Answer: If the sod is really dead, there is very little you can do except replace it. Before you do that, however, I would suggest attempting to figure out why that half of the first batch failed. Assuming the sod was healthy when it arrived, there must be an on-site reason for the problem. Sometimes the soil can be radically different from one part of a yard to another. This is especially true if there was substantial earth moving done during the construction phase.
The most common reason sod fails is that the soil underneath it is so compacted it is impossible for either water or roots to penetrate the surface. Other factors such as soil texture, fertility and pH can have an adverse effect on a new lawn. You might perform some basic soil tests to see if any of these may have contributed to the problem. Your local County Extension office (ph# 516/454-0365) can help you interpret the results and make specific recommendations based on them.
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