Renovating mostly dead sod

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by andersman02, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    An apartment owner we do full service for (5 difference properties, all good size) had us do a project for them last year.

    On the south side of one of her apartments she had sod installed last year. I know who installed it and know the kind of crap job they did
    -big gaps in the seams
    -no offset in the seems
    -poor soil prep, if any

    This past year we had a nasty summer, real lack of water. She may have watered a bit but the sod eventually dried up and i can't imagine much is coming back this year. Much of it was barely rooted in. This past fall we raked out SOME of the old thatch/sod, not all, topdressed with high quality soil/compost, seeded and lightly raked it in. Well late in the fall and still had crap germination of the new seed. My guess would be not watering but she swears she did. Funny thing was that we did the same for her sons house and had a great response.

    Well we have her again this season on 1 condition, that we get grass to grow in this area! Thats fine, im salaried and take this as a learning experience and I love this kind of project. As soon as spring comes we will get going.

    Now that you have the background on this property heres my question.

    "How would you tackle this task?"

    My original thought would be to aerate and over seed. Possibly powerrake prior to. Then I found out today my dad ordered a Slit-seeder so my plans have changed. Im thinking Aerate twice over followed by slit seeding twice over at the deepest setting to break through the thatch.(Pretty thick, basically dead sod)

    What are your opinions? Smallaxe I always enjoy your comments!
  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I would remove the died sod replace it with new sod If it wasn't laid right it be faster to pull it up and lay new down
  3. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I shoulda posted re-sodding wont be an option, my bad. Anything that was able to be removed by rake has been, so about 30% of it.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Get a soil sample to make sure that there isn't anything else going on that needs addressed.

    If there isn't, and sodding isn't an option, then power seed it and call it a day.

  5. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    soil sample is not a bad idea, can't believe I didn't think of that :hammerhead: Ill have to head over there and check to see if there is still snow cover

    White, knowing that labor and equipment rental is not a problem, would you still opt to skip aerating first? We havent had ANY experiance with slit-seeding so were not sure what to expect
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,358

    Figure a way to make sure its watered is the first step. Buy hoses and a timer thing for the area so you don't need to depend on her for watering. You can save the hoses, etc after the project for new projects later.

    After that a soil sample.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Another good idea, only problem is the total area is about 450' x 5' wide. Pretty good size area
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you did the renovation last Fall and it didn't come up then,,, it will likely come up now after the snow is gone and the ground starts to warm up... It doesn't hurt to run over it with a slitseeder just to cover your efforts, but I would do minimal impact on what has now become,,, a dormant seeding episode...

    It sounds like you had the same dry Fall season that we did here... I overseeded with compost early in Oct., but the irrigation was already off and very little germinated... I might toss some more seed around when the snow is FINALLY gone and let it settle in by the freeze/thaw cycle, but other than that: I would be doing more harm than good by disturbing that seeding from last Fall...

    It is likely that you will undo all the work you put into it, originally... the seed is just fine,,, be patient... :)
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Yup exactly how our contract for this project reads, we did the seeding early oct. It reads something along the lines of "If satisfactory germination of seed is not seen by May 15th, actions will be taken to ensure germination".

    I might actually give her a ring and see if we can't push that date back as its still winter :dizzy:
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Good idea... We'll be lucky to mow by May 15 here,,, let alone expect even the dormant seed to pop by then... We've done a lot of turf renovation in June,,, even July with great success...

    Although CG is always a possibility when the soils warm to Summer temps,,, still we can get germination of perennial grasses in 4 or 5 days during that period, as long as it is SOAKED in good at seeding time then allowed to "Air Out" to some extent before continuing the barrage of irrigation... 10% A. Ryegrass does hurt either...

    A good thick stand of new grass virtually eliminates any CG threat,,, depending on which one starts out with the upperhand...

    Good Luck and let us know how this turns out... :)

Share This Page