New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

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anhmnr
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New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 3rd, 2021, 8:08 pm

Hi all,

I'm a first time homeowner and we had new sod laid around 4 weeks ago. Things seemed fine the first two weeks, but we are concerned about the state that things are in.

In the first few weeks, the sod had the sprinkler run over it for around 40-60 mins per day.

The next week we cut back to once per day at around 30 mins, and now we are watering the same every other day. It's obvious that something's not right - we are starting to see weeds come in some places and others seem like they might be dead already.

Any advice others have would be greatly appreciated.
We live in the Midwest and temps have been warm (between 60-80 all day).

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MorpheusPA
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by MorpheusPA » May 3rd, 2021, 10:09 pm

In this case, my verdict would be "killed with kindness." Or at least heavy damage at this point. It's probably being overwatered--by a lot--for temperatures of sixty to eighty. Although it's hard to tell.

Check to see if the sod has knitted down to the soil. If it has, you can back off on the watering to about every third day for half an inch of water at a time (maximum) if the soil has dried out. If it hasn't, don't water. At the one month point, it's time to treat sod as young grass, and water when required while not allowing it to get too dry (which it can't handle its first summer). Mow as long as you can stand seeing it (3" or longer, if possible).

We're getting into the earliest possible feeding dates using organic feeding, which is what I'd strongly recommend for sod (which has shorter, thinner roots and won't be able to grab the faster nitrogen from a synthetic as it washes by). I'd probably recommend Milorganite at bag rate around May 10th-May 15th, then nothing during the summer (which would risk setting off growth during hot weather, which you don't want to do). Feed again on Labor Day, then October 1.

If you need to overseed after that stabilizes--and you might--it would be done around August 15th-August 30th.

anhmnr
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 4th, 2021, 11:16 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

The sod seems knitted in. We are unable to lift the sod at any point in the lawn from the ground at the corners. We'll cut back the watering heavily. Hard to hear we've overwatered because we followed the advice of the people who laid the sod in terms of the amount of watering to do and the way the ground should feel after watering.

We plan to mow it for the first time this weekend, and we'll keep it long as possible. It's going to look significantly worse short with how sparse it is anyway.

Thank you for the advice on feeding. We'll apply that as well.

Is there any hope that the lawn will fill in (not perfectly of course, just better than it is currently)? Should I be trying to remove any of the dead grass, or leave as is for now?

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andy10917
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by andy10917 » May 4th, 2021, 11:41 am

That question cannot be answered with the amount of information you provided -- the grass type is listed as "I don't know" and there is nothing in the narrative you wrote to give us a clue. Some grasses (KBG and Bermuda) will happily spread, and others (like Perennial Ryegrass and TTTF) will not.

Call the sod provider and ask them what they installed.

Also, tell us a bit about how the soil was prepped for the sod installation...

anhmnr
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 4th, 2021, 11:48 am

I'll get back to you on the type of sod. Soil prep was pretty minimal, I believe. The day prior to installation the sod installation company came through and graded the property. There was quite a bit of gravel still in the soil which wasn't really removed, mostly just flattened.

I wish I could provide the sod type. We weren't really given any notice they'd be laying sod - they showed up one evening and we're grading for it. We weren't given any information (or options) about what would be laid or when.


anhmnr
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 4th, 2021, 12:17 pm

We were told that it is bluegrass that was laid by default, so I'd assume that's that sod type.

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andy10917
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by andy10917 » May 4th, 2021, 12:29 pm

KBG will spread. How aggressive the amount of spreading is will vary by cultivar/family.

anhmnr
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 4th, 2021, 1:08 pm

Okay, thanks again for your help. Definitely out of my element and disappointed that I've ruined what I paid to have installed. I'll follow the advice given in here. Any suggestions regarding what has already died or preventing weeds from sprouting in the places that are dead?

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MorpheusPA
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by MorpheusPA » May 4th, 2021, 6:14 pm

To maximize spread, I'm a little hesitant to suggest a pre-emergent here (which would stop weeds from sprouting...but will slightly root trim the new sod when it's this young). It's not severe, but...

In this case, I think I'd purchase a 2 gallon sprayer, and some Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis concentrate. Mix it up and spot-spray weeds as needed.

Spread on KBG will start as soon as the grass matures enough to do so. Keeping it reasonably well-watered (that twice a week to every 4, 5 days thing) and reasonably fed (by that schedule above) will help considerably. Come fall, as temperatures drop, you'll want to back off on watering--it won't need it as it matures. And next summer, weekly to maybe every 5 days watering will be more than enough. In spring, it probably won't need water at all!

edslawn
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by edslawn » May 4th, 2021, 10:19 pm

@anhmnr The good news is that you are getting expert support so follow their advice carefully... along the lines of moral support, I wanted to share that I had my back lawn regraded and sodded in July 2020. About 2500 sq ft. The months of July and August last year were really dry and I freaked out about browning and quite a bit of it, especially around the edges of the sod pieces. The good news is that the sod was pretty resilient and has come back strong this season. Good luck and I hope you get the same positive result.

anhmnr
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Re: New Sod Dead? One Month Old.

Post by anhmnr » May 5th, 2021, 4:07 pm

Thanks again everyone for the advice and support. Hopefully in a year or so I'll be able to show a different looking side of things.

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