One of the best features of sod is the instant result that your get when you lay it over bare dirt, and immediately have a lush, green lawn. The process at our farm starts two years before that sod arrives in your yard!
We start prepping our ground for seeding in June and July. This involves tillage, to reduce compaction; leveling, to create a flat, harvestable surface; and debris removal. At the beginning of August, we finalize seed prep with a fine rake too for a smooth soil surface, and apply a pre-plant fertilizer application. Next, we use a Brillion seeder and double plant for even coverage, and cultipack to firm the seed bed and help retain moisture. We also apply a pre-emergent herbicide to reduce weeds. This also helps reduce the number of curative herbicide applications in the future, thus lowering overall pesticide use. Our seeding window is between August 15th and September 15th, depending on weather conditions.
Kentucky Bluegrass can take up to 24 days to germinate. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate once the sprouts have emerged, we irrigate to ensure the plant’s shallow roots have enough available moisture. The late summer/early fall seedings grow vigorously until hard frost comes and the plant’s top growth slows. At this time, energy is sent into root growth for over-wintering.
In the Spring, we roll the fields after the ground heaves from the frost leaving the soil. We apply a fertilizer application to jump start the turf from dormancy into active growth. The turf is ready to be moved, and will have 40+ trims prior to reaching your yard.
Now the turf is actively growing and the root system is getting more dense. We actively scout for weeds, dryness, low fertility, and other potential problems. We irrigate, fertilize, and/or apply pesticides as needed. We care for the turf-grass until it is as perfect as Mother Nature allows, and is ready to be harvested as sod. This can take anywhere from 12-18 months from seeding.
We are farmers first and foremost, and love taking the bare earth and some seed and help it grow. We believe farmers are the ultimate land steward. We love what we do, and know that without good soil, water, and environment, our livelihood could not continue.