• U.S. Bank Stadium Recycles Over 100,000 Square Feet of Sod

    U.S. Bank Stadium Recycles Over 100,000 Square Feet of SodFresh, healthy sod isn’t just prized by homeowners for its affordability and ease of installation; it’s well-loved by many professional athletes as well. Quality sod can make or break an athlete’s experience on the field. Likewise, when stadiums have especially good sod, teams take notice.

    Such is the case at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis – home of the Minnesota Vikings. In addition to being one of the most modern stadiums in the NFL, U.S. Bank Stadium is known for having particularly nice sod on its field. Earlier this year, the sod received rave reviews from two of the world’s top soccer times after they played an exhibition game at the stadium. In particular, the players remarked on the fact that the sod is much firmer and more comfortable than in many other stadiums they’ve played at.

    This got the stadium’s owners thinking. Why not harvest the sod and sell it to be recycled at other sports venues? And so, just 12 hours after the soccer game that sparked the idea, they recruited a local turf company to help them remove 101,000 square feet of sod from the field.

    Unsurprisingly, the stadium got its fair share of requests from homeowners for strips of the sod. Because it’s grown in sand rather than soil, however, the sod is better suited to sports fields than front lawns. It also takes far more water to maintain than residential sod. But in spite of these practical considerations, there are probably plenty of Vikings fans who would still love to take a piece of the famous turf home with them.

    Stay tuned from more updates from SodLawn – Southern California’s premier source for healthy, great-looking residential and commercial sod.

  • Ever Wonder How Sod is Grown and Harvested?

    Ever Wonder How Sod is Grown and Harvested?You’re not alone. Cultivating sod is a labor of love that requires a great deal of patience and attention to detail. For their product to be marketable, sod farmers must be careful to grow turf that’s healthy, robust and weed-free. This is easier said than done, particularly when sod farms grow many different types of turf to accommodate various environmental conditions. Regardless of what type of sod is being grown, the process begins the same way.

    Prep Work

    Before seeds can be planted, the soil must be thoroughly tilled, raked and cleared of rocks and vegetation. Next a fresh layer of compost is spread to fertilize the soil with the nutrients it needs for turf to flourish.  Then, the land is tilled again to loosen the existing soil and mix in the compost.

    Planting and Care

    Once the soil has been prepped, it’s time to plant. Sod farms typically either grow their sod from high-quality seed blends or hybrid sprigs. Once the seeds are planted, it can take anywhere from 10 months to two years to cultivate turf before its ready for harvest. This involves an intensive regimen of watering, mowing and fertilizing. The sod farms in our area grow a number of different types of sod at any given time. Some of these are drought tolerant, others thrive in low-light conditions, and others are ideal for high-traffic areas.


    Now comes the fun part. Once the turf has matured, it can be harvested using a specially-designed machine that lifts strips of sod out of the earth like long rolls of carpet. The harvesting process is remarkably satisfying to see in action. The harvesters take not only the sod, but a few inches of the underlying soil so that the root systems have a base in which to grow.

    The sod farms we work with don’t harvest sod until they receive an order. This means that you receive your sod order no more than 24 hours after it was harvested. Before you know it, you’ll have a great-looking, healthy lawn of fresh turf. Get your quote online or give us a call today to learn more.

  • Basic Sod Types and Differences

    We offer a variety of sod depending on where you are located. There are a few specific types that are a popular and great choice throughout California, often depending on personal preference.

    Our fescue and bluegrass blends are a great option for a number of reasons. This sod holds up great in high traffic areas, stays green all year, is both heat and drought tolerant, and is resistant to common disease problems. The fescue/bluegrass blend is made of up 90% fescue and 10% bluegrass, with the bluegrass helping to nicely fill in and thicken your lawn and maintain excellent reparability. This type of blend is considered your traditional sod lawn and has a slightly stiffer and thicker blade. If you are located in and having sod delivered to areas near Sacramento, Redding, or the Bay Area, we also carry another type of fescue/bluegrass blend. This blend has a finer, softer, taller blade, along with the other qualities of the traditional fescue/bluegrass blend described above. We also have the option of a 100% fescue sod in these same locations.

    Another popular sod choice is bermuda. We offer a few different types of bermuda depending on your location. Bermuda grass is excellent for high traffic areas, is both drought and heat tolerant, resistant to common disease problems, and can typically be watered less than other sod varieties. Bermuda can also be cut lower (usually 1/2"-3/4") and will look best when cut with a reel mower (forward moving blade that cuts close to the ground) as opposed to a rotary mower. Bermuda does go dormant (turns brown) during winter months, but can be over seeded with a perennial ryegrass. One type of bermuda, Tifgreen, has a very fine blade, is dense, dark green, has a carpet-like appearance, and is often used in locations like school playgrounds. Another type, Tifway, also has a fine blade, adapts well to shade and sun, and is often used for golf courses and football fields. Our Celebration bermuda has a blue/green color, a soft fine blade, establishes and recovers quickly, and can be used on a variety of sports fields, playgrounds and residential areas.

    Another sod variety is St. Augustine (offered in specific locations). St. Augustine grass establishes and grows quickly, has a thick, coarse, and tight blades, and is both heat and drought tolerant. It has a carpet-like appearance, and like most bermuda grasses, it needs to be cut with a reel mower and can go dormant in the winter.

    While most all sod types need a minimum of 5-6 hours of sunlight per day, we do offer a special Shade Blend that consists of fescue, bluegrass and various shade blends. It can withstand up to 40% daily shade, but will also do well in full sun.

    Another specialty sod type is our Mow-Free sod. This type has a relaxed meadow look, has slow growing, narrow, lax blades, and is dark green and glossy. It does well in the shade and is often used for slopes. Mow-Free sod is usually left unmowed or mowed once a year.

    Bluegrass (a four-way bluegrass blend) is a nice dark green sod that offers uniform growth and quick healing and recovery from heavy traffic and damage. It does well during colder months and in cooler climates, thus not being as heat tolerant as other sod options. It requires more frequent watering and mowing, but performs well at crowding out weeds.

    Blue-Rye is a 50% bluegrass and 5% premium ryegrass blend. This blend has a nice blue-green appearance all year, is heat and drought tolerant, and grows well in sandy or clay soil. This type of sod also performs will in high traffic areas and provides quick healing and uniform growth. Because of this excellent quality, it is often used on golf courses and sports fields.

    These are a just a few of our most popular sod varieties that are offered throughout the state. When selecting your sod, take into consideration your climate, location and how the area will be used. These factors, along with your own personal preference, will help determine your sod choice.

  • Proper Sod Stall Installation & Maintenance

    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.

  • What is Water Star Rated Seed?

    Water Star is a trademark of Pennington Seed given to qualified seed that has been tested by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance (TWCA) and proven to use significantly less water. This independent and external testing by the TWCA offers results that are objectively based on computer analysis, which includes the analysis of digital images, density and green turf cover. These results are highly reputable, permanently recorded and calculate the overall quality of the turf.

    The TWCA is a non-profit organization that was developed to test and give the stamp of approval to drought-resistant turfgrass varieties. The TWCA works side by side with various universities to rigorously test and conduct trials on different types of turfgrass and their drought resistance. The trials consist of data collected twice a week over the course of two years. The turfgrass is contained in structures where natural rainfall is constricted, and digital images capture and aid in the analysis of the percentage of green turf cover for each section of grass. After all the data is collected and analyzed, it is submitted to the independent research board of TWCA, who then notifies Pennington Seed of the qualified Water Star varieties.

    More specifically, trials are conducted to evaluate exactly how much water different varieties of turfgrass require. The turfgrass is placed under chronic drought stress conditions where water is available in limited amounts necessary to uphold the acceptable level of green in the turf. Plots of turfgrass are given a 1/2 inch of water when each plot falls below 40% green cover. After 90 days, the total amounts of water for each turfgrass section are compared and provided to Pennington Seed, where only top-quality, water-efficient turfgrass seed is offered. For example, one type of turfgrass required 16,613 gallons of water to maintain a 5,000 square foot lawn over a 90 day period, compared to a Water Star qualified, drought tolerant seed that required only 7,788 gallons of water to maintain the same square footage over the same 90 day period. This proves the Water Star claim of requiring up to 50% less water year after year.

    With the current drought in California (2014), the results of these trials are significant as we are continuously faced with water shortage and restrictions. Water Star qualified seed can not only survive limited water availability, but can also maintain overall plant health, essential qualities for anyone looking to maintain turfgrass in drought conditions.

  • Bentgrass as a home lawn

    I have been noticing from this weeks phone calls that trend may be emerging in the bay area. Bentgrass. It is now being requested by homeowners as their lawn of choice. Some of these customers have gone online to research its characteristics. We here at Sodlawn.com very seldom sell Bentgrass to homeowners unless it is to create a putting green for their own yard. This got me to thinking, what might the reason be.

    Campaigning, who is telling people this is a good residential lawn for CA. Perhaps the lawn maintenance person who cares for your lawn would like to take a few more weekly hours on your lawn because of its high maintenance qualities. Then in one case there was a friend who recommended it after putting in their own yard. Very nice, the weather is cool enough currently, but during out blistering summer heat stretches, this poor lawn will require much more water than a traditional fescue lawn. Higher water bills in the future for you also. So unless you feel the utmost desire to be totally devoted to your lawn and its needs, perhaps we  can  help you choose a type of lawn better adapted for your lifestyle.

    I have left a link here to those wonderful geniuses at UC Davis whom have already filtered out the characteristics of Bentgrass. Feel free to read up on it for yourself.

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