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Who Pays for sod not growing well?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by hummingbird3d, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. hummingbird3d

    hummingbird3d LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I recently installed sod at a customers front and back yard and it turned out well. 2 weeks later my customer says that in the backyard that 2-3 strips of sod are turning brown. I told her I would check into it and try to put something on it to fix it.

    Later I thought that in this case I would simply change out the sod for fresh sod, especially since I added a charge to check and fix the problem. On the other hand, if sod goes bad who takes the blame for it? In the 2 weeks anything can go wrong, neglect, high traffic, dog urine, etc. or is it on me the installer to fix it anyways?
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    just my opinion is if it happened in the first two weeks it never took and is likely on you. If it were the whole lawn I would say they didnt irrigate properly if it was shaped like dog urine and turned out to be dog damage I wouldnt fix it but you said "strips" so it sounds like some of your sod didnt take. I would replace the areas and be sure I figured out why they failed in those spots. Did you roll it after you laid it down? Good customer relations will pay dividends in the end for you.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,543

    Sod sometimes heats up in the pallet before it is laid. Did this happen? Did the sod farm give you a few strips from an older batch? The guys who have a lof of experience laying sod can offer more advice.
  4. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Tell them to water it. It will come back.

    BIOGRASS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    If sod is not laid within 24 hours of harvest you generally will have a tougher time establishing the lawn.

    Typically the sod pieces exposed to the elements (wind/water/sun) will be effected and haver a tougher time taking root. Most likely the sod that was/is brown were pieces exposed...

    You can baby it back to life (water/fert) in my experience I have found if you just rip it out and put in new sod everyone is happier.
  6. castlerockmo

    castlerockmo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 867

    The sod farm usually makes u sign for the sod and on the bottom it says you accept the sod the way it is and is in good condition. The farm won't replace it, at times when it is on the truck it gets wind b±rn in some of th strips and they will turn brown but usially come.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Greenboy24

    Greenboy24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    What does the contract say?
    What is your sod warranty?
    Do they have irrigation or where they supposed to water it themselves?
    How many strips are damaged? Out of how much sq ft?
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    We lay a crapload of sod here in my city. Depending on the type of sod, it will last a few days on the pallet as long as it is not too hot or waterd on the pallet.
    True, top 1/3 of the pallet will stay greener longer and the rest will be subject to pressure, internal heat , and root damage.
    We always lay the first of each pallet toward the front of the new site, and the rest is laid toward the centers and ends of each row. Again, it all depends of the type of sod, as Bermuda for us will last a week on the pallet and always come back with plenty of water, Zoysia can only last 3-5 days on the pallet. It will require plenty of watering and care to get it green.
    If a few pieces of sod turn brown, it is usually from poor rooting or dryness. We do not run into too many times where grass just doesn't take unless the customer doesn't water. Grass sod is not guaranteed................nor do we guarantee it!! Too many factors to deal with such as disease, underwatering, customer neglect, improper mowing and chemical or animal urine to take it up the rear for....!!!!! IF this is a good customer that we maintain, we will replace a few........FEW pieces.... if it dies within a couple of weeks. Sod goes through a period where it is shocked from cutting, loading and delivery to the new site. It will require some attention and site preparation and fertilizing to encourage new roots. Throwing it on the ground and saying there you go.........doesn't cut it....!!!! The customer needs to understand that it is not a step child to leave outside to play!!!!! LOL!! Sorry, that was funny! I don't care who you are!!!!!!!!
    It has to be cared for!

    IF it is a few pieces and the supplier has some extra, replace it and make the customer happy. Tell them that any further pieces that should die will cost them the full price per yard and delivery to replace.

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