What is this sod problem

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lawncuttinfoo, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    My customer called to ask me what was the problem with the sod they had another company put in. While I was out there mowing I took a look and I used a small screwdriver to probe the ground and within 3 inches in just about every affected area I was running into very solid and gritty material, possibly paver base.

    I know for a fact that they have been wattering daily since late june (against my suggestion) when this was installed till late august when he called me about this problem. So just about all of the sod is still loose, no penetration into the existing ground. In addition I looked under a piece of sod the week it was installed and there was no starter fert applied. Also, the places where sod was patched into the existing lawn were obviously higher than the rest of the yard.



  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    I'm guessing they didn't prep the soil prior to sodding.Laying the sod on hard,compacted soil,will result in water runoff instead of soil penetration.The grass roots will have a difficult time breaking into the soil also.So,the moisture this sod is getting is basically what the soil attached to it can provide.
    Sounds like they just layed the sod on top of the ground and didn't roll it either,since you say the patched areas are higher than the existing areas.
    In other words,they got what they paid for.
    I lose sod bids alot because I'm higher than most.The difference is,we break up the soil,harrow it smooth,lay the sod,then roll it into the loose soil.It'll root and be mowable within a week,given proper watering.It will also be smooth to mow over.Your customer is going to be in for a bumpy ride mowing.
  3. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    That is exactly what I told him the first week I went to mow it and my mower ate up a few pieces of sod. It was not rolled.

    They also placed a few pieces down that were litteraly 4 " x 3". I told my customer there was no way I am replacing that sod job. Call me when they are stapled down and I will continue service.

    I bet right now the sod company is telling him that the mowing company is not mowing it correctly. Luckely I have mowed this property for a few years and he knows my quality and ability, (hopefully):)

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    The last picture look like your customer left something on the lawn for a week. The second picture looks like they watered the edges but not the middle. He could be using one of those cheap star sprinklers that just throw water in a circle. Sod will grow on just about anything if you give it enough water. Those pictures don't look all that bad.
  5. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    new irrigation system. The company that installed it was the one who told him to water daily till "the plants were established" but obviously did not concern themselves with the well being of the lawn.
  6. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    Doesn't look too bad for a late June sod job.

    Homeowners putting sod in think they are getting a green carpet.

    Aerate the heck out of it and overseed (hopefully the sod is rooted). They'll be showing off their beautiful lawn by Thanksgiving.....
  7. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Can't Aerate, there are as many roots as they day it was installed.
  8. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    Guess they're skrude then.....

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