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yaya81
06-16-2011, 09:40 PM
I layed new Floratam sod last Friday (6 days ago). The first few days I watered one inch at 5 am and another inch at 8 pm. After three days I changed from watering one inch at 8 pm to 1/2 inch at 2 pm. The majority of the sod was brown within a couple days and is now showing a bit more green. However, it is not healthy at all......as you can see in the pictures.

I had three lawn service companies give me estimates on fertilizer services this week. One of the three said I had a serious fungus problem on the new sod but the other two companies did not mention it at all.

By the way, form what I recall the sod was not in "perfect" condition when we layed it but at the same time it was not in the condition it is in now.

Does it look like a fungus issue or is there a way to really tell? Does it look like it will be a complete loss?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

unkownfl
06-16-2011, 10:09 PM
honestly it looks like it didn't have enough water. I'd say put some milorganite down about 1 bag per two pallets and water it about an hour and a half in the morning. Is the sod wet when you pick it up on the brown areas?

Keith
06-16-2011, 10:24 PM
From the picture, it looks dry. Are you watering it with a hose or a sprinkler system? I ask, because putting down an inch of water twice a day is no easy feat. It does take some time.

Now if it is fungus, it could be explained by the watering schedule. Never water in the early evening. Especially this time of year. That moisture just sits there on the leaves all night, creating a breeding ground for fungus.

yaya81
06-16-2011, 10:35 PM
I have a sprinkler system. I am in Central Florida and I only got rain this week one day, which the yard did look better after that.

I will pull up some pieces after the sprinklers stop in the morning to make sure the soil is wet underneath.

I put some bowls in the yard the oher day to measure the water and they were all getting right around 1/2 inch in 30 minutes so I would expect my one hour run of the sprinklers in the morning should be enough.....

Isn't one inch a day for the first few weeks all that is needed?

Florida Gardener
06-16-2011, 10:36 PM
Not sure how precipitation has been in your area, but we are BONE DRY down here. We are now on a 1 day/wk watering restriction. It looks dry to me as well. Just keep watering and apply milorgonite as suggested and it will eventually come to life. Just monitor weed emergence and don't let grassy weeds overtake the sod.
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Ric
06-16-2011, 10:51 PM
yaya81

Fungus in new sod is a normal occurrence. It happens because the sod stays on the pallet wet without light. Dark wet environments are perfect for fungus growth.

Another fact is Sod farms are hurting for business because Florida is in a depression. They can not afford chemicals like they did in good times. Every new sod job I see has issues because of a lesser standard of care by the sod growers.

Keith
06-16-2011, 10:54 PM
Is this in a section that has rotors or spray heads? Typically a rotor zone that has good head to head coverage will put down somewhere in the neighborhood of .45" an hour. A properly installed spray zone could put down close to an inch in 30 minutes.

Keith
06-16-2011, 11:28 PM
Ignore all that anyway. You are doing what you are supposed to. I think you are doing all that you can in the water department. Pull up a piece or two. It should be sending out a fair number of roots at a week.

It's just not going to look worth a darn until it starts raining. The good news though, it's Floratam. When the rain comes, it will pop right back to life. If you happen to live anywhere near Sanford, go over to Sunniland and pick up a bag of 7-0-20. All but 1% of the nitrogen is from sewage sludge like Milorganite.

unkownfl
06-17-2011, 03:12 PM
1/2 inch in the morning and a half 1/2 inch later is wasting water.... If your watering mid day all you're doing is giving it a sunburn and again wasting water. You need far more than an inch of water right now especially since the ground is probably sand. Its your sod do what you want but I laid over 30 pallets on a few properties last week, and all are getting close to 2-3 inches of water a day and doing great. I laid 18 pallets of bahia too and its doing great at about an inch of water a day which is going to get cut back here after the weekend. Please tell me you didn't use that weed barrier on the whole yard??? Also what did you do to prep the lawn before laying the sod? Was the old stuff ripped up tilled or just spray and lay?

ProMo
06-17-2011, 10:02 PM
I am dealing with a new install that looks about the same. I documented it as having severe grey leaf spot the day it was installed last week. I water new sod 1/4 in water 3-4x day for first week the sun will not burn it ive tried. heavy watering is a waste the grass doesnt have a root system yet so why do you need 2-3 inches of water per day ?

unkownfl
06-17-2011, 10:15 PM
gray leaf grows out almost all fungus out grows within the first week and will have no effect on the sod. My pool evaporates about 1/2 an inch a day now and its in an enclosed cage so its partially shaded. One inch won't even soak threw new sod so it will barely reach the root system. Like I said I have no issues with my sod and almost every pallet you get will have fungus as ric pointed out. go put a cup of water outside in your yard with an inch of water in it and see how long it takes to evaporate. I bet its gone by noon.

Keith
06-17-2011, 10:45 PM
I guess we all do things differently. If I told someone they had to run their system long enough to put down 2 to 3" of water down a day, they'd have a **** hemorrhage :laugh: Seriously, I've never seen anything need that kind of water. Your sod can't hold that much water. And the sod is going to keep the ground from losing that much moisture. You are basically trying to keep the muck or sand base moist during that first week.

unkownfl
06-17-2011, 10:53 PM
I guess we all do things differently. If I told someone they had to run their system long enough to put down 2 to 3" of water down a day, they'd have a **** hemorrhage :laugh: Seriously, I've never seen anything need that kind of water. Your sod can't hold that much water. And the sod is going to keep the ground from losing that much moisture. You are basically trying to keep the muck or sand base moist during that first week.

If they don't like it they have no business trying to sod in the summer well almost summer. Maybe this is why they are replacing their yard in the first place. Last time I checked Sod isn't an annual. I had a customer ask me why their lawn only lasted 2-3 years and their last LCO told them that's about average for SA lawns now she wants Zoysia. :hammerhead: the miracle grass. Look at the picture notice how the grass around the house is still green? That's because its partially shaded and the concrete holds moisture wonder why the wide open areas got sodded? Not me I know why no water and no nutrients to help the root system not need as much water. Look how tall the grass is probably gets scalped once a month too.

Florida Gardener
06-17-2011, 11:07 PM
If they don't like it they have no business trying to sod in the summer well almost summer. Maybe this is why they are replacing their yard in the first place. Last time I checked Sod isn't an annual. I had a customer ask me why their lawn only lasted 2-3 years and their last LCO told them that's about average for SA lawns now she wants Zoysia. :hammerhead: the miracle grass. Look at the picture notice how the grass around the house is still green? That's because its partially shaded and the concrete holds moisture wonder why the wide open areas got sodded? Not me I know why no water and no nutrients to help the root system not need as much water. Look how tall the grass is probably gets scalped once a month too.

That lco is correct on the sense that most LCOs ruin St Augustine prob earlier than the time frame he mentioned. A properly maintained St Augustine lawn will last way longer than 2-3 years. I had a lady call me last year saying she spent 5k having her front yard resodded and that it already lookedbad again. When I go to look at it it hadn't been fertilized in at least 4-5 months and was getting cut too short. She was ignorant bc she doesn't want to fork out the right money to have a quality lco maintainthe property so like a fool she will keep spending more money replacing sod and ornamentals and still have a crappy looking yard. You cant fix stupidity and ignorance.
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RigglePLC
06-18-2011, 03:07 PM
Not from Florida. However...it is likely that Ric is right. Sod that was in poor condition to start with is the likely cause. Sod that was not laid within 6 hours or left rolled up on the pallet with no air circulation or cooling would "heat up" on the pallet and be damaged before it was laid. Sod should be harvested early in the morning and laid the same day. Sod growers are familiar with the problem--too familiar.

I can see that the old grass near the house and between the houses is green and doing fine. Moistue adequate and fungus not a problem. If you look carefully you may discover that the first roll off the top of the pallet had minimal damage. The last roll deep in the pallet that had no air circulation was the worst affected. In some cases the edges of the roll are OK because they had more air circulation around the pallet.

greendoctor
06-18-2011, 03:45 PM
That lco is correct on the sense that most LCOs ruin St Augustine prob earlier than the time frame he mentioned. A properly maintained St Augustine lawn will last way longer than 2-3 years. I had a lady call me last year saying she spent 5k having her front yard resodded and that it already lookedbad again. When I go to look at it it hadn't been fertilized in at least 4-5 months and was getting cut too short. She was ignorant bc she doesn't want to fork out the right money to have a quality lco maintainthe property so like a fool she will keep spending more money replacing sod and ornamentals and still have a crappy looking yard. You cant fix stupidity and ignorance.
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How true. I have seen lawns last decades. There are many lawns here that are older than me. Sadly, most of them are tended by highly dedicated homeowners over the age of 60. People are fortunate that sod is cheap in Florida. In my area, sodding a 5000 sq ft lawn will cost as much as a new car.

Florida Gardener
06-18-2011, 04:00 PM
I have seen some immaculate St Aug lawns that are taken care of homeowners. These are people that value thief yard over anything else and understand they need to spend time and money. There is one in my hood and you can't find a single weed in it. It is as close to perfect as you can get.
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greendoctor
06-18-2011, 04:45 PM
In my area, the sad thing is those nice lawns are not my market. The homeowner is a DIYer that is a total slave to his yard and does not want things done any other way. If you come here, you will see people sitting outside all day, day after day pulling weeds. Can't say it does not work, but those people have no life other than pulling weeds. They will spend the time all right, but not a cent for modern practices.

lawnguy26
06-19-2011, 09:42 AM
Your 1/2 inch at 2 pm was probably a waist due to evaporation in the heat of the day. If it's leaf spot fungus you will see lesions all over the grass blades. Another common problem in new sod is pythium root rot. However this is usually seen in shaded areas during periods of heavy rains. Since your lawn looks to be in full sun and we are in a serious drought here in central florida my guess is drought.

New sod in full sun, in the absence of rain and with temps 95 or higher should be watered in the early morning, before sunrise, with 3/4 inch of water for the first three weeks. Another 1/2 inch may be needed in the evening if sod shows signs of wilt by late afternoon. Our soils are extremley dry right now so whatever water being applied leaches through our sandy soils very quickly and past the root zone.

If your close to Sanford go up to Sunniland on 419 and get a bag of their 7-0-20. It looks like it can be recoverd but will need proper watering, fertilizing, pest control and mowing for this to happen. If your in Seminole County send me a private message and maybe we can set an appointment where I can come look at it.

Florida Gardener
06-19-2011, 10:42 AM
Would a wetting agent be a smart move in this case??
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Kiril
06-19-2011, 11:02 AM
Irrigating 1" per day (or more) on any turf, new or not, is ridiculous. New sod needs to be irrigated to keep the sod moist throughout the day ..... no more ..... no less.

greendoctor
06-19-2011, 01:47 PM
I don't think I ever set irrigation to put down an inch per day, every day on new sod. 1/4-1/2 inch divided into two waterings yes. Fail to put down a portion of the water in the middle of the day and you will be looking at cooked grass. Until sod puts its roots down in the soil, keeping it damp, but not flooded is its lifeline.

jvanvliet
06-19-2011, 01:54 PM
How did you lay the turf? Did you clear all the growth underneath, what are the soil conditions (clay, coral, rock, dirt, etc.)? Did you level with some organic material or top soil, stagger to pieces (like a brick wall) or is it edge to edge, did you compress the turf with a weighted roller?

I have found Floritam is a fussy strain as it is and hyper sensitive to a lot of chemicals, don't fertilize until its established (I prefer plain old St. Augustine for sun & Seville for the shaded areas). Also most turf I've seen in South Florida have grubs & fungus coming off the pallet. Yours looks dry, it's in full sun; I really don't think 1" at a time is enough water. The guy that says only 1/4" isn't getting it into the ground- FL recommends 1.5" for established turf, I agree with the gentleman who is calling for 2 or 3", you got to get the water below the turf to encourage the roots to seek it out.

I usually tell my homeowners to water a lot, and when they think its enough, water a little more; certainly for the first two weeks. I'd say lift a couple of pieces at random and look for grubs, see if the soil underneath is wet, check if you see root growth. If the piece resists being lifted, that means it is starting to root - leave it alone. Look for fungus both on top and bottom. Treat for the pests as necessary, if after watering the ground beneath the turf isn't soaked, you'll need a lot more water.

I don't think it's too late if you get at the problem ASAP.

There'll be a lot of opinions and text book answers, yours looks dry like most respondents indicated.

Landscape Poet
06-19-2011, 10:10 PM
Why is it that I have read several times on this subject the advice of putting down a fertilizer? With the amount of water being applied as suggested by many - what are the chances a granular fert is going to be used by the new turf and not leached through the soil? I am alone on this thought? I can see fert doing more good once the sod has grabbed and is on its way to establishment.

Florida Gardener
06-19-2011, 10:45 PM
Why is it that I have read several times on this subject the advice of putting down a fertilizer? With the amount of water being applied as suggested by many - what are the chances a granular fert is going to be used by the new turf and not leached through the soil? I am alone on this thought? I can see fert doing more good once the sod has grabbed and is on its way to establishment.
Milorgonite can be put down when new sod is laid so it will help out during the establishment process. As far as other ferts, I don't put down until after 9-12 weeks depending on time of year.
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bugsNbows
06-20-2011, 10:57 AM
How did you lay the turf? Did you clear all the growth underneath, what are the soil conditions (clay, coral, rock, dirt, etc.)? Did you level with some organic material or top soil, stagger to pieces (like a brick wall) or is it edge to edge, did you compress the turf with a weighted roller?

I have found Floritam is a fussy strain as it is and hyper sensitive to a lot of chemicals, don't fertilize until its established (I prefer plain old St. Augustine for sun & Seville for the shaded areas). Also most turf I've seen in South Florida have grubs & fungus coming off the pallet. Yours looks dry, it's in full sun; I really don't think 1" at a time is enough water. The guy that says only 1/4" isn't getting it into the ground- FL recommends 1.5" for established turf, I agree with the gentleman who is calling for 2 or 3", you got to get the water below the turf to encourage the roots to seek it out.

I usually tell my homeowners to water a lot, and when they think its enough, water a little more; certainly for the first two weeks. I'd say lift a couple of pieces at random and look for grubs, see if the soil underneath is wet, check if you see root growth. If the piece resists being lifted, that means it is starting to root - leave it alone. Look for fungus both on top and bottom. Treat for the pests as necessary, if after watering the ground beneath the turf isn't soaked, you'll need a lot more water.

I don't think it's too late if you get at the problem ASAP.

There'll be a lot of opinions and text book answers, yours looks dry like most respondents indicated.



RANDOM THOUGHTS:

#!. Roots don't grow through soil seeking water. They grow in response to where the water is. In other words, repeated shallow watering yields shallow root systems. Once turf has become established, it's best to water less frequently, but water deeply. One important goal must be to develop a deep, penetrating root system to aid in overall plant vigor.

#2. I have also seen plenty of sod (fresh from the field) with insect and weed issues. It's just the way it is.

#3. Applications of a high Phosphorus "starter" type fertilizer to newly laid sod is usually rather beneficial. The quicker you obtain root initiation and "tack down" the better. Additionally, rolling new sod after "lay-down" is beneficial.

#4. Hunting billbugs are fast becoming a real issue on new (and older) zoysia grass stands. Empire (variety) has been especially hard hit in our area. Beetle larvae (grubs) are also showing up more on St. Augustine grass and causing some real damage.

#5. Zoysia grass is not a miracle grass or a "drought" grass. It has it's own issues. Once established, it will however rebound from drought injury much better than St. Augustine grass. This is partly due to the presence of both stolons and rhizomes (from which to re-grow). St. Augustine has only stolons.

Gotta go. Bye Bye.

jvanvliet
06-20-2011, 06:35 PM
RE: RANDOM THOUGHTS:

bugsNbows

"#!. Roots don't grow through soil seeking water. They grow in response to where the water is. In other words, repeated shallow watering yields shallow root systems. Once turf has become established, it's best to water less frequently, but water deeply. One important goal must be to develop a deep, penetrating root system to aid in overall plant vigor."

So if you water briefly and the water doesn't get below the roots, you'll have a shallow root system and if you do water deeply, the roots respond by seeking the water underneath since there is no water available from the topical application because it has evaporated?

So then, continued shallow watering will develop a highly water dependent lawn susceptible to infestation and drought damage while less frequent and deep watering, while cutting the grass to 4", (as opposed to 3 or 3.5 like most LCO's do down here) will develop a deeply rooted, drought and pest resistant vibrant St. Augustine lawn?

I think we are saying the same thing differently. I don't disagree with applying a Phosphorus "starter" type fertilizer, but I would'nt put it down immediately, the stuff is stressed enough by the time it gets here, even though I'm only one hour from the Glades turf farms.

Anyway, I probably wouldn't recomend people putting new sod down in the middle of the summer in a drought with watering restrictions looming.

CHUCK'SLAWN
06-20-2011, 11:38 PM
Ric was the only one on the right track. It is take all root disease. Water makes it worse apply heritage G. This disease is in almost every pallet we lay.

yaya81
07-08-2011, 02:55 PM
Thank you for all the replies. I forgot about the post I made on this forum and just got back to it. I think partially fell victim to hiring a large lawn care company of which the technician on my yard was not very competent....but that is another story.

The brown areas still have some green runners underneath so hopefully once the fungus is gone it will come back over the next couple months.

To answer some of the comments/questions of other posts....

- The reason the lawn in the back yard was replaced was due to the fact we purchased a short sale which was vacant for several months.... thus the back yard was nonexistence. It was not being replced due to my neglect. The side yard you see in the picture that is green was not replaced as it was not badly damaged udring the vacant period and used a fertilizer to keep it healthy. I mow the yard once a week and I don't "scalp" it once a month..... it just happens the pictures were taken towards the one week mark since the established grass was mowed.

- To prep for the new sod, I sprayed the area to be replaced with Roundup three separate times over about a one month period.... always a minimum of a week or so between sprays. The area that was soded was mostly dirst with some weeds and wild grass.

- After making sure everything was dead, I raked the majority of the yard and used a tiler on two areas that had a lot of wild grass etc (which was dead). This removed all the dead weed/grass etc.

- Next raked the yard to level it.

- The sod was delivered to my house and was layed about six hours after delivery. I was told the sod was cut that morning....

- Immediately after laying the sod I watered a good inch and "walked" the sod since I did not have a roller.

I had replaced a pallet worth of floratam in my front yard in November and used the exact same method. The sod did great. Of course it was November and was much cooler. However, the sod this time was from a diffrent company so I think that had a lot to do with it.

BTW - I have been in contact with the sod company and they had several customers with problems that received sod around the same time as me.... they actually stopped prdering sod from that sod farm and are now using a different farm.

So I think I got a combination of poor sod and a fungus that will take some time to recover from. We will see. The sod company did offer to give me another pallet of sod to replace some of the areas that are really bad. We will see how it recovers.

Again thank you for all the advice. I learned alot.

Ric
07-08-2011, 06:13 PM
Ric was the only one on the right track. It is take all root disease. Water makes it worse apply heritage G. This disease is in almost every pallet we lay.

Chuck

I knew it was fungus, just not which one. But I wasn't going to fight with all the experts who claimed it was drought stress. It is the educated Eye that separates the Pro from the novices

lawnguy26
07-08-2011, 10:42 PM
Chuck

I knew it was fungus, just not which one. But I wasn't going to fight with all the experts who claimed it was drought stress. It is the educated Eye that separates the Pro from the novices

I must have missed a post. When was fungus proven?