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Not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mtdman, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I had an email request for an estimate for a small property in this new business park they are building right around the corner from me. Went to check it out this morning. Not a big property, wouldn't take all that long to do it. But, the big problem is the people who built the building had sod laid at the end of the season last year. So much of that sod hasn't taken root yet, and is just laying on top of the soil there. As I was walking the property, the sod was literally sliding across the soil, bunching up, sinking in, etc. Plus there are all kinds of ruts and sod bunches all over the place thanks to the guys who put the sod in. I'd love to give them an estimate, but there's no way I can cut that lawn with the sod as crappy as it is. I'd chew it all up, not to mention the mowers would probably slide all over the place.

    Will the sod take root in the next month? Or is it only going to get worse? I can just see the whole thing turning into a major catastrophy that I can't deal with because of this crappy work. Why the hell do they lay sod so late in the season when there's no chance of it taking root over the winter? ARGH!!

  2. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Sounds like a problem, Tom. Tell them about the site conditions you noticed, and give them an estimate for laying new, quality sod(if that's something you offer) and doing it right. It would seem to me you guys have some rough winters to lay sod so late in the fall up there, so maybe they were just trying to save$$ on erosion control for the winter, and may be open to redoing it this spring.Good luck!
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    The real challenge is going to be the uneveness of the ground. If you can get around that - you'll probably be okay. The guy probably won't be up for re-sodding it again. That's a lot of $ when he probably already spent a lot of $. I migyht mention it but I wouldn't just come out with an estimate unless he sounded interested.

    As long as the sod is still alive (green) then it just needs some good fertilizer to make it take root. Spread some 16-16-16 or something like that (high Phosporus is what you want - for the roots to develop). Then wait 3-4 weeks and it should be fairly well rooted in by then and you'll be able to mow - assuming it's not too uneven to mow.
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    The thing I was kinda worried about were these clumps of sod and the ruts they had left. Lots of uneven, bumpy areas that need to be rolled out or something before I can mow. The thing is, I'm sure someone would take the job without worrying about it, and just scalp those areas right over and not worry about it. There's always someone around here willing to do a crappy job just to make a buck, but I'm not down with that. And I'm also not going to set myself up for having to repair any damages to the yard from hitting those ruts/sod clumps. I'm almost thinking about telling them forget it because of the PITA factor. I dunno.

    Kinda falls right into my 'wrong kinda calls' category.
  5. Easy Way Lawn Care

    Easy Way Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I had a simular situation two years ago. The sod would not take I gave it another two weeks and attempted to do a cut (weeds were growing up between the sod seems a real mess. It was a disaster my mower was sliding on the sod, sinking in some areas, just a mess. I got through it put back any moved sod and evened out the tracks I made. Then I left them a note stating that due to the conditions of the lawn I will not be able to service it any longer, I didn't even charge them for the cut. I just wrote off the loss. Never looked back never heard from them again. Point of the story if you don't feel you can do the job correctly then don't put yourself in the position of being responsible for it, because as soon as you touch it the problems will be your fault not the sod layers (at least in the customers eyes) go make money on another job there plenty to choose from.
  6. Del9175

    Del9175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    I would explain your concerns to him. If it needs to be rolled, then tell him. If you need to give it a month to root before you can mow, tell him. I wouldn't walk away from this simply because it may need a little extra attention to get it back into shape. After you mention your concerns, tell him what you will need to charge to get it there. All he can say is no.
  7. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Tom, one of my clients had a slope and her new sod was sliding down. to fix it the sod pieces were staked down so they wouldnt move.
  8. amar

    amar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Is this sod on clay if so its going to take a while to root. The fert. sounds like a good idea. I had a job like this once we trimmed the sod area 3000 + sq ft for one month. I charged him a high $ It was a complete mess but once it rooted and once it stoped raining every other dayit worked out well. Tell the customer your concerns and charge a good $
  9. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    I have a job that is 3.5 acres of drainage swale that was laid in november a couple of years ago. I thought for sure that we wouldnt be able to mow it with our rider or WB in the spring because it was laid so late in the year. But come april 1st the next spring it was rooted in real well. And this has some real steep slopes. And it is the roughest piece of lawn you ever seen. It was raining for 3 days when they put it in and it was so muddy the sod roller machines kept getting stuck so they had to use a skidsteer.

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