Dead sod in five years

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by MILawnandLand, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. MILawnandLand

    MILawnandLand LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello I looked at a job today they had sod put in in 2005 and 2010 it was all dead. They havent really maintained it since so diagnosing the problem is kind of hard. The soil looks like fine grit top soil and is kind of hard packed. Could the compaction be the problem for the lawn dieing? Customer had many people come out for disease and pest but nothing ever worked. Also I think it is really close to not having enough sunlight so this may have contributed as well but idk. How much sunlight is required for bluegrass sod. Im in michigan.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    We need pics at the minimum.

  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,159

    Shade is tough on sod. Powdery mildew is usually a problem on sod grown in shade. Sod requires full sun, or at least 6 hours per day of direct sunlight. Naturally, other care would be helpful, mainly adequate water and fertility program. Look around carefully, I suspect you will see that the more sunny spots have survived, and the heaviest shade has the least grass. Take samples for a soil test. If you can penetrate it with a soil probe the compaction is not too bad. Check drainage. If trees grow well, then drainage and soil compaction are not too bad.

    Consider a high-quality shade seed mixture.
    In my yard perennial rye has done the best, fine fescue has disappeared, but we often need to reseed the shadiest areas.

    Remember the tree roots will rob a lot of moisture in late summer, particularly on the sunny south side of the tree.

    Remove or do a major trim of the trees.

    It is best to replace grass with a shade-loving ground cover like pachysandra, ivy, myrtle, ajuga, lamium, hosta, ferns, euonymous, columbine, goutweed, wild ginger...
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Fine grit topsoil, doesn't sound good... How does it drain/hold moisture?

    When you say that lots of people came out to "fix" the problem when it's a 'shade lawn', I can pretty much guess, that it was treated as though it was a full sun sandy lawn, i.e. too much fert&squirt and if there's irrigation, then too much water as well...

    In shadyer lawns the first step is to cut all apps in half... Believe me, people kill shade lawns becuz they think more is better, when in fact 'less' is imperative...

    All of my lawns are too shady for your average Joe Blow LCO to be able to grow grass in... the advice is 'always', bring in sun shine or abandon the grass idea altogether... I say learn how to grow grass in the shade, instead... :)

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