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Fall Best Time to Plant Sod

You can plant sod almost any time of the year

Clearing Snow for Sod Harvest

Best Time to Plant Sod is Fall

So you are looking for a green lush lawn fast, knowing when to plant sod is critical to your success.   The good news is that unlike grass seed, you can plant sod almost any time of the year.

In most areas of the country, sod can be planted at throughout the year.  The exception is frozen ground and snow.  But in some areas of the south, the winter months may be an ideal time to plant sod.  You’ll also want to avoid times when you know the weather will be too rainy. The rain will be great for the sod, but it might not allow you to prepare the soil properly.

Ideally, the best time to plant sod is fall and second best is spring.  Fall is considered the best time because like spring the water requirements are low due to cooler weather. But you have the added benefit of less weed pressure during fall planting.  The new sod will also have all winter to develop a strong root system giving it a leg up on spring plantings.

It is still not too late to plant your new lawn

Harvesting Sod in Winter

It is still not too late to plant your new lawn.  Save yourself the headaches of kids and pets tracking mud into your home all winter and plant your new lawn now!

Sod Pricing

We get many calls each year regarding the pricing of sod

We get many calls each year regarding the pricing of sod.  Most calls start out with “how much do you charge for a roll of sod? Or how much do you charge for a pallet of grass?”  Although these are legitimate questions if comparing sod prices of different farms the caller may not get the best deal available.  Why you might ask, well not every roll or pallet of sod is equal.  Even within our own locations they are different.  In Denver our sod comes in 10 sq. ft. rolls and 640 sq. ft. per pallet.  The Albuquerque 5 sq. ft. rolls and 400 per pallet and El Paso farms are 5 sq. ft. rolls and 500 sq. ft. per pallet.  In this scenario let’s say Denver prices its sod at 22 cents per sq. ft. Albuquerque is 28 cents and El Paso is 25 cents.  (sod pricing is for example purposes only)

Sod Pricing Comparison

Denver Sod Prices                  Albuquerque  Sod Prices                    El Paso Sod Prices

Roll      2.20                                        1.40                                                   1.25

Pallet    140.80                                112.00                                              125.00

If you were just using the original question as your basis you would assume that Denver has the most expensive sod and might choose one of the others when we know that this in far from the truth.  Let’s relook at this scenario again using pricing by the sq. ft.   You know that you need 2000 square feet (sq. ft.) to finish your backyard.

Denver                                 Albuquerque                            El Paso
Sq. Ft.
2000            440.00                                     560.00                                  500.00

You have just saved a minimum of 60.00 and as much as 120.00 by making sure that you are comparing apples to apples.  Something else that is worth pointing out is that when pricing don’t just make a swag (wild guess) on sq. ft. and think you are getting a good comparison.  Sod pricing is not the same no matter how many sq. ft. you order.  There are built in price breaks (different on other farms) depending on how much you order.  The more you order the cheaper the price.  Measure first and call second to be sure you are getting accurate pricing.  Keep this in mind when you are getting ready to order sod.  If you live in a new neighborhood you might go in with a neighbor and order together to get better pricing because of the larger quantity ordered.

One final thing to keep in mind, the above holds true if you are purchasing sod from a nursery, box store or sod outlet.  If one outlet is selling sod for 3.00 a roll and the other is 5.00 make sure they are the same size rolls!

Delivery

Homeowner “Why do you charge for delivery and the last company I called said it is free?

I can assure you that it is not free the cost is built into the pricing somewhere.  Trucking is way too expensive to give away.  The fuel cost alone can be as high as 2.00 a loaded mile and most farms are located well outside their respective metropolitan areas.

Ask for a total price including any applicable taxes to get a true comparison.

Click for Sod Pricing from Gardner Turfgrass, Inc.

 

 

Spring Transition of Bermudagrass

Now is the time to start thinking about transitioning your overseeded bermudagrass.  The spring transition of overseeded ryegrass back to a mono-stand of bermudagrass can be a concern and a challenge for golf course superintendents and turfgrass managers of sports fields, parks and other turfgrass areas across the southern regions of theUnited States.

During early spring when bermudagrass is beginning to green-up, cool season grasses are at their peak growth period.  Cool season grass tillers that may have be initiated in the fall and winter develop very rapidly in the spring and produce a dense turf cover.  In contrast, bermudagrass is just beginning to break dormancy and produce new shoots from stolons and rhizomes near the soil surface.  Consequently, cool season grasses absorb much of the sunlight and very little reaches new bermudagrass leaves.  Likewise, the root system of cool season grasses is very active compared to bermudagrass in early spring.  Until the temperatures change to favor bermudagrass, cool season grasses remain dominant.  When this change occurs in late spring, turfgrass managers should use cultural practices (vertical mowing, aeration, fertilization, topdressing, close mowing, etc.) to suppress cool season grasses and promote bermudagrass.  Otherwise, the change from cool season grasses to bermudagrass occurs too abruptly and results in a poor transition.

 

 

Where suppression of cool season grass is desirable, turf should be aerated in early spring (March) with a coring-type aerator.  The turf should also be mowed short throughout the transition period to reduce the leaf surface of the ryegrass.

 

A gradual transition of mowing height should start in March.  Slowly lower the height of cut throughout the month until the ryegrass is being mowed at 1/2 to 3/4 inch or less.  Continue to mow at this height until the grass has transitioned to a monostand of bermudagrass.

 

Fertilization practices during the transition period are also critical to bermuda recovery.  So long as temperatures favor growth of the cool season grass, nitrogen rates should be kept at a minimum to maintain acceptable color.  When temperatures increase to favor bermudagrass (60 degree night and 75 degree days), nitrogen rates should be increased to promote bermudagrass recovery.  Applications of nitrogen every two weeks at a rate of 1 pound per 1,000 sq. ft. should be made throughout the transition period, or until bermudagrass has completely recovered.

 

Watering practices during the transition period are also very important to bermudagrass recovery.  Daily applications of water that wet only the top few inches of soil should be avoided after temperatures favor bermudagrass recovery.  Light, frequent applications of water favor cool season grasses and extend their period of dominance over bermudagrass.  On the other hand thoroughly wetting the soil 6 to 8

inches deep and allowing the cool season grasses to show signs of moisture stress before applying additional water will give bermudagrass a competitive edge over ryegrass.

 

Finally, there is the option of “chemical transitioning” the cool season grass.  There are a number of chemicals that can be applied to aid in the transitioning of the ryegrass.  The products timeframe for transitioning the ryegrass range from overnight to as many as 6-8 weeks.  Check with your chemical supply company for more information on these products.

 

The trick to making the smoothest transition from cool season grass back to bermudagrass is planning, start early and stick with a program.  Transitioning from cool season grass to bermudagrass is more of an art than a science.  Play with the above suggestions and find what works best for you

Announcing new order online options

We’ve just updated our website, adding the ability for our customers in Colorado to order online.  Get an automatic price quote and submit your order in one step, try it out now.

Order now

Order online →
(Colorado residents only)

Corporate office: 303-252-1900

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