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Sod has no root stucture

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by CustomKare, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. CustomKare

    CustomKare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    Guys, could use some opinions with this yard. Sod is 10-15 years old and has a very poor root structure. I can kick holes in the sod very easily. Growth is very sparse. My thought is to cultivate and start over with seed.

    Would top dressing and slit seeding work or should I tear out the old sod?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    How has this lawn been treated? My guess is this lawn, has irrigation. Too much water and fert. - has grass getting its livelyhood in the top 1/2 of soil.
    Or it could be a fungus.

    Many lawns start out looking that way in the spring but believe it or not, they always survive to grow another year. I blow the lawns as soon as the snow is gone, in order to get the leaves off, that would otherwise suffocate the grass. every once it a while a big chunk of grass will lift up and I think -"This is it!! all the overirrigation has caught up with this lawn."- But it still grows another year.

    If you are serious about growing grass with actual normal roots :) you will need to engage cultural practices that encourage root growth.
  3. CustomKare

    CustomKare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    My first thought was over irrigation but the home owner does not water.
    Do you think it is poor drainage? The home is on a hill. The high side including the low side has the same issues.

  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Sand or clay? Hills are tough :(

    Perhaps aerate and topdress with compost to help get the water in the root zone before it just runs down hill.

    Up here the grass just turned green with this last rain. I am going to allow the roots to wake up and survive on their own for a couple weeks from now. At that point I will put down the first app of fert. Slow release - (so that it gets deeper into the soil profile before becoming available to the plant) to be performing well by Memorial Day.

    Lawns that recieve quick fix ferts, as they beak winter dormancy, will likely have a shallower root. JMO.

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