Who said it’s not easy being green?
Installation / Maintenance
- Remove all debris from the area.
- Grade and shape area to desired contours.
- Top soil should be available to a depth of 8-10cm. If this amount of top soil is not available, it must be added.
- Prepare the soil by rototilling first one way, and then the other way.
- Add fertilizer at the rate of 10 kilograms per 100 sq. meters and rototill or rake to a depth of 5 cm (recommended fertilizer 5-20-20 or similar ratio).
- Rake top 3 cm. to a smooth, even surface, and roll lightly to show up any depression.
- Sod should be laid immediately; in no case later than 24 hours after delivery.
* Have the ground completely prepared before you order your sod.
- People who are not accustomed to physical labour should pace themselves and if necessary get help from friends.
- Store the sod in a shaded area. Do not cover with anything. Try to lay sod within 8 hours.
- Locate a straight line, such as a curb or driveway, or run a taut string up the middle of the area to be sodded. Work along this line to establish the first row.
- With a rake smooth the area completely ahead of sodding.
- Lay in Brick-Work fashion
- Make sure all joints are butted tightly together without overlapping.
- Staking is advisable on extreme slopes.
- To fit non-rectangular edges, and small areas, cut the sod with a knife or hatchet.
- Go over the area with a one-third filled roller to press the roots into the soil.
- Saturate the area with water immediately! One liter of water in the first hour does more than six liters three hours later.
- Your newly sodded lawn generally needs mowing after 10 days.
Now that you have established your lawn of freshly cut sod, grown by Southridge Sod Supply, you must decide how good a lawn you want. If it is to be a top maintenance lawn you should follow the entire program outlined below. If you want a minimum maintenance lawn, attention to the next three points is sufficient.
The amount of fertilizer for any particular lawn depends on the fertility of the natural soil, the degree of growth you want, and the type of grass that you are growing. Bluegrass requires from 2 to 3 kilograms of actual nitrogen, 1 to 1.5 kilograms of actual phosphorous, and the same of potassium per 100 square meters per year.
Fertilizer applications are determined by the amount of nitrogen they contain, because nitrogen is the most difficult of the three materials to handle. We recommend any special turf type fertilizer made by a reputable manufacturer using controlled release nitrogen. This will provide you with a well balanced feeding for your lawn and the fertilizer will release slowly. You should apply about half the annual amount in the spring, and the remaining half in the summer and fall. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bag.
*Always water the fertilizer in to prevent burning.
Mowing is one of the most important operations in the maintenance of a fine lawn. Proper mowing will make a good lawn look better; improper mowing can ruin a good lawn in just a few weeks. The most important point to remember is to keep the mower blades sharp. Nothing defaces grass more quickly than a dull mower. Remove all objects from the lawn before you mow, to prevent injury to others, and to prevent damage to the mower.
Don’t let your lawn grow so tall that it falls over, for it will be difficult to mow and it will smother out. Never remove more than 3 cm. of the leaf height at any one time. We recommend mowing of Bluegrasses and Fescues at a height of 4 cm. You can determine the height of a mower blade by placing it on a driveway or a sidewalk, and measuring the distance between the blade and the sidewalk. You should remove clippings that clump so that they don’t smother the grass.
In the summertime, lawns generally require about 25mm of water every week. Bluegrass however does go dormant during dry seasons – the grass may turn brown, but will green up again when it is watered.
A good rule to follow is this:
If you water, do it regularly. Apply 25mm every week (including rain) at one setting of the sprinkler.
Water evenly and slowly enough so that it penetrates without run off.
Too much water can be as harmful as not enough. Soil that is continually soaked does not allow air to reach the root zone where it’s required.
Avoid frequent light waterings which result in shallow rooting.
Watering Mowing Calendar
* The best weed control is a good, healthy turf.
When your lawn is thick and vigorous, weeds simply have no place to get started…and you have no problem. In renovating lawns, however, or even in established lawns that have had lapses in maintenance, weeds do have a way of intruding.
Two types of chemical weed controls are available – one type kills the weed (post-emergent) and the other type prevents seed germination (pre-emergent).
To eradicate broadleaf weeds, hormone type post-emergent chemicals are used. They are available under many trade names and can be purchased in combination with fertilizer. You simply mix them with water and apply as directed or apply with the fertilizer. They are most effective when weeds are growing vigorously in the early part of the season and temperatures are in the 20 degrees Celsius range.
CAUTION: follow the directions on the container.
Crabgrass is easily controlled by using pre-emergent chemicals on the soil surface where seeds may be waiting to sprout in the spring. You must apply your pre-emergent material early in the spring before the seeds germinate.
Killing the weeds is only half the operation – you must remember to replace them with grass.
Healthy turf will withstand infestation and recover faster than neglected turf.
Here are some guidelines for healthy turf:
- Use enough fertilizer to keep grass growing vigorously – but avoid the extreme of over stimulation.
- Mow before the grass gets too tall.
- Cut no more than 3cm off the leaf surface at any one time.
- Keep your mower sharp.
- Don´t allow clippings to accumulate to the extent that they form a mat.
- Remove thatch as required.
- Avoid frequent waterings which tend to keep the grass wet.
- Most important of all, use chemical preventatives as recommended by your local landscaper or garden centre.
CAUTION: read the label, follow directions, and take necessary precautions.
Relieving Compacted Turf
Soil compaction is a problem which develops naturally under many conditions. Heavy soils and heavy traffic zones are particularly subject to compaction. If soil is trampled, especially when it is wet, compaction will very likely occur.
To relieve compaction without excessive injury to grass has been a formidable chore until recent years when power driven aerators were developed. Today, aerators of many types and sizes are available. They usually have prongs or knives which pierce the sod to a depth of 5-7cm, or they have hollow tines that extract plugs of soil. In either case, the effect is to open up or “aerate” the soil, allowing water, air and nutrients to reach the turf roots.
If you are an average homeowner, you may not want to invest in aeration equipment. You will be wise, however, to give your lawns the benefit of aeration. Call your landscaper or garden center for information on lawn services or rental companies that have appropriate units. The gratifying results achieved from aeration, plus the savings realized in water and fertilizer, will easily justify the cost.
Renovating Worn Turf
Turf renovation through use of vertical mowers and aerators was once largely limited to golf courses and athletic fields. Now, it has become a common practice for other turf areas, including home lawns.
Fall renovation is in order where it is practical to renew or rejuvenate turf that has been abused but it is still in reasonably good shape. Since roots grow best in the fall and early spring, loosened soil and fertilizer are most needed at these times to encourage turf growth. The best practice, of course, calls for a continuous management program to prevent deterioration to the extent that it requires renovation. Such a program would include: elimination of compaction; application of fertilizer and moisture as grass needs it; and good weed control practices.
Thatch and Thatch Control
Thatch in turf is just the accumulation of old leaves, clippings, stems, roots, and other organic material which has failed to decay. Thatch sheds water rather than letting it percolate into the grass root zone. It may harbor fungus and other diseases, as well as insect pests, and may make fertilizer applications ineffective.
One of the answers to the thatch problem is a vigorous raking. This is difficult to do by hand. A much easier way is to use a powered electrical mower which is self-propelled and equipped with hardened steel blades. It cuts out the thatch and thins matted growth. If desired, you can set the blades low enough to touch the soil; the scarifying action is an ideal pre-seeding treatment for bare or thin areas that need over seeding.
Unlike diseases, which must be prevented, insects are usually controlled after they appear. It is important that you recognize them quickly before they do too much damage.
A common insect that you should watch for is the white grub. Grubs live in the soil under the grass. If you suspect their presence in your lawn, remove a block of sod and count the grubs. If you have as many as five per 1/10 sq. meter, treat your lawn with a good insecticide such as Diazinon.
The sod web worm is a lively brown worm about 2cm long that feeds on grass and causes grass to turn brown. Chinch bugs are small black insects about 1/2cm in length that suck the juices from the grass plant. The damage shows large irregular yellowish-brown patches, usually along the edge of a sidewalk, curb, or foundation. These pests may be controlled by using Diazinon. If in doubt consult your local landscaper or garden centre.
Key Points to Remember
When you are installing new sod, have the ground completely prepared before you place your order.
It is important after installation to totally saturate your newly laid sod, followed by our watering schedule noted within.
When mowing, never remove more than 3cm of the leaf height at any one time.
The best weed control is a good, healthy turf.
When using chemicals, read the label, follow directions, and take necessary precautions.
…enjoy and take pride in your beautiful healthy lawn.