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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had two areas in my yard where my 419 has struggled due to shade, so decided to give TifGrand a try. So i now have somewhat of a Frankenstein lawn since i have 3 varieties growing (419, TifSport, and fingers crossed TifGrand)

I estimated the area from one of the online calculators, then ordered 4 pallets from SuperSod and 2 bags of their Soil3 compost as a topdress of the existing soil before laying the sod. They were kind enough to drop exactly where i needed it which helped immensely. They delivered a little later than i had hoped as i was wanting to get started first thing in the morning while it was cool, but they arrived around 1:30pm right in the hottest part of the day.





Basic Steps i took in the renovation:
I tilled up the existing area leveled it with a large rake, lawn lute, and drag mat. Applied the top-dressing and dragged and leveled again with the rake and lute. Then starting laying the sod down. My neighbor came over unsolicited and offered to help right at the point i was spreading the compost and we knocked out the top dressing and two pallets in a couple of hours. That was just awesome that he came over!! A big help!

I started watering about halfway through as we finished one section. Cutting in the edging was the hardest part and would recommend a machete to anyone trying to cut/lay sod. A landscape knife or even a shovel would barely tear through this stuff.

I then took a few hours rest before i tackled the back yard solo, repeated the prep process and got an additional pallet down before i had to call it quits for the night. I got back at it at sunrise today and knocked out the last pallet. We got a good amount of rain shortly after which helped supplement the watering i had already done.

I can say laying sod is not for the feint of heart, i'm in my mid 40s and consider myself to be in decent shape but holy crap its REALLY tough work. I have a deep respect for folks that do this everyday all day. If your looking to lose weight, sod is a great weight loss program (laying it not eating it).

Initial Concerns:
I was a little worried on how dried out the sod was at time of delivery but it seems to already be greening up so hopefully everything will go ok.

The other thing that bothers me as you can see in one of the closeups is there were quite a few sod pieces with considerable amount of seed heads. I have never seen this in my 419 or TifSport so caught be off guard for a vegetative Bermuda. I'm a little worried this is going to give my mower some fits unless i keep the blades back-lapped often.

All for now, will try to post on progress if folks want to follow how its going.

Some pics of the results:
Side yard by the driveway:



Back yard:



Close up of seed heads:
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Looks like you did a great job and did all the prep work too!!! Can't wait to see how it turns out. How much shade does that area get? Or should I say how much sunlight does that area get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mightyquinn said:
Looks like you did a great job and did all the prep work too!!! Can't wait to see how it turns out. How much shade does that area get? Or should I say how much sunlight does that area get?
Both areas start to get sun in the afternoon so get a good amount (easily four hours) particularly the area by the driveway shouldn't have any trouble. The backyard gets a fair amount of sun also but is more filtered from 2 - sunset so will be interested to see how it does. I might have to limb up some trees to help it along.
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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You might be ok then with the TifGrand then. You will know 2-3 years from now if it starts to thin out or stays nice and thick :D
 

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Nice yard! hope you have irrigation.

i think it'll do fine, give it time as well. i had one area that wasn't so well the first year but year 2 it spread / filled out as desired. (then i converted that bermuda area to zoysia). i kept it as low as my tru-cut would go despite the part sun and i heard comments like "artificial". i don't think you'll have to raise the HOC as often as the 419 area.

seedheads - it happens, easy to cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jayhawk said:
Nice yard! hope you have irrigation.

i think it'll do fine, give it time as well. i had one area that wasn't so well the first year but year 2 it spread / filled out as desired. (then i converted that bermuda area to zoysia). i kept it as low as my tru-cut would go despite the part sun and i heard comments like "artificial". i don't think you'll have to raise the HOC as often as the 419 area.

seedheads - it happens, easy to cut.
Thanks! I do fortunately have irrigation, Hunter equipment + a Rachio 2 controller

Zoysia was a strong consideration, do you know what type you have?
 

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CMOG Dibbler said:
jayhawk said:
Nice yard! hope you have irrigation.

i think it'll do fine, give it time as well. i had one area that wasn't so well the first year but year 2 it spread / filled out as desired. (then i converted that bermuda area to zoysia). i kept it as low as my tru-cut would go despite the part sun and i heard comments like "artificial". i don't think you'll have to raise the HOC as often as the 419 area.

seedheads - it happens, easy to cut.
Thanks! I do fortunately have irrigation, Hunter equipment + a Rachio 2 controller

Zoysia was a strong consideration, do you know what type you have?
Zeon and Emerald. Fwiw, they don't blend well with bermuda (cosmetically). Hows tifsport vs 419 in characteristics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jayhawk said:
CMOG Dibbler said:
Thanks! I do fortunately have irrigation, Hunter equipment + a Rachio 2 controller

Zoysia was a strong consideration, do you know what type you have?
Zeon and Emerald. Fwiw, they don't blend well with bermuda (cosmetically). Hows tifsport vs 419 in characteristics?
TifSport was the main sod we put down when we built our house (over 10 years ago) so covers the majority of the lawn (probably 80%) The 419 is on the side yard and we then put it in by the driveway several months later to space out the expense. I had requested TifSport again but the landscaper we chose for the second round either didn't know the difference or just got was easy to find. In any case, you can hardly tell a difference from a distance and it seems to blend together quite well. I would say true to the marketing my TifSport is thicker and the blades tends to stand vertical a little bit more than the 419. It could also be though that the 419 is in our shadier areas on the side of the house and property line which gets the least sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This morning i ran over both areas with a roller in 4 directions, its amazing despite all the prep i did how bumpy the whole area is. I foresee a leveling project in the future after the sod roots and is healthy enough to recover from top dressing.

You can see both areas get sort of dappled light (at best) in the morning from all the trees on the property line. The area in the back is protected by a couple of river birches and 3 crepe myrtles. I tried to limb up the closest river birch on the right to give a little bit more afternoon sun in the area. Down the road i can top the crepe myrtles and limb them up as well to get further sun into the area, but will wait and see before going this route.

I wish i had ordered one or two extra pallets, my calculations were off from the area calculator, so need a little bit more sod to fill in some areas completely. Might just plug these areas after i top dress and level in the future.

Not too much progress otherwise, appears to me the sod is greening up nicely and i'm starting to see rooting beneath the sod but not yet rooting into the underlying soil profile. Once it takes a little bit stronger grip i will start mowing, hopefully in a few days.




 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Started mowing a few weeks ago once the sod was firmly rooted (around day 7). For the area by the driveway I started at my current HOC (~>0.65) which i think was a big mistake, had quite a bit of scalping due the extreme amount of bumpiness, I should have backed off but kept at it, so its been very slow to recover from that mistake. I've raised the HOC in this area since to try and let the area recover (maybe around 1").

Side yard by driveway:


The newly sodded area in the backyard i went ahead and raised the mower two notches from normal for the very first cut (maybe around 1"), which reduced the amount of scalping but still is also really bumpy so a fair amount of scalping as well.

Back yard area:


In hindsight, I think i would have skipped tilling the area before laying sod, since i had a already a very good grade to the yard from a couple of years of topdressing. But no big deal, will seek to lightly topdress both areas this week or next to try to start working the level to a better place before the end of the growing season.
 

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Water under the bridge. It's a crap shoot ....you can invest a ton of time laeveling up front, then sod pieces are not exactly consistent ...especially rolls from mega sod.

Prep is important, don't get me wrong, just saying there are other things you can't control so much.

Once you get it 'healthy', it can be a dark green though.
 
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