Sod Problem

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by zinkjo, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. zinkjo

    zinkjo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Picked up a new fertilizing account this year and customer is having some issues with sod that was installed a year or two ago. The sod is giving the appearance of being mashed down and isn't greening up nicely. What could be causing this??
  2. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Because it's sod! Sod works 10% of the time at best from all the cases I've seen, my customers and other lawns. Sod MAY look good for a couple years, then it's usually all downhill from there.

    Always seed it! Cheaper too.
  3. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    How much top-soil is under it...that would be the first thing i would check
    good luck
  4. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    you need to stop smoking crack or learn how to take care of a lawn... unless of course a couple years means 15-20 years
  5. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    If sod is PROPERLY installed, watered, and maintained. It should last for as long as its taken care of. Once the roots take hold, it becomes just as if you planted it, but without all those pesky problems that come along with seeding a new yard.
  6. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    I knew I'd get hell for this posting. But my observation applies to most sodded lawns I know of, whether I've been maintaining them or someone else has. I've been doing this for 25 years.

    Why would anyone not go for hydroseeding? It's less effort to install, easier to establish (watering) and will last decades.

    Why the hell would anyone use sod? 3 weeks is too long to wait for your lawn??
  7. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

  8. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    The biggest problem with sodding IS NOT the sod.

    Its the PREPERATION leading up to laying the sod. As with anything else you build, plant or construct you need to have a good foundation.
  9. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    3 weeks? What about drought conditions? What about weed control? Try killing those weeds that came up with that grass you hydroseeded. Sorry, but the grass is not established enough to be sure you won't kill it. Area "a" is different from area "b". I have been turning down seeding jobs because of the dry conditions here. The reasons I give to these prospective customers are: you will have to water quite often, and since you pay for your water, it will cost you a lot to water it......when we go under mandatory water restrictions...all that money you spent on the seeding, water, etc will be wasted because the grass WILL die, and you will blame your lawn guy.

    by using sod, if they absolutely cannot wait till fall for grass, they will still need to water, but cut out that irritating "new grass" phase. Sod is weed free (mostly) when installed so weed control isn't a problem. When watered in over the first few weeks, it will be somewhat drought tolerant, although not the best.

    Of course, answers will vary, based on area.
  10. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    In this area, S.E. Michigan, sod needs to be watered HEAVILY once or twice a day for sod to have any chance of taking.

    With seed, a couple LIGHT waterings a day are fine till it's established. The savings in water bills are HUGE with seed.

    Weeds are not a problem in properly seeded areas, anything that emerges can be treated after a short time of establishment of the seeded areas.

    I DO agree mamy of the problems with sod are in properly preparing the soil and installing. One has to prepare whether seeding or sodding. So why not then seed and save the money, time, and having a lawn that will WORK and is grown and raised in the conditions needed?

    I have priced so many lawns for maintenance, and the conversation often goes like this: "You had the front lawn sodded about 3 years ago, right?" People ask me how I know and how I can tell within about 2 years of when it was sodded and what areas where sodded. You can simply tell most sodded lawns in this area due to what they look like over time.

    I'm hoping some real turfgrass MANAGERS with decades of experience will chime into this post.

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