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Old 05-29-2008, 02:33 PM   #1
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


I just laid down some new Kentucky bluegrass SOD in my back yard. It is now 1 week since i laiyed it down.


I would think as the roots grab that it would look greener and greener but instead i see it getting browner as days go by.

I water it 2 times a day for about 30 minutes each time. ( week 1 )
Before laying down the sod i tilled the original lawn and added fertilizer, along with some lawn starter. I graded, applied top soil, some more lawn starter and laid the new sod.

Now i am wondering why it is going brown.. did i put too much fertilizer and it is burning the grass or am I watering too much or not enough?

The lawn does not look too bad but i do notice the brown areas getting bigger and mostly at the joints of the sod rolls.

Please help, the wife wanted to hire someone to do this job but it was so small i thought i would be able to do it right. Now she is yelling at me cuz it going brown.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Hard to tell from the pics, but to me it appears that the brown is just thatch. I'd keep up what you were doing. It would probably be considered a miracle to have no browning at all. Not that grass is delicate, but it was just cut with a machine, rolled up, transported and unrolled in a foreign (to it at least) environment. You'll have some browning.

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Old 05-29-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


It just seems like the browning is increasing as the days go by and am worried, it will spread. Hopefully others will chime in, for the time being i have decided not to water it for the next 24 - 36 hours to see what happens.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:21 PM   #4
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


It's only been 1 week, and I think it may take at least 2 weeks for the fertilizer to kick in. Keep in mind that if you used starter fertilizer, it's not the high strength stuff, so it slowly feeds your lawn. Of course, you're not supposed to put regular fertilizer yet. In hindsight, instead of adding fertilizer, I would have added a layer of soil conditioner or peat moss and tilled that in.

Make sure when you water the lawn that you water it early in the morning and in the afternoon. Not late in the evening. It needs to be soaked, or the sod will die, especially if it's hot outside. After 2 weeks, you may try to put down some lime in case your soil is acidic. You can buy a soil gauge to test the acidity of your soil.

http://www.eburgess.com/detail.asp?pid=8193

You really won't see real growth and real results until the roots take in. Pull up a section of the sod and look to see if roots are taking in. If you experience steady rains over the next few days, the grass would be noticeably better.

The thatch, you should remove come fall time, aerate, and overseed. Next spring, it will come in thicker.

Last edited by handy man88; 05-29-2008 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:30 AM   #5
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Thanx for the replies.

Whem i tilled the original lawn i mixed in CIL GOLFGREEN™ Lawn Fertilizer 28-3-6 and some CIL GOLFGREEN™ Lawn Starter 10-20-5. ( maybe I put too much ?? )

Ever since the lawn was laid there has been no rain. ( 1 week ) It is fore casted to rain 1 Inch in the next 24 hours, so today i am not watering it and will see how it looks in the next couple of days.

I tested the soil prior to starting this job and the PH level was at 7.0 . From my research that level is pretty adequate for Kentucky Bluegrass.

The roots look like they are taking in, I tried pulling on the grass and see noticeable resistance. Hopefully this up coming rainfall will help.

Will keep updated....
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:05 AM   #6
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Thanx for the replies.

Whem i tilled the original lawn i mixed in CIL GOLFGREEN™ Lawn Fertilizer 28-3-6 and some CIL GOLFGREEN™ Lawn Starter 10-20-5. ( maybe I put too much ?? )

Ever since the lawn was laid there has been no rain. ( 1 week ) It is fore casted to rain 1 Inch in the next 24 hours, so today i am not watering it and will see how it looks in the next couple of days.

I tested the soil prior to starting this job and the PH level was at 7.0 . From my research that level is pretty adequate for Kentucky Bluegrass.

The roots look like they are taking in, I tried pulling on the grass and see noticeable resistance. Hopefully this up coming rainfall will help.

Will keep updated....
I would water anyway....a few dollars of water is worth more than having to deal with dead sod. Freshly laid sod should always be moist, especially since it looks like your sod gets a lot of sun.

Also, you definitely should have put down some organic fertilizer vice chemical.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:17 PM   #7
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Patience,Bro,and lotsa water. If I'm seeing your pics correctly the brown is at the edges of the sod were it was cut and it seams to the next piece. That is bound to turn brown as the roots are worked hard to acclimate to the new soil. How's your daily temperature were you are? Grass likes cooler weather so if you're hot there it will struggle a little more. Had any rain? New grass want LOTS of water. Tap water will allow it to survive,but it really isn't any replacement for rain.At any rate it sounds like you've done a great job of prep and I think you'll be fine.It's only been a week! Relax, and keep watering.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:26 PM   #8
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


I remember rolling out a bunch of sod with a friend of mine once, and he said that for the first stretch of time he was supposed to keep it wet like a sponge and if you walked on it, water was supposed to squish around your feet. Not sure if that was good advice or not, but it stuck with me.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:28 PM   #9
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Oh,and forget this foolishness about thatch. You just laid the sod,how could you have thatch already?! Thatch is an undecomposed layer of grass and other organic matter which often is caused by too much chemical fertilizer.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:36 PM   #10
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Perpetual98's friend was a wise man.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #11
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Oh,and forget this foolishness about thatch. You just laid the sod,how could you have thatch already?! Thatch is an undecomposed layer of grass and other organic matter which often is caused by too much chemical fertilizer.
Thatch is also created during the summer from dead grass of lawns that don't have sprinkler systems. Could be bad sod that the homeowner laid. Sod usually has to hit the ground 48 hours after cutting or it goes bad.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:04 PM   #12
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Just a couple of notes, since its difficult to really tell and I'm not familiar with the fertilizers you used. When watering new sod, you want to keep it moist, not wet. 2 30 minute cycles is not as effective as 10 4 min cycles when establishing new sod. Also, the starter fertilizer is pretty good ratio, but the other fertilizer is very high in nitrogen, and weak in phosphorus and potassium. You want a balanced mix, like 15-15-15. The middle # is phosphorus, and that is responsible for root growth. You can add another starter fert application at 5 lbs/product per 1000 sf since its been a week or 10 days now. New sod gets hungry, and the color seems a bit light for Kentucky blue. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:40 AM   #13
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Yeah, the browning continues and is spreading more and more, but overall the grass does not look too bad. So you suggesting i put another application of lawn starter on top of the lawn?? Today makes 10 days since it has been laid.

As for the watering, i read that deep infrequent watering was the best choice for the roots to grow in deeper.

My area is relatively small, 128sq feet. so I don't need much fertilizer, something like 300 grams. I am looking to getting a hand spreader first.

So I don't screw it up, what is the best way to apply the fertilizer and steps to take after...?
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by the punisher View Post
Yeah, the browning continues and is spreading more and more, but overall the grass does not look too bad. So you suggesting i put another application of lawn starter on top of the lawn?? Today makes 10 days since it has been laid.

As for the watering, i read that deep infrequent watering was the best choice for the roots to grow in deeper.

My area is relatively small, 128sq feet. so I don't need much fertilizer, something like 300 grams. I am looking to getting a hand spreader first.

So I don't screw it up, what is the best way to apply the fertilizer and steps to take after...?
I personally wouldn't overfertilize. What I would do is keep giving it water.

In principle, what they say is correct about roots growing deeper, but I think that only applies once roots have been established. With sod, the roots have been lopped off and are regrowing. You need to keep the sod moist.

Based on my experience, even with keep watering, your grass will burn if you don't give it a frequent spray of water.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:14 PM   #15
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New SOD going brown? Pics Included.


Exactly correct Handy. Deep infrequent watering is for after establishment. During establishment, light, frequent waterings to keep the sod moist. As for fertlizing again, it should be no problem. I don't know how much you put down preplant wise, but we always re-fertilize new sod about 10 days out, and again another 10 days out, usually using a balanced fert like 15-15-15. New sod gets hungry and uses a lot of energy trying to establish the roots. Again, nitrogen fert is not as important as phosphorus. One note about Kentucky bluegrass - it will get fungus - so you might consider putting a fungicide down if you live in a humid area and are frequently watering for establishment.

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