Installation and Care

  • Choosing the Right Sod For Your Lawn

    Choosing the Right Sod For Your LawnIf your lawn is looking a bit sad these days, you may be wondering what you can do to bring it back to life. If this is the first time you’ve considered using sod on your lawn, you might think that it’s all the same. In fact, there are many different types of sod available that are well-suited to a variety of environmental conditions.

    Choosing the right sod for your lawn will depend on a few different factors.

    The first thing to consider is your climate. Here in Southern California, where we have many months of dry weather and occasional crazy rains, you want to go with a warm season grass, like St. Augustine, Bermuda or Carpetgrass varieties. These grasses are hearty, and can thrive under long hours of exposure to the hot sun.

    Once you’ve determined the type of sod you need based on your climate, take a look at your yard’s topsoil. Your topsoil could vary in texture from rich and dark brown, to clay-like in texture, to sandy. Each of these will require a different type of sod, and may even require different planting methods.

    The next thing to consider is your irrigation system. If you have built-in irrigation, like many homes in Southern California do, take this into consideration when choosing your sod. If you don’t have built-in irrigation, decide whether you want to choose a sod that will need to be watered less frequently—or, while you are working on the lawn anyway, it may be a good time to have an irrigation system installed.

    The best time to plant in our area is the late summer, so if you’re ready to outfit your lawn with fresh sod, don’t wait! Get your quote online, or give us a call today to learn more!

  • Repair Your Lawn With Sod in Sacramento

    Repair Your Lawn With Sod in SacramentoWhen we discuss the virtues of sod, we typically talk about how easy and affordable it is to use to quickly establish an entirely new lawn. Rather than spending months caring for seed and hoping it will grow in healthy and weed-free, sod allows homeowners to get a big head start on the grass-growing process.

    But growing a whole new lawn isn’t the only reason to use sod. You can use smaller pieces of sod to repair unsightly damage to your lawn as well. Maybe you had a guest drive across your lawn and tear up the turf adjacent to your driveway. Or maybe you’ve got a new puppy who decided to practice digging in the back yard. Whatever the source of the damage, sod is an inexpensive, easy way to restore the affected parts of your lawn.

    Start by Assessing the Damage  

    Measure the area of the damaged section of lawn, and plan to purchase a piece of sod about 1/3 larger than that area. It’s always better to have extra material, rather than not enough. Be sure to order a species of sod that’s similar, if not identical to the grass that’s already in your lawn.

    Next, Prep the Area

    Before lay your new sod, use a hoe and rake to remove any remaining dead grass from the damaged area. Rake slightly past the edges of the damaged area if necessary to form an even rectangular patch of soil for the sod to rest on. Dig about ¾ of an inch down, and apply a fresh layer of compost or peat moss to provide the new sod with added nutrients. Finally, water the area, and then tamp it down to ensure the soil is level with the rest of your lawn.

    Laying the Sod  

    Before you lay your new sod, use a sod cutter or sharp utility knife to cut the sod to fit the space. Again, bear in mind that you can always cut more material away, but you can’t add material. Once you’ve cut the sod to the appropriate size, lay it on the soil and “knit” the edges of the sod to the adjacent grass by folding and pressing them together. Press the sod down so that it’s level with the rest of your lawn, and then water it thoroughly.

    Once you’re done laying the sod, just follow our new sod care guidelines until it’s matured and firmly rooted in the soil. And there you have it! In just a few simple steps, you can have that damaged patch of your lawn looking good as new.

  • Get Sod & Show Your Home Off

    For many, our homes are our investment.

    When we put hard work into our homes, we want to show them off. In the end, we want to make sure everything about the looks of the home is aesthetically pleasing.

    Sometimes, though, our hard work can be foiled by our grass.

    Whether it’s the fact that the grass won’t grow strong or the grass is starting to die, it can really put a damper on your landscaping efforts.

    Avoid this letdown and find a solution. Invest in sod for your yard.

    Lay It & Forget It

    Once the sod has been installed, however, you can forget about all of the bald or dead spots on your grass.

    Your yard will look healthier and stronger when the sod has been applied.

    Sod will also keep your yard and the air surrounding it cooler if you decide to show it off on a hot summer day.

    If you have people over, don’t worry if a little precipitation pops up and tries to ruin your day.

    Sod will not create any mud. If you are under a tent on the grass, you won’t have to worry about your or your guest’s shoes.

    Before you send out the invitations, keep in mind that it takes a few weeks for the sod to come in as well as germinate.

    SodLawn specializes in providing fresh and beautiful lawn sod for residential and commercial properties.

    With numerous varieties to choose from, our sod can help give you the lawn you’ve always wanted.

    For more information on our products or our installation options, feel free to contact us today!

  • Basic Sod Health and Prevention of Problems

    Basic sod maintenance is the best disease prevention program. Specific maintenance practices include proper fertilization, correct irrigation (watering and drainage), correct mowing height, appropriate maintenance tools, placement in full sun, and use of disease resistant sod. While full sun placement isn't always possible, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of shade isn't ideal as the grass is more thin, weak and prone to stress. Weather also plays a huge part in the outcome of your turf, and it's unpredictability and uncontrollable nature will often work against you.

    Diseases in lawns usually start small with a few patches or spots. If a problem is severe and widespread and has occurred suddenly, there's a good chance it is not a disease but another stressor caused by heat, water, mowing, poor drainage, or fertilizer, just to name a few. Irrigation problems are often the root cause of discolored lawns. Providing good soil drainage and maintaining proper irrigation are crucial steps in preventing many sod problems.

    If the cause of the turf problem is a fungus, there are different types of fungicides that are meant to be used either preventively or curatively. Preventive fungicides work to activate a plant's natural defenses against infection. Curative fungicides can stop dead or diseased areas from getting bigger, but will not bring a dead patch back to life. It will take time for the grass to fill back in on its own, or it can be re-seeded. It can be helpful to keep a record of where the disease has occurred as fungus often occurs in the same areas year after year, so preventive fungicide can be accurately applied. Prevention is always best, which will include applying preventive fungicide, aerating, proper fertilization and irrigation maintenance.

    The most common summer disease found in grasses like tall fescue is brown patch. It creates large, tan-colored lesions on the blade of grass and expands into circular patches up to several feet wide. Brown patch is most aggressive when there's a combination of high humidity and temperatures above 90 degrees, but can also become active when temperatures at night are above 60 degrees, thus being active through summer and well into September. Preventive fungicides are the best option for brown patch when applied in the spring or early summer. Large patch can be found in warm-season grasses like St. Augustine. Tan or red-brown lesions can be seen on the leaf sheath and expands into circular patches, oftentimes 12 feet wide. Large patch attacks when warm-season grasses are growing more slowly, during fall, winter and spring. It becomes active when temperatures drop below 60 degree, which is the ideal time to apply preventive fungicide.

    A common type of pest that can be found in your turf are grubs. A preventive insecticide for grubs is best done in June and July as this will protect your lawn through the end of mating season in August. This preventive insecticide should provide control for up to four months. In the spring or fall you can apply curative insecticides that control current problems, but will not prevent future problems.

    While there are preventive and curative fungicides and insecticides that will treat turf diseases, it is important to reiterate that proper lawn maintenance and preventive practices are the best approach when caring for your sod.

  • Winter Watering Article

    Winter watering can be tricky since a specific “recipe” for how and when to water your lawn does not exist. Watering depends on many factors, including soil type, grass species and temperature. Cool season lawns, such as ryegrasses or fescues, prefer cooler temperatures and do well during mild winters, but still require consistent watering if there are long periods of no rainfall during winter months. Warm season lawns, such as St. Augustine or bermuda grasses, excel during the summer and go dormant (turn brown, but do not die) during winter months as temperatures drop. As grass goes dormant, it stops growing and demanding much less water.

    Typically, plants need half as much water in spring and fall as they do in mid-summer. During normal winter months with consistent rainfall, usually from mid-November to mid-March, you can turn automatic systems off completely, especially if you have a warm season grass. (Weather patterns determine if clocks can be turned off.) In addition, our days are shorter with less sunshine and have cooler nights, reducing the amount of water a lawn needs to stay healthy. Also, almost every morning most lawns will get generous amounts of dew that will soak it, thus irrigating more than once a week is unnecessary.

    How much water you need and when will depend on how much water is already in the soil, which depends on the amount of rainfall. During extended dry periods, even in the winter, if temperatures are at 40 degrees, have sprinklers come on in the early morning before sunrise to allow the water time to soak in before it evaporates in the heat of the sun. When temperatures are below 40 degrees, you may want to wait until mid-day to water, still allowing time for water to soak in before night time freezing. If it has just rained, or it is expected to rain, don't water.

    Grass grows more slowly during the colder months, requiring less watering and mowing. Watching your lawn closely will help you determine whether you should turn your irrigation on or off. Look for certain signs and water your grass only when it shows signs of wilt, when about half the blades are folded and are blue-gray in color, and when footprints remain in the lawn. The most efficient way to water is to wet only the rootzone area, not saturate the soil, and not allow any water run-off. If your lawn has not received at least 1/4-1/2 inch of rain over the course of a few weeks, your soil is probably very dry and your grass is likely suffering, especially in sunny areas and those with more foot traffic. These areas can benefit from about 1/2 inch once a month while it is still winter and in the absence of rain. Even in the winter, warm season grasses need adequate moisture to keep the roots of the grass hydrated. While this is usually provided by even moderate amounts of rainfall, during seasons of drought your lawn should be adequately hydrated to aid in new spring growth.

    Grass height and frequency of mowing also have a significant effect on lawn health. Most residential lawns in California have fescue grass, which should be kept at 2 inches high during winter months and cut every other week. If a lawn is kept too short, it will have a very shallow root zone that cannot reach the moisture deeper in the soil, which can result in a lawn that requires more frequent watering. Following your basic lawn care maintenance practices can greatly aid in maintaining a healthy lawn, even during winters with very little to no rainfall.

  • The Best Drought Tolerant Sod Type

    There is ever increasing concern over our depleting water sources. In addition to this concern, California has been faced with a serious drought this year. (2014) At SodLawn, we provide sod that is not only drought tolerant but also aids in water conservation. Some of our sod types require up to 30% less water and are constantly being developed to perform better under reduced and limited water sources. With the growing scrutiny on non-agriculture water usage, this is our sod, with Water Star Ratings, will soon be the standard of grass seed. Not only is the grass developed to withstand less water, but it is also able to stay healthy throughout those low water usage times. This sod has been tested by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance and has meet their stringent set of criteria . In addition to meeting the strict guidelines to conserve water, grasses such as Fescue and Kentucky bluegrass are continuously chosen for their thick, lush appearance and ability to maintain overall health.

    Bermuda grass is another option and is an excellent drought tolerant sod type. Hybrid Bermuda sod varieties such as Tifway, Tifgreen, Celebration, and A-G 1 Bermuda are all excellent choices. These varieties of sod are warm season sod types. These types of grasses go dormant in the winter in California because of our cooler temperatures in the winter. Some individuals choose to overseed their burmuda with Rye grass for winter color when the Bermuda turns dormant/brown. The deep root systems of Bermuda grass allows them to maintain better color when water is restricted, especially compared to other cool season varieties. Bermuda grass is by far the most drought tolerant grass on the market but because of the dormancy in the winter and the invasive nature of Bermuda grass, Fescue/ Bluegrass blends have been more popular of sod types.

    There are a few steps you can take to aid in your sod lawns resistance to drought and water restrictions:

    1. When mowing your lawn, mow your grass at a taller position, which will help establish deeper roots.
    2. Use a mulching mower as this will recycle nutrients back in to the soil.
    3. Keep weeds to a minimum as they will steal the vital nutrients and water from the rest of your sod lawn.
    4. If severe damage has been done to your lawn and there are areas that have completely died, you can always reseed those areas with water star seed.
    5. Aerating your lawn will help it retain the water that it does receive.
    6. Once your lawn has received adequate rainfall/water and isn't under such stress from water deprivation, you can aid in its restoration by fertilization. This will help the sod regain the nutrients it has lost and strengthen its root system. This strengthening is important as the rainy season ends and summer temperatures approach.

    When following these steps, along with choosing a drought tolerant sod type that is appropriate for your climate, you will have a greater likelihood of successfully maintaining a healthy lawn when faced with water restrictions and drought.

  • Sod Install and Care

    Anyone can lay their own sod lawn with the right tools and few pointers.

    Preparation is key. You want to make sure you clear the area where you will be laying your sod of any weeds and debris (rocks, cement, bricks, etc.). Next you will roughly grade the area with a hand rake, sloping the grade away from any foundations in order to aid in proper drainage. This usually uncovers more debris that need to be cleared. You can then till 3-4 inches deep, adding additional topsoil as needed blending native and new soil. This is important as it can help control weeds, help alleviate compacted soil, assist in root penetration and help air and water movement. End the preparation step by grading the entire area again, using a heavy duty rake, and rolling the area with a partially water filled lawn roller.

    Choosing the best sod depends on several factors. Your location is a major determining factor, such as whether or not you need a drought or heat tolerant sod, or would a cool-season or warm-season grass be best. Keeping in mind the specific location of where your sod will be is also important. Is there a lot of shaded areas, slopes, full sun, or possibly heavy traffic. Lastly, personal preference should also be considered. The look and feel of the blade will vary, along with the shade of green and if the sod stays green all year or goes dormant. Knowing your options and speaking with a professional can lead you to choosing a sod that will suit your needs best.

    Usually, sod should be installed on dry soil, but in cases of high temperatures, moistening the soil for about two or three minutes can be necessary. Whenever possible, install your sod on the day you receive it. If you must wait, the best thing to do is shade the uninstalled sod. Install your sod against a straight edge, like a sidewalk or driveway. Trying as much as possible to avoid gaps between pieces, as well as not overlapping or stretching, butt each piece against each other tightly. Lay the pieces in a brick pattern, staggering the joints in each row. When laying sod on a slope, lay the pieces across the slope rather than down. This will aid in minimizing water runoff and help retain even moisture. Last, you will want to roll over your new sod to help get rid of any air pockets. For the first two weeks it is best to avoid walking on your sod, this includes animals.

    Often, watering, or the lack of, is the cause of many sod problems. As soon as you lay your new sod you will need to soak the grass and soil, providing about 1 inch of water. It should be very wet, but only for this first watering. For the first two weeks, until the sod has established and is firmly rooted, you should water your lawn daily. Watering twice a day is typical, but sometimes a third time is needed depending on weather conditions such has high temperatures or high winds. You lawn should be left feeling moist after each watering. Finding the correct duration and frequency of watering specific to your lawn is critical in its establishment and long term health.

    Besides figuring out a good watering schedule, it is also helpful to testing your soils pH levels. Additionally, appropriate mowing and fertilizer application will aid in the establishment and care of your new sod lawn.

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