Sod Dying for a new customer


LawnSite Member
My Washington
If this is not the right spot. Please let me know and I will move it.

A little backstory: so I just picked up a new client last week.It’s in a brand new subdivision (squirrel moment and I’m the first lawn care company in the subdivision so I am hoping to pick up a bunch of them quickly)

they layed down sod not sure how long ago. Last week I went for an estimate on mowing and mulch install. Everything looked fine a little thin but overall fine.

yesterday I went for the mulch install and there was big patch in the front yard thatlooks dead. When I looked closer (I didn’t get pictures of this will try and get some tomorrow) it lookedlike the edge of the sod was curling up.

Is there anything I can do for them. I know nothing about sod install or proper maintenance other than it needs to be water like crazy especially in the heat so please forgive me if this is ignorant.

Any advice is appreciated.


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LawnSite Fanatic
Fescue in heat with little to no deep roots will never work. Best to wait until fall, or you can replace the sod (which will die again)


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis TN
If you don't cut in and tuck the sod edges they will almost certainly dry out and die.

This looks like typical builders landscape guy throwing sod on unpreped soil that's hard as a brick. These new subs will be great for advertising new sod install next year when it's all dead.


LawnSite Member
My Washington
Thanks guys. Sadly confirmed what I was thinking. And @kemco ot is exactly that. I have never laid sod so I don’t claim to be an expert but the guys I respect locally and do good work what they have told me and the work I have seen of theirs looks nothing like this. The only ones whose yards are slowly growing and looking good are older folks or those that got placed in the early spring.
I need to find a way to learn how to lay sod.


LawnSite Fanatic
Grand Rapids MI
Where the individual sod rolls have died--it could be a sod heat-up problem.
Sod will "heat-up " is due to fermentation on the pallet if not laid within about 4 to 6 hours of its harvest. Dead on the pallet. Happens sooner if the weather is hot.
Call any sod farm to discuss this--they have seen it many times.
Where you have a more general browning of the sod--that is probably due to dryness. It can recover--but it will take a week or two.
Shove a screwdriver into the soil--number two Phillips. If you cannot shove it in up to the handle--the soil is too dry. Or maybe you need to gain some weight.


LawnSite Bronze Member
could be TOO much water and brown patch disease. Sod farms probably don't use a very high ranking cultivars which cost the most but are the most resistant to brown patch etc. See if farm will tell you the cultivars they are using then try and find them in NTEP trials to see how they rank, if they were even included in them.

Was this a sod-over previous lawn? That's always a no-no. Yes tilling prior and adding compost if soil was poor would have helped a lot too. If it's not dying from BP that is.


LawnSite Senior Member
Owasso, Oklahoma
So just an update on the yard. Talked about their watering schedule, they were not watering enough especially as we were not getting any rain. Changed the schedule a week later 90% of everything has come back. Yes there is one strip that hasn’t come back at all. So I will have to figure that out.
I would advise a 10/20/10 fertilizer to help the roots develop. When sod is first laid, you should be more concerned with root development than how green it is. Should you do sod jobs, put that in your tool kit. Once the sod is laid, a roller is used to flatten it and help it start to adhere to the mentioned by others, proper prep will help the whole process.

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