STEP 6 – Troubleshooting new sod
New lawns sometimes need some help to maintain their health. Brown spots are thinning spots can easily be treated if addressed in a timely manner.
The appearance of brown spots is the most common lawn problem. Two main reasons for brown spots are lack of water and disease. Treatment for these two conditions are different, so don’t assume you need to increase irrigation minutes. More water can make a disease problem worse.
An easy diagnostic method is to wait an hour or two after irrigation and insert a screwdriver or hand shovel an inch or two into the ground. Examine the moisture in the soil with your fingers. Test the moisture in both brown and green patches of the lawn.
If the soil in the brown spots is drier than the green areas, you likely have an irrigation problem. Check out our Sprinkler Systems page to remedy the problem.
If the soil in the brown areas has similar or more moisture than the soil in the green areas, you may have a disease. Diseased grass may be greasy or slimy or have a white tinge. Mushrooms in the lawn are also an indication of disease and over-watering. Disease can be prevalent in the Summer when high heat, low winds and frequent watering create a warm, moist environment in which disease can thrive.
If you are still unsure of your problem, take a sample and go directly to your local home improvement store, or for a professional opinion. Here is another resource for help from professionals:
Colorado State University, Extension Service, Master Gardener cmg.extension.colostate.edu.
Depending on the type of sod, this could be caused by too much shade. Most turf needs 50% sunshine during the day to thrive. Less than that, and most varieties will gradually thin. You may need to consult an arborist on the possible need to remove some of the canopy of the tree to allow more sun to shine upon the turfgrass.
Thin spots could also be indicative of insect damage as well. If the grass can be easily pulled up in an established lawn, this is usually an indication of root damage that may be due to a heavy infestation of below surface insects.
If you are still unsure of your problem, take a sample and go directly to your local home improvement store, or for a professional opinion. You can also use the link above for the Master Gardener at Colorado State University.
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Getting a quote for your sod is easy and convenient. Just let us know how much you need and when you need it. We can even arrange to deliver it right to your work site.