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18
Nov

West Coast Turf Wishes The Rose Bowl Stadium a Happy 100th Birthday

Friday, October 28, 2022 was the Official 100th Birthday of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. At West Coast Turf, we are proud to provide them with their sod and we join them in celebrating one hundred years of being one of the most famous and beloved venues in sporting history. 

Some fast facts: The Rose Bowl has a seating capacity of 92,542, making it the 16th largest stadium in the world, and the 11th largest in the United States. Best known as a football stadium, it’s been home to the UCLA Bruins football team since 1982 and has hosted 5 Super Bowl games (3rd most of any stadium). It’s also a notable soccer venue, as well as a concert venue for many of the most iconic and famous musicians – Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Journey all played there, as well as Lilith Fair festival. 

The Rose Bowl was designated a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark in 1922. Since 1993, West Coast Turf has been the proud providers of their turf that so many sports and teams have played on. We know that the grass you play on is one important aspect of what makes a stadium so popular, and we are honored to provide their Bermuda sod for them year after year.

To see our full client list, click on the About Us section. 

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18
Nov

Maintenance practices for your Arizona and California Sod

As we move into November it’s a safe assumption that if you were going to overseed you have done it by now or plan to in the next week or two. There is still time to get a winter lawn in if you would like, but its also beneficial to let your lawn go dormant for the winter. With so many new paint and dye options it makes the decision a little easier for homeowners to let their lawn go dormant and still have a green winter lawn. Today I want to talk about the next step in the overseeding process and also what to do if you decided to forgo overseeding this year. 

Overseeded Turf

Fertilizer

Overseeded turf really benefits from front loading fertilizer during the grow in stage. You should have applied a starter fertilizer with your seed and if the lawn is 3-4 weeks along now you can give it another boost before the cooler temperatures arrive. Once you have mowed your ryegrass for the first time and feel like you have a good stand of grass, I recommend making that second application of fertilizer. While there are hundreds of choices on the market for fertilizers to use, I’m choosing to keep things simple so you’re not running all over trying to find different products. 

Calcium Nitrate (15.5-0-0 on the bag) – Calcium nitrate is a great way to give your new ryegrass a kick start and help the tillering process. This can be applied up to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF. Remember the first number on the bag is the percentage of nitrogen in the bag. Therefore, this bag is 15.5% nitrogen. To apply one pound of nitrogen you need to divide .155/1 = 6.45 pounds of product equals one pound of nitrogen. 

Ferrous Sulfate – Ferrous sulfate can help get your grass a deep green color and keep it that way when the temperatures cool off in late November. This is a water-soluble product that can be mixed in a hand sprayer with a ½ pound of product and 3-4 gallons of water. Spray this mixture over 1000 SF but keep it off walkways, concrete, paver, and anything you don’t want to get an iron stain on. I recommend having someone help you apply the product. You can have one person apply the product and another use a small piece of plywood of cardboard to block pavers, etc. I would wait until he ryegrass has been in at least four weeks before applying it. This can be applied every 14 days throughout the winter for strong color.

Balanced fertilizer – A couple other products that are readily available and will help your early season ryegrass are 15-15-15 or 21-7-14. I have seen both products at nurseries and the box stores. 

The key is to get your ryegrass in good shape and strong before we get our first frost. This is typically around Thanksgiving but areas outside of town will get it sooner. Once we get a couple hard freezes the granular fertilizers provide less benefit to the grass and foliar fertilizers should be utilized. This is normally the case from December to February. 

Watering 

Once the ryegrass is established you can really cut back the water. Keep an eye on the soil moisture and the general look of the ryegrass. You will find you can go several days without water during the winter and the ryegrass won’t be affected. When you do water make sure its deep and you can easily push a screwdriver in the ground 6” after application. The easiest way to tell if your lawn needs a drink is the blueish grey tint on the plant or if you walk on it and the grass doesn’t bounce back up quickly. Never set your water to run daily, it does nothing for the grass except injure the root system and wastes water. Keep an eye on the forecast and shut off the system if rain is expected. We all need to do our parts to save water and getting a smart irrigation clock or monitoring for moisture will make a tremendous difference.

Non overseeded Turf

This is a great option for those that want to save water and maintenance time during the winter. Not only will your lawn be happy it got a rest, you wallet will also be happy. I recommend forgoing overseed every few years to give your lawn a break and have a full growing season. 

If you still want to have a green winter lawn look at turf paints or dyes that are readily available online and through some distributors. Each product will have a different rate for application so read the label carefully and cover up any areas you don’t want to get paint on. Most of the paints are organic and safe for kids, pets, and to play on. If you have concern about a particular product, I recommend reading through their literature to find the right one for your family.

Since your lawn is not actively growing it does gives weeds a chance to come in and cause some issues. Its best to apply a pre-emergent such as Prodiamine on the entire lawn and this will give you 90+ days of control. This cannot be applied if you are still planning on overseeding this year. It MUST be done 6-8 weeks before seeding or you will not get the seed to emerge well. 

Watering 

There isn’t a particular watering schedule that must be maintained during the winter except to keep some moisture in the ground every 2-3 weeks. I leave my irrigation clock off all winter and hope there is some timely rain every few weeks. If we don’t get any rain, I will give my lawn a good drink and start the process over again. This can be done until March when the gras sis starting to green up again and the temperatures is rising. 

Fertilizer 

You don’t need to apply any fertilizer during the winter, let the lawn rest and bring it back in March. Its okay to apply some nitrogen into November to maintain some color and a little growth but the plant will shut down once it gets too cold and the fertilizer will not benefit the plant.

If you have any questions let me know. 

-Jay

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18
Jul

West Coast Turf Made the 2022 MLB All-Star Team!

Photo credit: Ballparks of Baseball

When you’re watching the 2022 MLB All-Star game on Tuesday, July 19, you’ll also be watching West Coast Turf in action. How is that? Well, for the 4th time, West Coast Turf will be the surface for the All-Star game (held this year at Dodger Stadium). 

Our Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass is currently at not only Dodger Stadium, but also Angel Stadium, and Dignity Health Sports Park, the home of the L.A. Galaxy and UC San Diego’s Triton Soccer Field. This particular turf is the grass of choice for sports fields. There are a lot of reasons for this, one being its low water use. It’s also resistant to winterkill, has characteristics of improved tolerance to wear, salt, and to short mowing heights. Importantly for Southern California, this grass is averse to drought. Its low vertical growth makes it the ideal choice for sports turf, golf courses, and landscape applications. It’s also the perfect choice for home lawns as well, since it’s the most drought-tolerant variety we’ve seen. You can have this exact same grass for your home field! 

Tahoma 31 bermudagrass is a variety of grass that was developed by leading turf scientists at Oklahoma State University. It derives its name from the Native American word, Tahoma, which means “frozen in water”. In addition to the above-mentioned, Tahoma 31 is also used as the turf for Pepperdine Soccer, El Caballero Country Club, Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, Pro Bowl Practice Field 2022, Churchill Downs “Matt Winn Turf Course.” Visit westcoastturf.com for more information.

Tahoma 31 Bermuda (westcoastturf.com)

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05
Jul

Sod: Not Just for Your Lawn

We often talk about sod on a large scale, from athletic fields and golf courses to housing developments and private homes. But our sod has many more uses, as you’ll see.

Events

One place sod can be very useful is at events. You can lay down temporary sod for an outdoor area you’d like to soften up and give a more natural look. It looks great as decorative pieces, as well. We recently served a wedding where sod was used as a tabletop, as well as side accents.

Compost 

One popular and helpful way to use sod is by creating a sod composting pile. When you take out sod to create a hard path or walkway, you will have extra and wonder how to dispose of it. The answer is not to dispose of it at all, put it to use! While the sod is still fresh, find a corner of your yard and lay down a piece of sod grass. Stack face down pieces of sod on top of that, wetting each piece before adding another. Once your composting sod pile is as high as you’d like it to be (not to exceed 6 ft), cover the it  in thick black plastic. Weigh the edges down against the ground with stones or cinder blocks, making sure not to let any light to get in. Let your composting sod pile sit until the following spring and uncover it. Inside, you will find rich compost ready for use!

Gardening

Another great use for sod is creating the base for a garden or flower bed. Follow these steps to starting your new garden base! Pile the sod, grass down, in your new garden space until it reaches the desired height. Then cover it with 2–3 inches of topsoil. Finally, add 3–4 inches of mulch. This is a great way to use old sod to increase garden height for better drainage, or even build a tall, raised bed if desired. The sod slowly decomposes into rich soil which will eventually feed the plants in your garden.

Those are just a few small-scale uses of sod. Talk to us about your sod projects – large and small – and see what we can do for you! For more information, visit our website westcoastturf.com

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08
Apr

Getting Your Lawn in Top Shape During Spring Transition

**Due to California and Arizona’s statewide shelter at home orders because of the coronavirus, West Coast Turf is carefully and responsibly continuing to operate using heightened hygiene and social/physical distancing rules to maintain the health and safety of our employees and customers. 

We are monitoring available information and are able to continue to supply sod since it’s an agricultural product, and supply hardware stores, nurseries, and construction, which are listed as exempt from the order.  

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

Please be aware that this could change at any time if further clarification is given by either State.  We are open and here to help you with your turfgrass needs.**

___________________________________

A lot of us have some extra time at home right now, and are spending more time out on our California and Arizona lawns.

There’s a renewed appreciation for nature and the outdoors. And, the sight of green grass and the smell of fresh cut grass has proven to be beneficial to our mental health and help curb anxiety–that’s ALWAYS welcome–especially now.

Taking care of your lawn can be productive, therapeutic, and something you can do alone, or with someone else safely and socially distant.

Let’s talk about some things you can do right now to make sure your lawn transitions properly this spring……

Spring Transition

As the temperatures begin to rise it’s a good time to look at your lawn program.  Did you overseed your warm season lawn or allow it to bounce into 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. 

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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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29
Aug

Labor Day – Proof Your Lawn

Summer is the perfect time for a backyard barbeque and Labor Day Weekend is the pinnacle of the outdoor party fun. While everyone is enjoying themselves eating, grilling, standing around talking to friends, and playing cornhole, your beautiful sod lawn may be suffering under the foot traffic (and paw traffic from the four-legged party-goers). Follow our tips for keeping your sod lawn in tip top shape and keeping the damage minimal.

Tip #1: Musical Chairs is more than just a game

Large items, such as furniture, create damage to your sod when they are on it in one spot for too long. The sod becomes deprived of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to flourish and will often turn brown as the grass dies. To prevent this, move these heavy objects around every other day to different parts of your yard. For your outdoor parties, this goes for the grill, backyard games, furniture, and all other heavy objects.

Tip #2: Mulch ado about nothing

Mulch can be used in a number of ways in your yard, one of which is a space filler. If you have spots that need covering or want to keep them from forming, mulch is a great solution and looks nice in your yard.

Tip #3: Bed of roses

Make sure your flowers won’t be trampled on by party goers! Decorative fences or other landscaping to separate your flowers from the rest of your sod lawn will keep people from walking where they shouldn’t and ruining your beautiful florals!

Tip #4: Get in touch with West Coast Turf to repair any damaged sod or to install a new sod lawn that’s sure to impress at your Labor Day BBQ, or any other outdoor parties!

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26
Jul

Installation at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ

A few blog posts ago, we talked about being the official turfgrass providers to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Baseball is only one of the sports that we provide turfgrass for. Last month, we installed bentgrass at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale. By all appearances, our project began on June 25, which is the point which we have had big and small rolls delivered and throughout that time, we’ve installed three greens per week. This has been ongoing and will culminate in the finished product, on July 31. However, this project actually commenced in October of 2017. At that time, Troon North contacted West Coast Turf – known for our expertise in Arizona sod – and contracted us to custom-grow A1/A4 bent grass on our farm in Escondido, CA. At that point, seed was planted in October.
Overall, a total of 130,000 square feet will have been delivered and installed by the end of July. Our big rolls are four feet wide and thirty feet long and our small rolls are sixteen inches wide by five feet in length. Troon North is a hallmark of the Scottsdale desert golf scene, boasting two beautiful 18-hole courses that stretch through landcapes such as natural ravines and foothills, with giant granite boulders scattered across the Sonoran Desert landscape.
When you need an expert in Arizona sod, installing turf grass at your golf course, baseball field, or football field – contact West Coast Turf. https://www.westcoastturf.com/
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11
Jun

Warm Season Turfgrass Management

Warm Season Turfgrass Management

The information contained in this packet is designed as a general guideline for maintaining warm season turfgrass in Arizona and California. As with all living plants there will be unforeseen circumstances and environmental conditions that will require you to deviate from site to site. Maintaining turfgrass in the desert regions can present severe stress on turfgrass so daily observation is important. One plan is not going to fit every circumstance, but going into the season with guidelines will help ease the burden when situations arise.

Soil Preparation Prior to Sod Installation

  1. Apply gypsum at 25-50 pounds per 1000 square feet to the area you will be getting ready for turf.
  2. Rototill your soil to a 6-8 inch depth. This may not be possible in all areas but tilling up the soil as deep as possible will provide your lawn with more air, better water infiltration/percolation, and will allow for a stronger root structure.
  3. Level and grade the soil to reestablish uniformity in the soil.
  4. Install your irrigation system. It is important to make sure that all irrigation trenches are water packed and have fully settled before you put your lawn in. You don’t want to see where all the irrigation trenches were dug. Do you want to lower your water usage on turfgrass? Try a subsurface irrigation system. There have been so many advances in the drip irrigation market and we have had very good success.
  5. Finish grade your soil and use sand to do any leveling to the soil surface. Mulch is okay, but it will hold moisture in the top couple inches of the soil and can potentially bring in weed seed. Sand is the ideal growing medium for grass.
  6. Water your soil for a few days to make sure the soil is settled and you’re happy with the final grade. Remember sod is just like carpet and anything under the grass like large rocks will be visible.
  7. Order your BOBSod and set up a day to install the turf. Don’t forget to order your Soil Burst 4-4-2 organic starter fertilizer from us that can be applied right before the sod goes down or right on top of your new lawn. Don’t miss this critical step. Other starter fertilizers that can easily be applied are 11-52-0, 6-24-24, 21-7-14, or 6-20-20. There are several other kinds but these are the most readily available in town.

Installing West Coast Turf

  1. Lay sod around the perimeter using small cuts in the sod to help wrap around tight corners.
  2. Find the longest and straightest point in your lawn and lay the sod in a straight line.
  3. Now follow the straight line and sod in a brick pattern to stagger the seams. The easiest way to do this is to cut the first piece of sod in half and then lay full rolls. This will keep the seams from lining up next to each other.

Watering Your New Turf

  1. Water 3-4 times a day for the first two weeks making sure you keep the foliage of the grass moist. Since roots have not been established it is not important to water more than 10-15 minutes per cycle.
  2. Once the grass has rooted down (can’t be pulled up) cut your watering to one time per day for 15-20 minutes. If you have low flow sprinklers you need to water twice as long as a normal pop up sprinkler.
  3. Once the lawn has been in a month cut the watering back to every other to every third day for 25-35 minutes. This will be your summer watering schedule. Grass should be watered deep and infrequent to promote root growth.

Turfgrass Fertility

Fertility is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy stand of turf. Fertilizers come in all different formulations and the only true way to determine requirements is to do annual soil testing. All bags of fertilizer list three numbers on the front of the bag. These are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These three nutrients are the key building blocks to every successful fertilizer program.

Nitrogen (N) – Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients to all grass plants. It is required in the highest quantities for all warm season grasses except paspalum. Bermudagrass will use 8-10 pounds of N per 1000 SF (350-450#/AC) during the growing season. The typical growing season is from mid-April through November. Nitrogen is the first number listed on a bag of fertilizer. (e.g. 21-0-0)

  1. Color
  2. Shoot growth
  3. Density
  4. Wear tolerance
  5. Recuperation of injured or new turf

Quick release Nitrogen sources:

  1. Ammonium sulfate
  2. Ammonium nitrate
  3. Potassium nitrate
  4. Urea

Slow release nitrogen sources:

  1. Sulfur coated urea
  2. Compost and manure (miloraganite)
  3. Poultry waste – (Soil Burst 4-4-2)
  4. Resin coated urea
  5. Urea formaldehyde

Phosphorus (P) – This is one of the key nutrients along with nitrogen and potassium that is essential for plant survival. Phosphorus is the second number listed on a bag of fertilizer.  (ex. 11-52-0) It has been proven to help with quick lawn establishment because it promotes strong root growth. Most bermudagrass lawns use between 4-6 pounds (175-250#/AC) of phosphorus per 1000 SF growing season.

  1. Turf establishment
  2. Root growth
  3. Seed production
  4. Increased turf vigor

Potassium (K) – The final nutrient in the big three listed on a bag of fertilizer (ex. 21-7-14). Potassium is required by all turfgrass plants for plant strength and root formation. A potassium deficiency can be identified by yellowing of the turfgrass leaves, weak root system, and it opens up the plant for disease potential if conditions are right. A typical bermudagrass lawn will use 4-6 pounds (175-250#/AC) of potassium per 1000 SF per growing season.

  1. Root growth
  2. Heat and cold tolerance
  3. Wear tolerance
  4. Disease susceptibility

Sulfur (S) – Sulfur is typically used in smaller quantities in warm season turfgrasses, but it is a valuable nutrient for turfgrass managers. Most bermudagrasses will use 2.5-5 (100-200 pounds/AC) pounds of sulfur per 1000 SF per year.

  1. Green color
  2. Shoot growth and density
  3. Root growth
  4. Food storage (carbohydrate storage)

Iron (Fe) – Iron is an essential micronutrient that helps maintain balance in the plant. While it is not part of chlorophyll it is essential for chlorophyll synthesis. Iron has long been known as the key to solving many chlorosis issues.

  1. Green color
  2. Shoot growth
  3. Root growth
  4. Wear tolerance
  5. Cold/heat tolerance

Calculating Fertilizer for Turfgrass

All fertilizer bags list N-P-K on the front of the bag. These numbers determine the percentage of these nutrients in the bag of fertilizer. Using your monthly nutrient requirement you can easily calculate how much N-P-K you will be putting out in an application.

Ex. A bag of 21-7-14 is made up of 21% nitrogen, 7% phosphorus, and 14% potassium. The remainder of the bag is micronutrients and inert matter. If you wanted to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF you would use the following formula.

1 pound of nitrogen /.21 (percent in the bag) = 4.76 pounds of product to yield 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF or 207 pounds per acre (43,560 SF/AC)

After calculating the amount of total fertilizer needed you will want to calculate the setting on your spreader by weighing 4.76 pounds. Measure out 1000 SF and adjust your setting plus/minus depending on if you have extra or too little fertilizer.

Pre/Post-emergent Weed Control

There are so many herbicides on the market today that treat any number of weeds, but I have provided a list of the herbicides I’ve had the most success using. This doesn’t mean that a product I didn’t name won’t be effective, but unfortunately some of the others I have not done enough testing on.

Pre-emergent herbicides

  1. Barricade 65WG (Prodiamine)
  2. Dimension (dithiopyr)
  3. Ronstar (oxadiazon)
  4. Pendulum (pendimethalin)

Post-Emergent Weed Control

  1. Trimec Classic for bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass.
  2. Trimec Southern for paspalum lawns overseeded or not overseeded with ryegrass.
  3. Vanquish (Dicamba) safe for bermudagrass and paspalum overseed/non
  4. 2,4-D Amine – Safe for bermudagrass lawns overseeded/non
  5. Xonerate (Amicarbazene) – This can safely be used on ryegrass to control Poa annua in a bermudagrass or paspalum overseed/non.  See label for rates. Best used in two half rate applications split up a month apart.

Before making an application of a pre-emergent herbicide make sure you take a look at the following:

  1. Irrigate afterwards, water activates pre-emergent herbicides.
  2. Measure your lawn surface area and calibrate your spreader properly prior to application. Applying more herbicide than is necessary could cause damage to your lawn.
  3. If you are starting to see a little emergence of crabgrass or poa annua after the product has been applied it is okay to make a second application of some products over the missed areas. Consult with the label prior to making a second application.
  4. If you have recently installed your turf (within the last 3 months) you should withhold all pre-emergent herbicide applications so you do not damage the root system.

It is extremely important to error on the side of caution when using any herbicide. Using more product than the label states is not only against the law it can also be very harmful to the turf. If you over apply herbicide you can expect to see residual damage for a few months after the application.

If you have a dormant lawn and are looking to get rid of poa annua before the bermudagrass or paspalum season apply Revolver, Kerb, or Certainty to remove.

There is a 2-3 week window between mid-December and mid-January after a hard freeze when you can apply round-up to treat weeds in dormant turf. The round-up rate should not exceed 16oz/ AC and needs to be applied before any spring green up.

Nutgrass herbicides

  1. Sedgehammer
  2. Certainty
  3. Monument
  4. Sandea

Overseeding

  1. Raise your mowing height up for a week so when you get ready to scalp the lawn you’re not mowing it down to the nubs. You want to raise the height 25-30%.
  2. When the nighttime temperatures consistently stay below 65 degrees (usually early to mid-October) you’re good to begin the overseed process.
  3. Rent a Ren-o-thin or dethatcher (usually $40-$50 for 4 hours) and drop the setting to just below half way. You don’t want to get aggressive and take out roots; you’re just looking to open up the grass canopy. Since warm season grasses tend to be thick at this time of the year a lot of grass will be taken when you verticut or dethatch.
  4. Verticut or dethatch in two-directions making sure your turf grass is open.
  5. Set the mower one notch below your last mow and pick up all of the grass lying on top of the ground.
  6. Now drop the mowing height one additional time and make sure you remove all of the remaining material that was lying on top of the turf.
  7. Apply your Soil Burst 4-4-2 starter fertilizer at 15 pounds per 1000 SF.
  8. Apply BOBSeed at 8-10 pounds per 1000 SF. I like to use a drop spreader to do two passes around the edges and keep the seed out of the rocks and dirt. Then come back with a rotary or drop spreader for the remainder of the yard.
  9. Since you verticut the lawn two directions you have opened up the grass plant and the seed will come up in a nice checkerboard pattern.
  10. Set your sprinklers to run 3-4 times per day for 5-7 minutes.
  11. Your lawn will germinate in 5 days and you will see grass starting to pop in 7-10 days.
  12. When your turf is 14 days old apply 21-7-14, 6-20-20, or 11-52-0 to your lawn.
  13. Make your first cut at 14-17 days when the grass is 1.5 inches. Do not cut a lot of material. Just trim it up. It is important to mow the grass when the turf is dry to get a clean cut.
  14. Change your watering to 1x per day for 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning for two weeks.
  15. At one month apply a final granular application such as Soil Burst 5-15-10, calcium nitrate or spray ferrous sulfate and potassium nitrate
  16. Decrease your watering schedule to every other to every third day for 20-25 minutes.
  17. Apply Soil Burst 4-4-2, 7-7-7, ferrous sulfate, or potassium nitrate every month throughout the winter.
  18. Granular fertilizers will not work well once we receive significant frost so make sure you use liquid products and keep the color bright green.

Spring Transition

  1. Gradually lower your mowing heights to reduce the turf canopy. Warm season grasses are not shade tolerant and excess ryegrass provides shade.  No need to scalp the lawn, just lower the height down and begin to thin out the grass.
  2. Lightly verticut the lawn to open up the canopy and let sunlight into the grass below.
  3. Be careful of fertilizer rates at this time of the year and stick to slow release products such as Soil Burst 4-4-2, 11-52-0, 6-20-20, or 21-7-14. You want to put a pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF down when you make this fertilizer application. The first number on the bag is nitrogen and it is listed as a percentage. For example the 21-7-14 is 21% nitrogen. A typical fertilizer bag weighs 50 lbs so 21% of the 50 pounds is nitrogen. In other words you have 10.5 pounds of nitrogen in a 50 lb bag. Since the goal is apply one pound of nitrogen you would use the following formula.
  4. 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.
  5. If you have standing water it is a great time to aerify so you can help air and water better infiltrate the soil.
  6. Increase your mowing frequency to two times per week.
  7. Gradually back off the water this month to stress out the ryegrass when soil temperatures reach 64 degrees (usually around mid-April). Turning off the water completely will stress out the warm season turf and ryegrass so this is not the optimal approach. Use 60% of your normal water rate.
  8. When soil temperatures reach 64 degree apply Soil Burst 5-15-10 at 20 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.
  9. 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.

Watering

99% of all issues related with turfgrass in our area are related to water. While many assume that too little water is always the problem, overwatering is just as detrimental to turfgrass. It is extremely important to check your turf daily to determine water use. Even when temperatures reach 115 degrees in the summer it is still possible to overwater your turf. Below are the key principles to a healthy lawn followed by new sod watering guidelines:

This pictures shows a dead area right in front of a pop up sprinkler. A dual fan nozzle will solve this common problem. A dual fan will throw water out and also hit the spot in front of the sprinkler.

  1. Water enough to moisten as much of the root zone as possible. Using a soil probe you can determine how deep your root zone is. Water to the depth of the roots.
  2. Water deep and infrequently. Do not water your turf every day.
  3. Sandy soils require more frequent irrigation and the root zone is often deeper than a clay material.
  4. Clay soils can be watered less frequently with larger quantities of water.
  5. A typical bermudagrass lawn will use 1” of water a week during the summer months. This should be applied over 3-4 days.
  6. In order to successfully water deep and infrequent utilize the cycle/soak method of irrigation. If you need to run 40 minutes then water 20 minutes at 6:00 am and 20 minutes at 9:00 am.
  7. Water early in the morning to reduce environmental factors such as wind, evaporation, etc.

New Sod Water Guidelines

Watering New Sod Summer Schedule
Temperature Above 90º F
Time Since Planting Watering Frequency Suggested Schedule Duration
First 14 days 4 times daily 8 & 11 a.m./2 & 5 p.m. 5 to 10 minutes
Roots usually established after 21 days 2 to 3 times per week Early Morning Hours Water should penetrate 8 to 10 inches deep
Watering New Sod (Dormant Bermuda Sod Overseeded with Winter Ryegrass)
Winter Schedule.  Temperatures Below 90º F
Time Since Planting Watering Frequency Suggested Schedule Duration
First 14 days 2 times daily 9 a.m. & 2 p.m. 10 to 15 minutes
15 to 21 days 1 time, every other day Early Morning Hours 15 to 20 minutes
Roots usually established after 21 days 3 to 10 days, depending on weather Early Morning Hours Water should penetrate 4 to 6 inches deep

 

Turfgrass cultural practices

Both aerating and verticutting will help reduce soil compaction. This is one of the biggest contributors to turfgrass desiccation. Soil compaction not only effects soil oxygen levels, it also plays a major role in the root system, deters the plant from accessing many of the key nutrients, and is a major contributor to weeds.

As with any maintenance program attention to detail is always important. In order to maintain a healthy turfgrass plant year round I would suggest incorporating the following into your yearly plan:

Verticutting or Dethatching (power raking): Light verticutting can promote new growth, reduce thatch, and help with early spring green up by letting air move in the root zone. I highly suggest verticutting prior to overseed to open up the grass plant. Opening up the plant allows the seed to get inside the grass reducing the amount of seed that fails to germinate.

Aeration: Helps relieve the root zone of compaction while controlling thatch. Opening up the pore space in the ground helps with water infiltration/percolation and also improves air flow.

Here is a link to a video on verticutting/power raking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8p5R_sowbI

Varieties of warm season turf

  1. Paspalums (Platinum/Sea Spray)
  2. Darkest color of any of the warm season turfgrasses
  3. Can be mowed between 1/10th of an inch and 2 inches with a rotary or reel mower
  4. Highest salt tolerance of any warm season grass which means it can tolerate high sodium water sources such as effluent water
  5. Shortest dormancy period of any of the warm season grasses (often as little as 2-3 months)
  6. Full sun between 9am and 3 pm
  7. Uses 2/3rds the nitrogen as bermudagrass (stick with the Soil Burst products for low nitrogen, high calcium applications)2. BOBSod
  8. Most popular homeowner/landscape variety on the market
  9. Deep blue/green color
  10. Maintain between ¼” inch and 1.5 inches with a rotary or reel mower
  11. Uses very little nitrogen, has virtually no seed heads, and is a slow growing turf which means less mowing
  12. Soft, carpet like feel

 

  1. EZ-Turf (Arizona)
  2. Perfect grass for low maintenance lawn
  3. Open turf canopy which makes it ideal choice for rotary lawn mower
  4. Coarser leaf blade than BOBSod or Tifway
  5. Medium green color and fast growing turf
    4. Tifway II (California)
  1. Medium leaf texture
  2. Shortest dormancy period of any of the bermudagrasses
  3. Maintain between 3/8” and 1” with a sharp rotary or reel
  4. Very dense growth habit with dark green color

 

Tifway 419/Tifgreen 328

  1. Very dense turfgrasses with medium fine leaf texture. Tifgreen 328 has shorter internodes which allows it to be maintained lower.
  2. Aggressive growth habit and requires full sun
  3. Best maintained with a reel mower but Tifway 419 can be mowed with a sharp rotary
  4. Excellent sports turf with a soft surface

St Augustine

  1. Coarse bladed, plush growing turfgrass that does well in the shade or ideally full sun.
  2. Can be maintained with a rotary or a reel
  3. Dark green color in the summer months but should be left dormant for the winter months

 

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