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

 

    Spring Transition for your Arizona & California Sod

    Transition

    As the temperatures begin to rise it’s a good time to look at your Arizona & California lawn program. Do you have an overseeded lawn, or is your lawn starting to bounce out of dormancy (jump to the bottom of the page for a dormant lawn)? Either way there are some important items to remember so you have a healthy, lush lawn all year long. It’s still a little early to see the full effects of transition but if you plan right your transition will be seamless. Transition typically occurs in April and May, but being proactive now can speed up the process. For anyone that’s gone through a spring transition you’ve probably learned the worst mistake is to start too late. 

    Here is a step by step process that can be implemented into everyone’s program over time. Some people fear putting down an overseeded lawn at this time of the year but there is no need to worry. The roots of the ryegrass actually help the grass knit into the ground quicker and as the temperatures warm up the ryegrass easily transitions out. I will note that you don’t want to buy sod with 3” ryegrass but we keep our turf at ½” to ¾” at this time of the year so it makes for an ideal transition without any fuss. 

    1. Gradually lower you’re mowing heights to reduce the turf canopy.  Warm Season grasses are not shade tolerant and excess ryegrass provides shade.  No need to scalp the lawn, just lower the height down and begin to thin out the grass.

    2. Lightly verticut the lawn to open up the canopy and let sunlight into the grass below.

    3. Be careful of fertilizer rates at this time of the year and stick to slow release products such as Soil Burst 4-4-2, 11-52-0, 6-20-20, or 21-7-14. You want to put a pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF down when you make this fertilizer application. The first number on the bag is Nitrogen and it is listed as a percentage. For example the 21-7-14 is 21% nitrogen. A typical fertilizer bag weighs 50 lbs so 21% of the 50 pounds is nitrogen. In other words you have 10.5 pounds of nitrogen in a 50 lb bag. Since the goal is apply one pound of nitrogen you would use the following formula.

    1 pound of Nitrogen / .21 (percentage of nitrogen on the bag) = 4.76 pounds of product per 1000 SF will yield 1 pound of nitrogen.

    4. If you have standing water it is a great time to aerify so you can help air and water better infiltrate the soil.

    5. Increase your mowing frequency to two times per week.

    6. Gradually back off the water next month to stress out the ryegrass when soil temperatures reach 64 degrees. (usually around mid-April) Turning off the water completely will stress out the warm season turf and ryegrass so this is not the optimal approach.  Use 60% of your normal water rate.

    7. When Soil temperatures reach 64 degrees apply Soil Burst 4-4-2 at 15 pounds per 1000 SF to give the grass a jump start on the year. A second option to this is to use Ammonium Sulfate 21-0-0 at 5 pounds of product per/1000 SF.

    8. Fertilize with 1-2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 SF monthly over the summer. You can use any combination of the products I listed above as well as several others to help you achieve your goal of a perfect lawn. For a more accurate analysis on other nutrients you can send soil samples into a lab for results.

    Once you’ve followed all of these steps you can set your irrigation to run 3 to 4 times per week for 20-30 minutes at a time. If you can’t water for 30 minutes without getting runoff it is okay to break it up into a cycle/soak. 

    Non-Overseeded Lawn

    By now you’re probably tired of seeing the yellow/brown turf and want to give your Arizona & California lawn a jump start. While it’s still too cool outside to get your Arizona lawn growing, you can get it to green up. The enemy of a dormant lawn is the cool nighttime temperatures. A couple weeks ago we received some pretty good freezes which sent any green tissue in the lawn right back into dormancy. At this point we’re likely in the clear from a freeze and you can gradually begin to ramp up your water and fertilizer program. 

    Let’s start with how much water you need to put on your lawn. The soil temperature is still cool enough that watering 1-2x per week for 10-15 minutes is plenty. It’s good to keep the roots nice and moist and allow the plant to start to thrive but overwatering right now has potential to cause disease in your lawn. When the daytime temperatures get into the 90’s you can increase to 2-3x times a week and slowly ramp up to 3-4x a week by May. 

    Bringing the grass out of dormancy can be accomplished several ways but I like to do so with products such as 11-52-0, 15-15-15, or Soil Burst 4-4-2. Putting down excessive nitrogen right now will not benefit your bermudagrass since it’s not warm enough to actively start growing. These products will help green up your lawn and slowly bring it back without a jolt of nutrients. Adding too much fertilizer could put the lawn in shock if we were to experience one additional cold snap over the next month. You don’t want the grass to use all of its reserves in the plant too early only to get shocked by some cold weather. 

    Be sure to check all of your sprinklers and spray patterns. There is a good chance some sprinklers broke and nozzles were damaged over the winter. These are very simple fixes and can be done for just a few dollars. Having the correct spray pattern and coverage can save you money all year long.

    If you have any questions please let me know. 

    Until next time, 

    Jay

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    Spring is on the Horizon - Arizona & California Turf Prep Tips.

    Spring has technically not “sprung” yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on preparing your landscaping for the seasonal transition from winter ryegrass to summer bermudagrass. As experts in Arizona sod and all things grass, we are happy to list our best transition tips!
    Spring Transition Tips:
    • Keep an eye on the temperature. At the point that it gets warmer than 65º at night consistently, you know you are ready for your spring transition.
    • At this point, you can start reducing your water usage to about 70% (or even 80%) of your normal usage. This is a process that helps support the bermudagrass or paspalum (as it begins to kill the ryegrass). Note: do not try to do any drastic methods for this, such as halting watering altogether or scalping your lawn. This not only kills the winter rye grass, but also the hibernating warm season grass.
    • Now we want to allow more sunlight to reach your warm season grass. We can effectively do this by verticutting the grass, which will allow the grass to open up its canopy. That process then allows more sunlight to get to the warm season grass.
    • Aeration is the next step and this process breaks up hard pockets of soil and increases water penetration as well as nutrient intake, among many other things that help the warm season grass.
    • You will need to start lowering your mower settings while increasing your mowing intervals to twice weekly, making sure the height of the grass doesn’t exceed a half inch (or at the highest, ¾ inch). Bag your clippings when you’re done!
    • Fertilize your warm season grass and increase your watering schedule. It should take about two weeks before you see the bermudagrass overtaking the ryegrass. Gradually, you’ll increase your watering to a typical summer watering schedule.
    These steps will keep your lawn looking beautiful, even in the Arizona or Southern California heat!
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    College Football Fever

    It was a busy College Football Bowl season at West Coast Turf!

    We started off by grassing Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ, on December 19th for the December 26th Cheez-It Bowl, in which the TCU Frogs beat the Cal Bears in overtime.  

    The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl was played on West Coast Turf at the SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium) on December 31st with the Northwestern Wildcats topping the Utah Utes. 

    The Redbox Bowl was also played on New Years Eve at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, with the Oregon Ducks defeating the Michigan State Spartans by a single point.

    The “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl game, was played in Pasadena on New Years Day on what Rose Bowl groundskeeper, Will Schnell, said was “the best field I have ever had.” Schnell added that the day after the game the field looked as if it hadn’t even been played on.  Wow.

    But the field absolutely was played on.  The Ohio State Buckeyes outperformed the University of Washington Huskies in Urban Meyers’ last appearance as head coach of Ohio State, and his first time at the Rose Bowl. The social media world described the turfgrass at the Rose Bowl as “a green cloud,” “the greatest patch of turf in America, capable of causing grown men weep at its green grass,” “…..there is no greener grass in America than the grass in the Rose Bowl--one of the most beautiful sights in sports,” “the Rose Bowl grass is the definition of perfect.”  Shall we go on?

    But it doesn’t end there.

    West Coast Turf was up to an unusual challenge up at Levi’s Stadium this year.  During the New Years Eve Redbox Bowl, West Coast Turf crews were hard at work harvesting a new field at their Livingston, CA, farm to be installed at the stadium for the College Football Playoff National Championship game to be played just a week later on January 7th between the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Clemson Tigers.  But first, the Redbox Bowl game needed to be completed, and the field removed.  Our turf removal crew was on standby in Santa Clara and began the removal procedure about 5:30 pm, finishing the process at 1 am.  Crews worked through the night in shifts installing the new field (22 truckloads worth!) and completing the entire process in 24 hours.

    The sod for the National Championship game is a specialty product that was grown on plastic out at the West Coast Turf farm.  It is thick-cut, and without time to root, it is heavy enough that the natural turfgrass will remain in place.  The Levi’s Stadium staff was very pleased with the process, and amazed it went so quickly and seamlessly! 

    After the field was installed, the tailgate areas and some of the streets around Levi’s Stadium were sodded for fan enjoyment.

    West Coast Turf is you leader in Arizona & California Sod.

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    Cooler Turf for Hotter Climates

    In hot desert climates, many people look for ways to find water-saving methods with their lawns and sporting fields. One seemingly wise remedy that is by using artificial turf. On its face, this seems like a good solution. However, there are several major reasons why natural turf is still king. 

    Chief among these reasons is the temperatures artificial turf can reach in hot weather. In warmer months, artificial turf can reach 200º - no, that’s not a typo. That temperature is so much higher than the 122º that’s considered safe for use by professional athletes, much less your family and pets. This temperature of turf is such that you couldn’t put your bare feet or hands on it for longer than a few seconds before it would burn you. This means that during summer months, artificial turf simply is not suitable for play during daytime hours. So one might ask, are its water-saving benefits worth the cost of installation if it is unusable during the daytime for several months out of the year. One way to cool down the artificial turf, users say, is to hose it down and it is suggested to do so every thirty minutes in order for it to stay cool enough to safely play on. However, this practice when used on turf installed specifically to conserve water, defeats its own purpose (while creating humidity in the attempt to cool the artificial turf down).

    In addition, using artificial turf has other consequences, some unintended. One is a phenomenon called the urban heat island effect. This means that the artificial turf, similar to concrete and asphalt, actually radiates heat back into the night air, causing warmer nights for the areas that have it and causing nearby plants and grass to need extra water.

    At West Coast Turf, we are experts in natural grass, specifically Arizona sod (and you Arizonans know better than anyone how hot the summer months can be!) and have provided the natural turf for many professional fields, including MLB, NFL, professional training fields, college football and baseball fields, racetracks, Major League Soccer, and more. Contact us to find out more about why we’re the best in our field and what we can do for you!

    https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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    NFL Turf

    In the NFL, the football fields players practice and play on have either natural grass or artificial turf. More than half of the fields boast natural grass, but there has long been a debate over which surface is better. Many aspects factor into this: injuries, cost, and personal preference. 

    On artificial turf, studies have shown that injuries are more prevalent than on natural grass. A 2012 study showed that more college football players suffered ACL injuries on turf than on grass. John Brenkus, creator of Sport Science videos, said that turf increases stress on the ACL joint by about 45% and talked about a study covering over 2,600 NFL games, saying players were 67% more likely to sprain their ACL on turf than on grass. As we all know, an ACL injury can mean the end of a player’s season.

    Turf typically comes with a hefty price tag. Many explore the benefits of natural grass and its cost to maintain/replace worn areas throughout the year. Preserving the natural grass playing surface would results in cost saving. Many coaches and training staff prefer natural grass, whenever possible. Said Casey Carrick, the director of athletic grounds and turf management at the University of North Carolina, “Natural grass was the preferred surface by players, coaches, us, and trainers and it was the cheaper option. By the end of the season, we had only used half of the amount of sod we had budgeted for, a significant savings versus going synthetic.”

    West Coast Turf are specialists in natural grass, particularly Arizona sod. With such clients as the former Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA-Old Home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA-NEW Home of the San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA-Home of the Oakland Raiders, the los Angeles Coliseum—current home of the LA Rams, and STUBHUB Center—current home to the Los Angeles Chargers, as well as 8 Super Bowl fields. We are the experts in natural grass fields for all of our sports clients, from college football to the NFL. 

    Visit us online to learn more: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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