The Q&A Archives: New Sod Has Turned Yellow

Question: last spring (1999) we laid sod for our new home. The ground was not amended and it was laid on very hard clay soil. Now I can still pick up some pieces of sod that have not rooted into the clay and the grass is all yellow. We put the recommended fertilizer down before we laid the sod, and I fertilized lightly in spring and fall. Would aerating help or something else? Thank you very much

Answer: It's hard for grass to get established on dense clay, even when it's not too compacted. Aeration will help, as will the addition of organic amendments such as compost and seaweed fertilizer. The seaweed and compost help build humus which improves the soil structure and drainage capacity. If the rest of your lawn is plugging along, hurray! It will help your soil and turf in general to topdress the entire lawn with compost and spray seaweed once the lawn starts greening up. Good luck!

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