Q: We had fescue sod laid last year in a small garden area in our back yard but it died during the drought. In the past week or so some nocturnal animal has been ‘”unrolling” the sod looking for something. Do you have any idea what the animal might be? What can be done to protect new sod?
A: The paw prints and damage are characteristic of raccoons. They were probably looking for grubs or earthworms under the dead sod. My bet is that you were visited by a mother and a couple of cubs.
You can secure new sod to keep it from being rolled up again.
This is easy to do using chicken wire. Lay wire over the sod and anchor it down with “hairpins” made from wire clothes hangers. Be generous with the anchors: one every six inches along the edge of the chicken wire.
Once the fescue is rooted down, remove the wire.