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

 

    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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    Late Summer Sod Tips for California and Arizona Lawns

    Summer Sod Tips for California and Arizona Lawns

    Summer is wrapping up, the kids are heading back to school, and I’m sure you’re ready to come out of hibernation. While the summer heat is far from over in Arizona and California, it’s going to become tolerable outside. With the slightly cooler mornings it’s time to get back outside and get your lawn ready for fall. Most people start thinking about overseeding their California and Arizona sod in September, but ideally you wouldn’t start the process until October when nighttime temperatures get into the 60’s. Between now and then there are some important steps you need to do to get your lawn ready and to save some headaches down the road.

    Between May and September you'll probably notice your lawn has grown at twice the rate it does during the winter months. Warm season grasses love the warm, wet weather. Most people thought the hot weather would keep the grass from growing well, but remember warm season grasses optimal growing temperatures are between 90-105 degrees. During this season any of your weaker areas should have filled in with the warm season grasses runners. These spots can be slow to fill in during the dry, hot days but as soon as the humidity kicks in the grass really takes off. If you still have large open spots I would suggest picking up a few rolls of sod and patching them prior to overseed. You don’t want to seed directly into the soil.

    summer lawn

    During the summer months you’re getting lots of new growth on the grass plant and you need to help it thrive. The best way to do this is to thin out the top growth by using a verticut or power rake. Most people only use one during the overseed season but it’s a vital part of promoting new growth during the summer months. When you get too much top growth the grass will get clumpy and keep your new plants from growing. A verticut or power rake will open the turf canopy and thin out the grass plant. Doing so will promote new plant growth. This will also allow you to mow your lawn shorter without scalping. Set the power rake or verticut about halfway down and run over the entire lawn. You can easily mow or rake up the material. Keep in mind that by thinning it now you will save yourself hours of labor during overseed. If you wait until overseed to thin your lawn you may need to repeat this process several times.

    For the next month you don’t want to promote top growth unless you don’t plan on overseeding this fall. The more material you have, the more material you will need to remove during overseed. I like to stick to slow release nitrogen products or products that will promote root growth during late summer. There are lots blends that will work but phosphorus and potassium will help your roots at this time of the year.

    It’s still too hot to really cut back your water but during the wet periods you can let the lawn stress before you turn the irrigation system back on. Let the lawn go until you see some bluish grey spots appearing in the lawn. These areas aren’t dying but they are stressed. When you see these spots you know it’s time to water again. You can start to back your water down in mid-September when the nights cool off a little more.

    If you’ve had persistent weed issues during the winter months you can apply Prodiamine. One product that a lot of people use is Barricade. This must be used 7 weeks prior to overseed. Keep in mind you must wait 7 weeks after you spray this product before you overseed. For the first two weeks of overseed you will need to keep the seed a little more wet than usual so the roots of the new plant can break through the Barricade layer. If you sprayed this week it would have you overseeding in the middle of October which is perfect. The best overseeding period is typically from October 7th-October 31st. Any time you seed during this time frame you will have very little competition from the underlying warm season grass. If you go earlier be prepared for the warm season grass to come back and be actively growing while you’re watering the ryegrass seed.

    One way to keep the warm season grass in check is through applications of plant growth regulators such as Trinexapacethyl. One such product that many use is Primo. This can be applied 5-7 days prior to overseeding at .5 oz/1000 SF and right after the first mowing at .35 oz/1000 SF. If you seed during the normal window in October you can skip this step unless you have a very lush, over fertilized lawn going into fall. This is not an endorsement of these products but a generic list of products you can try.

    The final thing you can do is mow a little lower for the next few weeks and reduce the turf density. Right before overseed I will tell you to let the grass grow up about 30-40% prior to scalping but you have over a month until you need to worry about it.

    Remember when you start to see seed in the stores you want to find a perennial ryegrass that is weed free, and has a high germination rate. Many of the products you will see will be cheap in cost and won’t provide you with a dark green lawn during overseed. I will put out overseed instructions in September as we get closer to the season.

    If you have any questions, please hit the "Ask Jay" button at the top right of this page.

    Till next time,

    Jay

     

     

     

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    Attention Landscape Architects! We Are Now Offering ZOOM Educational Opportunities!

    These are trying times, but that doesn't mean we have to stop learning.  West Coast Turf is now offering virtual Zoom educational opportunities for landscape architects!

    Include your whole office! Find out about the newest varieties including the exciting Kurapia sod natural turfgrass alternative ground cover.  It's drought tolerant, unique, versatile, and beautiful.  There are some great new native grasses that look spectacular. We also can update you on our old standbys such as West Coaster Fescue, Santa Ana, Bandera Bermuda, and Tifgreen that are tried and true.

    Call or e-mail us today to schedule your presentation--760/340-7301 or danielle@westcoastturf.com.  The presentation takes about an hour, and we are able to answer any questions you might have on natural turfgrass varieties or Kurapia sod ground cover for your next project.

    We miss you and are excited to "see" you again virtually! Contact us today!

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    Diablo CC Returns to the Golden Age (using West Coast Turf's Santa Ana and Bandera Bermuda!)

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    Avoid overheating your Arizona & California sod in Summer.

    In the middle of July, our California and Arizona desert weather can be brutal and if you are getting ready to receive your new sod, you need to make sure to avoid overheating your sod. Sod is a delicate product that is perishable and sod rolls can burn within a few hours if they aren’t installed in a timely manner. 

    Here are 5 tips to avoid overheating your sod in summer.

    1. PREPARE THE SOIL- Having your sod delivered after your soil  is completely ready is imperative. The shorter the time between harvest and installation, the better. On a very hot day, a pallet of sod can overheat in as little as 4 hours.
    2. DO NOT WATER WHILE ROLLED - It may seem like a good idea, but watering your rolled sod will actually accelerate the heating process. Your grass is still growing, which releases nitrogen, which will heat up and kill the grass. So, watering may cool it down temporarily, but accelerates growth and therefore overheating.
    3. SHADE IS KEY - Store your sod while on the pallets in a shady spot. Take into consideration how long that area will remain shady while you are installing.
    4. INSTALL ASAP - Install immediately after delivery. On a super hot day, the middle of the pallet will be similar to an oven. If need be, pull the sod rolls off and spread them out to allow air to flow while still safely in your shady location.
    5. WATER AWAY - Sod can still overheat if it isn’t watered within 6 hours after harvest. As soon as you have enough sod laid out, start with a sprinkler sized area as soon as it’s laid out. Follow our Summer watering schedule for the best results.

    So why does sod overheat? During harvest, sod is rolled and stacked on a pallet for easy transport. This is a convenient way to move a large amount of sod, but it has its drawbacks during the summer months or even a hot spring day! While your sod is cut from the ground, it’s still very much alive and continuing to grow. It’s delicate, yet hearty and the most important thing to remember is that it is a perishable product. When your sod is rolled up and stacked, there is no airflow to it, which is an essential factor in sod establishment, but your grass (like most other plants) needs oxygen to survive. 

    Another factor in overheating is pressure. That sod stacked up is heavy! The quicker you can get it out of a pile, the better. It’s similar to walking on fresh sod, that weight can be damaging.

    The third factor in overheating sod is heat, which is obvious. So, keeping your sod in shade and installed & watered as soon as possible will avoid the overheating your sod.

    Need help determining what type of soil your lawn has or how much summer watering a specific turf grass variety requires? Ask Mr.WiseGrass! To stay updated on all things sod related, you can also sign up for our newsletter. Happy summer!

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