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Natural Grass Trumps Artificial Turf for Sports Stadiums

What does West Coast Turf have to do with Odell Beckham, Jr? A lot, actually. Most importantly, if OBJ had been playing on our natural grass, he may not have been sidelined for half of the Super Bowl game. Although United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, former home of the Rams, is our client, the Rams now play at Sofi Stadium, which uses artificial turf. Something as simple as what’s beneath your feet can be crucial to an NFL player’s livelihood. 

In a recent analysis, former NFL player, Chris Simms, says: “Can we get rid of field turf in football? Owners don’t want to spend money on anything. But owners, you will save so much money [if you have natural grass]. You won’t have to sign extra players on your roster. Maybe you’ll have to take care of the grass and cut the lawn, but can we get grass fields in every stadium? The great soccer players in Europe won’t even play – it’s in their contract – they won’t even play on field turf. We are ruining people’s careers. None of the players like to play on field turf over grass, none.”

Simms expressed frustration as a former NFL player and remembered when he played that “If we had a day that we were going to go on field turf, the players hated it. Especially the linemen. It feels different. There’s less give in the ground when you make cuts. The cuts can be very jarring, there is no give. That cleat gets in there and gets stuck. The rubber sends forces into your feet, legs, knees. You’re more tired.”

He makes many good points. NFL owners who have invested in their players don’t have their own interests at heart when they cut corners and use artificial turf. Any of their starting players can much more easily get injured on turf, possibly ending their season or career. West Coast Turf counts among our clients many sports fields in Major League Baseball, National Football League, Major League Soccer, College Football and many more and have a long history of providing natural turf to many sporting facilities. For more information visit our website at

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Winter Lawn Care for your California and Arizona Sod

The weather stays relatively pleasant and sunny in desert landscapes in Southern California and Arizona, even in the winter. But once the suns dips down, temperatures drop down drastically. What can you do to keep your natural lawn looking beautiful in the colder months? Here are some tips.

Keep mowing!

Mowing your grass can sometimes fall by the wayside during the winter months. It’s recommended that you follow a semi-regular schedule and continue to mow the grass until you see the growth slow. A good rule of thumb is to keep your grass around 2 to 2.5 inches tall throughout the autumn months, since the grass could start to mat above 3 inches. It’s important to keep it the right length, since overgrowth can cause mold or diseases, and cutting it too short hinders the grass’s ability to to store food for growth. 

Sustain Growth by Watering

Even though the temperatures are cooler and there is more precipitation this time of year, it’s still important to continue to water your natural grass. Following a consistent watering schedule encourages growth. Do make sure to adjust your automatic sprinklers so they don’t over-irrigate and cause fungal growth.

Don’t forget to weed in the winter!

Weeding may seem like more of a warm weather chore, but it’s just as important to keep up with it in the winter. 

West Coast Turf is the expert on all things grass. Let us know what questions you have about keeping your natural turf looking amazing! Visit our website at

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Mosquitoes and your California and Arizona Outdoors.

When you think of the deadliest animal in the world, what pops into your mind? Crocodiles, hippos, one of the big cats…great guesses, but all of them are wrong. It’s actually…the mosquito. This fingernail-sized pest can carry Zika virus, Yellow fever, West Nile virus, and worst of all, Malaria. Much of the reported incidents of that is in very hot, humid regions on other continents. But we do get mosquitoes in the hot, dry desert climates of Arizona and California. So how can you enjoy your beautiful natural sod lawn without getting bitten? Here are a few ways.

  1. Citronella candles

These citrus/floral smelling candles are not only great for decoration, they can help keep mosquitoes away. These are most effective in an environment where the air is still – a covered patio is the perfect location. Always remember to extinguish them!

  1. Get rid of any standing water

Mosquitoes love standing water. In fact, it’s where they reproduce. Make sure to empty out anything that catches water – wheelbarrows, outdoor water toys, as well as gutters and drain lines. 

  1. Keep your yard under control

This is an important one! Especially in warmer areas, mosquitoes prefer cooler areas in the shade. Use a lawnmower or a string trimmer to cut back brush, tree limbs, and high grass. Making sure any tall grass is trimmed and not creating shadows will make your grass lawn much less appealing to mosquitoes. This is not only good for keeping unwanted pests away, but is also good for your natural sod lawn in general. 

West Coast Turf is the leader for California and Arizona products. Please contact us to learn more about what we can do for you and your property. 

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Great news!  We now have our Kurapia drought tolerant groundcover sod back in stock in California and Arizona!

What they’re saying about Kurapia…….

  •  “After extensive research and investigation, Kurapia was chosen for the following reasons: aesthetics, growth habit, drought tolerance, erosion control,  weed suppression, disease resistance, maintenance aspects, and foremost and most importantly–water conservation–with the reduction of water usage. Kurapia met all of these expectations and more.  I believe Kurapia will revolutionize the landscape industry  

Mark Runk

G&R Engineering

El Cajon, CA


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Best Surfaces for Dogs in the California and Arizona Climates

If you’re a dog-lover (and who isn’t?) and want to make sure your four-legged friends are as comfortable as they can be in the hot desert temperatures in Arizona and California, read on for more info. We know, we know – it’s a dry heat! But that heat can wreak havoc on your furry pal’s paws. Many vets have treated dogs for severe burns to their paws in the summertime. They have a test for people to try before letting their dog walk on a surface: place the back of your hand on the surface before letting your dog onto it. If you struggle to keep your hand there comfortably, that surface is too hot for a dog to walk on. This doesn’t mean you can’t walk your dog in the hot summer months, but you need to be mindful about the surfaces around you. Studies have shown that certain surfaces retain heat far better than others. Of all the surfaces tested, artificial grass was consistently the hottest. Artificial turf, along with asphalt and the synthetic rubber material used to make running tracks, can easily measure up to 122º on a hot day. 

What was the coolest surface for pooch’s precious paws? Natural grass. Plants and grass transpire by releasing oxygen and evaporating water, which allows them to stay cool in warm temperatures. Not only does natural turf feel amazing, lush, and somewhat cool in hot temps to your own bare feet, your dog’s paws will thank you as well. It’s important to remember that brown grass is drier and will feel hotter. This is where maintenance of your natural grass comes into play. At West Coast Turf, we are experts on Arizona and California sod and can answer any questions you have about natural turfgrass, sod installation, or anything else grass related!

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Creating the Perfect Backyard with your California & Arizona Sod

Springtime in this climate makes for the most pleasant time of year. Kids who have been cooped up have the perfect weather to play outside. But is your backyard the perfect kid-friendly playground? We have some easy fixes that will help you create a fun and beautiful outdoor play area for your kids (and for you!)

First and foremost: lay down some NATURAL turf! Nothing beats natural grass from West Coast Turf for playing on. In high temperatures, natural turf doesn’t trap heat the way artificial turf does, providing your kiddos a great place to keep their bare feet cool. Grass provides a soft landing for cartwheels and skids from playing ball. To keep your turf healthy, create a few dirt paths where bicycles can ride without trampling the grass. 

Your Arizona or California backyard can host a variety of sports and hobbies. One that’s fun for the whole family, is gardening. Once you have put down natural grass, you can choose which plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetables you’d like to include. These additions can be visually pleasing as well as edible, depending on what you plant. 

Add outdoor furniture to make it even more comfortable to spend lots of time in your outdoor oasis. Other fun features, like a trampoline, give even more options for outdoor activities. Be mindful with any furniture, trampolines, or grills, that these need to be moved around occasionally so that they don’t kill the grass beneath them and leave unsightly brown spots. Shifting furniture around slightly from time to time will help with the maintenance of your yard.

Include a water feature. In addition to watering your grass, having a water feature adds to a lush feel in your yard and help you cool down in the midday sun. These are just a few ways you can transform your backyard into a wonderful place for you and your kids to spend time. You can use your creativity to make your backyard play area exactly as you (or your kids) want it. 

West Coast Turf can help with all your natural turf needs. Call us or check us out online to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Pre-Emergent Weed Control/Watering/Fertilizer

We are spending lots of time outside, and I know you all want to have your California and Arizona lawn looking its best!  I’d like to talk about a few weeds that may be starting to appear in your lawn that are perennial problems. Let’s discuss getting down a pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn before all the spring and summer annuals start to show their faces. Weather obviously plays a key role in everything we do concerning turfgrass so it is important to get the timing right.

This has been a mild winter with little rain causing the ground temperature to stay slightly warmer than normal so we will have some early season weed issues. If you are in a cooler part of town and are still getting hit with the occasional frosts I would hold off until the first part of March. These cool areas can get the pre-emergent down as late as the middle of March, while areas such as Phoenix and Palm Desert should be putting one down between now and the end of the month.

Since most homeowners have an overseeded lawn for the winter I want to make it clear that there are two options on a herbicide bag. One is overseeded rates and the other is non-overseeded rates. If you would like to keep your ryegrass make sure that you follow the overseeded rate or it could take a turn for the worse rather quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Your Backyard Putting Green from West Coast Turf

With perpetually pleasant weather on the West Coast, fall (and even winter) can be the perfect time for outdoor activities. One new idea that we love for homeowners, is a backyard putting green. For those who love golf and have room to spare in their yard, this one is a no-brainer. In the initial planning of this project, the first decision is whether to use natural or artificial turf. There are many benefits to using natural instead of synthetic turf. California or Arizona sod is less expensive to install and has a more natural look with nearly identical conditions to a real golf course. In addition, the holes are also easy to move around. For those who are proud of their lawn care as well as their golf game, this is the perfect overlap of hobbies. Here are the steps to building your own backyard putting green.

  1. Select a desirable spot. This doesn’t need to be a huge plot of land, but should get a reasonable amount of sunlight and not feature many steep hills.
  2. Dig approximately 10 inches which you will then fill in with sand and then your turf.
  3. Install drainage. To keep your turf grass from getting soggy and prone to disease. For these purposes, a 4-inch perforated drainage pipe is the industry standard. 
  4. Cap with sand. You will need golf course sand for this, which drains easily. This type of sand has to meet the US Golf Association specifications, which you can find at any home improvement store.
  5. Sod it. This is where West Coast Turf comes in. We will consult with you and provide you with the best advice on which sod to purchase and what will work best in this situation and for your climate.
  6. The final touches. You’ll want to buy a hole puncher and place cups inside. Lawn care is very important to maintain. You’ll need a mower that’s designed for mowing greens, and a roller would be handy to have too. A common height for greens is ⅛ of an inch, with ¼ inch around the edges. Growing rough around your greens is another idea and completely up to your specifications.

West Coast Turf handles all of your natural turfgrass needs. Please visit us online to find out what we can do to help:

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The Case for Replacing Artificial Turf on NFL Fields

In September 2020, the NFL Players Association President, Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter called for all fifteen fields that are currently equipped with artificial turf to be replaced with natural turf to prevent further player injuries. In his letter titled “Only Natural Grass Can Level the NFL’s Playing Field”, he states “It’s not good for players, it’s not good for the GMs and the head coaches, it’s not good for the owners and it’s not good for the fans. Increased injuries are not good for anybody.” he continued as he detailed data to union members.

One of those artificial fields in question is MetLife Stadium, which has seen a bevy of injuries this season. Steelers’ right tackle Zach Banner suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Giants, and running back James Conner also exited the game with an ankle injury. The following week, 49ers Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas suffered injuries on the same field against the Jets. San Francisco defensive end Arik Armstead told the league to fix the “trash met life turf” after the game, and his coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t thrilled either.

West Coast Turf Marketing Director, Danielle Scardino, spoke up to NBC recently to provide her professional opinion. “Natural turf has more give” and “There is no reason to have artificial turf, the technology exists even in colder climates to maintain the turf’s longevity.”

The first artificial turf-style field was introduced in the mid-1960s when ChemGrass was installed at the Houston Astrodome to replace the dying grass in the first domed stadium. The grass was later rebranded AstroTurf, and thus began the debate of natural grass versus turf playing surfaces.

For years, artificial turf, while very expensive, seemed like a good alternative to keep the turf looking great on camera for the NFL games and preserve the longevity of the surface. But recently, ten players were injured on these surfaces and two of them being season-ending injuries. This was enough to make the Players Association take notice.

On October 6, Casey Reynolds, PhD and Executive Director of Turfgrass Producers International responded in an open letter to the NFL Players Association, Team Owners, University and High School Athletic Directors, Sports Field Managers, Coaches, Athletes, and Parents “Do we want our athletes playing in a concert venue, or do we want to host concerts and other events in an athletic venue? If the answer is the latter, then there is little doubt that natural grass is the safest proven choice.”

According to Dr. Jennifer Nicole Falk from At Your Feet Concierge Podiatry, “Artificial turf not only increases the surface temperature, making it dangerous to play on at certain temperatures, it also puts players at increased risk for bacterial infections, as well as systemic effects and toxicity from the rubber… Because there is more friction between cleats and turf, this theoretically could lead to a greater potential for athletic injuries, including turf toe, knee injuries, foot lock, turf burn, and more powerful collisions & concussions.”

“Natural grass would give the players a safe work environment.” Danielle Scardino continued while speaking with NBC. “and we could get it done by next season”. West Coast Turf is the largest grower and installer of natural turfgrass sod in the Western United States.

West Coast Turf has supplied the NFL with eight Super Bowl fields from California to Florida, including Super Bowls XXVII, XXIX, XXX, XXXII, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX and 50 as well as baseball and soccer fields for professional sports teams.

The Truth About Artificial vs. Natural Turf

  • Ground rubber tires are used in some artificial fields, yet because of their toxic content they are prohibited from being disposed of in landfills or ocean dumping. Where will this toxic material be disposed of when a replacement field becomes necessary?
  • Temperatures on artificial fields have been documented to be upwards of 86.5 degrees hotter than natural grass fields under identical conditions. How long can players of all ages be safely exposed to this level of heat?
  • Field sanitation that includes the removal of bodily fluids and/or animal droppings present a unique problem for artificial fields. Will antiseptic cleaners properly sanitize the field? If so, how often?
  • Abrasive surfaces such as artificial fields can result in difficult-to-heal injuries, particularly in the presence of bacterial or viral pathogens. Are you prepared to treat these wounds properly?
  • Field hardness on artificial surfaces can result in serious chronic or immediate athletic injury? If additional ground tire rubber is periodically added to soften the field, is toxicity of the material also renewed?
  • Natural turf is preferred by 88% of NFL players, and 96% believe that artificial turf contributes to injuries.
  • Natural turfgrass saves energy. The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity.
  • Green turfgrass significantly lowers fire hazard risk. How would an artificial turf field fire be fought quickly while minimizing the danger to firefighters, and reducing the release of toxic fumes?
  • The initial price of artificial turf is many times greater than a natural turf area. Maintenance costs are equal or higher.

Think Green-Keep it Real!  Check out more #KeepItReal updates on Twitter.


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Frequently Asked Questions About Overseeding Your Warm Season Lawn

Now that we’re into October it’s time to get the overseeding of your warm season grass process started.  I wanted to pass along some of the most frequently asked questions during this time of the year.

When is the best time to start overseeding?
Ideally overseeding should be done when nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 60’s. Usually this will be in October. There will be some higher and lower than normal temperatures, but anytime during October is good.

How low do I need to scalp the grass prior to seeding?
Height of cut isn’t as important as opening the turf canopy. The shorter you mow the grass, the tighter the turf canopy will be which will result in the need to verticut more aggressively. I recommend not going lower than ½”. There is no need to take the lawn to the dirt or you will cause long term problems to the grass plant.

Overseeded sod

This overseeded bermuda sod field in Scottsdale, Arizona, is READY!

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