Turf Care

Fertilization

Fertilize your new sod approximately four to six weeks after installation to ensure continued establishment of the roots.

Irrigation

  • Check your sprinklers for proper coverage.
  • Cleaning nozzles if needed, adjusting heads, and replacing the clock batteries will all help “tune up” your system.
  • Try a less frequent, deeper soak to encourage deeper roots.

Early morning watering helps prevent turf disease as the lawn dries out during the day.

 

Mowing

Mowing height in the summer should be raised to reduce added stress to the turf. With a deep root system, your drought tolerance will increase.

Dwarf Fescue High of 3 inches and Low of 1 ½ inches

  • Mow regularly and never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade length

Keep mower blades well sharpened for the best cut and great looking turf.

 

Dethatching & Aeration

  • Thatch is an accumulation of grass roots, leaves and other debris that form just below the surface of the sod. If your lawn has about ½ inch or more of a thatch layer, sunlight and water will be blocked from providing nutrients.
  • Aeration opens up the soil and stimulates root growth, especially when followed by a balanced fertilization. Core aeration also relieves soil compaction in older lawns and high traffic areas. Multiple aerations (2 to 3 or more per year) can greatly benefit high use lawns and help ease compaction.

 

Overseeding

  • Overseed with a variety that matches your existing lawn to maintain a lush and healthy appearance.
  • Dwarf fescue blend that features a bluegrass-like texture, is more heat tolerant, and offers excellent disease resistance.
  • If you have a warm season grass that will go dormant in the winter, overseed with a cool season grass (such as ryegrass) to maintain a green lawn during the winter months.
  • Small and large package seed is available for most varieties. Contact your local distributor for availability.

 

Additional Seasonal Tips

Be sure to rake any leaves and debris that are covering your lawn on a regular basis. The additional debris may cause mold and disease if left unmaintained.

When is the best time to water my sod? 
The hours between midnight-5 am are best to water your sod. Avoid, if possible, watering into the evening hours (after 5:30-6 p.m.) because this is the best way to avoid a fungus problem. Too much water will rob the roots of oxygen and in warmer weather that can possibly lead to disease. The length of each watering cycle will depend on the soil type with which you are working and the output of your irrigation system. A clay type soil may need five minutes, four times a week and a sandy loam may need seven minutes, five times a week. You have to judge the minutes given, but here is a tip: If the water is standing under the sod for more than just a few minutes after an irrigation set has finished or if the soil is soggy, you are probably giving the sod too much water at one time. After the sod is established, you can reduce the amount of times per week that you water the sod and you can increase the length of watering minutes.

During severe drought conditions, you have a few choices.  You can install synthetic turf, re-landscape with drought tolerant shrubs or keep the sod alive by watering minimally with your irrigation fitted with low flow stream rotors adjusted precisely.  Please feel free to give us a call and schedule an irrigation inspection and audit.

 

 

Troubleshooting Tips

Bluish gray spots in the sod: Try increasing minutes per watering and check or adjust sprinkler coverage. The sod may be stressed from lack of water.

  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a condition of a frequent watering schedule and are a temporary nuisance. As watering gets deeper and less often, mushrooms usually dry up and wither away.
  • Fungus: Diseases need to be eradicated, promptly. Usually fungus occurs when too much water has been applied in warm weather. The presence of fungus is everywhere; water and heat will activate it. Identify the fungus and or apply a broad spectrum fungicide to put the disease in check. A second application may be necessary. Consult your local nursery for a fungicide recommendation and always refer to the label instructions.
  • Crabgrass 
Heat can build up fast and the emergence of crabgrass can sneak up on you and continue to germinate throughout the entire summer season. Although the first application of pre-emergent should have been applied by early March, areas with a past history of crabgrass infestation should receive a pre-emergent application as soon as possible. Always check and follow label directions. A well maintained lawn that is thick and lush will help minimize the invasion of crabgrass and other weeds.