recently sodded lawns

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mrkosar, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    I have ran into several occasions where sod is put down and looks good for the first year, but then starts getting nailed with diseases. Is this a rare occurence or do others see this a lot. Do you think it has anything to do with sod farms applying preventative fungicides for so long that when it doesn't receive fungicides it is more prone to disease? I have had it happen on good soil and poor soil, so I don't believe this is the problem. The cultural practices from what I know are good too. Anyone read or experience anything like this?
  2. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    are you looking at mostly bluegrass sod in Ohio?

    most of what we see here is bluegrass and ocassionaly tall fescue

    generally the day the bluegrass sod is installed it has a thatch problem which will aid in disease/insect activity

    we tell folks that a sod lawn will never look as good as it did the day it was installed
    most folks dont like hearing that
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,327

    Fescues can be hit with brown patch disease due to heat and humidity.To help prevent this the lawn needs to be on a professional maintenance program. Proper irrigation, fertilizer, aeration, dethatched, topdressing and sharpblades with proper cutting height.
  4. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    most of what i see here is bluegrass. does anyone know if sod farms apply preventative fungicides to their sod? i would assume they would to protect their investment. why does bluegrass decline in appearance when installed as sod? why is there a thatch problem immediately? even if the owner has good cultural practices you are saying there will be a thatch problem?
  5. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    There is not a thatch problem. The problem is that the roots rarely penetrate the substrate that the sod was laid upon. Picture all those sheared roots growing laterally and laying in water most of the time. It has to do with surface tension between soil particles of different sizes. There is an immediate need for core aeration. Twice a year to start. Once before your crabgrass control and once in the fall after crabgrass is no longer an issue and temps are cooler. This will encourage the roots to travel down into the holes you have created, thus penetrating the substrate soil. The most common problem with KBG sod is necrotic ringspot or fusarium blight. Continue with core aerations indefinitely. Apply fungicides in severe cases.
  6. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

    Sound advice!
  7. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    thanks fellas. still wondering if anyone knows if sod farms apply preventative fungicides? anyone on here work for a sod farm?
  8. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    turf scape hit it right on. as far as a fungicide being applied at the farm? i dought it, for one, the grass starts as seed, which gives it a good root system from the start, second it is waterd correctly, third, the cost of a fungicide on 100's of acres would be ungodly costly, and fourth, the grass grown at a sod farm would be most likly grown for the region. jmo
  9. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Turf scape & Teeca both hit it right on the nose.
  10. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    i, personally, have never seen a bluegrass sod installation with less than 1/2 inch of thatch. Closer to 3/4 inch of thatch is more the norm.

    there are many problems associated with sod. certainly the fact that most of the root mass is left behind in the grower's field is a problem. the fact that many installers will not prep the site (i have literally seen sod rolled out over large rocks and tree branches!)

    the 'patch' diseases are a problem (these diseases are associated with thatch) however I see more of a problem with leaf spot/meltout with bluegrass sod installations

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