I recently had sod laid a few months ago along with two inches or so of soil that was tilled into my existing dirt for the install. Everything was looking good, it was knitting great and growing well. I'm still watering it twice a day, pretty thoroughly early a.m. and early p.m. but now with the 9th heat wave in a row my grass is browning. Watering seems to have little effect. The shadier areas aren't as bad. I live in Southeastern PA (north and west of Philadelphia) and the sod is a blue grass, rye and fescue blend.
What can I do??? Any help, directions or future plan would be greatly appreciated.
I suspect that the combination of this summer's drought and multiple heat waves has just been too much for your new sod to counter, especially if the sod in the shade is coping.
Also, rains brings nutrients which tap water doesn't. I've seen this multiple times when I watered my garden regularly, keeping the plants alive but not thriving. When we had a good rain, suddenly they were growing and clearly doing much better than just with tap water. Rain makes so much of a difference.
I do wonder though if the soil was adequately prepared before laying sod, even if it was tilled into the existing soil. I probably would have dug down at least 6" to ensure that there was an adequate base. When I plant roses, for example, I dig down and out at least 1 foot and add a lot of compost so that the soil is well prepared.
Other than creating shade through a temporary tent, or pergola or trellis, I don't know what suggestions to make.
There is one thing you can try, but I don't have any experience with this method except for flowers. I water my morning glories and roses with the residue from milk jugs. I leave about 1/8" to 1/4" of milk and mix it well with water, filling the jug repeatedly until the water is clear. Apparently something in the milk induces roses and morning glories to grow better and produce more flowers.
If you tried it, try it with just a small portion of your sod, and be sure to add plenty of water so the milk doesn't sour.
GardenSprite... It is this hydrogen peroxide in rainwater that makes it so much more effective than tap water when given to plants. With the increased levels of atmospheric pollution, however, greater amounts of H202 react with air-borne toxins and never reach the ground. To compensate for this, many farmers have been increasing crop yields by spraying them with diluted hydrogen peroxide (5 to 16 ounces of 35% mixed with 20 gallons of water per acre). You can achieve the same beneficial effect with your house plants by adding 1 ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide (or 16 drops of 35% solution) to every quart of water you give your plants. (It can also be made into an excellent safe insecticide. Simply spray your plants with 8 ounces of 3% peroxide mixed with 8 ounces of white sugar and one gallon of water.)
Ron, Thanks for the very useful and helpful information. I was unaware of hydrogen peroxide's gardening uses so you've shared some valuable information.
I like the idea of using it as an insecticide and plan to try it with my roses next year when the little green worms start munching on the leaves.
The website you referenced also has some helpful information, especially for use in eradicating mold and as a boost to cuttings (of which I take a lot).
Thanks again for sharing this info.
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