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Installing New Sod


Replacing Sod:  Which is best?


So you would like to install new sod or replace your existing sod. Which sod should you use? In southwest Florida, there are several choices. I will examine a few to give you some insight on which sod may be best for you.

Floratam Sod


By far the most popular sod here is Floratam.  This grass is a member of the St. Augustine family of turf grass. Floratam has a wide leaf blade, can grow very high between cuttings in summer and adapts to our sandy soil conditions. It is generally the least expensive sod to install of the desired turf grasses. With its spreading nature, it may recover from damage better than some of its rivals.

There are some areas of concern when it comes to Floratam. First, it should not be used in areas where there is very little sunlight. Floratam like most St. Augustine grass likes sunny areas. The more sun the better. Secondly, Chinch bugs are without a doubt, a top concern when using Floratam. These pests are extremely damaging. Left untreated, Chinch bugs can quickly wipe out your lawn. While fungus does attack Floratam, it generally is not as damaging as Chinch Bugs.  Fungal attacks occur more in the winter than in the summer. A good fungicide can make short work of most fungal strains. Finally, because of its open growth pattern, Floratam allows more weed growth than some of the more dense varieties. Subsequently, plan on having to spray often to keep the weeds out of the turf.


Seville SodSeville

Seville is another member of the St. Augustine family. Probably the best feature of Seville is that it does not require as much direct sunlight as Floratam. If you are planning to have turf in a somewhat shaded area, Seville is your best bet for success. You may like Seville over Floratam because it does not tend to grow as tall between mowing’s. It generally is a little darker in color. When it comes to insect problems, we have found that Seville has less issues with Chinch bugs but slightly more with Mole Crickets. Due to its’ slower growth pattern, it may take slightly longer to recover from damage than Floratam.



Zoysia SodZoysia

Ah the creme of the crop. Zoysia is considered the top in class turf. It has a much finer blade than the St. Augustine verities.  With its completely different root system, Zoysia can be mowed as little as one inch high to give you more of that carpet look. Zoysia is considered a high maintenance turf. But if you want that clean, elegant look, there is no better choice.

Now for important stuff. Typically, a push rotary mower or specially adapted riding mower is used to cut Zoysia. Your mower blade should run at a very high tip speed to avoid damaging the turf. Ripping can stress the grass and fungal issues will soon follow. You should also bag the grass clippings. If left on the ground, a thatch layer will form and you guessed it, here comes the fungus. There are several strains of fungi that attack Zoysia. Fungal attacks must be dealt with quickly or you will end up with dead patches.  On the bright side, Zoysia does not usually suffer from infestations of Chinch bug. It does however suffer from attacks of Mole Crickets. A pest control service is normally needed to rid the turf of this pest.



Cost of Installation and Maintenance

One of the first questions I usually hear is, how much does it cost to install new sod. The answer, it completely depends on what you want for the end result.

Both Floratam and Seville will cost less to install than Zoysia. Remember the golden rule, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. This is especially true when purchasing sod. Not all sod is created equal and cheapest sod should be avoided when possible. Just like anything else, good sod will cost a little more but probably save you money and headaches in the long run.

Just as important, if not more, is how the soil is prepared prior to the installation of the new sod. Without the proper installment, your new turf will not have a long life. There are several steps we take to ensure the sod is installed correctly. After the installation, a proper mixture of fertilizer along with a preventative fungicide will help your sod root quickly.


Contact us, we would be happy to give you a free estimate.

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(239) 229-0704