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08
May

Cool Change: Transitioning to Bermudagrass for your California and Arizona Sod

As summer approaches, more and more homeowners are choosing warm season grasses such as bermudagrass or seashore paspalum as their preferred lawn care option. Warm season grasses can thrive in hot and sunny conditions, making it ideal for areas with long, hot summers. Its deep root system allows it to withstand drought conditions and it requires less maintenance compared to cool season grasses. It is durable and can handle high traffic areas easily. When taken care of properly, bermudagrass and paspalum form a dense and lush carpet of green, adding beauty to any landscape. 

The thought of switching from a cool season grass to warm season grass may seem difficult, but it’s entirely achievable.  The transition typically is best in late spring or early summer when soil temperatures are optimal for bermudagrass or paspalum to thrive. Before planting, it is crucial to prepare the soil by aerating, dethatching, and amending it with compost or organic matter. There are several varieties of bermudagrass to choose from and we offer Paltinum TE seashore paspalum.  , Consulting with local experts (such as West Coast Turf) is essential  to determine the most suitable options for your specific needs.. 

Once established, bermudagrass and paspalum need regular maintenance such as mowing at the correct height, providing adequate irrigation, and fertilizing as needed to promote strong growth and root development. 

In an era where water conservation and sustainability become more important concerns, the popularity of warm season grasses like bermudagrass and paspalum is expected to rise. Its ability to thrive in hot, arid climates while requiring minimal water and maintenance makes it an attractive option for eco-conscious homeowners who desire beautiful, sustainable landscapes. By embracing warm season grasses  and its many benefits, homeowners can create lush and green lawns that not only enhance the beauty of their outdoor spaces but also contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come. 

Remember, a natural grass lawn cools your living environment.   An average size lawn has a cooling effect equivalent to about 8-10 tons of airconditioning (for comparison, the average home air conditioning system is around 3-4 tons).  Natural grass also provides erosion control, water filtration, carbon sweuestration, and air purification, For more information, visit our website at westcoastturf.com

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16
Apr

Tips For Mowing Your California and Arizona Sod

Maintaining a lush, green lawn in the arid climates of Southern California and Arizona can be quite a challenge. It’s totally achievable though, with the right approach. Mowing plays a pivotal role in keeping your lawn healthy and attractive. Here are some tips on the best way to keep your lawn beautiful when mowing:

1. Choose the Right Mower: It is crucial to select the appropriate mower to achieve optimal results. For Southern California and Arizona, where lawns often consist of warm-season grasses like bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, or St. Augustine grass, consider using a rotary mower. These mowers are well-suited for cutting thicker grass types commonly found in warmer climates.

2. Adjust Mowing Height: Maintaining the correct mowing height is vital for the health of your lawn. In hot and dry climates, it’s recommended to keep your grass slightly taller to provide shade to the soil and retain moisture. Adjust your mower’s cutting height to leave the grass blades around 2 to 3 inches tall. Taller grass also helps to inhibit weed growth by shading the soil.

3. Follow the One-Third Rule: Adhere to the one-third rule that states

you should never remove more than one-third of the grass blade’s height in a single mowing session. Cutting more than this can stress the grass and make it more susceptible to drought and diseases. Aim to mow your lawn regularly to maintain a consistent height.

4. Mow When the Grass is Dry: Mowing wet grass can lead to an uneven cut and cause clumping, which can smother the grass beneath. Additionally, wet grass is more prone to tearing, resulting in an unhealthy appearance. Therefore, it’s best to mow your lawn when the grass is dry, preferably in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler.

5. Sharpen Mower Blades Regularly: Sharp mower blades ensure clean cuts, promoting healthier grass growth. Dull blades tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leaving ragged edges that are more susceptible to disease. Check your mower blades regularly and sharpen or replace them as needed to maintain optimal cutting performance.

Alternate Mowing Patterns: Changing your mowing pattern regularly helps prevent soil compaction and encourages upright grass growth. Consider mowing in different directions each time you mow to avoid creating ruts and uneven wear on your lawn.

6. Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn: Grass clippings are a valuable source of nutrients for your lawn. Instead of bagging them, leave them on the lawn to decompose. This practice, known as grasscycling, returns essential nutrients like nitrogen back into the soil, promoting healthy grass growth. For more information, visit westcoastturf.com 

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25
Jan

A Guide to Repairing Patches and Bare Spots on Your California & Arizona Sod

Maintaining a lush and vibrant lawn in the California and Arizona desert areas can be challenging due to the arid climate and water restrictions. However, with the right knowledge and care, you can revive your lawn by addressing patches and bare spots effectively. Here are some practical steps to repair and rejuvenate your lawn. Southern California and Arizona are known for their hot and dry conditions, making lawncare a unique challenge. Patches and bare spots can result from various factors, including:

  • Drought Stress: Limited water availability can lead to dry and bare areas in your lawn.
  • High Temperatures: Intense heat can cause grass to wither and die, creating unsightly patches.
  • Poor Soil Quality: Many areas in these regions have sandy or clayey soil, which may lack essential nutrients.
  • Overuse of Fertilizers: Improper use of fertilizers can contribute to patchiness and bare spots.
  • Foot Traffic and Compaction: High foot traffic can compact the soil, restricting grass growth.

Repairing Patches and Bare Spots:

  1. Watering Strategy:

Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth.

Invest in a smart irrigation system to optimize water usage based on weather conditions.

  1. Choose Drought-Tolerant Grass Varieties:

Opt for grass types like Bermuda that thrive in arid climates.

  1. Soil Improvement:

Consider using a soil aerator to alleviate compaction issues.

  1. Appropriate Fertilization:

Use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients without causing excessive growth. Follow recommended application rates to avoid fertilizer burn.

  1. Overseeding:

Overseed the existing lawn with drought-resistant grass seeds to fill in bare spots.

Ensure good seed-to-soil contact by raking the area lightly after seeding.

  1. Mowing Practices:

Set your mower blade to the recommended height for your grass type.

Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height at a time to prevent stress.

  1. Adequate Shade:

Plant shade trees strategically to provide relief from the scorching sun.

Use temporary shade structures for vulnerable areas.

  1. Pest and Disease Management:

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, as weakened grass is more susceptible. Use eco-friendly pest control methods to minimize environmental impact.

Repairing patches and bare spots in your lawn in desert areas in Southern California and Arizona requires a holistic approach that considers the unique challenges posed by the arid climate. By implementing water-wise practices, choosing appropriate grass varieties, and addressing soil health, you can enjoy a resilient and green lawn year-round. Stay committed to regular maintenance, and your lawn will become a thriving oasis in the midst of the desert landscape. For more information, visit https://westcoastturf.com

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02
Jan

Illuminate Your New Year’s Eve: Southern California Garden Party Edition

As the mild Southern California evenings grace us with their presence, take the opportunity to bid farewell to 2023 in style. Transform your outdoor space into the ultimate New Year’s Eve garden party with a few simple nighttime decorating tricks. From creative lighting to reimagined Christmas decorations, here’s how to craft the perfect atmosphere for a night of socializing, hors oeuvres and cocktails, and dancing under the stars.

  1. Set the Stage for Comfort: Before diving into the decorations, ensure your guests have a cozy outdoor space by incorporating heating elements like portable fire pits and heat lamps. Opt for lush, cold-activated superior fescue sod to delineate your party area and walkways, providing a resilient foundation for your festivities.
  2. Hanging Decor Magic: Utilize the vertical spaces in your backyard for festive decorations. Hang star garlands, streamers, curled ribbons, and glittery Christmas bulbs from tree branches, decks, outdoor staircases, or even your backyard tool shed. Embrace the charm of irregular placement to weave together the existing elements of your outdoor haven.
  3. Elegance in Floral Pots: Add an air of sophistication with cut flowers in decorative pots that match your chosen color theme. White roses in glass bowls with gold foil accents exude classic elegance. Scatter these floral arrangements at the edges of your party space or make them the centerpiece of guest tables for an extra touch of charm.
  4. Reimagined Christmas Decor: Give your Christmas decorations a second life in the backyard. Revitalize a Christmas tree with metallic tinsel, glittery ornaments, and luminous garlands. Illuminate tree trunks, arches, and awning poles with Christmas lights or create a magical ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. Transform a Christmas wreath with quirky elements like pinwheels for a playful touch.
  5. Creative Outdoor Lighting: Soft lighting is key to maintaining a festive and relaxed atmosphere. Reuse Christmas lights and explore other inventive options. Hang candles in mason jars from tree branches, use votives to outline walkways, or employ tiki torches to corral your guests and create a warm glow that lasts well into the night.
  6. Enchanting Archway Designs: Welcome your guests with festive archways that set the tone for celebration. Cover them in balloons matching your color theme, string lights, or drape long “hair” tinsel to add an element of mystique. Make your guests feel like VIPs as they step into your transformed garden party space.

With these imaginative decorating ideas, your New Year’s Eve garden party is guaranteed to be a memorable affair. Embrace the enchanting ambiance of a beautifully adorned outdoor space and usher in the new year surrounded by the warmth and beauty of your transformed garden. Cheers to a night of celebration, under the stars and in good company! For more information visit: http://westcoastturf.com

Happy New Year!

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01
Dec

Water Saving Tips for Your California and Arizona Winter Lawn

Saving water in desert areas of California and Arizona during the winter is crucial, especially considering the region’s arid climate. Here are some water-saving tips for the winter months:

Adjust Irrigation Schedules: Reduce irrigation frequency. In winter, plants generally require less water due to lower temperatures and reduced evaporation. Adjust your irrigation schedule accordingly.

Watering During Optimum Times: Water during off-peak hours. Watering during the early morning or late afternoon helps minimize evaporation and ensures that plants absorb more moisture.

Use Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around plants. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, reduces evaporation, and suppresses weed growth. It also acts as insulation, protecting plant roots from temperature fluctuations.

Choose Drought-Tolerant Plants: Opt for native and drought-resistant plants. These plants are adapted to the local climate and require less water to thrive. Consider xeriscaping, which involves landscaping with water-efficient plants.

Fix Leaks: Check and repair irrigation system leaks. Leaks waste a significant amount of water. Regularly inspect your irrigation system for leaks and fix them promptly.

Collecting Rainwater: When it does rain, capture and store rainwater in barrels or containers. You can use this stored water for plants during drier periods.

Install a Smart Irrigation System: Upgrade to a smart irrigation controller. These systems use weather data to adjust watering schedules, ensuring that plants receive the right amount of water based on current weather conditions.

Group Plants with Similar Water Needs: Zone your landscape and group plants with similar water requirements together. This allows you to water different zones appropriately, providing each group with the necessary amount of water.

By implementing these water-saving measures, residents in desert areas can contribute to sustainable water usage, even during the winter months.

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01
Dec

Synthetic Turf – Drought Fix or Health and Environmental Hazard?

California is no stranger to drought, it’s a recurring feature of our climate, especially in desert areas. Arizona has been in some stage of drought since 1994(!), so drought is a long-term concept in the West. Many shifts are made for the purpose of water conservation, one of which is in landscaping. With these dry times saw a large uptick in fake lawns. 

In a recent controversial move, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill aimed at restricting the use of “forever chemicals” in synthetic lawns. The veto highlights the state’s complex stance on artificial turf, as it was a material once promoted as a water-saving solution during droughts. The vetoed bill was part of a broader effort to address health concerns associated with synthetic turf, particularly the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals, found in the crumb rubber base of artificial turf, have been linked to various chronic diseases. Despite growing worries about the environmental impact and health risks, manufacturers claim they are working to address concerns by exploring alternative materials. However, removing PFAS entirely has proven challenging.

The debate over synthetic turf in California reflects a shift in legislative priorities, with some cities already moving to ban artificial lawns due to environmental concerns. Researchers emphasize the potential health risks associated with PFAS, which can enter the human body through various pathways, including skin contact, inhalation, and water contamination.

Studies indicate that high temperatures can cause chemicals to leach out of the crumb rubber base, posing additional risks to human health. Synthetic turf, known for its heat-retaining properties, can reach temperatures significantly higher than living grass, making it a cause for concern. Experts suggest that real grass and plants offer a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic grass. Drought-friendly landscaping options, such as warm-season grasses and native plants, provide cooling benefits and contribute to a healthier urban ecosystem.

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17
Oct

Fall Overseeding For Your Arizona and California Turf

Overseeding is a rejuvenating process that can breathe new life into your grass. Fall is the perfect time for overseeding, since the soil is still warm from the summer months, and there’s usually a bit more moisture in the air. Overseeding helps fill in bare spots, improves turf density, and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your lawn.

Here’s a step by step guide to overseeding your grass in the fall.

1.     Prepare your lawn. Start by measuring it – this is important for calculating how much seed and fertilizer you’ll need. Then mow your lawn shorter than usual for better seed-to-soil contact.

2.     Choose the right seed. Select a high-quality grass seed blend that suits the dry desert climate. Consider factors like sun exposure, soil type, and foot traffic of the area when making your choice.

3.     Seeding – Evenly distribute the seeds across the lawn, paying special attention to thin or bare areas, ensuring thorough coverage. Consider mixing seeds with a starter fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.

4.     Watering – It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist to support seed germination, so water lightly but frequently, ensuring the soil doesn’t dry out. A light watering in the morning is ideal.

5.     Maintenance – Germination can take several weeks. In this time, it’s best to avoid heavy foot traffic in the newly seeded areas. After that, resume mowing and watering as usual.

6.     Fertilization – once grass has reached 2-3 inches, apply a balanced fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.

For more information visit: https://westcoastturf.com 

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03
Oct

NFL Player Safety: the Role Grass Surfaces Play

Football is a rough contact sport, one with inherent risk for on-field injuries. While those injuries are inevitable, the extent and severity of them depend on several factors. One of those factors that is currently trending in the news is the use of grass versus artificial turf. Aaron Rodgers started and ended his season with the Jets during Week 1 of Monday Night Football with a torn Achilles tendon. So what does this have to do with grass? Well, a lot.

In terms of safety, there is a huge difference between playing on natural grass and artificial turf. Here are a few:

1.     Traction – with natural grass, you get more consistent traction as well as footing. Players are less likely to slip on sod than they are on slippery turf.

2.     Shock absorption – since grass is much softer and more forgiving of a surface, it provides much better shock absorption, which cuts down on injuries and concussions by absorbing the impact players’ bodies might otherwise take.

3.     Lower risk of scrapes to players’ bodies – skidding into any surface can be painful, but natural grass provides a softer landing than artificial turf, as it’s much less abrasive.

4.     Joint injuries – since a grass surface is much more forgiving, it causes less stress to joints, such as knees and ankles – both season-ending injuries for an NFL player

5.     “Turf burn” – artificial turf reaches much higher temperatures than natural grass. Especially in the beginning of a football season in warmer regions, this can cause heat-related injuries for players, as well as discomfort in general.

Optimizing player safety is a top priority for every NFL team and the surface they play and practice on plays a larger role than most people know! West Coast Turf provides sod for many football fields, among many other sports and venues. For more information, visit our website at: westcoastturf.com

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07
Sep

The Importance of Water in the Hotter Months When Laying your Arizona or California Sod

With the intense heat of the summer, it can be an intimidating task to lay sod. Often, the ideal time to lay sod is early to mid-fall, or in the spring. For many people though, summer is the perfect time to get it done. 

Summer can be a hard time for new sod, since it’s hot and the sod can be vulnerable to drought. But with the right strategy and lots of water, you can install warm or cool season sod any time of the year. Here’s how:

  1. Test your soil. Your soil’s health determines the overall health of your grass and testing to make sure it will thrive is the right way to a successful lawn. It helps to balance your soil’s pH so when you apply nutrients found in fertilizers, your grass is able to absorb those. When soil’s pH is off, nutrients can’t be absorbed as effectively and fertilizer you buy may be a waste of money. Taking a soil analysis and sending it to a laboratory is an affordable way to test. 
  2. Choose the right sod for your lawn. Does your lawn have a lot of shade? What grass colors, textures, and physical aspects do you want in your sod? These are questions to ask yourself when choosing. Of course, the climate you live in – in our case, dry desert – plays a huge part in the selection as well. Luckily, this part of the process can be made easy by consulting one of the experts at West Coast Turf. 
  3. Measure the planting area. This will help you determine how much sod you need to order and is crucial whether you’re laying sod in the summer, fall, or spring. There are many apps and tools to calculate how much surface area you’ll need to cover and how much sod is needed. 
  4. Kill and remove old grass. When you install new sod, it’s important that all currently existing grass and other vegetation be removed. 
  5. Prep soil and level. This step is especially important for laying sod in the summer months. Proper site preparation makes it easier for new grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly—this allows your sod to establish quickly during the stressful heat of the summer. Although you will still need to water your lawn a lot during the summer, deep roots will make the lawn denser and drought resistant, allowing for more efficient use of water and nutrients. A dense lawn will outcompete weeds and resists insects and disease a little better as well.
  6. Lay the new sod. It should remain on the pallet a very short time during summer installations as this will cause the sod to dry out. If you notice the sod is heating up on the pallets, unstack them and spray them with water.
  7. Water and fertilize. It is crucial in the summer months to make sure you are watering your grass adequately!

Please let us know if you have any questions or want to talk about installing new sod! Visit https://westcoastturf.com for more info.

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26
Jun

Dos and Don’ts of Home Sod Installation

When installing California and Arizona sod for your home, there are several dos and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure successful establishment and healthy growth. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Do:

  1. Prepare the soil: Ensure that the soil is properly prepared before laying the sod. Remove any existing grass, weeds, rocks, or debris and loosen the soil with a rake or tiller. Level the surface to avoid uneven areas.
  2. Test soil pH: Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content of the soil. Adjust the pH as necessary by adding lime or sulfur to create an optimal growing environment for the sod.
  3. Water the soil: Before installing the sod, water the soil thoroughly to provide adequate moisture for the roots. This helps the sod to establish and promotes good root contact with the soil.
  4. Lay the sod promptly: Install the sod as soon as possible after delivery or purchase. Sod is a perishable product, and delaying the installation can lead to drying out or root damage.
  5. Lay the sod properly: Start laying the sod along a straight edge, such as a sidewalk or driveway, and work your way across the lawn. Butt the edges of each piece tightly against each other without overlapping, ensuring no gaps or spaces are left between the pieces.
  6. Water immediately: Once a section of sod is laid, water it immediately. This helps settle the soil, removes air pockets, and promotes contact between the roots and soil.
  7. Water regularly: Keep the sod moist by watering it regularly for the first few weeks after installation. Aim for deep watering to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to shallow root growth and other issues.
  8. Mow with care: Once the sod has established and grown to the recommended height, mow it to maintain its appearance. Set the mower at the appropriate height and avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t delay installation: As mentioned earlier, avoid delaying the installation of the sod. The longer it remains rolled up, the greater the chances of it drying out and deteriorating.
  2. Don’t stretch the sod: Avoid stretching the sod while laying it. This can cause the roots to separate from the soil, making it difficult for them to establish properly.
  3. Don’t leave gaps or overlaps: Ensure that the sod pieces are laid tightly against each other without gaps or overlaps. Leaving gaps can result in weed growth and uneven appearance, while overlaps can lead to uneven rooting and hinder growth.
  4. Don’t overwater or underwater: Striking the right balance with watering is crucial. Overwatering can suffocate the roots, encourage disease, and lead to shallow root growth. On the other hand, underwatering can cause the sod to dry out and wither.
  5. Don’t walk on the sod too soon: Avoid walking on or putting heavy objects on the newly installed sod for the first few weeks. This gives the roots time to establish and prevents damage to the delicate young turf.
  6. Don’t mow too short: When it’s time to mow, avoid cutting the grass too short. Scalping the lawn stresses the grass and weakens its ability to thrive.
  7. Don’t neglect maintenance: Once the sod is established, continue with regular maintenance practices such as watering, fertilizing, and weed control. Neglecting these aspects can lead to the deterioration of your lawn.

Remember, each sod variety may have specific care instructions, so it’s always beneficial to consult with a local expert or refer to the sod supplier’s recommendations for best results.

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