Published on October 9th, 2014 | by Henri


Sod gets overturned near fence

Q.  First, some background: A fence around our backyard was replaced in April due to decay. The previous owners of our house had left a bit of land outside the original fence because they wanted less lawn to maintain. We decided to take the fence to the property line to expand the yard for our toddler.

The fence is made of plastic boarding on three sides, and chain link on the side that’s been pushed back. A wooded area is on the other side of the fence. We had some sod lain in mid-April of this year to cover the expanded yard. It seemed to take well and in a month or so, really looked as though it was part of the original yard. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve noticed pieces of sod overturned, particularly near the chain link fence and in pockets near the adjoining sides of the plastic fence. Overall, the sod closer to the chain link fence appears to be dying. It looks thinned out and beat up as well as dry.

At first we thought our lawn guys had mowed too soon after the rain and were creating the furrows and gouges, and flipping sod over accidentally. But then we noticed the sod continuing to be flipped over long after they’d left. Now our theory is that perhaps animals (there seem to be some aggressive chipmunks this year) are attempting to dig under the sod and inadvertently flipping it up. What do you think? And what if anything can we do to help the sod ?

A.    You may have a mole problem, and possibly a skunk problem as well. Both of them are looking for grubs under the sod. You can get a product to control grubs from a hardware or garden supply store, and apply it according to directions on the package as to timing and coverage. Or have your lawn guys do it.

Use a product that will get rid of the grubs now, but also consider the application of milky spores for long-term control. Milky spores will take a while to cover the entire lawn, but it is a permanent fix. Be sure to follow directions carefully in applying milky spores. The best time to do so is August as explained in the directions, so you should wait until next year.

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