Central Sod's Tips and Articles

Bulk Up Your Yard By Over-seeding This Fall!

Posted by Ryan Wolfe on Sep 29, 2016 4:47:05 PM

Summer is over and the hot, dry weather is finally gone. Your thick green lawn from the spring may have suffered a little damage from the stress of summer. There is a solution to whip your lawn back to it's lush green self! Our sod varieties are all grown to be drought tolerant and hearty but sometimes mother nature and other factors take their toll. In this blog we will talk about:

  • Reasons to over-seed
  • Over-seeding entire lawns
  • Patch jobs
  • Seed varieties & Rates

Reasons to over-seed

 It is a known fact in the turf industry that keeping your lawn thick does more than just provide an eye catching appearance. Keeping you lawn thick will also keep it healthy.

  1. A thick lawn will assist in keeping weeds from invading and taking over. 
  2. If you have an area thin out due to dense shade you can utilize a shade mix seed. Generally shade mix seed contains different types of fescues that do well in areas that receive less sun than tall fescue needs to flourish. 
  3. Fill in areas affected by pet urine
  4. Fill in areas affected by disease due to weather conditions
  5. Patch worn areas on sports fields to maintain a safe playing surface for athletes
  6. Fall is a great time for seeding cool season grasses such as Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescue. There is less stress on the new seedlings from both heat and drought. There is also less competition with weeds since they are near the end of their growing cycle. 

Over-seeding your entire lawn

Before you over-seed, we recommend using as starter fertilizer such as our 10-10-10 to help the new seedlings quickly establish a strong root system.

One way to cover a large part of your lawn or even your entire lawn is by aerating and then broadcasting the seed across the lawn. You can utilize a hand held or push broadcast spreader or a drop spreader to apply the seed.  We will discuss the proper seeding rates later in this article. See your spreader's manual or the manufacturer's website for calibration info.

Another way to over-seed your entire lawn is to rent a "slit-seeder" from your local rental center or hardware store. Using a slit-seeder is a great way to be successful with over-seeding. It helps ensure that the seed has great contact with the soil by cutting grooves in the ground and depositing seed in each groove. The slit-seeder is relatively easy to use. It is self-propelled and is adjustable to apply various grass types at different rates. You will want to over-seed in a "criss-cross" patter to ensure ample coverage. See the seeder's manual or manufacturer's website for calibration info.

Patching small areas

Some times you may have smaller areas to concentrate on. These could be areas affected by fungus due to the humid summer weather or maybe even spots caused by urine from family pets. 

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To patch a small area:

  1. Start by raking the area vigorously using a stiff garden rake. Keep in mind you should only have to break up the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. At this time you can also amend the soil by adding a premium topsoil or compost to the area.
  2. Hand spread the seed evenly across the area. Too much seed is not necessarily a good thing. 
  3. After seeding you can lightly walk across the area or tamp the area with a shovel or rake. The seed does not need to be covered by soil to germinate. 
  4. Water lightly at first. You do not need to saturate the patch but do not let it dry out. If you use too heavy of a stream it will spray the seed out of the area you are working on. The idea is to keep the seed in place until it germinates. 

Seed Varieties and Rates

Below we have listed seeding rates on the seed varieties we offer. These rates are good guidelines to follow and should be used for both broadcasting seed or slit-seeding. You can click on each seed variety below to find out more. 

Seed Variety Over-seeding Rate Approximate Germination Period
Tall Fescue 3 to 4 lbs/1000sq.ft. 7 to 14 Days
Kentucky Bluegrass 1/2 to 1 lbs/1000sq.ft. 14 to 21 Days
Shade Mix  5 lbs/1000sq.ft. 7 to 14 Days

 

There are several good reasons to over-seed your lawn. Don't miss out on the perfect time of year to revitalize your lawn. As we mentioned before, a thick lawn is a healthy lawn. If you have any questions or concerns contact us and we would be happy to assist. Be sure to check out our other blog posts as well! Click below to view the seed and fertilizer we offer!

 

Click here to see our seed blends!                                                                      Click here to order fertilizer!

Topics: Lawn Maintenance

How soon should I water my sod after it is installed? How often?

Posted by Jack on Sep 22, 2016 4:55:50 PM

When do I start watering? How do I water? For how long should I water? What time of day should I water? Can I water too much? What happens if I can't water? 

These are the most common questions we answer at Central Sod Farms and they are the most important questions to ask because water is  a main ingredient of your healthy lawn. Following these simple tips can help you to ensure that watering your sod can be another part of the great experience you have with your new yard!

  1. Begin watering your sod as soon as you lay it!

  2. After the first day, water your lawn every day for the first two weeks, in the morning if you can. 
  3. Put an empty rain guage or soup can in your yard to see how long it takes for your sprinkler to fill 1" of water to help you determine how long to water for. Using sprinklers and timers help to ensure even watering  (click order supplies now link below to order)

  4. Water every day for the first two weeks in the late spring and summer months and as needed in the cooler months of the year.

Order Supplies Now!  

Once your lawn is prepped and your sod has been installed, our number one recommendation is that you begin watering your sod immediately! This is one of the most important actions you will take to ensure a healthy start to your new lawn. On the first day you will want each section of your lawn to get at least an hour and/or 1.5" of water. After the first day, outdoor temperatures will largely determine how often and how much you have to water your sod.

During the summer months your newly installed sod will most likely require water daily. When planning your watering schedule, remember that summertime watering should always be done in the morning. You want the blades of your grass to be dry going into the overnight hours to avoid Brown Patch. You want to make sure your sod is getting at least an inch of water during these months.  

During the cooler months you may be able to water less. Pulling back a corner of your sod to see how wet/dry the sod and the soil beneath it  will be the best way to determine if more water is needed. The only time we recommend you water less is if you notice puddles of water forming on your new sod.

 Please click on the links below to find more information about caring for your sod in the first few weeks after installation. You can also call us at 1-800-866-1387 if you have any questions!

10 Things You Need To Know About Installing Sod

Sod : Installation              

 Sod : Initial Care   

What are the benefits of having my sod delivered? What do I need to know about your delivery process?

Posted by Amy Schauber on Sep 13, 2016 12:05:47 PM

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Central Sod Delivers!!        

Depending on the amount of sod you purchase, you might have a difficult time transporting your sod from our field to your desired location.

Good news!!! We have a full fleet of tractor trailors and flat bed trucks that deliver your sod to you! You don't have to worry about borrowing a vehicle, making multiple trips or getting soil stains in your vehicle...let us handle the mess for you! The only thing you have to do is place your order, request an AM or PM delivery, and be sure to indicate to us where you want your sod pallets placed. Leave the rest to us! 

 

In addition to the ease of having your sod brought to you, you can also enjoy these added benefits :


  •                                Free Delivery when you order 2 pallets or more!
  •                                Free Delivery on all Terra Totes! *scroll down for video of terra tote delivery
  •                                Placement of pallets in specified locations on your property via                                delivery truck forklifts!
  •                                We can deliver as early as tomorrow!        


Call 410-827-5000 or visit us online at www.plantsod.com to place your order today!

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 *Forklifts need a 9'entry way. Drivers use discretion to safety of sod placement.

 

 

Why are there brown patches in my yard?

Posted by Amy Schauber on Aug 31, 2016 3:09:41 PM

Discolored, brown patches of grass are not a good sign! If you see brown spots in your yard, you will probably have to replace or over seed the area simply because brown grass usually means dead grass. However, identifying the problem can help stop the damage, decreasing the chance of a total loss. The most common causes of browning in you lawn are (A) Lack of Water, (B) Pet Urine, and (C) Brown Patch (a fungal growth). 


Lack of Water

The most common time we see sod browning from lack of water is within the first few weeks after installation. If your sod has not received enough water within the first few days after it was installed, you will notice gaps in the seams of your sod with blades that have browned all the way through and will sometimes be rolled up along the edges (see photo below). The sod will have a crisp feel to it, and it will typically be brown in large patches that seem to have died all at once. When sod has browned from a lack of water you will need to replace the sections that are dead with new sod OR over seed those areas in the fall. To ensure your sod is getting enough water, water it  as it is being installed and every day thereafter for two weeks. It is best to water in the morning for at least an hour OR however it takes for an inch of water to douse the area. After two weeks you can cut back watering to a few times a week and then as needed. The links below give more detail about caring for your sod for the first few weeks after installation. 

Sod : Prep Work

Sod : Initial Care

Sod : Watering and Drought

 

 

 Pet Urine

Pet urine is another likely culprit for brown spots in your grass. These spots are, more often than not, very round, smaller areas of grass that seem to die all at once (see photo below). Dogs tend to eliminate in the same location creating a localized section of high salt levels that saturate the sod's roots, killing the root system. Dousing the area with water after your pet uses that spot AND letting your pet drink more water to dilute the salt levels in the urine will help;however it is ideal to encourage the dog to use a different area when relieving itself.  Before you replace the sod or over seed the dead/browning area, you will want to dig up and replace the soil beneath the grass to remove the leftover salts in the soil. 

Sod : Dogs and Sod

Sod : Dog Urine

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Brown Patch/Fungal Growth

A fungal growth, appropriately named Brown Patch, is another very common reason we get calls about brown patches in customers yards. Brown Patch is characterized by splotchy brown spots, usually irregular in shape (see photos below). The browning will happen inconsistently within the patch itself. You will notice that some of the infected blades still show some green in them, and that each blade within the patch will not brown at the same rate. These areas grow very rapidly so it is necessary to address this issue as soon as you suspect a fungal growth. If the fungal growth goes untreated the patch will die completely in time. If you suspect Brown Patch, immediately purchase a spray on fungicide and follow the application instructions on the label. Fungicides can also be used as a preventative, assisting at keeping fungus growth at bay for up to 28 days. ( Purchase Fungicide Here ) If your lawn succumbs to a fungus, these areas will need to be re sodded or over seeded. To prevent fungal growth, be sure to always water your sod in the earliest part of the morning as possible. Warm, humid, summer evenings tend to be the ideal conditions for fungus to grow.

Sod : Fungal Growth/Brown Patch

 

 

 

I think my dog's urine is ruining my lawn. What should I do?

Posted by Amy Schauber on Jun 22, 2016 7:35:53 AM

Dog urine can be a problem on lawns because of the concentrated amount of nitrogen and salt found within. Because it is the dogs natural instinct to sometimes relieve itself in the same location, training the dog to go on a location where no grass is present is always the ideal solution. However, this is not always an option. Below are a few things you do to reduce the stress your dog's urine may be causing on your lawn and solutions for the areas that may already be dead.

Storm.jpg

A common myth about dog urine and damaged grass is that the acidity of the urine 'burns' the grass. This is not true. The urine is absorbed by the soil and the roots absorb the urine. So the problem lies in the soil, per se, not the grass itself. An easy solution if your grass has not met it's demise is to simply saturate the area with water to dilute the nitrogen and salt levels. If your dog consistently relives itself in the same area, you may have to also consistently dilute the area. As well, encouraging your dog to drink more water will also help to dilute these nitrogen and salt levels. If you think your grass is already dead, you can still try dilution. Sometimes homeowners will think their grass is dead when really it is severely damaged, but is still in a phase where recovery is possible. Try the dilution method first; if you do not see any changes within 2 weeks, replacing that area of grass will be your next step.

If you must replace your sod, remember to replace the soil as well. For the best measure, remove a few inches of soil AND irrigate the area. You can purchase small amounts of topsoil at your local hardware store. If you need larger quantities of soil, we sell TerraTote Garden Soil in 30 cubic foot increments that can be delivered to your location. Once you replace the soil, seeding or re-sodding the area Will be your next step.

If the area is small, it might be easiest to use seed to repair. Likewise, if the area is large, replacing the area with sod might be easier. Follow the link below to find more information about re-seeding  or re-sodding your area.

  Sod Articles and Tips

Topics: Lawn Maintenance

Can you tell me the dimensions, height and weight of your sod rolls? What about pallets of sod?

Posted by Ryan Wolfe on May 4, 2016 11:39:13 AM

 

There are three different types of rolls that you may see depending where the sod is from and the type of sod you purchase. Lets start with our Annapolis location. In Annapolis where we only have Tall Fescue available, we cut "Handstack" rolls with a small tractor mounted harvestor. In Centreville, we cut "Autostack" rolls, "Handstack" rolls, and "Slabs". "Autostack" rolls are cut with a large machine that automatically cuts, rolls, and stacks the sod on pallets. "Slabs" are cut with a small tractor mounted machine similar to the handstack machine. Below we will go into further detail about the specifications of each roll type. 


Annapolis Pick Up

Sod Type: Durablend Tall Fescue

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  • Roll Type: Handstack
    • Length: Just over 6.5'
    • Width: 1.5'
    • Area of Coverage: 10 Square Feet
    • Rolled Diameter: Approximately 12"
    • Weight Range: 35 lbs to 45 lbs depending on moisture content
  • Pallet Type: Handstack
    • Length: 48"
    • Width: 40"
    • Full Pallet Weight: 2,800 - 3,000 lbs

Centreville Pick Up and Deliveries

Sod Types: Durablend Tall Fescue, RTF, HD 2000 Kentucky Bluegrass,

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  • Roll Type: Autostack
    • Length: 5'
    • Width: 2'
    • Area of Coverage: 10 Square Feet
    • Rolled Diameter: Approximately 10"
    • Weigh Range: 35 lbs to 45 lbs depending on moisture content
  • Pallet Type: Autostack
    • Length: 48"
    • Width: 48"
    • Full Pallet Weight: 2,800 - 3,000 lbs

 

 

Sod Types: PremierPRO Bermudagrass, TifGrand Bermudagrass

AATF_Pallet.jpg

  • Roll Type: Handstack
    • Length: Just over 6.5'
    • Width: 1.5'
    • Area of Coverage: 10 Square Feet
    • Rolled Diameter: Approximately 12"
    • Weight Range: 35 lbs to 45 lbs depending on moisture content
  • Pallet Type: Handstack
    • Length: 48"
    • Width: 40"
    • Full Pallet Weight: 2,800 - 3,000 lbs

 

 

Sod Types: Zenith Zoysia

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  • Roll Type: Slab
    • Length: 3.5'
    • Width: 1.5
    • Area of Coverage: 5 Square Feet
    • Rolled Diameter: Folded back on itself. Approximately 4"
    • Weight Range: 20 lbs to 30 lbs
  • Pallet Type: Handstack
    • Length: 48"
    • Width: 40"
    • Full Pallet Weight: 3,000 - 3,200 lbs

 


If you have any questions about sod specifications or how much your vehicle can handle, feel free to give us a call. 800-866-1387. We would be happy to help.

Topics: Sod Installation

What will happen if it rains on my Terra Tote before I have a chance to install it?

Posted by Ryan Wolfe on Apr 30, 2016 9:10:27 AM

Have you ever had bulk soil or compost delivered by a dump truck? They just dump it on your lawn or driveway and if it rains your bulk products turn into a muddy mess. This is part of the reason Terra Totes are so great. There is no mess left behind from a pile of bulk soil and we can place the totes where most dumptrucks cannot go.

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As long as you keep the top on your Terra Tote tied tight, water will be unable to enter the bag like the water puddled on this tote above

The bags that Terra Tote bulk products come in are made from a heavy duty woven material similar to that of a tarp. As long as you have the top of the bag tied up tightly, there will be very little, if any, water that can penetrate the bag.  For added protection you could always throw a tarp or piece of plastic over the bag. This will leave your soil dry and ready to use for when your resume your project.

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The soil inside the tote remains moist and does not get muddy. 

If you have any questions about Terra-Tote products or any other Central Sod products, feel free to give us a call, 800-866-1387. We would be happy to answer any questions. For more info on Terra-Tote products, click on the icon below!

Terra Tote® Bulk Products

Topics: Lawn Maintenance

What if my yard is mostly shade but sunny in some areas? Can I use one type of sod or do I have to use a mixture?

Posted by Ryan Wolfe on Apr 29, 2016 12:03:30 PM

Now that you know that your yard is full sun or partial shade or a combination of the two you may ask yourself "can I use one type of sod, or do I have to use a mixture?" (If you haven't seen our post on how you can find out how much sun your yard receives check out the following link, What type of grass do you recommend for shady areas? How do I know if my yard gets full or partial sun?

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Mixing varieties?

When it comes to sodding, it is best to not mix different types of sod. You wouldn't want to lay a strip of tall fescue sod next to a strip of Bluegrass because they will be noticeably different. This is especially true when using warm season varieties due to their spreading nature. You will be able to see a difference in both color and blade texture. 

If your yard receives 8 or more hours of sun you will be good to use all of the varieties of sod that we grow. Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Bermudagrass and Zoysia grass should all flourish in these areas as long as they receive the proper water and nutrients to go along with the sunlight. 

If your yard has a lot of partial shade it would be a good idea to use a shade tolerant variety of sod. Tall Fescue would be the sod variety of choice. Sometimes sod in areas of shade does not receive enough sunlight causing it to thin out over time. One way to keep your shaded areas thick and healthy is to over-seed with a shade mix seed. These mixes generally contain alternative varieties of fecues that are more suited for shade. Most match up very nicely with tall fescue. You would want to seed at a rate of about 5lbs per 1,000 sqft if you are using our shade mix seed.  

 If you have any questions, or would like our opinion on the variety that is best for your lawn, give us a call. 800-866-1387. We would be happy to assist you!

 

Topics: Sod Installation

What type of grass do you recommend for shady areas? How do I know if my yard gets full or partial sun?

Posted by Ryan Wolfe on Apr 28, 2016 10:45:05 AM

Why grass needs sun?

Grass isn't green just for its good looks! The color is thanks to the chlorophyll contained in the grass. Grass produces food materials through photosynthesis, providing the plant the energy it needs to function. Photosynthesis  requires energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil. If any of these factors are missing from the equation it can have a negative impact on your lawn. For purposes of this article we will only cover the sunlight requirements of various grasses.  

How do I know if my yard is full sun or partial sun?

Each type of grass will require varying levels of sunlight. This is definitely one of the more important requirements you should keep in mind when considering sodding or seeding your yard. It is a good idea to take note of the amount of sunlight your yard receives each day throughout all areas of the yard. The next time you are home on a clear, sunny day, look at your yard from time to time and try to find out how many hours of sun your yard is receiving.  The hours of sunlight required for turfgrass ranges from 4 hours on the low end all the way to 8 hours or more. See our Sod Type Comparison for the sunlight requirements of our different types of sod.

Click for variety chart Part Shade

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For areas that receive 5 or more hours of sun, you would want to use a shade tolerant variety of sod. Durablend tall fescue, RTF tall fescue and TifGrand bermudagrass would be good options. If tall fescue is the choice for your lawn, you can keep the shaded areas thick by over-seeding with a shade mix seed. Generally these shade mixes contain different varieties of fescues that can survive and flourish in less sun exposure than most turfgrasses. They blend in nicely with tall fescue when over-seeded at the proper time of year.

Full Sun

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Areas that receive 8 hours or more of full sun may use all of the varieties that we grow, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, bermudagrass and zoysia. There is some wiggle room on those 8 hours or more of sunlight. Your grass isn't going to immediately die if it receives anything less than 8 hours. Just know that farther under 8 hours you go, the more likely your grass is to thin out and eventually die off. 

How can I beat shade?

 Shade is one of the tougher obstacles to overcome when trying to grow a great looking lawn. Choosing the correct variety of grass for your yard is a good place to start. Sometimes removing the shade is an option. Trees are often the source of shade issues when it comes to your yard. Removing trees isn't normally a preferred option but perhaps selectively thinning their canopy is. Allowing extra sunlight to filter through can help. You may also consider over-seeding with a shade mix of seed as talked about earlier in this post. Shade from man-made structures is also a challenge. If shade is cast by a house, consider landscaping the area by planting shade tolerant plants or other shade tolerant ground covers. 

If you have any questions, check out PlantSod.com or feel free to give us a call. We would be happy to assist in choosing the variety that works best for you and your yard!

 

Topics: Sod Installation

Will rain harm sod left on pallets?

Posted by Jack on Apr 7, 2016 9:18:12 AM

Should I cover sod with a tarp if I am not ready to install and it is raining?

No.  You do not need to cover the sod with a tarp if it is raining.  The water will not harm the sod in any way!  The only drawback to keeping it uncovered is that the top layer of sod rolls will be a little wet and heavy when its time to install.

Covering sod pallets with a tarp is generally a bad idea*

The number one enemy of sod stacked on a pallet is heat.  Heat leads to decomposition and dead sod!  This is why you keep sod rolled up for up to 3 weeks in the winter and still have healthy grass, but in the summer you only have 24 hours to get it installed!

Covering sod with a tarp will trap heat in the pallet and speed the decomposition process.  Also, tarps in direct sunlight will actually act as a greenhouse and get the sod really hot!  

*The only time we recommend tarping sod pallets is if you are leaving sod overnight and the temperature is predicted to fall below freezing.  This will insulate the sod and prevent the rolls from freezing overnight... No one likes trying to install frozen rolls of sod!  

Topics: Sod Installation