30
Oct

Another Case for Natural vs. Artificial Turf

In the past, we’ve talked quite a bit about the difference between artificial turf and natural grass in terms of cost, maintenance, and even performance on playing fields. Recently, findings have come out that show there’s yet another reason to choose natural turf over artificial – toxicity. More here.

According to research outlined by an article by the Boston Globe, test results have shown that artificial turf contains elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (known as PFAs), which have been linked to kidney cancer, low infant birth weights, and a range of diseases. Such findings raise concerns about the safety of millions of square feet of artificial turf installed at parks, schools, professional sports stadiums, and practice fields around the U.S.

The reason artificial turf contains these chemicals is that the latest version of artificial turf is made of bright green plastic blades attached to a sod-like base. In order to make the blades stand up in a passable imitation of grass, since the 1990s most synthetic turf has required some sort of infill, which is usually crumb rubber made from shredded tires. The tiny bits of rubber are dumped on top of the blades and, according to the Synthetic Turf Council, give the turf “the look and playability of lush grass.” However, the mix of chemicals composing today’s turf are decidedly not grass. The rubber, which is used in large quantities (an estimated 40,000 tires are shredded to cover a single artificial turf field), contains heavy metals and other chemicals shown to pose serious health risks. Environmental groups take issue with the health risks of turf, with good reason. In fact, the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai considers the fake grass so dangerous it called for a moratorium on new artificial fields in 2017.

These PFAs are called “forever chemicals” because they never fully degrade.
There are as many as 1,500 new artificial turf fields installed every year and public health advocates worry the potentially tainted runoff could contaminate water supplies around the country. “That is a big concern, since this turf is in many communities and is designed to drain precipitation off the fields, which can carry soluble contaminants into ground water underlying the turf,” said Betsy Southerland, former director of science and technology in the EPA Office of Water during the Obama administration. “Ground water, in turn, can be the direct source of drinking water for private wells and community water systems.”

At West Coast Turf, we use the best natural turfgrass sod and are leaders in Arizona sod and California sod. The grasses we use are perfect for water conservation and environmentally friendly lawns – with none of the toxic health risks of synthetic grass! Contact us to see what services we can offer you. https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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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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26
Sep

Winter Overseeding Your Arizona Sod Lawn

As we head toward the end of summer, lawn care crews are preparing for overseeding to maintain green grass through the winter.
 

 
First, let’s discuss the initial lawn prep. Let your lawn grow up 25-30% in height to provide more leaf density. Another bonus of maintaining your lawn at a higher height is that it will use less water, and when you scalp your lawn it will leave plenty of healthy new leaves for the spring. If you have a healthy lawn, it’s good to go through and lightly power rake or verticut the lawn at this time. This opens up the turf canopy and allows seed to get into the ground. If you normally keep your lawn at 1”, you would want to raise the height of your lawn over the next two weeks to around 1.25”. When the weather cooperates, you can then scalp the lawn slightly below your normal mowing height. Most rotary lawn mowers can be lowered to ¾”. 

Remember not all seed is created equal. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking at a bag of seed.

  1. The best material for winter overseed is perennial ryegrass. While it seems like the name annual ryegrass makes sense, it does not have the vigor, color, or density of perennial ryegrass.
  2. Germination Rate – The germination rate will tell you how much of the seed is viable. If you pick up a bag with a 60% germination rate then you need 40% more seed to put down the correct rate. You want to find a bag with over 85% germination.
  3. Weed Seed – This number should be zero. Any weed seed or inert matter is going to wreak havoc on your overseeded turf.
  4. Often times blended ryegrass seeds are cheaper because they put different grades of seed in the bag. Some blends are very good seed and provide different plant protections, but some mix in lower grade seed. Remember ryegrass seed is priced by germination, weed seed, and quality of the seed. Therefore, if you’ve found a deal on seed, it’s not always your best bet.

Overseeding materials

  1. High quality perennial ryegrass seed. 
  2. Starter Fertilizer – When you pick up your seed, also pick up a starter fertilizer. Some good ones are Soil Burst 4-4-2, 11-52-0, or 6-20-20.
  3. Second Fertilizer application -This can be applied after you have mowed the grass for the first time. Fertilizers to consider are 21-7-14, 11-52-0, or 6-20-20.
  4. All of your sprinklers should be working and properly adjusted. Check all of the nozzles after you scalp for any chips or dings that the mower may have caused by cutting shorter.
  5. Power rake or verticutter. 

Overseed Instructions 

  1. Cut back your water 25% two weeks prior to overseeding. Stop all fertilizer applications four weeks prior to seeding.
  2. Raise up the height of your lawn 25-30%. You do this so when you scalp the lawn it is not being mowed down to the dirt, instead you’re scalping to a manageable height for the turf, and it will not cause any injury to the turf in the spring.
  3. Power rake or verticut the lawn. Do not set the machine to dig up new rhizomes from the soil. Your goal is to open the turf canopy.
  4. After you power rake, mow up the clippings. The lawn mower works really well for picking up the grass. Next set the power rake a setting lower and do the same process in a different direction. This will open up the dense turf canopy and allow the seed to get into the grass plant.
  5. Mow the clippings again. After the clippings have been cleaned up, set your mower to ¾” or ½” if you have a reel mower and scalp the lawn. The only reason you’re scalping is to keep the warm season grass from competing with the ryegrass seed.
  6. As soon as the lawn is cleaned up, apply your starter fertilizer. You’re looking for a phosphorus application to help the seed. Some great fertilizers are 4-4-2, 6-20-20, or 11-52-0 to get your lawn started.
  7. I like to keep my rocks and edges clean so I use a drop spreader. Apply perennial ryegrass at 10 pounds per 1000 SF around the perimeter of the lawn first. Do two passes to ensure the rotary spreader will not throw seed into the rocks. This is not necessary but it will keep the ryegrass from invading undesirable areas all winter.
  8. Next apply your perennial ryegrass with a rotary spreader at 10-12 pounds per 1000 SF to the remainder of the lawn. If you want the best coverage you should apply 5-6 pounds of seed per 1000 SF in two directions. This is always the best approach but again not necessary.
  9. You will have some seed on top of the grass surface but the majority should be inside the grass plant if you prepped your lawn correctly and opened up the canopy. You can use a broom to help any additional seed get into the plant.
  10. Follow watering instructions below

Some people cover their seed with mulch, but you can save your time, money and the smell in your yard because this isn’t necessary. Mulch allows the seed to maintain moisture and keeps the heat in the plant but if you’re seeding in September/October there is plenty of heat. You don’t need to worry about the moisture either. Mulch doesn’t prevent birds from eating your seed and even if they do eat some seed you have already applied plenty of seed with the 10-12 pound/1000 SF rate.

Watering your overseed lawn

Week 1-2: Water 3x daily for 5-7 minutes per cycle. Make sure you don’t have ponding. If you do, lower the amount of water. I suggest watering around 8am, noon, and 4pm.

Week 3: Water 2x daily for 12-15 minutes. Since the plant is very new at this time a morning and afternoon application is best. You can typically mow the lawn for the first time after 14 days. It’s best to let the grass dry down for several hours prior to making the first mow. Keep the mower set at a higher than normal height, do not scalp the grass.

Week 4: Water 1x per day for 10-15 minutes. During this time frame you can mow every 5-7 days.

Week 5: Water every other day 10-15 minutes. Mow your lawn every 5-7 days as needed and make one more application of Soil Burst 4-4-2, 21-7-14, or 15-15-15.

Week 6 and beyond: Water every 2-3 days as needed until the temperatures cool off for the winter. During the winter you can stretch your ryegrass even longer between watering. I would suggest fertilizer applications every 28 days throughout the fall. When temperatures drop around freezing, it’s best to use liquid fertilizers to maintain turf vigor.

Jay Danek
Mr. Wise Grass

11803 E. McDonald Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
480-951-8700

www.westcoastturf.com

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19
Sep

Fall Care for Your Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass produces vigorous, dense, fine-bladed turf commonly used in sports fields, large commercial properties, and high-quality lawns. In order to keep your Arizona sod in the best shape possible, it’s important to create a yearly maintenance calendar to manage your turf. As we are now approaching fall, here are our guidelines for managing your bermudagrass from September through December. 

Starting with mowing, you will continue to mow the bermudagrass turf at the normal height until the weather starts to cool in the fall. In desert areas, such as Arizona and southern California, this tends to be in mid to late October most years. When nighttime temperatures drop below 70º consistently, you can slightly raise the mower to allow more leaf surface. 

Since desert climates are known for very little rainfall, continue to water your grass to prevent drought stress. Even after the lawn has become dormant, you must still water as needed to keep excessive dehydration at bay. It’s important to never let turf grass be stressed by lack of water, or it can affect the spring green-up.

At this time, you will overseed for temporary green winter color with cool-season perennial ryegrass. When you notice your bermudagrass begin to lose color, that is how you will know it’s time. Keep the newly overseeded areas consistently moist while seed establishes. See more tips on care and maintenance here.

If you have any questions about your turf, please contact West Coast Turf, the industry leader for Arizona and California sod. 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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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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