How to Choose and Grow Turf or Sod for Your Lawn

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Putting down sod or turf on your lawn is a much faster and easier process than trying to grow a new lawn from seed. Grass seeds are very tasty to birds, and they take weeks if not months to start sprouting. Fresh grass is also very delicate and is easy to burn in the sun's heat, overcut, and see whither under poor growing conditions.

A layer of sod or turf is a much better solution for homeowners and those who own a commercial facility. It can fill in patches of dead grass or be used as an entire lawn. Note a few important tips for choosing and growing turf or sod on your property.

1. For cooler climates

If you live in a cooler climate you'll need a turf that withstands climate changes and drought, as the ground gets dryer in a cooler area. Look for ryegrass, fescues, and what is called Kentucky bluegrass. These are very resilient types and thrive well in a cooler environment.

2. For warmer climates

In tropical areas and those with lots of direct sunlight, look for Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and St. Augustine varieties. These are more hearty against the warmer days of summer and don't wilt and wither as easily.

3. Note the growing time

Not all varieties of turfs grow at the same rate. If you're in a hurry to have your lawn filled in, such as when putting down turf for new construction that needs to look good for prospective tenants, you'll need a variety that will grow quickly. Celebration Bermuda Grass and many St. Augustine types are fast-growing, and they are often used for sports fields because of how quickly they take root.

4. Ask about grading your lawn

If putting down sod or turf on your entire lawn, there can be some dead grass but usually having the area raked and graded beforehand is the right choice. If the ground is uneven in certain areas and contains rocks or trenches, it will continue to look lumpy and uneven after the sod is put down. This in turn can interfere with mowing and with the sod taking root.

5. Invest in quality turf for your lawn

It's a common mistake to assume that you can purchase the cheapest variety of sod or turf for your lawn and then nurse it to health or make it look green and lush with a little fertilizer and lots of water. Remember that sod is like carpeting; poor-quality fibers make for thin and threadbare carpeting, and poor-quality sod that isn't meant for your climate will mean a poor-quality lawn that struggles to flourish.