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Recent Sob Job: Turning Brown?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by jbell36, May 4, 2010.

  1. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,286

    on saturday i layed some sod for a customer and today, tuesday, i noticed it was starting to turn brown and doesn't have that fresh look it had on saturday...is this typical until it takes root?

    the prep work consisted of "burning" the existing minimal grass/weeds to the ground with a weedeater and laying topsoil fairly thick over that, then simply rolling the sod out (only 500 sq. ft.)

    the area gets a fair amount of sunlight and the customer has been watering early in the morning and later in the evening every day...when i rolled the sod back today there was moisture between the topsoil and sod

    any help would be appreciated, thanks
  2. SeedPro

    SeedPro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,030

    Not that unusual, but be sure it is being watered regularly.

    Or it will be a real "Sob" job.

  3. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,286

    ya i definitely mispelled the title, thanks for the reply though that's good to hear...anyone else have any thoughts on this?
  4. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    I would watch that one closely! I have never had a properly watered sod job turn brown or lose it's lush green look. I have seen them dry out and I have seen them get a fungus. Too early in the season for a fungus out here, and probably too soon after laying as well.
    When you inspect the grass, look for a thinned out and grayish blue looking blade. That is a tell tale sign of underwatering, the blade will dehydrate and get thin and discolored. It is critical that you not let the grass get too dried out, once it gets past the permanent wilting point, you will not be able to bring it back. Water the dehydrated areas and within a couple of hours it should snap back. If it is turning brown, it is extremely dehydrated and in danger of being lost. Good luck!
    Another thought - you may be checking it shortly after watering so you see the moisture, but it may be getting damaged in between waterings. I would check it just prior to the second watering to see how moist it is then.
  5. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 809

    Did you give the homeowner proper instructions on how to water? I did the same type of job over 1k sq ft a week ago and today it needs to be mowed. Lots of homeowners will get out there with a hose for 10 minutes and think that is good enough. It is not even close.

    You will have some minor thin spots around the edges but if it is watered properly 95% will be nice and green a week to 10 days later.

    It needs a massive amount of water every day to take root as fast as possible, my client runs his sprinkler 1-2 hours a day.
  6. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,286

    ya i told him he needs to water it extensively, i'll talk to him again and make sure he's watering it long enough...is one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening enough?

    thanks for the replies
  7. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    an hour of watering sounds excessive. I don't know what type of sprinkler system you are using, but an hour seems way too long and most of the water is likely running off. The key to sod is that the roots have been cut off and so they have no depth into the soil, so you need to keep the top moist while the roots get re-established. This time of year in CA where I am it means twice a day for just long enough to soak the sod itself.
  8. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    it's also possible you did everything right and the sod you used was not in good condition. If it didnt' come from the farm quickly to their door it's possible the rooting is bad
  9. how thick was the topsoil you put down.
  10. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 809

    LOL an hour is far from excessive. How much water do you think a lawn gets when it rains all day? Or for a few hours? A LOT more than it gets when you have a sprinkler rotating back and forth and not saturating one spot constantly.

    Water is never a bad thing when it comes to new sod, you are not going to "flood it". It could easily dry out though if it is in dry conditions and the temperatures are high.

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