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Builder laid Sod on HARD COMPACT ground

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by VanAmp on June 09, 2004 06:49 AM
The buider of our new home laid or new sod on a very hard very compact ground.

The grass is becoming very yellow. When we water the lawn the water seems to just run to the lowest areas (that sounds normal but even when we water just slightly the water always just runs underneith the sod)

I watered the backyard and within minutes I saw water running into the street in the front yard! (the yard fairly level)

I live in Iowa and am not sure of the type of sod used.

Do I just have to rip the sod out and start over?

Are there any options?
by papito on June 10, 2004 04:46 PM
Hi VanAmp, Welcome to The Gardener's Forum, a CyberFamily of gardeners from around the world.

Kentucky bluegrass is the dominant lawn grass in Iowa due to your continental climate, in which most rains falls during the warm period of April to September (to some extent ryegrass and tall Fescue may also be present).

During the summer periods of drought accompanied by hot winds will damage the lawn unless watered frequently.

Suggestion: You or someone do pH and soil test.

On Compact soil.

Builders usually grades and compacts the soil when building new houses. Unfortunately, this compacted soil is not good for lawn because it prevents the water to pass (drain) and just runs off.

The lawn needs to be "aerated". Aerating the lawn eliminates compaction and allows air, water and fertilizer to get to the root zone. Aeration , also known as hole punching, coring and aerification is done with a hollow metal tubes 1/4" to 3/4" in diameter, are pushed into the soil by foot or machine to an average depth of 2" to 3". The soil should be moist during the aeration process. The soil taken out can be crumbled and dispersed in the lawn.

On Nitrogen or Iron Deficiency.

Nitrogen is the nutrient needed by lawns in the greatest quantity. If you have not been applying fertilizer to your lawn, it is probably slightly yellow. If you have fertilized adequately and the lawn is still yellow and growing slowly, the problem could be lack of iron or improper pH level.

Source: All About Lawns by Ortho

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by Eugene Carroll on June 11, 2004 08:56 PM
The problem with most lawns is the soil. In your case, assuming you do not have any large trees, I would have a contractor come out and do a thorugh "subsoiling". This process will break up the soil down to about 18 inches without inverting it. If the topsoil is not of good quality, I would lay down fresh topsoil laid down until there is 6 inches of good topsoil. Grade the lawn for proper drainage and plant.

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