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FAQ & How to Pick Sod 101

From a first time landscape remodeling to a seasoned landscaping vet, here are a few tips to help you choose the right type of sod for your home or business.

Some things to consider:

1. Is this for Home or Commercial setting?

2. Will there be high traffic or will this be more for curb appeal?

3. I want something durable, in case I forget to water it'll be OK. 

Did you know?!

  • Lawns produce oxygen –2,500 s.f. supplies enough oxygen for a family of four.

  • Turfgrass plays an important part in controlling our climate.

  • Turfgrass is the best defense against soil erosion.

Litesod aka Dirtless Grass
**Rule of Green Thumb - 1-2 pieces every other week for most small patios for your animals

This type of grass is great for small areas, such as condos, townhomes, small business settings. It is ideal for those who want to give their animal companions a piece of the great outdoors.

Marathon (Original)
**Rule of Green Thumb - Great for homeowners and businesses alike. Strongest of the Marathons, but most homeowners choose Marathon II for its medium texture.

Ideal for recreation and family use

  • Daily activity levels

  • Durable, hardy

  • Fast injury recovery

  • Can take up to 40% shade

  • Mow between 2 ½’’ and 3 ½’’

  • Coarse texture

  • Medium green year-round

*Families choose Original Marathon (Marathon I) for its all-purpose maximum durability.

*Please note: Even though Marathon I is hardy, no grass will hold up well to dogs!

Marathon II (Field Grown & Lite)

**Rule of Green Thumb - Most popular among homeowners, good balance of strength and beauty.

Good Balance: Beauty and Easy Care

  • Weekend activity levels

  • Good injury recovery

  • Can take up to 25% shade

  • Mow between 2’’ and 3’’

  • Medium/coarse texture

  • Medium-dark green year-round

*With its slightly more refined appearance and high durability, Marathon II is the most popular choice of Southern California homeowners.

Marathon III Lite

**Rule of Green Thumb - Finest texture to give the best look, but also the most delicate of the three Marathons. This is ideal of decorative areas where there is little to no foot traffic. 

Most beautiful appearance with least mow clippings

  • Low activity levels

  • Slow injury recovery

  • Can take up to 10% shade

  • Mow between 1 ½’’ and 3’’

  • Substantially reduced clippings

  • Medium/Fine texture

  • Dark green year-round

*Marathon III is the state-of-the-art dwarf fescue combining slow growth and a rich, dark green carpet-like appearance. However, because its slow recovery from injury, we do not recommend it for everyone.

St. Augustine

**Rule of Green Thumb - Most durable type of grass there is! Resilient to the harshest of conditions. (That doesnt mean you dont ever have to water it.....) Think public park grade grass! **Note, this grass will "spread  and grow" meaning that without concrete borders it will invade flowering areas 

Very coarse thick-stemmed runners. Used primarily where shade tolerance is the top priority. Native to the southern United States where humid conditions do not permit cool-season lawn varieties to flourish. Considerable thatching; requires concrete borders for containment. Dormant in winter.

Watering New Sod

To help understand the underlying concepts behind our quick guidelines for watering new lawns, consider the following analogy. Think of the roots of your newly installed lawn as straws through which the plant drinks water. The roots grow into the soil, which can be considered a glass of water for this analogy. Now imagine yourself drinking from a very tall glass with a straw that will only reach 1/2 inch deep. In order for you to get enough daily water, you will need to fill the glass with small amounts of water numerous times throughout the day. As time passes, your straw gets longer and you can access water from deeper in the glass. The longer your straw, the less often you need to fill the glass. Ultimately, your straw can reach the bottom and you are able to fill your glass with the full amount of water once every other day.

This is very close to what is going on with your new lawn. At first, the roots are very shallow and cannot access the deeper water. To keep the lawn hydrated you will need to water 3 times per day for short periods of time. In the second week, the roots have begun to penetrate deeper into the soil and you can water less often (2 times per day). In the third week the roots are even deeper and you can water once per day. Ultimately your lawn will be established and you should be able to water every other day if you increase the time appropriately.

Watering New Lite Sod

Marathon Lite is grown in an organic mat, which has been designed for its moisture holding capacity. The Marathon Lite mat holds more water than soil and therefore needs less frequent irrigation during the early establishment period. Once the turf begins to root into the soil, irrigating Marathon Lite is the same as the field-grown Marathons.

As a general rule, you can water the Marathon Lite once per day for the first three weeks. If dry spots appear in the lawn during the afternoon, the irrigation time should be increased. If dry spots persist, an irrigation uniformity problem is likely, and an additional sprinkler head may be required. After the first three weeks, you should begin to taper back to once every two or three days, depending on how quickly the sod is rooting. Generally speaking, as the root system grows deeper, irrigation frequency should be reduced.

Watering Established Sod

After a lawn has become established (approximately 6 to 8 weeks), water according to the following guidelines:

Water as infrequently as possible. In the cooler months, this would be once or twice a week; in the warmer months, it could be three or more times per week.

Water for as long as possible to deeply penetrate the soil (up to 30 minutes). Cycle irrigation may be necessary if runoff occurs within a short time; i.e., water until runoff occurs, then stop and wait for the water to penetrate the soil (usually 1 -2 hours). Repeat watering and waiting until water deeply penetrates the soil.

Water as early in the day as possible (first thing in the morning). Do not water lawn between 4 pm and 2 am.

Do not water shaded areas of lawn as frequently as areas that receive full sun.

Note of Caution: Be sure to watch out for a blue-gray tint and/or limp areas in the lawn. This is not a fungus; rather, it is caused by dehydration and indicates that immediate watering is needed. Such spots usually occur on tops of mounds, or in areas where sprinkler coverage is not adequate. (Watering in full sun is acceptable and will not burn the blades.

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