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06
May

New Turf Course Debuts at Churchill Downs – BloodHorse

Churchill Downs kicked off its opening night on April 30 for a season of horse racing. Not just any horse racing – turf racing. This newly revamped track has a $10 million lawn debuted and was a huge improvement from the old turf, which many say was not holding up well. The old mix was four-inch high Kentucky 31 Fescue (90%) and Bluegrass (10%) grown in a three-inch topsoil layer over a 13-inch course masonry sand base. The new turf course is Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass. Tahoma 31 is a variety we have at West Coast Turf and is the most water-saving of all the varieties we use. Currently, we have Tahoma at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and Dignity Health Sports Park (home of the L.A. Galaxy soccer club).

A little trivia: John Foster had the #2 horse in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on the dirt surface last year, Hot Rod Charlie, and just got a horse named Tahoma! This Saturday, the country’s most elite racehorses will make their “run for the roses” during the Kentucky Derby. 

Why is the Tahoma 31 such a huge improvement on the turf course? Award-winning jockey, Julien Leparoux, says, “For some reason in the spring, the turf course was actually good and by the time we come back in September it was… the opposite of this (new) turf course now. It felt like, even if we didn’t have any rain, it felt we had like 10 inches of rain the day before the races. It was crazy. The horses were going down pretty deep. A lot of kickback. So, I’m glad they fixed it.”

Said jockey Declan Cannon, “With the old course the roots system was dead and there was no growth. And basically, it needed redoing. It had run its course. It just really needed to be replaced.” Churchill jockey Corey Lanerie concurred, “I’m happy to see them invest money in it and redo it because the other one was getting pretty chewed up, and it wasn’t holding together. So, it’ll be safer for the horses and the jockeys.”

In addition to the new mix of grass, they have improved drainage, and the removal of a crown on the outer part of the old course. The crown was there for drainage, but effectively eliminated that part of the course for running. Providing this new turf for the efficiency, and especially safety, of the jockeys and horses is crucial.  For more information, visit our website at: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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28
Apr

Changes in Water Restrictions in California

We have all read an article or two lately about the need to cut back on water used outdoors for lawns, trees, and shrubs. We are in a time when water supply is low, and we are caught between trying to keep our homes cooler by having a lawn and using too much water to keep it green. There will always be two sides to this issue as some see lawns and plants as a waste of water and others understand the benefit to the environment. As is the case in politics a blog post or article is not going to change one’s mind one way or the other but being opened to change and learning from each other will help us find a middle ground. Today I am going to talk about ways to reduce water for your turfgrass while keeping the grass healthy, and still providing the benefits to the environment. 

Grass selection is becoming more and more important. Let us start by examining the difference between warm and cool season grasses. Here in the southwest you can expect to use 30% more water by using a cool season grass when compared to a warm season grass. Cool season grasses grow best between 60-75 degrees whereas warm season grasses grow best between 90-105 degrees. Picking a warm season turfgrass for your area can save a significant amount of water and allow you to curtail water use longer during hot, dry periods. Swapping out a tall fescue lawn for a drought tolerant bermudagrass is much cheaper than you think and it will save water and put money back in your pocket. 

The next part of grass selection is determining the right warm season grass for you. Breeders have been working overtime for years to come up with more drought tolerant grasses and they have been very successful. Some of the grasses on the market right now for reducing water are Kurapia (best drought tolerance), Tahoma 31 (second best), Tiftuf (3rd) Santa Ana, Paspalum, and Zoysia (coming soon to WCT). Kurapia is a ground cover that can be maintained on 50-60% replacement of evapotranspiration and even less if you want to slow the growth and put the grass into a state of dormancy during the hot summer. Studies have shown Tahoma 31 to use slightly less water than Tiftuf its closet competitor in the drought market and 20% less water than older bermudagrass varieties. Selecting the right turfgrass will enable your lawn to use less water and maintain drought tolerance through the hot summer.

How much water does grass need to survive? This is a loaded question, and you will get several different answers but on average 1.25” of water per week during the hottest part of the summer will keep your lawn healthy, thriving, and growing. Can you water less than 1.25” and have a good lawn? Absolutely! You could maintain your lawn with a once-a-week deep irrigation cycle during the summer months to keep the plant healthy and alive. The drought tolerant varieties will put your lawn into a state of pseudo dormancy, but the turf will still provide the same environmental benefits. I know for many having a green lawn is important but sometimes its not possible based on available water. In this situation I advise using a product like Endurant Turf Paint to give the lawn the desired color during periods of water reduction. Since the lawn will not be growing much the paint should last 45-60 days. 

Raise your mowing height during the summer. The shorter you maintain your lawn, the shallower the root system will be for the plant. Most warm season grasses can be maintained between half and inch and one and a half inches. These are the optimal ranges but do not be afraid to raise the height to two inches and save even more water.

 Water infiltration is extremely important. If your soil is a hard pan and water sheets off the ground every time you water, there is some work to do. Grass loves a deep watering which can happen all at once or broken up in the cycle/soak method. This means running 10-15 minutes and then letting it soak for an hour or more before running the second half of the cycle. If you cannot run more than a few minutes of water without runoff its time to aerate and open the soil. This will relieve compaction and allow water to freely get into the soil. 

Irrigation systems save time, water, and money. Putting in a smart timer that calculates evapotranspiration and tests soil moisture will help keep water use down and drastically lower your budget. These smart devices calculate real time weather, plant needs, and soil data. You can set them to use 70-80% of ET to keep your lawn growing. Many cities offer free irrigation clocks and soil moisture monitor tools so check with your city and see what is available. 

There are so many great options on the market right now to save water and allow you to have a healthy lawn. Remember that a lawn does not have to be bright green to be healthy. No one wants to give up their lawn and no one will have to if we all use some conservation methods. If you have any questions on any varieties send me an email and I will be happy to help you out. For more information about us, visit: westcoastturf.com

Click here for:

-Jay, Mr. Wise Grass

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18
Apr

Spring Cleaning Your Outdoor Space

The sun’s out, but it’s not too hot yet – now is the perfect time to get your home, garden, and outdoor spaces ready for spring. Here are some simple steps to getting the spring cleaning done.

  1. Clean, clean, clean. Wash windows and floorboards, dust off any cobwebs, sweep surfaces, and clear away any debris from fallen leaves and trees. Power wash your patio or deck. Wipe down patio furniture. Clean or replace any outdoor furniture as needed. 
  1. Update your green spaces. Mow your grass, trim your shrubs, redefine garden beds, make sure your natural grass is healthy and in a good routine for watering and mowing. Have fun with it – add pops of color in planters and herbs to your garden for cooking.
  1. Aerate your lawn, if necessary. If your lawn gets heavy traffic, such as lots of running and playing in the same spot, this can cause soil compaction. A lawn aerator creates openings in lawn turf that allows water and air to penetrate the soil and reach the grassroots. You can rent a lawn aerator at a big box hardware store, or, if you have a small lawn, use a hand aerator to do it. If you must aerate in the spring, consider doing it around Memorial Day, after weeds have started growing but before they go to seed.
  1. Weed your lawn. If you prefer weed-free lawns, spring lawn care is as much about weed prevention as it is about fostering healthy lawn growth. Depending upon whether a weed is annual or perennial, you will use either a pre-emergent herbicide or a post-emergent herbicide. 
  1. Service your lawn mower. Spring means it’s time to get out the lawn mower and make sure it’s in working order. Start it up – stubborn start-ups are a sign that it might be due for a tune-up (mowers should be given tune-ups once a year). If your lawnmower needs more than a tune-up, then consider getting a new one. Among the key tune-up tasks is sharpening the mower blade. A regular sharpening will ensure the blade severs, rather than tears, the grass, leading to a nice green lawn rather than one with ragged brown tips.

Once your outdoor space is ready, get outside and enjoy this beautiful spring weather! For more information visit https://www.westcoastturf.com

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07
Jun

Arizona and California Summer Sod Tips

As summer approaches, people have more free time and the weather is conducive for spending lots of that free time outside. If your lawn needs care and you are laying and maintaining new sod, here are some simple tips to follow. 

Watering

Making sure you water your sod correctly is crucial to maintaining its health. You will need to water your grass often and will want to keep the soil damp for three to four inches below the surface. It is important to make sure your lawn is moist but not overwatered. Sod that is overwatered is susceptible to disease. You may need to water several times a day – in the morning, midday, and early afternoon – to make sure it doesn’t dry out. You won’t need to water as much in shady spots, as these areas are more prone to fungus.

Mowing

Make sure the blades on your mower are sharp. This is something a lot of people don’t think about, but dull blades can tear up grass rather than cutting it. This will not only degrade the appearance of the grass, but will also leave it susceptible to harmful conditions. As a rule, try to mow your grass about once every two weeks. You don’t want to mow the grass too short, as taller grass grows deeper roots which then allows it to survive in hot, dry conditions. 

Fertilizer

Look for fertilizers specifically designed for summer use. Certain fertilizers contain large amounts of nitrogen. This encourages fresh growth, which is normally helpful but is not in the hot summer months. The reason for this is that young grass isn’t as durable as older grass which causes it to work harder to stay healthy, putting stress on your lawn.

Remember that keeping sod healthy in the summer in desert weather can be a bit more challenging than other times of the year. West Coast Turf can help you determine the type of sod that suits your particular needs best.

Visit us online https://www.westcoastturf.com/ or contact us to find out how we can serve you.

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01
Feb

Exterior Improvements To Increase Your California & Arizona Home Value

For the past year, since Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, home improvement has surged throughout the country, and especially in California. People are spending more and more time in their homes, giving them more motivation to reimagine and upgrade their indoor and outdoor spaces. Many are using this time to improve the curb appeal of their homes – one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve property values. Landscaping updates are an affordable way to increase the value of your California and Arizona home by 5-15% or to just add personality to it, even if you aren’t in the market to sell.

Starting with your grass, it’s important to keep in mind what type of sod is appropriate in relation to the seasonal climates where you live. In Southern California and specifically in desert climates, our California and Arizona sods are the perfect low-maintenance and low cost options. This type of grass is drought resistant in dry weather, making it eco-conscious and environmentally-friendly. If you are selling your home, this type of landscaping will attract buyers who are interested in a natural grass lawn that saves money and conserves water. 

Coordinate your lush natural grass lawn with a variety of plants, shrubs, and trees. Blooming flowers are beautiful and healthy grass will help them – along with your other chosen vegetation – to stay alive and vibrant, enticing buyers to check out your property.

West Coast Turf and Western Sod is the leader in the sod farming industry for over four decades. We provide the best natural turfgrass and sod installation service in the business. Contact us or visit us online for all of your home landscaping needs – our beautiful natural grass can greatly improve your curb appeal!

https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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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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07
Aug

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

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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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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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