Many people choose sod over seeding their yard because they want a beautiful lawn quickly. Consideration has to be given to the amount of sun or shade the grass will receive and how much maintenance is going to go into keeping it looking great. Here is some brief information on six varieties and the maintenance involved with each.
Kentucky Bluegrass is dark green, soft and thick. It thrives in northern climates and needs more water during the warm seasons to keep the dark green color it is known for. It does well in sun and some shade. This variety does require a lot of water especially during high temperatures and droughts. Fertilize with 4 to 6 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year during early fall and use less during the spring.
Tall Fescue is also great in northern climates, is medium green in color and is more tolerant to drought. It grows well in a wide variety of soil types. It needs only moderate watering and fertilizer. Do not fertilize during the summer months but use 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet during the rest of the year.
Bermuda grass grows well in hot southern climates. It does not do well in shade and is high maintenance. This variety is used on golf courses and athletic playing fields. If used in an area with average rain fall it needs little water. However, if it is mowed frequently or has a lot of wear and tear, it will require more frequent watering and fertilizer as opposed to if it is used in a regular yard. The disadvantage to Bermuda is that during the winter it will appear dead but it is not. The roots are still healthy and the grass will turn green as soon as the weather warms up.
Zoysia and St. Augustine grass both do well in southern climates. Both love lots of sunshine. Zoysia also does well in shade and needs little water. However it will need aeration because it does thatch. Fertilize it with 2-5 pounds of nitrogen per year.
St. Augustine grass will take some shade and its water needs are dependent on the local rain fall. Fertilize with 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per month to be kept evenly green. Otherwise it will have irregular color and growth. More fertilizer will get lush growth but it will also get pest and diseases.
Centipede sod is low maintenance and great in hot climates that are either dry or moist. It is light green in color and grows slowly but does resist weeds. Low mowing or over fertilizing will cause it to die. When the sod is first put down, do keep it moist but not soaked. Then once it is established it only need moderate to low watering. When fertilizing, do not use phosphorus and low to medium nitrogen and potassium. A good fertilizer mix is 15-0-15.
Using sod instead of seeding a lawn will get you fast results. Just be sure to water and fertilize appropriately. Check the internet and your gardening center for more information.
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