Customer says the sod we installed 8 months ago is dying now.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by tamo, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Customer calls me today about a sod job we did in March. She says it was great all spring, summer, and early fall but two weeks ago started turning brown and is now turning black.

    She wants me to come by tomorrow to take a look. She wasn't mad, just wants my opinion.

    When I bid the job all she wanted was the existing sod removed and new sod installed -- no soil test or 3-way soil install to ammend. She was putting her house on the market and just wanted a new lawn to sell. She hasn't sold yet.

    The old lawn was full of moss and a few weeds. It had been sodded about 4 years ago. The lawn gets plenty of sun but must have poor drainage with all of the moss. I recommend adding soil with sandy loam, but she wanted the cheapest bid possible so I obliged. We added lime and starter fert when we laid the sod and she says she's added fert twice since the last time in August. She has irrigation and kept it watered all summer and said it was fine all through our drought-like summer.

    I'm going to take a look tomorrow and just wondered if you guys had any opinions.

  2. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Take some pictures. Though I dout you can do anything since you gave her the cheap bid. Poor drainage and poor soil left you with a garbage root system. If the matress stinks putting new sheets on it isnt going to fix the problem. Dose that yard have any type of pitch to it at all? or is it the bottom of the whole street?
  3. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    How about reminding her about your initial suggestions and advice?
  4. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    oh I'm definitely going to remind her of my suggestions. She isn't demanding I fix the problem just asking for my suggestions on how to help the problem at her expense.

    There is a retaining wall which is probably part of the problem. There is a slight pitch but not much.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,231

    Previous lawn had moss--but it gets plenty of sun. That is not logical--moss is usually caused by heavy shade where I am from. Poor drainage would be obvious--that is --standing water after rain storms.
    on the other hand--it could be fungus. Are you familiar with the 10 most common diseases in your area? If not find someone who is --take a looksee.
    Good luck. Lets us know what happens and get pictures--please.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I came onto a sod install going black and all it took was to turn off the water.
    This place was also heavy compacted clay and yet it needed 1/2" of water 3 times a day down to 1/3" twice a day a month after it was put down. :laugh:
  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,197

    Before you do anything, get a soil test done. If you don't you're shooting in the dark. It will just happen all over again even if the sod is replaced. If the grass lived through the a dry season, you did your job right. Your soil may be highly compacted. Photographs will help. Black....I'm thinking highly acid soil.
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    so, what was the outcome?
  9. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    What fertilizer did she use?? How many times did she really do it? What setting was it.

    In some area's soil testing is free just to let you know.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,231

    Black slimy residue on the soil is usually algae. A full diagnosis is the first step.

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