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Old 04-27-2012, 07:55 AM   #1
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Question for the "experts" and the "experienced DIYer." The photographs below are of my backyard that was sodded four weeks ago. This is Celebration Bermuda. For the first three weeks the sod was watered twice a day for 20 minutes - about 1 to 1.5 inches in each period. Since last Thursday (4/19) it has received water for two 20 minute periods on Sunday - about 1 to 1.5 inches each time (once at 4AM once at 10PM). On Wednesday the 18th, it was given some 15-5-10 at bag recommendation for "new" lawn. My question - does this look right? Should I expect more Green. My wife expected it to look like the sod jobs you see on TV. I have explained that it is a different type of turf than used in those shows. This has yet to be mowed (not tall enough for the mower to cut anything). Does have some weeds that I need to pull.
This is located on the South Plains of Texas.
TIA
Michael
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Those television shows lie! Sod is a lot harder to lay down properly and establish than most people know. It is why, when in the business, and unless the client needed instant green, I talked them into hydorseeding. Turf establishes much faster and for a fraction of the cost. Anyhow, what is done is done.

You did prep the soil with tilling, added amendments and all before laying the sod? Sod was fresh when got it and not days old? You rolled it into contact with the soil with a landscape roller (if you don't make firm contact between sod and the soil, the sod can end up growing as its own layer and not put down roots (I've seen bad sod jobs where only the sod layer is growing---thanks to gallons of water---only as the layer laid down after 2-3 years)? You got water on it as you went along and watered thoroughly after it was in place?

Not much choice but to wait it out at this point. If it continues to worsen you might try core aerating through it and/or rolling it now and after the fact. Obviously you want to get on with this before the heat becomes more of a factor.

As you probably know, Bermuda grass grows by sending out stems with rhyzomes that then send down roots. And of course, any sod is a transplant proposition.

I don't like the gaps I am seeing at the sod edges after 4 weeks and it looks a little dried out in places. I fear it may not have taken and the sod pieces shrunk on you. You might actually be overwatering and if the sod layer gets wet and spongy it is even worse than not enough water. I would dig down with a trowel or take a core sample to see how deep you are watering.

Have you shared your concern with the sod company that supplied it or laid it down for you? Might want to get your concerns on the table sooner rather than later. Did they offer any sort of replacement guarantee? It sounds like they would have a hard time arguing that you are doing your part to get it growing.


Last edited by user1007; 04-27-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Soil Prep - they tilled to 4-5 inches. Did they add anything to the soil? Can't answer that.
Sod Condition - was probably two days old when installed - came from a farm about 100 miles north, yes it was watered during application and throughly after.
Rolling - they came back a week after the install and rolled it.
Seams - that is my wife's biggest complaint at this point (followed by it not being green)
Dead Looking Grass - there was some of this evident during the installation.
Over Watering - that is likely during the first three weeks - (see original post) but our weather has been in the 70-100's during that time.
Sod Company - has not been back - I plan to call and see if they will come look at it -
Hydro Seeding - yes that is probably the way I should have gone - price probably would have been about the same -

With water restriction (only one day a week) I am watering twice for 20 minutes - I started watering by hand (can water as much as I want as long as I hold the hose) the other night due mainly to the "brown" I see in the yard.

So, more fertilizer or time?
Michael
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey53 View Post
Seams - that is my wife's biggest complaint at this point (followed by it not being green)
Dead Looking Grass - there was some of this evident during the installation.
As mentioned before. Those seams/gaps bother me most. Hearing some of it looked dead (if it looked it it was) when installed means it was older than suggested and allowed to dry out after it was cut. Why they waited to roll it baffles me too. Not good.

Bermuda, once established, does like nitrogen but you just applied a fertilizer and remember, right now you seem to be growing just the unrooted sod. Over feeding it could cause a burn and stress it. Wait a month or so and think about a solid nitrogen fertilizer like ammonium sulfate at half the usual application rate.

Meanwhile water, never later in the day then the turf can dry. Hope it takes. Good news is that people who have Bermuda will often do anything to get rid of it! Hopefully enough will take for you that you will be alright. I had a gorgeous Bermuda lawn in N California and it going brown in the winter did not bother me. Pretty high maintenance turf choice though. And because it grows so shallow not the best choice for draught conditions.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Now it has been eight (8) weeks since the sod was laid. I will post pictures tomorrow. It has had a dose of 35-0-5 about 10 days ago. Now the problem are the weeds. Again photos tomorrow. The photos will show the lawn which has only been cut one time about two (2) weeks ago. Is it safe to use a liquid broad leaf weed killer (like Weed-B-Gone) on it now?
TIA
Michael
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:43 AM   #6
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


You should be fine applying something like Weed-B-Gone with hose end sprayer. Remember it is only for broadleaf weeds though.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #7
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Sod at 4 Weeks - Celebration Bermuda


Thanks for the response - Here are the pictures to give you a better idea of what it looks like. Again, lawn last cut on May 19.
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