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I need some help to figure out what steps I should take next. I paid close to $6,000 to have new sod laid back in July. This was after I paid a couple thousand to have sprinklers installed. The landscaper I used is blaming me for "killing it" even though it was watered and cut by someone else since he installed it.

Everyone is telling me to get a refund but he is saying he wants to pull it out and put seed down at a cost to me.

Trugreen is also saying it may be a fungus. I also pulled up some pieces as they don't appear to have stuck.

I have attached as many pictures as possible. Here are the before and after pictures. Does anyone know why it might have died?

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You need to investigate a little more as some important information is missing:

  • what kind of soil is underneath? Was fresh topsoil added and raked out before the sod was added?
  • was the sod rolled over to promote greater contact with the ground?
  • turn up some dead areas and dig down a bit. Do you see white grubs? Does the grass have any roots into the soil?
  • what kind of summer was it in your area? Hot and dry? Did you water daily for the first two or three weeks? Does the sprinkler system water the areas where there is dieback?

Typical causes of sod failing to take are:

  • not enough water, sod turns brown
  • grubs already in soil can attack fresh laid sod the same season
  • sod not in good contact with the ground
  • poor grading causes water to run off too fast or to puddle in low spots
  • soil not compacted enough so it settles underneath sod and leaves air between sod and soil
  • sprinklers laid so that areas do not receive water or enough water

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