Fixing Sod Gaps

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by FinestBladeLawns, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. FinestBladeLawns

    FinestBladeLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Short story: I have a client who's sod was laid incorrectly and there are tons of gaps in it, but it has already settled and taken hold. Now they are willing to pay me to fix it. It's pretty bad. Any suggestions on effective ways to fix it?

    Long story: I live in a fairly new sub-division (the last few lots will probably go this summer). Last summer there was a house being built right behind me. I was sitting on the back deck one night when I saw the sod truck pull up. As I watched, there was only one man. I know that laying sod is usually a 3-5 man job.
    This guy did all the sod by himself. His was just rolling it out, and never bothered to pull it together. It was a couple of weeks before the house was actually finished. The head contractor was watering it because we were in the middle of a drought here at the time. I kid you not the sprinklers ran non-stop for a week. The contractor came and moved them all the time, and would turn them right back on again. A bad situation all around. :nono:
    After letting the buyers settle in, I went down to introduce myself as a neighbor and a businessman. It was an elderly couple. Turns out the husband had fallen ~6' off a ladder and shattered his leg, so they were looking for a lawn care company anyways. I explained how the lawn was in terrible condition, but at that point, the sod had taken hold too much to re-lay it. Now they want to see if it can be fixed.
  2. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,907

    Top soil and seed all the gaps when the weather permits to seed. Tedious? Yes! But I don't see any other way!
  3. FinestBladeLawns

    FinestBladeLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I figured. I didn't know if anyone else had run into this problem and found an easier solution.
  4. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,907

    Sorry, once sod takes root. That's it. It's set. Short of renovation. (Rip up & replace.) I see no other options. :cry:
  5. Jallal

    Jallal LawnSite Member
    from SoCal
    Messages: 162

    There is another way, depending on how finnicky the homeowners are. You could cut in wider gaps and cut strips of sod to go in between the already rooted strips. The soil & seed method is, I think, much more preferable. For the former, I would have to price it on my hourly rate.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    With seed there is a big risk: the new color may not match. Be very careful you do not introduce fescue (if its bluegrass), and do not include perennial rye. Bluegrass seed takes a very long time to germinate. Customers usually get impatient. Possibly you could get some matching sod from the same sod farm and cut small pieces to patch those gaps. It would take a long time and the small pieces could dry out--good project for cool wet weather.
    Be sure to feed and water it at the maximum--without doing anything more--it should creep to fill in those seams by late October. Easiest way.
  7. TRD07

    TRD07 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    what kind of grass ?
  8. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,907

    Exactly, that's why I didn't go there and make the patch sod recommendation. Those little "piece-part" sod patches rarely take hold, and instead just dry out and die.
    Tnienke likes this.
  9. Jallal

    Jallal LawnSite Member
    from SoCal
    Messages: 162

    Was assuming there would be irrigation, whoops.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    I'm with you buddy (as usual). Even if you patch in the same type of grass..........there are just too many cultivars with so many differences.

    I say keep what he's got and let it spread, so it all matches.

    Maybe compact the seams??


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