14
Oct

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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14
Aug

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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07
Aug

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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28
May

Home Improvements During Shelter At Home Order

COVID-19 has flipped the world on its head and there’s no getting around how much our way of life has changed in the past few months. Even for those who are still working full time, most are finding they have a lot of free time on their hands. One productive way to channel this energy is through home improvement projects, specifically ones that allow you to be outside enjoying the sun and the beautiful late spring weather. One fantastic hobby to hone in on is gardening and landscaping. Nothing sets off your garden and your home like a lush, green lawn. In achieving this, natural turf is always the way to go. A beautiful Arizona or California sod lawn is the perfect background for entertaining and outdoor sports as well. A natural turf lawn gives off oxygen, draws in carbon dioxide, and helps keep air temperatures cooler in the summer. Artificial turf seems appealing, as it stays green and requires little care, but this can be deceiving, as there are many drawbacks. Artificial turf gets unbearably hot in the summer months and is known to contain antimicrobials, which are often toxic. In desert climates, you and your pets can enjoy your natural sod lawn without fear of burning your feet (and your pet’s paw pads), since natural turf stays 20-50 degrees cooler than artificial turf (which is also hard to completely sanitize). To get started with a California or Arizona sod lawn, contact us at West Coast Turf, where our knowledgeable team will direct you to what natural turf works best for your landscaping. Please note that due to California and Arizona’s statewide shelter at home orders, West Coast Turf is carefully and responsibly continuing to operate using heightened hygiene and social/physical distancing rules 

All orders must be prepaid on the phone or website and will be delivered without any contact. As always, we appreciate and value our loyal customers.

Please visit us online: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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17
Feb

Artificial Turf and Pets: Why it May Not Be the Right Choice

Many people with pets who are pondering whether to use natural or artificial turf in their yard weigh the options based on what’s better for their pet, as well as for them. While it might seem like a sensible choice, there are several reasons why it may not be the best one.

1. Artificial turf can be up to 86  hotter than natural turf. In states with warmer climates, Southern California and Arizona chief among them, summer temperatures are already hot and with even higher temps on artificial turf, dogs and cats can burn the pads of their paws when walking on it. Plants and natural sod transpires – or gives off water vapor. This process helps to passively cool the environment around it. This is one reason why even in the hottest direct sunlight, natural grass is much more bearable to the touch than cement, asphalt, or artificial turf. The pores plants have on their leaves, or blades of grass as is the case, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and water molecules. Those water molecules immediately evaporate and cool the environment around them. This cooling effect is great for people, pets, and other plants. Artificial grass doesn’t have the ability to create a cooling effect.

2. One of the benefits touted by artificial turf enthusiasts is its easy cleanup. In reality, like any other synthetic material, fluids, pet waste, and other debris will collect on it and some aren’t easily washed away. Natural grass can be cut and regrow and is easier to clean.

3. Artificial turf isn’t soft like a natural sod lawn. The blades of “grass” are hard and can hurt if a person or pet falls on it. This can be especially unsafe for kids who are playing. Sliding on the artificial turf can create a sort of “rug burn” and cause minor injuries.

4. It’s expensive! Artificial turf can have a life expectancy of anywhere from 8-20 years, depending on the manufacturer. After that, it will need to be replaced. At anywhere from $5-$20+  per square foot, this is a big investment to make, particularly when you will need to replace it in fewer than 10 years. 

5. Natural sod is environmentally-friendly, artificial turf is not. Part of the draw to artificial turf is that it’s supposedly water-wise, which helps in times of drought and conserving water. However, artificial turf is made of plastic, rubber, and other materials that are not biodegradable, and cleaning or cooling it requires water. Eventually, it will end up in a landfill. As its components break down, it’s possible for the chemicals in its materials to leak into the environment. Many states are researching and making claims about its toxicity and more research still needs to be done. 

For more information on why our natural turf grass sod is the right choice for you, visit our website: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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24
Dec

CHASE FIELD GETS NATURAL TURFGRASS OVERLAY FOR 2019 CHEEZ-IT BOWL

90,000 sq. ft. of West Coast Turf Bandera Bermuda Sod Put on Top of New Artificial Turf for December 27th Football Game

Phoenix, AZ……The Cheez-It Bowl is ready for the Air Force Falcons vs the Washington State Cougars on December 27th, on a new natural turfgrass field.

Just last week, West Coast Turf installed 90,000 square feet of their 1” thick overseeded Bandera Bermuda sod directly on top of Chase Field’s new artificial turf baseball field. Installation took 2 days, and a layer of polyethylene plastic sheeting was put in between the artificial surface and the natural sod. The sod is thick-cut and weighs approximately 15 lbs. per sq. ft. so that rooting will not be a factor with such a short time frame. The weight will give the sod its stability.

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26
Sep

Invierno, siembre su césped de Arizona

A medida que nos acercamos al final del verano, los equipos de cuidado del césped se están preparando para una siembra excesiva y para mantener la hierba verde durante el invierno.


Primero, analicemos la preparación inicial del césped. Deje que su césped crezca un 25-30% de altura para proporcionar más densidad de hojas. Otra ventaja de mantener su césped a una altura más alta es que usará menos agua, y cuando le corte el cuero cabelludo le dejará muchas hojas nuevas y saludables para la primavera. Si tiene un césped saludable, es bueno pasarle el rastrillo ligeramente o cortarlo verticalmente en ese momento. Esto abre el dosel del césped y permite que las semillas lleguen al suelo. Si normalmente mantiene su césped a 1 “, podrá elevar la altura de su césped durante las próximas dos semanas a alrededor de 1.25″. Cuando el clima coopere, puede cortar el césped ligeramente por debajo de su altura de corte normal. La mayoría de los cortacéspedes rotativos se pueden bajar a ¾ ”.(Tres cuartos).

Recuerde que no todas las semillas son iguales. Aquí hay algunos consejos a tener en cuenta al mirar una bolsa de semillas.

1. El mejor material para la siembra de invierno es el ryegrass perenne (Hierba de centeno perenne). Si bien parece que la “Anual de hierba de centeno tiene sentido”(Anual ryegrass), este no tiene el vigor, el color o la densidad que tiene la hierba de centeno perenne.
2. Tasa de germinación: la tasa de germinación le indicará qué cantidad de semilla es viable. Si recoge una bolsa con una tasa de germinación del 60%, entonces necesita un 40% más de semillas para dejar la tasa correcta. Tiene que encontrar una bolsa con más del 85% de germinación.

3. Semilla de malezas: este número debe ser cero. Cualquier semilla de
marihuana o materia inerte causará estragos en su césped sobre el sembrado.

4. Muchas veces las semillas de ryegrass (hierba de centeno) mezcladas son más baratas porque ponen diferentes grados de semillas en la bolsa. Algunas mezclas son semillas muy buenas y proporcionan diferentes protecciones para las plantas, pero algunas se mezclan con semillas de menor grado. Recuerde que la semilla de ryegrass (hierba de centeno) tiene un precio por germinación, semilla de malezas y calidad de la semilla. Por lo tanto, si ha encontrado un acuerdo sobre semillas, no siempre será su mejor apuesta.

Materiales para Siembra excesiva.

Semilla de ryegrass perenne (Hierba de centeno perenne) de alta calidad.
Fertilizante inicial: cuando recoja su semilla, también recoja un fertilizante inicial. Algunos buenos son Soil Burst 4-4-2, 11-52-0 o 6-20-20.
Segunda aplicación de fertilizante: se puede aplicar después de cortar el césped por primera vez. Los fertilizantes a considerar son 21-7-14, 11-52-0 o 6-20-20.
Todos sus rociadores deben estar funcionando y ajustados adecuadamente. Revise todas las boquillas después del cuero cabelludo en busca de astillas o abolladuras que el cortacésped pueda haber causado al cortar más.
Rastrillo eléctrico o verticutter.

Instrucciones para Siembra excesiva.

1. Reduzca el agua un 25% dos semanas antes de la siembra excesiva. Detenga todas las aplicaciones de fertilizantes cuatro semanas antes de la siembra.
2. Eleve la altura de su césped 25-30%. Usted hace esto para que corte el césped desde el cuero cabelludo y no lo esté cortando desde la tierra, sino que esté cortando el césped a una altura manejable, lo que no causará ninguna lesión al césped en la primavera.

3. Rastrillo eléctrico o verticut el césped. No configure la máquina para desenterrar nuevos rizomas del suelo. Su objetivo es abrir el dosel de césped.

4. Después de encender el rastrillo, corte los recortes. El cortacésped funciona muy bien para recoger el césped. A continuación, configure el rastrillo eléctrico en una configuración más baja y realice el mismo proceso en una dirección diferente. Esto abrirá el dosel de césped denso y permitirá que la semilla ingrese a la planta de la hierba.

5. Corte los recortes nuevamente. Después de que se hayan limpiado los recortes, ajuste su podadora a ¾ ” (tres cuartos) o ½” (un medio) si tiene una cortadora de carrete y corte el césped. La única razón por la que está descalcificando es para evitar que el césped de la temporada cálida compita con la semilla de ryegrass (hierba de Centeno).

6. Tan pronto como limpie el césped, aplique su fertilizante de arranque. Estás buscando una aplicación de fósforo para ayudar a la semilla. Algunos excelentes fertilizantes son 4-4-2, 6-20-20 o 11-52-0 para comenzar con su césped.

7. Me gusta mantener mis rocas y bordes limpios, así que uso un separador de gotas. Primero aplique ryegrass perenne (hierba de Centeno perenne) a 10 libras por 1000 SF alrededor del perímetro del césped. Haga dos pases para asegurarse de que el esparcidor giratorio no arroje semillas a las rocas. Esto no es necesario, pero evitará que el ryegrass (la hierba de Centeno) invada áreas indeseables durante todo el invierno.

8. Luego aplique su hierba de centeno perenne con un esparcidor giratorio a 10-12 libras por 1000 SF al resto del césped. Si desea la mejor cobertura, debe aplicar 5-6 libras de semilla por 1000 SF en dos direcciones. Este es siempre el mejor enfoque, pero nuevamente no es necesario.

9. Tendrá algo de semilla encima de la superficie del césped, pero la mayoría debería estar dentro de la planta de césped si preparó su césped correctamente y abrió el dosel. Puede usar una escoba para ayudar a que cualquier semilla adicional ingrese a la planta.

10. Siga las instrucciones de riego a continuación.

Algunas personas cubren sus semillas con mantillo, pero puede ahorrar su tiempo, dinero y el olor en su jardín porque esto no es necesario. El mantillo permite que la semilla mantenga la humedad y mantiene el calor en la planta, pero si siembras en septiembre / octubre, hace mucho calor. No necesita preocuparse por la humedad tampoco. El mantillo no evita que las aves coman su semilla e incluso si ellas comen algo de semillas, usted ya ha aplicado muchas semillas con la tasa de 10-12 libras / 1000 SF.

Regar tu césped cubierto.

Semana 1-2: Riegue 3 veces al día durante 5-7 minutos por ciclo. Asegúrate de no tener estanques. Si lo hace, baje la cantidad de agua. Sugiero regar alrededor de las 8 a.m., mediodía y 4 p.m.

Semana 3: Riegue 2 veces al día durante 12-15 minutos. Dado que la planta es muy nueva en este momento, lo mejor es una aplicación por la mañana y por la tarde. Por lo general, puede cortar el césped por primera vez después de 14 días. Es mejor dejar que la hierba se seque durante varias horas antes de hacer el primer corte. Mantenga el cortacésped a una altura superior a la normal.

Semana 4: agua 1 vez por día durante 10-15 minutos. Durante este período de tiempo, puede cortarlo cada 5-7 días.

Semana 5: Riegue cada dos días 10-15 minutos. Corte el césped cada 5-7 días según sea necesario y aplique una vez más Soil Burst 4-4-2, 21-7-14 o 15-15-15.

Semana 6 y más allá: Riegue cada 2-3 días según sea necesario hasta que las temperaturas se enfríen durante el invierno. Durante el invierno, puede estirar su ryegrass (Hierba de Centeno) aún más entre riegos. Sugeriría aplicaciones de fertilizantes cada 28 días durante el otoño. Cuando las temperaturas caen alrededor del punto de congelación, es mejor usar fertilizantes líquidos para mantener el vigor del césped.

Jay Danek
Mr. Wise Grass
11803 E. McDonald Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
480-951-8700
www.westcoastturf.com

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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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