23
Jul

Score a Home Run! Go Natural with West Coast Turf

When it comes to baseball, natural turf is a home run! While astroturf was used on a few Major League Baseball fields in the past,  a myriad of problems arose that helped owners to go back to natural turf. Many players incurred injuries caused by the abrasive and unforgiving astroturf from days past. Currently, West Coast Turf provides the natural turfgrass for several MLB ballparks in California. Those parks include: Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) in San Francisco, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and RingCentral Coliseum, in Oakland.

For Angel Stadium, we use Tifway 419 bermudagrass and is the only ballpark in the MLB to sit atop its natural soil (rather than sand) since there is virtually no threat of a rainout. At the legendary Dodger Stadium, they use our homegrown bermudagrass hybrid, which is overseeded with rye. The rye is better able to tolerate the cool temperatures early in the season and by summertime as temperatures heat up, the heat-tolerant bermudagrass supersedes the rye.

A lot goes into the research and decisions for which type of sod is used on which ballpark. Much of that is environmental factors, but each park has its own unique needs. West Coast Turf has the native knowledge of turf – from Arizona sod, bermudagrass, ryegrass, to Kentucky bluegrass – to best and most effectively provide the turf needed to any ballpark. In addition to major league baseball and their Arizona spring training facilities, we also provide the turf for NFL fields, professional training facilities, college baseball and football, racetracks, Major League Soccer, colleges, high schools, amusement parks, golf courses…and too many others to name. Head to our website to check out our list of clients and our unique qualifications to help with your sod!

https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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18
Jul

Summer Maintenance for Your California and Arizona Sod

For those of us in the desert areas we’re just about to monsoon season. For many this is a welcome relief from the heat and your lawn agrees. While warm season grasses love hot weather for growing, they thrive when there is humidity in the air. I realize the desert regions aren’t like the south with 90% humidity but 105 degrees and 25% humidity are pretty nice for a warm season lawn. With humidity comes a little maintenance. Similar to trimming your trees prior to heavy monsoon winds, grass does better when it is thinned out. Today I’m going to give you a couple different ways to manage your warm season lawn.

Every lawn has new growth coming from the crown down below looking to get to the surface. Often times its blocked by the older leaves that don’t allow it to grow through and flourish. What do you do to establish your new growth? For the residential market its easy to rent a power rake from your local equipment rental store or Home Depot. This machine opens up the turf canopy and thins out the plant and thatch layer. Be careful not to set this too low and dig out too much thatch. It is beneficial to have between ½” and ¾” of thatch. Anymore than that keeps water and air from reaching the soil and can be a breeding ground for insects and possible disease. This machine will help you remove layers of dead grass and roots allowing for better water infiltration.

One sign your lawn has too much thatch is needing to use more water than normal. Dig out a piece of your lawn with a shovel and measure the thatch layer. Thatch is the layer between the soil and crown of the plant. This will be very easy to see if you dig out a shovel sized sample.

Another common practice is aeration. The nice thing about doing this during the humid time of the year is the ground doesn’t lose moisture quite as quickly as it does in June when the weather is hot and dry. Knowing when to aerify your lawn can be a little bit tricky but a general rule of thumb is to do so every other year. This will prevent soil compaction and allow your roots to grow deeper into the soil.

When a soil is compacted the roots will often stay in the top few inches of the soil resulting in a plant that isn’t as heat or cold tolerant as one with a solid root system. Often times people realize their lawn is compacted when water is running off the soil surface. No one wants to waste water and its also not healthy for the plant not to be able to take up water from the soil.

Having a company come out and aerify your lawn is quick and easy. The plugs don’t need to be removed from the surface and the holes don’t need to be filled in. You can simply mow or mulch up the plugs next time you mow the lawn. Be a little careful as a newly aerified lawn will dry out faster than normal for the first few days but it will quickly fill in the gaps and return to normal. Aerifying is an essential practice to maintaining a great lawn and saving water. 

Summer Fertilizers: 

  • Quick top growth or grow in to cover voids – ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 at 5 pounds per 1000 SF.
  • Maintenance fertilizer – 21-7-14 or 15-15-15 every 4-5 weeks during the growing season
  • Pasaplum recovery – Kelplex or half rate of 15-15-15
  • Starter Fertilizer – Soil Burst 4-4-2

If you have any questions pleased let me know.

Jay

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11
Jun

Summer Care Tips for Your Bermudagrass Natural Turf

In the warmer months, your Arizona sod has needs above and beyond the rest of the year. Here are some tips to keeping it in the best shape possible. 

1. Mowing

Many people believe bermudagrass is one of the hardest to mow. This is a misconception, as the issue here is simply using the right mower. Ideally, bermudagrass should be clipped to a height of 1.5 inches. Many mowers don’t have the capability to mow this low without scalping the whole yard. Watch for areas where your bermudagrass is being scalped – this will appear as a half moon shaped cut in the grass. The best way to avoid this and to cut your bermudagrass with the right tools, is to use a reel mower. 

2. Watering

Keep an eye on whether your bermudagrass is thirsty! One way to tell, is if the blades bow down a little. Bermudagrass is among the most water-efficient of turf and generally only needs to be watered once a week, or twice at most. The correct watering depth is around six inches. This promotes deeper root growth. If you want to test your level of watering, take a screwdriver and push it into the soil. If you can push it down without much difficulty, then the watering you’ve done is enough. If not, then water again to make sure your bermudagrass has been saturated. 

3. Aerating

This is something that needs to be done once a year, and early summer is the perfect time, as this is when the grass grows fastest. In order to aerate your lawn, you will take an aerator, which pokes thousands of holes down into the soil. This process allows water, oxygen, and other nutrients to reach down to the roots. Many people prefer to rent a core aerator to complete this process.

4. Monitoring yard activities

Backyard BBQs are a must in the summer. The problem is keeping the party from ruining your grass. Make sure you are monitoring the placement of your bbq and not letting it kill the bermudagrass beneath it. Moving it from one area of the yard to another periodically does the trick. 

Be sure to read our care FAQ’s for more information.

At West Coast Turf, we are experts in Arizona sod and all Western sod. Please contact us for any of your needs, large or small. https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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18
Apr

Spring Transition for Your Arizona and California Sod

Spring 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. 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. 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 (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 California or 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.  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.  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.  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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15
Mar

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!
  • 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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08
Jan

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 . Northwestern Wildcats topped the Utah Utes. 

The Redbox Bowl was also played on New Years Eve at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The Oregon Ducks defeated 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.  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. It was 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 your leader in Arizona & California Sod.

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13
Dec

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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30
Oct

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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28
Sep

Winter Overseeding Your California and Arizona Sod Lawn

We often see overseeding your warm season California or Arizona sod lawn as a process that should be done in a weekend. For some this may be the most convenient way to prep but for others its okay to take a week or two to complete the process. Trying to knock it all out in one weekend can result in some really long days out in the heat. My suggestion is to slowly start the process now so in a couple weeks when the overseed window opens you’re ready to go and won’t be wasting your entire Saturday on the lawn. Remember that the ideal window is when nighttime temperatures are in the 60’s. We’re currently sitting in the high 70’s so I would expect a couple more weeks. To follow overseed instructions scroll to bottom of this blog.

Prepping for overseed is often a large ordeal, but starting the process gradually can eliminate a lot of headaches. I want to reiterate something I have said for the past few years. The height of the grass is not associated with a quality overseed. In other words, scalping the grass down to the dirt does not guarantee good results, but opening up the turf canopy does. The shorter you mow your lawn the tighter the leaf blades become making it harder to get the ryegrass seed into the plant. If the seed is lying on the surface it will be slow to germinate and much of the seed will be lost. The seed needs a base to grow out of, and getting inside the grass plant allows for perfect moisture, heat, and a solid growing medium. This is why it’s so important to have a good warm season grass base. If you have a new lawn or a weak summer lawn it can have a direct impact on your overseed. The seed will establish much faster inside a healthy grass stand than it will on bare dirt.

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06
Sep

Pre-Overseeding Tips for Your Lawn

I would like to start by congratulating everyone on making through another California and Arizona summer. I know we still have a couple months of triple digit temperatures, but the worst should be behind us at this point. As we move into September our morning temperatures will start to feel less painful, but remember your warm season grass is loving this weather–especially your California and Arizona sod. I have started to field questions regarding fall overseeding and I want to tell you to hit the brakes. Don’t just tap the brakes, slam on the brakes. You will see ryegrass hit the stores in the next week but walk away or buy it and sit on it until temperatures really drop. Today I want to discuss prep for the fall, and how to get your grass ready to overseed. This won’t be a tutorial on how to overseed, but instead some pointers of what to do before you overseed.

  

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