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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by HOMER, May 12, 2001.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I was called to diagnose some problems with a yard yesterday. Got there and noticed a very large dry spot in the middle of the yard, everything around it was green and the soil was nice and moist. A sprinkler head was dead center of the dry spot. The lady told me that they watched the sprinklers when they were on and that spot did get watered but after one day it was dry as a bone again while the other areas were still wet. This area was literally so dry that dust would kick up under your boots but 10 feet away was lush and green! I left having to tell her I had no idea. The lawn has been fertilized using Scott's, sprayed with Diazonon for critters, and iron applied for yellow spots in the grass. The lot was also flat, if anything the area that was dry was concave slightly so theoretically it should remain wet longer than the outer areas. I hated to leave and not help her but all I could think about was a sod monster down below with a straw sucking the water right out of that particular spot with a very large straw.........didn't make any sense at all.

    Has anyone out there ever ran across something like this. It has to be a drainage problem of some sort but there were no visible signs of anything that could cause it. I'd love to be able to go back with an answer! :confused:
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I agree totally 100% with you on this one!

    it was the.......

    SOD MONSTER!!!!!! :mad:

    Thats what I came up with after hours of research on the subject.

    Sorry Bud!

    Pull a soil sample from the crop circle you got and one from the perimeter where the soil and grass are "healthy" and maybe the "experts" can see something we can't??

    Good Luck!
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I told her to call the county extension guys. There may be a problem with the property that the house was built on. I'm thinking sinkhole maybe??????????????????????????
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    While you are pulling a soil sample, you might ask for permission to dig a little deeper in that mystery area. Only after you know that there is native dirt there, at least a foot deep, will you really have a mystery. I've seen dry turf areas have a big piece of stone or refuse concrete underneath a couple inches of soil. Worked like a hot griddle in the sunshine, burning up the turf. Maybe this is the beginning of our own Lawnsite X-Files.:alien: :alien:
  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Possibly someone filled in a pond with sand etc.. What I usually do when I run into a situation like that is take a tile probe and poke around. You can usually get a pretty good feel regarding dissimilar soils 2-3' down without digging. Just be carful you don't poke through drainage or irrigation lines.

    The other possibility is that the nozzle on the head is partially clogged, or the wrong nozzle, ie. other heads have 3 gal/min nozzle and the one in the dry area has .9 gal/min nozzle.

    Good luck,
    Jim L
  6. Hardy Enterprises

    Hardy Enterprises LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116


    What type of irrigation head was it? Rotor type irrigation heads can be fitted with a wide array nozzle to change the gallons per minute that the rotor puts out. This is done so that quarter, half and full circle spray patterns can be fitted with different nozzle so that over a given time period each nozzle applys an even amount of water to the entire yard. Is it possible that for example within a group of rotors setup to spray a full circle all of them have 3 gpm except the one dry area that maybe has a 1 gpm nozzle installed? Is the irrigation system new? Has it been worked on recently?

  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I never thought of that. Greens 1 and Lanelle have a good point. I've seen it where people have tore down pools and ponds and left concrete and sand there and just raked it around and let the "weeds" grow up but you can always tell where it was.

    Should have thought of that!

    There's still a possibility though that its the.....

    SOD MONSTER!! :mad:
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I questioned her over and over about the sprinkler head. She said it worked good and all the other ones overlapped properly so I kinda ruled that out. She also said the grass would respond after it was watered but within a day or two it was declining rapidly again.

    Last year she said this didn't happen, just started. I'm wondering if it isn't insect related but what insects would dry the soil up along with the grass. I did a little research and found the only match bug wise would be a chinch bugs. She told me her husband had sprayed for them but that really doesn't mean it worked. The description I get in my pest book is that chinch bugs continue to move outward towards healthy green grass in an ever widening circle.....OK, that fits. They thrive in hot dry weather.........definately hot and dry here.

    My only question is do they suck the moisture right out of the soil too???????????????

    The concrete under the soil Lanelle sounds reasonable knowing our contractors around here. Who knows what might lurk beneath some of these lawns. Cheaper to bury crap than haul it away. With centipede grass there ain't no telling. I've seen it go from beautiful one year to crappy the very next.

    Sod Moster?
    I think I might be on to something!:angry:

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