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What Sod Variety is Best for Your Yard?

by | Sep 17, 2020

Robert Markley

Robert Markley is a licensed Landscape Architect with over 20 years of experience working with clients to provide excellence in landscape design, project management, and installation services. He also possesses a rare combination of skills as a horticulturist, licensed Landscape Contractor, and licensed Irrigation Contractor, equipping him to provide a comprehensive and practical approach to any project, big or small. He takes pride in helping our clients envision and create amazing outdoor spaces that are enjoyed now and for years to come.

It’s not the easiest thing to grow a great lawn from grass seed. That’s why many persons prefer to use sod. Sod is the grass that has already been planted and as it grows the established root system makes it easy to transplant. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing sod, however. To make sure you get the right grass, we’ve covered what you need to know and how different varieties compare.

How to Choose the Right Sod Variety

One important factor for choosing the right sod for your yard is tied to your location. Generally, sod varieties fall into three categories: cool-season, warm-season, and transition zone.

If you look over the temperature map provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it will be easy to see where your location falls. Once you know your temperature range, you can start planting any of the varieties below that match your category.

Your soil type and how much maintenance you’re prepared to undertake are also essential to your decision. Let’s look at the main types of sod varieties available and how they compare.

Bahia Grass

This tough grass is known as a warm-season sod. It works best for areas that are hot and humid. Bahia grass has a rough texture which means it can handle yards that have a lot of foot traffic. If your yard has loose, sandy soil this grass will work well. It’s also tolerant of salty conditions.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is another warm-season sod. It grows aggressively, which is useful for repelling weeds but painful if the grass gets into your flower bed. Like the Bahia, this grass can tolerate heavy foot traffic and salty conditions. Bermuda grass also grows well under drought conditions and requires little maintenance. It does need proper drainage, though.

Kentucky Bluegrass

The Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season sod that needs sunlight, good soil, and regular water supply. It prefers full sun to shade and is high maintenance. If you choose this type of sod, you’ll need to design a deep-rooted irrigation system. The investment in this design will pay off when your yard survives harsh winters.

Centipede Grass

This type of grass grows well in a warm climate and prefers sandy, acidic soil. It’s also moderately tolerant of shade. The centipede grass has a rough texture and is effective in resisting pests or weeds. While low maintenance in nature, this sod will take a bit longer to grow than others.

Fescue Grass

There are several different types of fescue grass but they all fall into the category of cool-season grasses. With this grass, it’s vital to confirm heat, drought, shade, and traffic tolerance based on the variety chosen. Fescue grass requires full sun, proper fertilizing, moderate watering, and an aerating schedule. It’s also fairly low maintenance.

Perennial Ryegrass

The perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass that is commonly used to overseed during the winter. It grows quickly and tolerates heavy foot traffic. To get the best lawn with this sod, you’ll need to water and fertilize it well. Perennial ryegrass is also resistant to pests and disease.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is a warm-season sod that grows well in sandy soil. It grows quickly and easily but doesn’t tolerate much shade. With this grass, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often but it needs frequent fertilizing.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a warm-season sod that grows slowly. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in hot weather. Zoysia grass is easy to maintain so you won’t need to worry about watering it often. This grass holds up well in high-traffic areas and is resistant to weeds.

With the right type of research, you can identify the best sod variety for your yard. However, even with the information provided, it might be too much to put together. If you’re still not sure how to move forward, a landscape architect can help.

These specially trained individuals would assess your yard and provide a personalized recommendation for what would work best based on your location, climate, soil type, likely pests, and any other elements you’d want to consider.

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