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New Sod Installation looks like it is dying

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by rob77, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. rob77

    rob77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    We just moved into a new house in Michigan about 30 miles north of Detroit and had new sod installed this past weekend. I have been watering it 20 minutes per zone each morning and it has also rained but the sod does not seem to be getting any better. As you can can see from the pictures, the sod looks like it is dead or dying. The installer says it is fine. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.




  2. capelawncare.com

    capelawncare.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,136

    I dont know anything about "Northern" turf, but that just looks like crap.
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,256

    There are a number of factors that could of caused the sod to look that bad. Find out who your neighbor uses and go with them if they have somebody.
  4. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,102

    I totally agree with the "it looks like crap part"

    I did have a creeping red fescue/kentucky blue/rye yard when I lived in Lake George NY and that is what the parts that were ravaged by white grubs looked like.

    I am sure it is not grub damage since there has not been any time to root but go out and pull a piece of the totally browned out stuff up and see if it is in fact dead or dormant. It looks dead to my eyes. I may be wrong but I don't think it would be a good idea to try to re-sod until spring. But don't let the contractor off the hook on this if it was old sod or something.

    Good Luck,
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I put mine down about 2.5 weeks ago and it looks nothing like that. I am not sure but it doesnt appear to be placed very well. What type sod is it? I will email pictures of my install tomorrow.

    You might also try cutting it as long as it has rooted. It will look much better cut.
  6. rob77

    rob77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thank you for your replies so far. cgaengineer, I believe the grass is kentucky blue grass (grade A). As for cutting it, I don't think that is possible as the grass has not yet rooted at all. I was thinking of having the contractor redo the sod.
  7. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    Looks to me like the piles of sod dried out too much before it was put down and not watered as it was being installed. It should have been rolled or at least pressed down when it was installed and watered very soon to get good sod root contact to the soil. Try picking up the edges of the sod in different areas to see if any roots have started to set into the top soil. Anything that is loose I would say is gone. It needs water often to keep from drying out. What sort of time frame did the installer give you as for it starting to grow? Or for it to be replaced? Did you pay for this job or was it part of the building project? Good Luck..........
  8. rob77

    rob77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    gene, I picked up the edges of a bunch of pieces and the roots have not started to set yet, but the ground is nice and wet and so is the sod. It rained pretty good today. The sod also smells pretty bad. I know they grow it in peet, but the smell is very strong. The installer said that it may go dormant now if it gets colder outside but will look fine in the spring. I don't really want to wait until the spring to find out. No I have not paid for the job yet. I just want to make sure that I have a valid complaint here and that this is not normal and that asking for it to be replaced is not out of line.
  9. capelawncare.com

    capelawncare.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,136

    I would tell him I would pay him in the spring, when it looks fine!
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    This sounds good, if you pay now he will never come back out if its dead. I like how when I moved into my house the builder tossed some fescue seed out and told me it would grow and spread...the only thing that spread was the crabgrass!

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