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New Floratam Issues

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by yaya81, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. yaya81

    yaya81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I layed new Floratam sod last Friday (6 days ago). The first few days I watered one inch at 5 am and another inch at 8 pm. After three days I changed from watering one inch at 8 pm to 1/2 inch at 2 pm. The majority of the sod was brown within a couple days and is now showing a bit more green. However, it is not healthy at all......as you can see in the pictures.

    I had three lawn service companies give me estimates on fertilizer services this week. One of the three said I had a serious fungus problem on the new sod but the other two companies did not mention it at all.

    By the way, form what I recall the sod was not in "perfect" condition when we layed it but at the same time it was not in the condition it is in now.

    Does it look like a fungus issue or is there a way to really tell? Does it look like it will be a complete loss?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.


  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    honestly it looks like it didn't have enough water. I'd say put some milorganite down about 1 bag per two pallets and water it about an hour and a half in the morning. Is the sod wet when you pick it up on the brown areas?
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    From the picture, it looks dry. Are you watering it with a hose or a sprinkler system? I ask, because putting down an inch of water twice a day is no easy feat. It does take some time.

    Now if it is fungus, it could be explained by the watering schedule. Never water in the early evening. Especially this time of year. That moisture just sits there on the leaves all night, creating a breeding ground for fungus.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  4. yaya81

    yaya81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a sprinkler system. I am in Central Florida and I only got rain this week one day, which the yard did look better after that.

    I will pull up some pieces after the sprinklers stop in the morning to make sure the soil is wet underneath.

    I put some bowls in the yard the oher day to measure the water and they were all getting right around 1/2 inch in 30 minutes so I would expect my one hour run of the sprinklers in the morning should be enough.....

    Isn't one inch a day for the first few weeks all that is needed?
  5. Not sure how precipitation has been in your area, but we are BONE DRY down here. We are now on a 1 day/wk watering restriction. It looks dry to me as well. Just keep watering and apply milorgonite as suggested and it will eventually come to life. Just monitor weed emergence and don't let grassy weeds overtake the sod.
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  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Fungus in new sod is a normal occurrence. It happens because the sod stays on the pallet wet without light. Dark wet environments are perfect for fungus growth.

    Another fact is Sod farms are hurting for business because Florida is in a depression. They can not afford chemicals like they did in good times. Every new sod job I see has issues because of a lesser standard of care by the sod growers.
  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Is this in a section that has rotors or spray heads? Typically a rotor zone that has good head to head coverage will put down somewhere in the neighborhood of .45" an hour. A properly installed spray zone could put down close to an inch in 30 minutes.
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Ignore all that anyway. You are doing what you are supposed to. I think you are doing all that you can in the water department. Pull up a piece or two. It should be sending out a fair number of roots at a week.

    It's just not going to look worth a darn until it starts raining. The good news though, it's Floratam. When the rain comes, it will pop right back to life. If you happen to live anywhere near Sanford, go over to Sunniland and pick up a bag of 7-0-20. All but 1% of the nitrogen is from sewage sludge like Milorganite.
  9. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    1/2 inch in the morning and a half 1/2 inch later is wasting water.... If your watering mid day all you're doing is giving it a sunburn and again wasting water. You need far more than an inch of water right now especially since the ground is probably sand. Its your sod do what you want but I laid over 30 pallets on a few properties last week, and all are getting close to 2-3 inches of water a day and doing great. I laid 18 pallets of bahia too and its doing great at about an inch of water a day which is going to get cut back here after the weekend. Please tell me you didn't use that weed barrier on the whole yard??? Also what did you do to prep the lawn before laying the sod? Was the old stuff ripped up tilled or just spray and lay?
  10. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    I am dealing with a new install that looks about the same. I documented it as having severe grey leaf spot the day it was installed last week. I water new sod 1/4 in water 3-4x day for first week the sun will not burn it ive tried. heavy watering is a waste the grass doesnt have a root system yet so why do you need 2-3 inches of water per day ?

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