What are the reasons you might want to lay sod to start your new lawn vs. planting grass seeds? One of the most obvious reasons for laying sod grass is that sod gives you an instant lawn. On the other hand the cost of laying sod can, and will cost more money for the sod than buying the seed. The shipping of the weight of the sod due to the high prices of energy is an important factor in the cost of buying sod that can give you an instant lawn. Another thing to remember is that the quick results obtained from laying the sod does not mean that the work involved with installing the new greenery will take less preparation of the soil for the new grass to grow in. There will be just as much work involved in laying the new sod grass as there would be in sowing grass seed, and proper maintenance will be needed for the new sod to be healthy after laying it. Most importantly you will need regular watering after laying new sod in order to maintain the health of the new sod grass.
If you are trying to sell your home and you cant wait for the grass to grow from seedlings would be another great reason to opt for laying a new patch of grass from sod. Because often when selling a home you need that yard to look fantastic in order to entice a buyer to look at your property, and get the amount money you are looking for out of the sale of property.
So you’ve decided you want to lay some new sod in your yard, now you might ask “what kind of sod grass should I be laying in my yard?”
How do I Choose the Best Sod for my new Lawn
Ultimately when choosing a type of sod grass to lay you will want to take into consideration a few key questions before buying your sod. You will want to consider where you live. What type of climate are you living in? Will this sod thrive in my climate? What am I going to use my lawn for? Do I intend to have a lot of foot traffic on my new lawn I.E, Children or pets playing on my lawn.
If you doing your lawn care near Lodi California in the San Joaquin Valley, you will most likely need to get sod that is a warm season grass due to the hot seasons we generally experience here. Warm season Grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia grasses could make an excellent choice for this climate due to their love of the warm weather and our hot summer sunshine in the California central valley. Homeowners in the southern U.S. tend to choose these warm-season grasses because the grow the best during the warmest periods of the year from the middle to the end of April to the middle or end of October. .
You are an individual, therefore the demands that you place on your lawn are most likely very different from even your next door neighbors. Because not everyone uses their lawn in for the same things. For example, Some of us are dog lovers/owner and we might want to let our dogs play on the lawn, and as a result the treading on the lawn can cause the lawn to get brown spots if your lawn is not very durable, also dogs like to pee on the lawn and the urine can cause unsightly brown spots on your green. Anther factor to take into consideration is human foot traffic, as this can damage a lawn. Not every type of sod grass will perform equally well when they are exposed to these types of stresses, therefore it becomes important to pick a type that holds up well under these conditions.
Some types of sod grass are more capable of tolerating challenging conditions than others. So if the grass you choose struggles to meet those challenges successfully, the appearance of your lawn will suffer and that will make it necessary to perform more lawn maintenance. For example, some types of grass will tolerate drought better than others. If you choose a grass that is not drought tolerant, You will have to perform more frequent watering. Another challenge some grasses face tolerance to shady conditions. When you choose to grow a type that is intolerant of shade in a shady area of your landscape, it may perform poorly.
When you are dealing with multiple challenges in your landscape project you may not find a single type of grass that successfully meets each and every one of them; you will have to choose the one that defeats most of the challenges and adjust accordingly. Here are a few types of sod commonly sold that landscapers and homeowners can choose from for the hardiness zone 9a to 9b that would be a good choice for the San Joaquin area in California.
St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)
This grass is available in sod and it is a warm season grass with the ability to form dense mats as it spreads via stolons. It has wide flat blades of grass that are also shade and salt tolerant. This makes it a good choice for high traffic areas and even resistant to dog urine. The St. Augustine is the most shade tolerant of the warm season grasses.
If you choose to lay sod with St. Augustine grass you won’t have to mow it much, a quality that you will appreciate if you value low maintenance. Although it certainly isn’t without maintenance altogether: if you want the best performance from this grass it will need both adequate irrigation and fertilization.
- USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 12
- Blade Color: Bluish-green
- Light: Full sun to partial shade
- Soil Needs: Well-drained, with a soil pH of 6 to 7.5; moderately low water needs
- Mature Size: 6 to 12 inches tall
Zoysia Grass (Zoysia japonica)
This is a warm-season grass that tolerates human foot traffic, dog traffic, and urine well, and it is does pretty well tolerating droughts.
- USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 10
- Blade Color: Medium green
- Light: Full sun
- Soil Needs: Well-drained , with a pH of 6 to 6.5; low to medium water needs, average fertility needs
- Mature Size: 9 inches tall
Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon)
Bermuda is a warm-season grass that is known by landscapers for its vigorous growth. This can be a blessing and a curse because Bermuda grass is excellent when it comes tolerating human foot traffic, dog traffic, and urine, drought tolerance and salt tolerance. Conversely, it requires frequent mowing, and its aggressive growth makes it necessary to perform more lawn maintenance in order to contain it from growing into unsightly conditions in your landscape.
- USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
- Blade Color: Medium green
- Light: Full sun
- Soil Needs: Well-drained ground, with a soil pH of 6.5 to 8; low water needs, but requires regular feeding
- Mature Size: 15 to 24 inches