1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

fretilizing sod?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassman88, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. grassman88

    grassman88 LawnSite Member
    from mass
    Posts: 218

    ok how soon do you fertilize sod after it has been layed out, i already spread starter fert under it but the owner said he has scott thats going to come out and fertilize it. im emailing him a care sheet but i woundering how long he should wiat for scotts to come in and fertilize it?
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,441

    It should be alright. Your starter fertilizer has a lower nitrogen content.
    Normally I would wait for the sod to take root, because it has been fertilized well at the farm. You can also broadcast spread the starter fertilizer over the sod, and then the client can see that too. Brownie points maybe there, on an installation.

    What supplimental nitrogen fertilizing means is that there will be more top growth and you will have to cut more if you also do that for this client . Hopefully the fertilizing company doesn't give too much nitrogen, because then you end up with thatch and also when you cut at a normal level the remaining grass could be yellow. This is even though they will be using a slow release nitrogen.
    Then you lose brownie points.

    If you are e-mailing a care sheet, how about adding that "any problems associated with work performed by other contractors working on the property after our sod installation is not covered under our standard warranty."
  3. grassman88

    grassman88 LawnSite Member
    from mass
    Posts: 218

    i told them to hold off on the fertilizer for 3-4 weeks does that sound right?
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,441

    That'll be fine. Just watch for the same problems with top growth. You may have to cut longer until it balances out so you don't have yellowing.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    A big thing is to tell them to hold off on any herbicides until after the sod takes roots. small doses are fine, but a simple rule of thumb is that once it has taken root it will hold up to stressors alot better
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Nitrogen can force top growth at the expense and detriment to root growth...

    That's what I heard anyways, and it makes sense, however... Has this been proven with field testing? I don't know...

    Has anyone else found valid research on this concept?
  7. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Posts: 1,267

    we usually hold off on any sort of fertilizers on sod for a little over a month. Instead we do 3 apps of starter fertilizer. 1 at laying, 1 at 4 weeks, and 1 after 8 weeks. At that point we evaluate the sod and go from there. Maybe we will use a light application of weed control on it, but we try not to have to use weed control for the first year.

    smallaxe is correct. fertilizers are high in nitrogen which just provides top growth and the green color. With sod, you need to be concerend about root growth as oppose to top growth. Thats why we do a month long starter fertilizer application, to really get the roots to take hold.

    I would try to avoid as many herbicides as possible for as long as possible (in the first year). When its cut (depending on the size we will just use out push mowers the first 1 or 2 times. We also try not to cut for that first month too.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I would add to not over water, which is very tempting to do. Once the sod starts to take hold, you can start to treat it as normal turf, to some extent...
    Rule of Thumb:
    When the top is ready to cut, the ground should be dry enough to run a mower over, without intentations...

    Some people turn sod into a swamp for na month and say, this is GOOOOD... Not so... :)
  9. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 368

    nitrogen will definitely cause lush top growth at the expense of root growth. it can even stop root growth all together as we move closer to summer. happens when you over fert established grass also. I would tell the customer to wait till fall if they are using Scotts or anyone other than yourself(the person who laid the sod)

Share This Page