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

 

    Your Backyard Putting Green from West Coast Turf

    With perpetually pleasant weather on the West Coast, fall (and even winter) can be the perfect time for outdoor activities. One new idea that we love for homeowners, is a backyard putting green. For those who love golf and have room to spare in their yard, this one is a no-brainer. In the initial planning of this project, the first decision is whether to use natural or artificial turf. There are many benefits to using natural instead of synthetic turf. California or Arizona sod is less expensive to install and has a more natural look with nearly identical conditions to a real golf course. In addition, the holes are also easy to move around. For those who are proud of their lawn care as well as their golf game, this is the perfect overlap of hobbies. Here are the steps to building your own backyard putting green.

    1. Select a desirable spot. This doesn’t need to be a huge plot of land, but should get a reasonable amount of sunlight and not feature many steep hills.
    2. Dig approximately 10 inches which you will then fill in with sand and then your turf.
    3. Install drainage. To keep your turf grass from getting soggy and prone to disease. For these purposes, a 4-inch perforated drainage pipe is the industry standard. 
    4. Cap with sand. You will need golf course sand for this, which drains easily. This type of sand has to meet the US Golf Association specifications, which you can find at any home improvement store.
    5. Sod it. This is where West Coast Turf comes in. We will consult with you and provide you with the best advice on which sod to purchase and what will work best in this situation and for your climate.
    6. The final touches. You’ll want to buy a hole puncher and place cups inside. Lawn care is very important to maintain. You’ll need a mower that’s designed for mowing greens, and a roller would be handy to have too. A common height for greens is ⅛ of an inch, with ¼ inch around the edges. Growing rough around your greens is another idea and completely up to your specifications.

    West Coast Turf handles all of your natural turfgrass needs. Please visit us online to find out what we can do to help: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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    You Have Overseeded Your California or Arizona Sod Lawn–Now What? And….Even if You Haven’t.

    By now, most of you who are going to overseed your California or Arizona sod have either begun the process or have had your seed down for a few weeks. Today, I want to discuss what to do now that you have the ryegrass growing and cooler temperatures are on the horizon.

    Getting your ryegrass up and growing is obviously the first step to a successful winter lawn, but what about maintenance? How can you make sure your ryegrass is strong going into the winter and you will have a full stand of ryegrass once the temperatures begin to drop into the 40’s at night? There are several key items associated with a strong winter lawn but early preparation should be high on your list.

    I know you put down a starter fertilizer with your seed but let’s remember that fertilizer will move freely in a saturated soil. The new plant took up most of the nutrients from the starter fertilizer application but the residual affect is limited because you’ve been keeping the seed wet for the past few weeks. So what exactly does this mean? Basically, what I’m trying to say is that once you’ve had your ryegrass lawn in for 2-3 weeks I would advise getting a second fertilizer application on the grass.

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    The Case for Replacing Artificial Turf on NFL Fields

    In September 2020, the NFL Players Association President, Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter called for all fifteen fields that are currently equipped with artificial turf to be replaced with natural turf to prevent further player injuries. In his letter titled “Only Natural Grass Can Level the NFL’s Playing Field”, he states “It’s not good for players, it’s not good for the GMs and the head coaches, it’s not good for the owners and it’s not good for the fans. Increased injuries are not good for anybody.” he continued as he detailed data to union members.

    One of those artificial fields in question is MetLife Stadium, which has seen a bevy of injuries this season. Steelers’ right tackle Zach Banner suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Giants, and running back James Conner also exited the game with an ankle injury. The following week, 49ers Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas suffered injuries on the same field against the Jets. San Francisco defensive end Arik Armstead told the league to fix the “trash met life turf” after the game, and his coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t thrilled either.

    West Coast Turf Marketing Director, Danielle Scardino, spoke up to NBC recently to provide her professional opinion. “Natural turf has more give” and “There is no reason to have artificial turf, the technology exists even in colder climates to maintain the turf’s longevity.”

    The first artificial turf-style field was introduced in the mid-1960s when ChemGrass was installed at the Houston Astrodome to replace the dying grass in the first domed stadium. The grass was later rebranded AstroTurf, and thus began the debate of natural grass versus turf playing surfaces.

    For years, artificial turf, while very expensive, seemed like a good alternative to keep the turf looking great on camera for the NFL games and preserve the longevity of the surface. But recently, ten players were injured on these surfaces and two of them being season-ending injuries. This was enough to make the Players Association take notice.

    On October 6, Casey Reynolds, PhD and Executive Director of Turfgrass Producers International responded in an open letter to the NFL Players Association, Team Owners, University and High School Athletic Directors, Sports Field Managers, Coaches, Athletes, and Parents "Do we want our athletes playing in a concert venue, or do we want to host concerts and other events in an athletic venue? If the answer is the latter, then there is little doubt that natural grass is the safest proven choice."

    According to Dr. Jennifer Nicole Falk from At Your Feet Concierge Podiatry, “Artificial turf not only increases the surface temperature, making it dangerous to play on at certain temperatures, it also puts players at increased risk for bacterial infections, as well as systemic effects and toxicity from the rubber... Because there is more friction between cleats and turf, this theoretically could lead to a greater potential for athletic injuries, including turf toe, knee injuries, foot lock, turf burn, and more powerful collisions & concussions.”

    “Natural grass would give the players a safe work environment.” Danielle Scardino continued while speaking with NBC. “and we could get it done by next season”. West Coast Turf is the largest grower and installer of natural turfgrass sod in the Western United States.

    West Coast Turf has supplied the NFL with eight Super Bowl fields from California to Florida, including Super Bowls XXVII, XXIX, XXX, XXXII, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX and 50 as well as baseball and soccer fields for professional sports teams.

    The Truth About Artificial vs. Natural Turf

    • Ground rubber tires are used in some artificial fields, yet because of their toxic content they are prohibited from being disposed of in landfills or ocean dumping. Where will this toxic material be disposed of when a replacement field becomes necessary?
    • Temperatures on artificial fields have been documented to be upwards of 86.5 degrees hotter than natural grass fields under identical conditions. How long can players of all ages be safely exposed to this level of heat?
    • Field sanitation that includes the removal of bodily fluids and/or animal droppings present a unique problem for artificial fields. Will antiseptic cleaners properly sanitize the field? If so, how often?
    • Abrasive surfaces such as artificial fields can result in difficult-to-heal injuries, particularly in the presence of bacterial or viral pathogens. Are you prepared to treat these wounds properly?
    • Field hardness on artificial surfaces can result in serious chronic or immediate athletic injury? If additional ground tire rubber is periodically added to soften the field, is toxicity of the material also renewed?
    • Natural turf is preferred by 88% of NFL players, and 96% believe that artificial turf contributes to injuries.
    • Natural turfgrass saves energy. The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That's amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity.
    • Green turfgrass significantly lowers fire hazard risk. How would an artificial turf field fire be fought quickly while minimizing the danger to firefighters, and reducing the release of toxic fumes?
    • The initial price of artificial turf is many times greater than a natural turf area. Maintenance costs are equal or higher.

    Think Green-Keep it Real!  Check out more #KeepItReal updates on Twitter.

     

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Overseeding Your Warm Season Lawn

    Now that we’re into October it’s time to get the overseeding of your warm season grass process started.  I wanted to pass along some of the most frequently asked questions during this time of the year.

    When is the best time to start overseeding?
    Ideally overseeding should be done when nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 60’s. Usually this will be in October. There will be some higher and lower than normal temperatures, but anytime during October is good.

    How low do I need to scalp the grass prior to seeding?
    Height of cut isn’t as important as opening the turf canopy. The shorter you mow the grass, the tighter the turf canopy will be which will result in the need to verticut more aggressively. I recommend not going lower than ½”. There is no need to take the lawn to the dirt or you will cause long term problems to the grass plant.

    Overseeded sod

    This overseeded bermuda sod field in Scottsdale, Arizona, is READY!

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    Causes of patchy discolored grass on your lawn and how you can fix it.

    The summer months of July through September can wreak havoc on your grass in high heat and humidity. If you see silver dollar size brown patches that occur in otherwise healthy lawns, the main cause is keeping the leaf surface continuously wet with daily waterings. Patches can run together forming larger patches that lose their circular shape. Grass dies back from the tip and fine white threads of fungus can be found on the patches in the early morning hours when the leaf surface is wet.

    To minimize chances of disease, here are 5 things you can do:

    • Add Fertilizer: Low levels of fertility promote Dollar Spot; however, avoid applying high rates of Nitrogen, particularly in late spring and summer

    • Watering: Water during early AM hours to allow grass leaves all day to dry off

    • Don’t over-water: Avoid frequent irrigation that keeps the leaf blades wet and that results in water-logged/compacted soils

    • Let it grow: Mow at the upper end of recommended mowing heights (but not above recommended mowing heights)

    • Don’t compact: Avoid wet compacted soils

    If you suspect your lawn has a deeper issue, you can spray on a fungicide labeled for Dollar Spot. Repeat every 10 days until symptoms are gone… ALWAYS READ & FOLLOW LABELED DIRECTIONS.

    You’re in luck if you have West Coast Turf’s exclusive West Coaster sod, as patchy discolored grass is less common and it makes for the ultimate lawn for coastal and cooler climates. West Coast Turf's special blends of fescue are the best performing in the industry.

    Cool season grasses thrive in climates with more annual rainfall and cooler year round temperatures.  This includes coastal areas of California and high elevation mountainous areas with cooler temperatures.  Cool season grasses are not suitable for hot desert climates. West Coast Turf grows the highest quality cool season grasses such as our unique West Coaster Tall Fescue which is our professional blend of fescue and other seed to avoid disease and keep a happy, healthy, and resilient lawn for your home.

    West Coaster Tall Fescue is uniquely selected to avoid disease and performs well with light traffic, making it the perfect lawn for your home. However, if you do experience any spots, you can patch it with our West Coaster Seed.

    Now you, too, can use the same seed we use to grow our popular West Coaster tall fescue sod for your own home use!  Use our new 10 lb bag of seed to “sweeten up” or patch repair your West Coaster established sod lawn, or seed a new lawn with our exclusive seed.

    • The new generation of Tall Fescue

    • Light to heavy traffic lawns

    • Year-Round Green

    • Performs well in coastal California, as well as cool inland valley and high desert environments

    • Deep root system ensures drought and heat tolerance

    • Emerald green color.  Natural dark green color means less nitrogen is required

    • Uses less water

    • Superior resistance to drought, insects, and disease

    • Tolerant of saline soils and saline irrigation water

    • Heat tolerant up to 100 degrees F

    • Moderately shade tolerant—requires full sun most of the day (4-10 hours)

    • 7-10 day germination time with proper planting and care

    • Mowing 1”-3”

    Keeping your lawn healthy doesn’t have to be a chore, but it does require patience and care. Stay cool! Please visit us online: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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