Sod Looks like it is starting to die.

Sod Looks like it is starting to die.

Southwest Dude – posted 04 June 2003 19:50

I installed new sod (Hybred Burmuda) about 2 weeks ago. It took off great and turned reel green. It looked to me like I was overwatering because the sod was always sopping wet. Wet enough to leave indentions wheen you walk on it. So I left it unwatered for about 12 Hrs. Then I cut my water down to about 2/3 of what it was. Now some of the grass looks great but there are getting to be patches where it is turning a real light dead looking green. The lawn also looks dehydrated but only in these spots. Can someone give me some advice.

wdrake – posted 05 June 2003 07:04

My guess: Unless you rolled the sod when you put it down, your “dehydrated spots” are probably sections where the sod has not made firm contact with the ground and roots have not penetrated the soil. The grass in these sections survived because of the surplus of water, but when you cut back on irrigation the sod dried and there were no roots to get the moisture in the soil. Dig/pull up a couple of small plugs from theses sections and look for roots. If this turns out to be the problem, wet the drying areas and press ’em down with whatever you have that can roll over them.

seed – posted 05 June 2003 08:22

Southwest Dude, you’re probably overwatering. Sod should not be sopping wet. Unless the sod was very thin, it should not need be watered multiple times per day. Within 2 weeks after planting, there should be enough roots into the soil that it will be fine to water every 1-2 days. When the sod is well rooted can be determined by trying to lift or turn over a piece of sod and see if it remains attached to the ground. Are any roots pulled up? How long are they?

Rather than guess about the irrigation, find out how much you are actually watering. Catch the irrigation in 10-20+ cups for a timed test. For example, if your sprinklers are putting out 2 inches per hour, you may only need to water for 1/2 hour or less per event. Or are some areas getting more water than others?

Next, determine if water is going into the soil, “infiltration.” Is it a heavy clay soil? If so, your soppy place may be due to the water sitting above the impervious soil.

You don’t need to guess about dehydration. When grass wilts, it gets a grayish appearance, especially when viewed towards the direction of the sun. Bermudagrass leaf blades fold up, generally, when they wilt, and this should be visible with the naked eye.

The light green areas could be areas of delayed establishment, overwatering. Unless the sod is buckled, I doubt the problem is localized dry spots.


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