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wet sod

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jun 13, 2001.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    have a customer that just got sod installed in the back yard, where there is alot of shade, and the grass stays wet 24 hrs a day. it doesnt look as good as it did when it was first installed, it lost a little color, and there r some black fungus looking spots, as well as what i believe is dollar spot. he said this is all my fault because i did not cut it for 3 weeks after it was installed, the landscaper has also voided his warrenty saying it is my fault. i explained to the customer that it is 85 degrees and very humid, and the grass is always very wet, this is not good for the lawn, he keeps insisting it is my fault cus i waited too long to cut it, what do u guys think
  2. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876


    I've seen this problem with all the sod installed this this year---by me and anybody else in our area. I know with mine the customer overwatered and at night. I treated with bayeleton and that seems to have slowed it down.

  3. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    I don't think you will like this but 3 weeks is way too long(3 weeks too long) to wait to mow sod. We have been raising sod for a few years now and we mow the sod right after we lay it. We recommend that the installer keep it mowed as often as they can. We like to see it get mowed twice a week. By waiting 3 weeks this sod surely got too tall. If you let sod get too tall then mow it off major problems will arise. Next time mow sooner, It looks much better and will result in future jobs if it is kept looking good. I would take the blame and replace the lawn if you were the one in charge of keeping it mowed.


    Nathan Downey
  4. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Posts: 309

    I have never mown sod until it takes root. Why you ask? Mower will suck it of the ground and into the deck.Tell us how you mow it when it hasn't rooted. Thanks.
  5. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    Tell the owner to cut off the sprinklers, mow it at highest setting, spray fungicides every 2 weeks for the rest of the summer. Learn from your mistakes but this isn't ALL your fault and I would not pay to have the lawn redone.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    thank u all so much for your replies, and nathan, i value your opinion weather it works in my favor or not. the reason i did not cut right away is because, like the man said, i have also had problems sucking up pieces and also had them move around, i have let new sod go 2 - 3 weeks before, with no problem, the only difference was the others were not overwatered and got plenty of sun. any discoloration usually went away in a couple of days, after it dried out. this guy seems to think i am 100% responsible, and i should remove the whole lawn(major work) and replace it. i will meet with him tommorow to discuss the matter, i am not replacing anything, but am looking foward to working through this and getting the place in shape. he also said that in his opinion, the lawn should remain wet at all times and not be allowed to dry, new one on me......
  7. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    We rarely have a problem with the sod being sucked up by the mower. If it is a bit light we mow it after it has been watered once. By mowing the lawn asap it will look better. It is even. When I am done sodding a lawn people can't even tell that it is sod from a distance of 10 ft. or more. It is better on the grass if you mow it more often, by waiting until it roots you are putting undue stress on the plant. After sod is laid it should be mowed the same as if it were established. For the best info on sod go to my web site and check out the links page and go to Turfgrass Producers International. I would replace the lawn. It will reflect upon your business if you have a PO'D customer. The best and worst advertising is word of mouth. Bite the bullet and nave people talk highly of you rather than argue with them about a minor thing that could cost you money in the long run.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i would gladly replace it if i thought i was totally at fault. i dont think it looks all that bad, he is just nitpicking. and i think he is doing most of the damage by keeping it constantly soaked. we r talking 4-5,000 worth of work here.
  9. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393

    Not a chance in hell Id replace that lawn.

    We have always waited until the grass has rooted prior to doing an initial mowing of sod which is two to three weeks. Here in Jersey most of the sod we use is the 5 sq foot pieces and can easily be sucked up by a mower. Improper watering is the most frequent cause for sod failure and mowing and watering instructions should have been provided by the contractor that installed the lawn. Letting new sod get established prior to initial mowing is standard operating procedure and provided you did not scalp or take off more then 1/3 of the leaf blade then the lawn should be fine.

    There isnt a turf manager in the country who well tell you that a lawn should remain wet at all times. In addition to encouraging fungal growth it will drown the young new roots systems of the sod.

    Get a hold of your local county extension agent and they may inspect and evaluate the lawn for you and provide your homeowner with an independent evaluation of what caused the problems. I did this in 1999 when a client claimed that our weed control efforts (roundup) killed her 14 foot pine trees. The county agent came to the house and confirmed (as I had expected) that the backwash of the pool filter combined with the drought conditions that year were far more likely to have killed that tree then roundup applications.

    When we screw up we will be glad to pay for our mistakes, however, if you know and follow current professional practices then you can defend yourself against these kind of claims. Dont bend over just because the client says so, defend your position if you believe it is right. If determined by an independent party that you contributed to the problem then pay the bill.

  10. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Good Advive CMerLand!

    Good Luck BobbyGedd.
    This guy sounds like ignorance is bliss and a "little" knowledge can be a dangerous thing! Does he think he is dealing with aquatic plants?

    Very good of you to try work through this.
    But I wouldn't replace anything, and get the H2O under control!

    My $.02.
    Good Luck.

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