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Old 03-23-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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It has been raining here in Indiana and the sensor alarm on our new Rain Bird lawn irrigation system works. The system will not run when there is rain.

One problem I have encountered with our new lawn sod and that is trying to mow it no less than 3 inches. The sod is so soft and spongy that the mower tends to sink down into it and cut the grass too short. It wants to even scalp the sod. :>( I wonder how many other people have this problem when they put new sod in.

You can come to our house and fall down on the grass to see how soft and spongy it is. The weight of a heavy 22 inch self-propelled lawn mower sinks in like a submarine going down under water.

The man who installed the lawn irrigation system said I should just shut off the irrigation system for a period of time to let the lawn dry out before cutting it. I have my doubts about that because the sod has always been soft and spongy since last fall even before the irrigation system was put in this week.

Any ideas on how to go about cutting a new 'soft and spongy' sod lawn not less than 3 inches short? Is a certain kind of lawn mower necessary to stay up higher in the grassy sod and prevent it from cutting the grass too short?

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-23-2012 at 11:42 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: rain city
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We have this problem too. In our case it is the fault of the mower.

Our mower is a walk behind Honda professional mulcher mower with power wheels. The thing has a huge heavy motor and a solid steel deck, I'll bet it weighs well over 100 lbs. On soft wet sod it just sinks into the ground. In really mushy places it leaves big ruts. We try not to mow until the ground dries out a bit.

We want to get a lighter mower.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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I am having problems mowing the sod with my Caftsman 22 inch self-propelled lawn mower. It is an awful undertaking to try to cut that stuff no lower than 3 inches high. My lawn mower sinks down into the sod because it is so soft and spongy. That's when it even starts scalping the lawn and causing unsightly damage. I do not want to have to buy a Big Foot lawn mower with giant wheels on it just to be able to mow the sod lawn. However, I may have to.

When I was a teenager I worked at a landscaping place and we used a giant roller mechanism filled with water to roll on top of the sod. That pushed the sod down and its roots into the loose sub-soil below. They do not use rollers anymore. Instead they just lay the sod down on top of the ground. That is why it is soooooo soft and spongy. Someone told me that it could take several years for new sod to flatten out and have a firm base. Oh boy!! What a joy that was hearing that.

I might get out my 2 iron and practice hitting golf balls off that sod. That's if I can find the ball after I drop it. My sod is like a peat bog.

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-23-2012 at 01:42 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:29 PM
 
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Some helpful guy sent me a suggestion for a new mower to mow my spongy sod. I had one of these reel push mowers years ago. It's hard work doing a large yard.

Refining the Reel Lawnmower: The Brill Razor Cut : TreeHugger
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:34 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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Was the sod ever rolled?
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Was the sod ever rolled?
No and I believe that is the cause of the problem.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:13 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
No and I believe that is the cause of the problem.
Me too.

I just saw your earlier post where someone told you they don't roll sod anymore. I don't know what planet they don't roll sod, but on my planet, you can find rollers in just about every equipment rental store including many home depots that rent tools.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Me too.

I just saw your earlier post where someone told you they don't roll sod anymore. I don't know what planet they don't roll sod, but on my planet, you can find rollers in just about every equipment rental store including many home depots that rent tools.
Rolling the lawn after the sod was down would not have taken much labor time. The landscaper just wanted to take the cheap way out. Throw the sod down on the ground and leave without rolling it. Now I have a very spongy lawn that is going to be very problematical to mow and maintain.

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-23-2012 at 08:01 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:51 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
Rolling the lawn after the sod was down would not have taken much labor time. The landscaper just wanted to take the cheap way out. Throw the sod down on the ground and leave without rolling it. Now I have a very spongy lawn that is going to be very problematical to mow and maintain.
Your lawn is to tall and the ground to wet.

It has nothing to do with rolling the sod.

Also why was the irrigation installed several months after the lawn. In the 12 years I have been I Landscape Contractor I have never seen it done that way. Well at least not here in California.

What have you done to test your rain sensor to ensure that is working correctly and in the right place? In my experience that is the number one cause of over watered lawns during the Fall through Spring season that have sensors. Also clocks not properly adjusted for the rainy and cold season.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Your lawn is to tall and the ground to wet.

It has nothing to do with rolling the sod.

Also why was the irrigation installed several months after the lawn. In the 12 years I have been I Landscape Contractor I have never seen it done that way. Well at least not here in California.

What have you done to test your rain sensor to ensure that is working correctly and in the right place? In my experience that is the number one cause of over watered lawns during the Fall through Spring season that have sensors. Also clocks not properly adjusted for the rainy and cold season.
The sod was put in late last fall and we did not want the irrigation system installed at that time because the weather was freezing. We thought it would be wiser to wait until spring and warmer weather. Why take a chance on the pipes freezing?

The lawn irrigation system was just put in this week during warm and dry weather--Monday. We had not been having rain here for about a week when it was installed. The sensor appears to be working because the red light alarm went off on the controller when the rain came on Thursday. The sensor was installed above the garage gutter on the same garage wall the Rain Bird controller is located. The controller is inside the garage.

Do you think I should just disconnect the RAIN BIRD lawn irrigation system ESP-M modular controller and let it dry out before using it again?
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