bad sod story who's to blame

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grass disaster, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    Really? Hmm. I can't stand sod.

    My lawn is seeded. Even in severe drought like we have it still looks good. I don't water. It gets full sun too.

    All the yards with sod around here look really bad.

    Maybe it has lots to do with the prep and sub base.
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  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    There ya go. Nothing wrong with Sod.
  3. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 436

    I'm gonna assume he made the profile to post this question. Hope Grass Disaster isn't the name of his company! Lol!
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  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    You might think so until you look at the post count.
  5. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    This is a name my buddy calls my company. Its pretty funny actually.

    Its a close reflection of my actual company name.

    And yes this isn't my first rodeo...I've been around a while.
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  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Its the irrigation plain and simple... it is impossible to irrigate a sunny slope and a shaded wetland on the same amount of water... tell him to get that fixed or forget doing anything there with turf...

    stupid is as stupid does, and I hate trying to accomplish anything with that type of foolishness... :)
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Poor soil prep + poor irrigation design + poor irrigation management = poor performing grass.

    If the sod was "floating" that should have tipped you off to soil problems which leads to extreme sensitivity with respect to irrigation management. What it basically comes down to is you f'd up because you did not correctly identify the problem and make the correct adjustments. Stop playing the blame game, quantify the problems with the install in a manner the client cannot ignore or deny and present a professional solution.
  8. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    Good points.

    We have a pow wow.

    I am going to present him with some notes. And we will see.
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  9. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I think I understand now, and that in all fairness you can come out of this with some due diligence, a fair amount of effort but mostly time, I think you need to spend some time with the customer, this time if invested wisely can pay you back in later and other ways...

    We encounter this type of customer with some regularity...
    It takes skill, time, and patience to educate these folks, we have talked until we are blue in the face some days.
    When we encounter one of them we either call or in other ways try to contact them to set up a time we can meet.
    Once we get together we try and share our observations, and give some recommendations on how it could be fixed.

    We have customers who hire us to cut the grass, then do it themselves because they think every time it grows 1/16th of an inch it needs to be cut and they hired us in a half-hearted attempt to stop themselves from doing it but they still will cut it once a week in the worst heat, then dump all the water on it and turn it yellow...

    We've seen lawns that are cut and watered so much that for lack of better words the grass is in shock because it's not growing, not even in spring ...
    Still they cut and water like crazy...

    We have customers who, if we won't let them water during the hottest part of the day, they don't water at all...
    We have even set up the controller for them and they go behind our backs, turn it off, then go back to watering it "manually" during the hottest part of the day...

    These are all customers who in ways are loving their lawn to death, others simply don't know any better.
    This is where we come in, we can not and should not expect them to be the experts.
    If they were the experts, they would not have called you!

    We can only try...
    Anger is not the answer, they called us to help them solve their problems.

    Try and point out to this customer the problems with his irrigation...
    That he needs to cut way back on watering, that when there is standing water in parts that is like more than twice what needs to go down.
    If you have any experience with irrigation controller boxes you may even offer to adjust the system for them, we do this ALL the time, if you have no experience with them this could be a good learning opportunity as well, most have 9 zones.

    And talk to the man, try and explain to him the way you would like to see things, that if some changes are made there might be improvement, that you would be willing to re-do the sod on your dime but only if changes are made because without those changes there is little to nothing doing, tell him that to try and fix the sod without certain changes the sod won't take this time again.

    That's what I would do because you can do it over and then it gets ruined again you'll never see the light of day, take some time and work with these people, you won't exactly make a deep profit but you can certainly keep from losing your ass so that's what I would do.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  10. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,557

    can we say the lawn/soil is possibly denitrified.... as a moot starting point?

    Minnesota low lands are holding water even without irrigation this year. The amount of rainfall we had in May alone was the highest in Minnesota recorded history. Which leads to volitization, nutrient atmospheric losses and leaching. Oxygen starved soil ain't going nowhere in asthetic performance.

    Which does point towards a more pronounced issue for lack of soil prep than anything. Once the foundation is renderd appropriate to sustain the change in landscape all else falls close behind.

    So, wondering what and if anything was done by the landscape contractor
    other than throwing sod down?

    just askin

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