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Welcome to the Sod Blog

West Coast Turf was founded in 1990 with the aim of providing the best sod and service in the business. Along with sister company in Arizona, Western Sod, we offer more than 30 different varieties of turfgrass, sod and stolons in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and around the world.

Mr. Wise Grass is our blog where our turfgrass pro Jay posts information on how to select and care for the sod that’s best for your environment and uses.  He answers common questions regarding issues surrounding grass and more technical issues that can be resolved with the right know-how.

If you’ve got a grass issue, Jay’s the answer-man!


Latest Blog Posts

 

    West Coast Turf Wishes The Rose Bowl Stadium a Happy 100th Birthday

    Friday, October 28, 2022 was the Official 100th Birthday of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. At West Coast Turf, we are proud to provide them with their sod and we join them in celebrating one hundred years of being one of the most famous and beloved venues in sporting history. 

    Some fast facts: The Rose Bowl has a seating capacity of 92,542, making it the 16th largest stadium in the world, and the 11th largest in the United States. Best known as a football stadium, it’s been home to the UCLA Bruins football team since 1982 and has hosted 5 Super Bowl games (3rd most of any stadium). It’s also a notable soccer venue, as well as a concert venue for many of the most iconic and famous musicians – Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Journey all played there, as well as Lilith Fair festival. 

    The Rose Bowl was designated a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark in 1922. Since 1993, West Coast Turf has been the proud providers of their turf that so many sports and teams have played on. We know that the grass you play on is one important aspect of what makes a stadium so popular, and we are honored to provide their Bermuda sod for them year after year.

    To see our full client list, click on the About Us section. 

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    Maintenance practices for your Arizona and California Sod

    As we move into November it’s a safe assumption that if you were going to overseed you have done it by now or plan to in the next week or two. There is still time to get a winter lawn in if you would like, but its also beneficial to let your lawn go dormant for the winter. With so many new paint and dye options it makes the decision a little easier for homeowners to let their lawn go dormant and still have a green winter lawn. Today I want to talk about the next step in the overseeding process and also what to do if you decided to forgo overseeding this year. 

    Overseeded Turf

    Fertilizer

    Overseeded turf really benefits from front loading fertilizer during the grow in stage. You should have applied a starter fertilizer with your seed and if the lawn is 3-4 weeks along now you can give it another boost before the cooler temperatures arrive. Once you have mowed your ryegrass for the first time and feel like you have a good stand of grass, I recommend making that second application of fertilizer. While there are hundreds of choices on the market for fertilizers to use, I’m choosing to keep things simple so you’re not running all over trying to find different products. 

    Calcium Nitrate (15.5-0-0 on the bag) – Calcium nitrate is a great way to give your new ryegrass a kick start and help the tillering process. This can be applied up to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF. Remember the first number on the bag is the percentage of nitrogen in the bag. Therefore, this bag is 15.5% nitrogen. To apply one pound of nitrogen you need to divide .155/1 = 6.45 pounds of product equals one pound of nitrogen. 

    Ferrous Sulfate – Ferrous sulfate can help get your grass a deep green color and keep it that way when the temperatures cool off in late November. This is a water-soluble product that can be mixed in a hand sprayer with a ½ pound of product and 3-4 gallons of water. Spray this mixture over 1000 SF but keep it off walkways, concrete, paver, and anything you don’t want to get an iron stain on. I recommend having someone help you apply the product. You can have one person apply the product and another use a small piece of plywood of cardboard to block pavers, etc. I would wait until he ryegrass has been in at least four weeks before applying it. This can be applied every 14 days throughout the winter for strong color.

    Balanced fertilizer – A couple other products that are readily available and will help your early season ryegrass are 15-15-15 or 21-7-14. I have seen both products at nurseries and the box stores. 

    The key is to get your ryegrass in good shape and strong before we get our first frost. This is typically around Thanksgiving but areas outside of town will get it sooner. Once we get a couple hard freezes the granular fertilizers provide less benefit to the grass and foliar fertilizers should be utilized. This is normally the case from December to February. 

    Watering 

    Once the ryegrass is established you can really cut back the water. Keep an eye on the soil moisture and the general look of the ryegrass. You will find you can go several days without water during the winter and the ryegrass won’t be affected. When you do water make sure its deep and you can easily push a screwdriver in the ground 6” after application. The easiest way to tell if your lawn needs a drink is the blueish grey tint on the plant or if you walk on it and the grass doesn’t bounce back up quickly. Never set your water to run daily, it does nothing for the grass except injure the root system and wastes water. Keep an eye on the forecast and shut off the system if rain is expected. We all need to do our parts to save water and getting a smart irrigation clock or monitoring for moisture will make a tremendous difference.

    Non overseeded Turf

    This is a great option for those that want to save water and maintenance time during the winter. Not only will your lawn be happy it got a rest, you wallet will also be happy. I recommend forgoing overseed every few years to give your lawn a break and have a full growing season. 

    If you still want to have a green winter lawn look at turf paints or dyes that are readily available online and through some distributors. Each product will have a different rate for application so read the label carefully and cover up any areas you don’t want to get paint on. Most of the paints are organic and safe for kids, pets, and to play on. If you have concern about a particular product, I recommend reading through their literature to find the right one for your family.

    Since your lawn is not actively growing it does gives weeds a chance to come in and cause some issues. Its best to apply a pre-emergent such as Prodiamine on the entire lawn and this will give you 90+ days of control. This cannot be applied if you are still planning on overseeding this year. It MUST be done 6-8 weeks before seeding or you will not get the seed to emerge well. 

    Watering 

    There isn’t a particular watering schedule that must be maintained during the winter except to keep some moisture in the ground every 2-3 weeks. I leave my irrigation clock off all winter and hope there is some timely rain every few weeks. If we don’t get any rain, I will give my lawn a good drink and start the process over again. This can be done until March when the gras sis starting to green up again and the temperatures is rising. 

    Fertilizer 

    You don’t need to apply any fertilizer during the winter, let the lawn rest and bring it back in March. Its okay to apply some nitrogen into November to maintain some color and a little growth but the plant will shut down once it gets too cold and the fertilizer will not benefit the plant.

    If you have any questions let me know. 

    -Jay

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    Overseeding Your Lawn for the Fall

    Temperatures are still warm in Southern California and Arizona, but fall is fast approaching. It’s time to start planning for how to prepare your lawn for the new season. Once temperatures do cool down, it’s the perfect time for grass to recover and prepare itself for winter. Here are our tips for overseeding your grass for fall:

    First things first, when to start overseeding. According to our experts, the ideal time for overseeding is when nighttime temperatures get down lower, like in the 60s. Typically, this happens in October. 

    Next, knowing how low you should scalp your grass prior to overseeding. The height of your grass isn’t the important issue as much as opening the turf canopy. If you mow the grass shorter, the turf canopy will be tighter, which will result in the need to verticut more aggressively. The standard recommendation is to not cut the grass lower than half an inch. If you scalp the sod too low, you will cause long-term problems to the grass.

    Many people ask if it’s ok to use annual ryegrass, rather than perennial ryegrass. Annual ryegrass has a much lower cost than perennial ryegrass but it’s not ideal for a winter overseed. If you use annual ryegrass, you will get a thinner grass blade and a slightly chlorotic look compared to perennial ryegrass. It also grows much taller (and faster) than perennial ryegrass which results in more frequent mowing. This isn’t where to cut costs! Stick to perennial ryegrass for optimal winter overseeding.

    Choosing the right seed is important. It’s tempting to go with the cheapest option, but it’s a bad idea. Seed can contain a variety of weed seeds, off types, and poor germination rates, so you need to be careful. We recommend a perennial ryegrass with zero percent weed seed, 90% or more germination, and very little inert matter.  

    Sprinkler systems vary, so some generic advice is that the important thing is to keep the seed wet. This usually consists of 3-4 cycles for around 5-10 minutes per cycle. The water doesn’t need to puddle or saturate the ground, simply keep the seed wet. Watch your sprinklers and run the first couple cycles to check coverage and to keep it from puddling.

    In Arizona, you can buy the same seed we use on the farm. We sell the same seed we overseed our fields with at our farm in Scottsdale and you can call our office at (888) 893-8873 to order.Currently in Arizona, overseeded sod will be available on October 12th and California overseeded sod will be ready October 26th.

    https://youtu.be/POIeu_vcyy4

    If you have any questions about anything sod related, click the “Ask Jay” button at the top right.

    Happy overseeding!

    -Jay

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    West Coast Turf Made the 2022 MLB All-Star Team!

    Photo credit: Ballparks of Baseball

    When you’re watching the 2022 MLB All-Star game on Tuesday, July 19, you’ll also be watching West Coast Turf in action. How is that? Well, for the 4th time, West Coast Turf will be the surface for the All-Star game (held this year at Dodger Stadium). 

    Our Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass is currently at not only Dodger Stadium, but also Angel Stadium, and Dignity Health Sports Park, the home of the L.A. Galaxy and UC San Diego’s Triton Soccer Field. This particular turf is the grass of choice for sports fields. There are a lot of reasons for this, one being its low water use. It’s also resistant to winterkill, has characteristics of improved tolerance to wear, salt, and to short mowing heights. Importantly for Southern California, this grass is averse to drought. Its low vertical growth makes it the ideal choice for sports turf, golf courses, and landscape applications. It’s also the perfect choice for home lawns as well, since it’s the most drought-tolerant variety we’ve seen. You can have this exact same grass for your home field! 

    Tahoma 31 bermudagrass is a variety of grass that was developed by leading turf scientists at Oklahoma State University. It derives its name from the Native American word, Tahoma, which means “frozen in water”. In addition to the above-mentioned, Tahoma 31 is also used as the turf for Pepperdine Soccer, El Caballero Country Club, Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, Pro Bowl Practice Field 2022, Churchill Downs "Matt Winn Turf Course.” Visit westcoastturf.com for more information.

    Tahoma 31 Bermuda (westcoastturf.com)

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    Sod: Not Just for Your Lawn

    We often talk about sod on a large scale, from athletic fields and golf courses to housing developments and private homes. But our sod has many more uses, as you’ll see.

    Events

    One place sod can be very useful is at events. You can lay down temporary sod for an outdoor area you’d like to soften up and give a more natural look. It looks great as decorative pieces, as well. We recently served a wedding where sod was used as a tabletop, as well as side accents.

    Compost 

    One popular and helpful way to use sod is by creating a sod composting pile. When you take out sod to create a hard path or walkway, you will have extra and wonder how to dispose of it. The answer is not to dispose of it at all, put it to use! While the sod is still fresh, find a corner of your yard and lay down a piece of sod grass. Stack face down pieces of sod on top of that, wetting each piece before adding another. Once your composting sod pile is as high as you’d like it to be (not to exceed 6 ft), cover the it  in thick black plastic. Weigh the edges down against the ground with stones or cinder blocks, making sure not to let any light to get in. Let your composting sod pile sit until the following spring and uncover it. Inside, you will find rich compost ready for use!

    Gardening

    Another great use for sod is creating the base for a garden or flower bed. Follow these steps to starting your new garden base! Pile the sod, grass down, in your new garden space until it reaches the desired height. Then cover it with 2–3 inches of topsoil. Finally, add 3–4 inches of mulch. This is a great way to use old sod to increase garden height for better drainage, or even build a tall, raised bed if desired. The sod slowly decomposes into rich soil which will eventually feed the plants in your garden.

    Those are just a few small-scale uses of sod. Talk to us about your sod projects – large and small – and see what we can do for you! For more information, visit our website westcoastturf.com

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