than it gets when you have a sprinkler rotating back and forth and not saturating one spot constantly.

Water is never a bad thing when it comes to new sod, you are not going to "flood it". It could easily dry out though if it is in dry conditions and the temperatures are high.

jbell36
05-05-2010, 06:49 PM
the sod was cut in the morning on friday then it rained so we were delayed until saturday morning...the deepest the topsoil gets it probably 6 inches because we were trying to level out a few spots, i do know that this is a higher grade topsoil and holds water fairly well...one spot we didn't even put topsoil down just to see how it would do and to be honest it looks like it's doing the best out of the 3 sections

ironically that customer just called and says it looks like the grass is doing better today so that is a good sign...he said he has been watering it for about 20 minutes at a time at least once in the morning and at night...i told him to try to get multiple 20 minute waterings in in the morning AND at night, hopefully this will help

he said he watered the **** out of it yesterday so it's looking like it was a water issue...while we are on the subject could somebody fill me in on the situation with watering during the day, i've heard that is a bad time to do it and it could even act as a magnifiying glass and burn the grass

once again thanks for the responses and any help

JB1
05-05-2010, 10:11 PM
I have found doing it at this time of the year you have to really water the crap out of it. That's the problem most people just don't water it enough.

EastCoast
05-05-2010, 11:01 PM
Make sure you have no air pockets under the sod.... where the sod is not in contact with the soil.

Mr. Vern
05-05-2010, 11:54 PM
LOL an hour is far from excessive. How much water do you think a lawn gets when it rains all day? Or for a few hours? A LOT more than it gets when you have a sprinkler rotating back and forth and not saturating one spot constantly.

Water is never a bad thing when it comes to new sod, you are not going to "flood it". It could easily dry out though if it is in dry conditions and the temperatures are high.

As I said, I don't know what type of irrigation system he is using, but I have never seen a system that could run for an hour and not water an inch deep. Any more than that is not necessary and just wastes water. You are far better served to use frequent shallow watering when sod is new, then transition to infrequent deep watering as the sod roots in.The point here is not to see how much water the sod can handle, it is to meet the needs of the new sod.
The difference between irrigating and rain is that rain does not deplete the water stored in the reservoirs, it actually adds to it. Wow, I am a little shocked that I had to explain that!`

mnglocker
05-05-2010, 11:59 PM
As I said, I don't know what type of irrigation system he is using, but I have never seen a system that could run for an hour and not water an inch deep. Any more than that is not necessary and just wastes water. You are far better served to use frequent shallow watering when sod is new, then transition to infrequent deep watering as the sod roots in.The point here is not to see how much water the sod can handle, it is to meet the needs of the new sod.
The difference between irrigating and rain is that rain does not deplete the water stored in the reservoirs, it actually adds to it. Wow, I am a little shocked that I had to explain that!`

Most of us don't live in a desert where water shortages are an issue. I'm a little shocked that you explained that.

I've always watered new sod for at least 2 hours a pop often twice a day.

Mr. Vern
05-06-2010, 12:12 AM
Most of us don't live in a desert where water shortages are an issue. I'm a little shocked that you explained that.

I've always watered new sod for at least 2 hours a pop often twice a day.

So help me understand here. Are you using an irrigation system or just a temporary sprinkler system. I am having trouble imagining a system that would not just be producing runoff when run for an hour.
We use spray heads that need to run for 6-8 minutes and the new sod is completely soaked, or rotors that might need to run for 20 minutes and then its just runoff. Water wasting here is taboo.
BTW - its not a desert here, but we do get all of our rain in the winter and then its 5-6 months of nothing but sunshine.

bigslick7878
05-06-2010, 08:41 PM
So help me understand here. Are you using an irrigation system or just a temporary sprinkler system. I am having trouble imagining a system that would not just be producing runoff when run for an hour.
We use spray heads that need to run for 6-8 minutes and the new sod is completely soaked, or rotors that might need to run for 20 minutes and then its just runoff. Water wasting here is taboo.
BTW - its not a desert here, but we do get all of our rain in the winter and then its 5-6 months of nothing but sunshine.

Around here no one has irrigation.

Temporary pulsating rotary sprinklers is what I was referring to.

Like this...

http://www.gilmour.com/Watering/Hose-End/Sprinklers/Extra-Large-Coverage/Extra-Large-Coverage-Sprinkler-Metal-40002052.aspx

Mr. Vern
05-06-2010, 09:34 PM
The ad doesn't show the precipitation rate, but I guess if a garden hose is going to water up to 8500 square feet with 1 sprinkler that the rate would have to be very low. I;m curious how they get the water to fly that far with such a small amount of flow. I guess we just live in 2 different worlds!

Darryl G
05-06-2010, 09:58 PM
As I said, I don't know what type of irrigation system he is using, but I have never seen a system that could run for an hour and not water an inch deep. Any more than that is not necessary and just wastes water. You are far better served to use frequent shallow watering when sod is new, then transition to infrequent deep watering as the sod roots in.The point here is not to see how much water the sod can handle, it is to meet the needs of the new sod.
The difference between irrigating and rain is that rain does not deplete the water stored in the reservoirs, it actually adds to it. Wow, I am a little shocked that I had to explain that!`

Actually rain comes from the evaporation of surface waters and it's stupid to have reservoirs in the desert to begin with. :p

RigglePLC
05-06-2010, 10:19 PM
I think Chitown is on the right track. Sod should be laid the same day. It it stays over a day rolled up it will "heat up" due to respiration of the roots, and because no air can circulate to the center of the roll or center of the pallet. Experienced sod people are very familiar with this. Discuss it with the sod farm, also. The rolls on the top of the pallet will be fine--but--the inner rolls will turn brown in about 48 hours. I am sure some of the experienced sod people will have pictures of this condition. Easy to spot after it costs somebody a few thousand dollars.

Read the section about installing sod if you wait more than 12 hours.
http://www.sodco.net/faq.html
http://www.wegmansnursery.com/upload/simple/page_files/81.pdf

Think Green
05-07-2010, 09:06 PM
I agree with all of the other responses. However, not knowing what type of sod was laid is my inquiry as I don't know the types of sod in Kansas and in California for instance.
When we experience the edges of sod turning brown after installation, it has been from dry conditions. The edges will always loose water first and dry out!!!! Laying the sod the day it is delivered is the prime thing to do if it is possible.............no more than 1-3 days or you may loose 50% of the sod and its color. Root desiccation is real prevalent and foliage brown out is always expected. Starter fertilize the lawn........water the schizl out of it.................!! Roll it down!!!

This reminds of a customer that we earned this season. He has a bermuda lawn that was neglected. It was 50% weed matter and he was worried. After burning out all of the weeds with three timed applications, all that is left is the bermuda runners and dirt. He says the grass isn't growing well as the temps have just now hit 85 degrees. He says he watered the lawn once the following week. I ask him how long..........he said! I don't know, until it was wet. Most people have no inckling of how much water to apply. It is my experiences to place an empty skoal can within the spray of the sprinkler. Once it fills up to the top or one inch of water, it is time to move that sprinkler. The lawn needs to be watered daily at those rates to make it come in consistently and to evenly soak and root. Now if the water is standing on any lawn an hour after watering, then there is another problem to worry about.

Mr. Vern
05-08-2010, 12:11 PM
Its interesting how different things can be from one area to another. You have a customer that complains about weeds in his bermuda, we tear out lawns and re-sod them because they have bermuda in them. Here it is a weed and one of hte most invasive of all.
I know how beautiful a bermuda lawn can be when it looks good, but out here it goes dormant in the winter months, so its not popular.
You mention overwatering as being a potential problem, that is a big concern out here. Fungus is very common and if you let too much water sit on the surface for too long it can spell trouble.

Think Green
05-09-2010, 02:43 PM
Clay soil compaction due to mechanical reasons and heavy rain pattern will cause our soils to become hard impervious growing soils. It isn't customary to aerate or core soil lawns here as it isn't seen much by the lawn services. I have done 4 in my long career and isn't needed to the majority of customers...............it is difficult to sell to the wealthy. Even our favorite choice of grass (cynodon Dactylon) is another weed in other regions, even it won't grow efficiently on top of brick soil.

Jail Bird
05-09-2010, 04:05 PM
I/we had about 1k of Black Beauty laid about a year ago (First week of Sept) in Delaware. Before the sod was run I used a Harley Power Rake on a Bob Cat and sod cutter to clear the old growth off. We did not lay any top soil which worried me as the soil on my property could be better...Clay. I am in the lawn care business but as with many things knew just enough about sod to get in trouble. I had "Stan the Sod Man" who is a local sod legend in our area come and lay it. He told me if it gets to dry you will regret spending this money. My marching orders were:


Using our temporary sprinkler system for the first three days water it in short (I think it was 10 min) increments about every two hours. He said it should always be wet but not "squishy wet".

After the third day I was told to start working towards "deep watering". He told me to place a shallow pale marked in 1/2 increments 10 feet from the sprinkler. Start at 1/2 inch of water four times a day and work up to 1 1/2 inch twice/three a day over like three or four days. We continued to water it about 3" (two waterings) a day for month after this.

The key I learned (as someone said) is to keep the "plant" wet until it begins to root. Once that starts then you need to water it deep consistently for the first month. I have to say I have the nicest grass I have ever had by a million miles. I core aerated this year in mid march, I know it it is no-no to do so in the spring but I am glad I did, it looks great.

topsites
05-09-2010, 10:30 PM
A lot of customer don't understand "you need to water this."
A lot more think frequency is important.

What you need to do is tell them "you REALLY NEED TO WATER THE DOGPOO OUT OF IT!!!"

It's not in the frequency, it's in the duration!
Translation: Not how often, but how long.

I get it all the time...
Oh but I watered it HEAVY!
I ask them how long?
They say 20 minutes, three times a day...

Let me tell you, I might water my lawn once, twice a year...
But when I put my sprinkler on my lawn I set the hose on a timer and turn it to full open, 2-3 hours.
Now THAT puts down some water!

Everything else is just playing around, not to mention I actually get away cheaper too.

Once again: It's in the duration (how long), not the frequency.
It hardly matters how often so long it gets it real good at least once,
roots are not on the surface of the dirt, they are deep down inside the soil,
for water to reach these roots it has to flow for at least an hour.

Matter of fact, ONE time for an hour is better than FOUR times for 20 minutes.

In terms of watering rooted plants, 3 x 120% > 4 x 100%

Jail Bird
05-10-2010, 01:19 AM
Once again:
It's in the duration (how long), not the frequency. It hardly matters how often so long it gets it real good at least once, roots are not on the surface of the dirt, they are deep down inside the soil, for water to reach these roots it has to flow for at least an hour

I don't mean to start an argument here but.....like I said when we had our sod installed I did not no DOGPOO about sod. Today after getting mine to take hold and working on/with customers who have new sod, I don't agree with you at all.

First off when you roll that sod onto the top soil or dirt the roots are NOT "deep down inside the soil"....they are sitting ON TOP OF YOU DIRT.

I would no more make a blanket statement to a customer telling them to jus water the DOGPOO out of $3000.00 worth of prime Black Beauty sod then fly to the moon. A prime example of how that "instruction" will get you in trouble is, as for instance you are in a HOT region or it is summer over watering can "cook" the sod when the sunlight heats up the water lying on top of over watered sod. Over watering is ticket to bringing on mildew and diseases that will make the "plant" sick over an elongated period of time. That can't be good when the "plant" is already stressed and you are trying to transition it to a new environment. Correct watering after installing the sod is critical to its survival. The idea is to keep the soil under the sod moist as well as the soil that comes with each sod piece. This does not mean constantly wet and soggy. As sod becomes established and roots penetrate and grow in the soil, gradually reduce the frequency of watering but wet the soil to a greater depth. After the sod has been mowed three or four times, deep, infrequent watering should be practiced. My partner says "to much of anything in the business is most often trouble"

bigslick7878
05-10-2010, 03:20 PM
My partner says "to much of anything in the business is most often trouble"

I have yet to see a situation where water sits on top of the soil, gets heated up by the sun and then kills it. Honestly I would actually pay good money to see that.

I agree to a point with most of the other stuff you mentioned, but that is a bit extreme to say the least. In theory that might be possible, but in the real world I probably have a better shot of getting hit by lightning the same day as I win the lottery.

Whitey4
05-10-2010, 04:34 PM
I don't like how it was prepped. Weed whacking and adding top soil is a very faulted approach IMO.

Every sod job I have done is prepped either with a sod cutter, or killed with Roundup and then power raked before leveleing with top soil. If you laid sod over a lawn that was only weed whacked... this is what I would expect. There may be a layer of thatch preventing the sod from rooting, and that would also tend to make it dry, no matter how much it's watered.

When it comes to turf, from seed or from sod, it's ALWAYS about the soil prep. I would never just bare cut and lay sod. Asking for trouble.

foreplease
05-10-2010, 06:00 PM
I have yet to see a situation where water sits on top of the soil, gets heated up by the sun and then kills it. Honestly I would actually pay good money to see that.

This is a common problem on golf turf. I've seen new seedlings taken out in sports turf where water has accumulated. On home yards and new sod jobs I agree, it would be rare to find scald.

Jail Bird
05-11-2010, 08:21 PM
I have yet to see a situation where water sits on top of the soil, gets heated up by the sun and then kills it. Honestly I would actually pay good money to see that.

I have a question, bigslick7878 do YOU water your grass in the middle of the day in 85-90 degree weather ??:dizzy:

I'm not an "expert" just a guy making a few bucks cutting a little grass on a P/T basis. That said I have like 15 years experance and run a small solo operation along with a limited partnership that I have been in for about ten years.

I HAVE seen this happen. The reason most people don't see stuff like this is because for the most part both the contractor and the customer are smart enough not to lay sod in the heat of the summer. A "customer" of ours decided to replace decent turf in his backyard for sod in the second week of July for a wedding in late Aug. "WE" passed on it and contiuned to service (cut) the front. To make a long story short the contractor told the customer to "WATER the DOGPOO" out it as it was going to be blistering hot. Cooked the grass, burned so brown it killed it and it never came back. We did an overseed in October. I have also seen this happen on golf course's too.

bigslick7878
05-11-2010, 10:39 PM
I have a question, bigslick7878 do YOU water your grass in the middle of the day in 85-90 degree weather ??:dizzy:

I'm not an "expert" just a guy making a few bucks cutting a little grass on a P/T basis. That said I have like 15 years experance and run a small solo operation along with a limited partnership that I have been in for about ten years.

I HAVE seen this happen. The reason most people don't see stuff like this is because for the most part both the contractor and the customer are smart enough not to lay sod in the heat of the summer. A "customer" of ours decided to replace decent turf in his backyard for sod in the second week of July for a wedding in late Aug. "WE" passed on it and contiuned to service (cut) the front. To make a long story short the contractor told the customer to "WATER the DOGPOO" out it as it was going to be blistering hot. Cooked the grass, burned so brown it killed it and it never came back. We did an overseed in October. I have also seen this happen on golf course's too.

I have watered in 100 degree temperatures before, golf courses do it all the time. In the dead of summer you do that to cool down the soil in areas that are prone to drying out. I have also laid sod in that type of weather before as well.

Maybe you should look up the term "evaporation". You see that is what happens to water when you water the sod and it is that hot out, it does not "heat up" and kill the grass.

I have and still do work on golf courses and water killing the grass is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I guess it just sits there and then starts to boil with little bubbles like you were cooking something on the stove....right?

And you did not SEE anything happen, the customer TOLD you and you ASSUMED what happened. Ever think the heat dried the sod out because it was too hot and not watered properly, and they were trying to get you to fix it for free?

I would stick to your day job.

I need to stop before I completely go off.....wow.

JB1
05-11-2010, 10:42 PM
if you have newly laid sod and high temps, its hard to get too much water.

foreplease
05-12-2010, 12:03 AM
From USGA (http://www.usga.org/course_care/course_officials/dictionary/Turf-Management-Committee---References-and-Resources(7)/):
scald - Turf damage occurring under conditions of excessive water, high temperatures, and intense light.

Beard briefly discusses it here (http://archive.lib.msu.edu/tic/mitgc/article/197376.pdf) as one of the eight types of environmental stress on turf (paragraph 2).

Here (http://turf.lib.msu.edu/1980s/1980/800101.pdf), James T. Snow, Northeastern Agronomist, USGA Greens Section, writes that Beard makes a case for proper drainage and careful cultivar selection to stave off possible scald injury due to ice and snow accumulation. The lens effect is what I had in mind in my earlier post. Although it was not my finding or assertion, scald due to the lens effect is mentioned here independent of atmospheric temperature - that it is possible even in the absence of high heat.

One theory popular in the 1960s suggested that turf died from suffocation caused by the buildup of respiratory carbon dioxide gas under the ice sheets. This idea has been challenged by Dr. James B. Beard, of Texas A&M University. His studies indicate that this type of injury rarely occurs. Some authors proposed that winter .scald is part of the problem, caused by a lens effect when sunlight passes through ice or standing water, thus scalding the leaf.

Again, I do not say it is a common problem where new sod is overwatered. I agreee with the other posters here who maintain that it would be difficult to water new sod too much and with those who say excessive water would likely cause disease problems before scald injury. But I cannot agree that scald injury is impossible or even unlikely on turf, particularly golf turf. Twenty-five years after leaving a golf course near here, I could still point out problem areas on that course where I would expect deep puddles to develop after a moderately heavy rain. On those occasions where we had bright sun before the accumulated water drained through or evaporated, we would be sent out with squeegees, hoses, rakes, and pumps to remove water from some greens, tees, and fairways before they had damage from scalding.

Jail Bird
05-12-2010, 06:32 AM
I have watered in 100 degree temperatures before, golf courses do it all the time. In the dead of summer you do that to cool down the soil in areas that are prone to drying out. I have also laid sod in that type of weather before as well.

Maybe you should look up the term "evaporation". You see that is what happens to water when you water the sod and it is that hot out, it does not "heat up" and kill the grass.

I have and still do work on golf courses and water killing the grass is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I guess it just sits there and then starts to boil with little bubbles like you were cooking something on the stove....right?

And you did not SEE anything happen, the customer TOLD you and you ASSUMED what happened. Ever think the heat dried the sod out because it was too hot and not watered properly, and they were trying to get you to fix it for free?

I would stick to your day job.

I need to stop before I completely go off.....wow.

OK, you are right and I'm just a simple jail guard, maybe I will stick to that. With that I will tell you I live two doors down from the guy and saw the water being applied in three hour increments to the point of "puddling" up on area's. This progressively got worse as the sod dried (scorched-I would think some area's also dried out) out over two days on 90 degree heat. My observation is that the worst area's of the yard were where the pools of water were allowed to stand between watering. On the third day the guy knew he would not have the picture book lawn for this wedding. As we talked about this I kneeled down and put my hand in the water, it was warmer then I would have liked in my bathtub. AGAIN the spots were the water pooled up were the worst when it was all said and done...but who knows guys like you are the "EXPERTS" I just do this for "fun" :laugh: