Questions and Answers

Installation Questions

  • When is it too late to lay sod?
    For our cool season grasses like Durablend Tall Fescue and HD 2000 Kentucky Bluegrass, you can install sod all year long. Fall is a great time to install because the of the cooler weather; the sod will be less likely to dry out.

    Our warm season grasses, like Zenith Zoysia and Sovereign Bermudagrass, are better to install in the spring or summer. They will start to go dormant with the first killing frost.

  • I'm having some landscaping work done this winter. When is the best time to have zoysia sod planted? I'll mostly need about 1500 square feet.
    Zoysia CAN be installed during the winter, but will lay dormant and not take root until spring. We usually recommend that Zoysia be installed anywhere from April - September, but winter installations are usually successful as well. Please email or call if you have any other questions! Thanks, Jack
  • How soon should sod be installed after receiving delivery?
    The time you have to install sod depends greatly on the outside air temperature. Sod is a living plant and begins to decompose as soon as it is rolled up. The number one factor in decomposition rate is heat. If the temperature is in the 80's or higher, you should install the sod within 24 hours. If the temperature is in the 50 - 70 degree range, you may have a couple days to install it. If it is near freezing outside, you have up to a week to install sod. When in doubt, its always best to install sod ASAP!
  • How much sod comes on one pallet?
    We usually put 600 square feet on one pallet.
  • How many rolls or pallets do I need for a given area?
    Typically, you can call our office with the dimensions in feet - or area in square feet - and we can calculate how many pallets you need. If you want to calculate it on your own, read on.

    To find the area of your space, you would multiply the two dimensions (length by width). You would then divide this number by 10 to find the number of rolls you need. Dividing by 600 would give you the number of full pallets you need.

  • What should I do to my existing grass one week before I put in zoysia plugs?
    That's a great question. I would not advise doing anything a week before installation. You should, however, mow your existing grass as short as possible on the day of plug installation. Install your plugs and water the area. It's a great idea to get a soil test of your site, too. The test results will indicate any deficiencies and your pH level. The test results will also offer recommendations.

    Next summer, you should maintain a low cut on your lawn and about every three weeks, fertilize with 1/3 lb/1000 sqft rate of 46-0-0 in June, July and August. These actions will add some stress and weaken your cool season grass, in the meantime, your Zoysia plugs will start to take over.

  • Should I get a soil pH test done before I lay my sod?
    It is a good idea to get a soil test before installing sod. The results of a soil test will determine the soil pH and the soil nutrient levels. You then adjust these levels by applying the appropriate lime and fertilizer, if needed. Soil test kits can be found at our farm sales locations. Soil test results are usually in 2 weeks.
  • My yard has sandy soil. It has been killed and cleared down to the soil. Should I apply topsoil, seed, and then top dressing?
    Great timing on your question. The best time to seed a cool season grass in MD is the month of September. Since you mentioned you have sandy soil, I would indeed recommend adding some sort of topsoil, garden soil, or Leaf-Gro product as a soil amendment. This will add much needed organic material to your sandy site. Incorporate this product into your existing soil. Level and grade the site. You can then add some starter fertilizer and finally seed. There is no need to topdress your newly seeded yard.
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Pick Up and Delivery

  • If I live on a narrow one way street, could I still have TerraTotes or sod delivered?
    You can! Our experienced drivers encounter this type of scenario often. Usually they will safely park on an adjacent road and deliver the product via forklift. It can be placed anywhere you need as long as it is forklift-accessible.


  • Is the top soil in the TerraTote appropriate for a rain garden?
    What a great idea! Our premium garden soil would be a nice addition in any rain garden. Simply roto-till the garden soil into your native soil and you will end up with a finished product high in organic material. Rain water will be quickly absorbed into this highly organic soil, and your plants will love it too. Good Luck!

    Please call our office if you have any questions.

  • Does the TerraTote bag protect the soil? I'm concerned about having muddy soil if it's rained on.
    The TerraTote will shed most water off of the soil, however some rain may seep through the opening. It will still be workable in most cases after rain.
  • How much soil comes in a TerraTote?
    In each tote bag, there are approximately 1.1 cubic yards of soil product. This will roughly cover a 325 sqft area to a depth of one inch.
  • What are the components of your topsoil? Does it contain treated sewage?
    There is no treated sewage in our garden soil. Our topsoil product is comprised of aged mushroom compost and topsoil.

Lawn Maintenance

  • After installation, when should the first mowing be done? How can I prevent ruts in the sod from the mower wheels?
    I would mow 2 weeks after installation. To minimize rutting, reduce/stop watering a day or two prior to mowing. This will allow the ground to dry out. You can resume your watering schedule between mowing. Another way to minimize rutting is to change directions for each mowing.

    Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass leaf. Maintain a 3.5" cut during the summer. This can be lower to 3" during the other seasons.

  • Is twice-per-week watering enough for newly installed sod?
    Yes, sod would die during that particular scenario you described. You must remember that sod is a living plant and a plant that just had 95% of its roots cut off. It needs to be watered thoroughly to survive.

    For the first two weeks after installation, sod needs to be watered every day for roughly an hour. If it's raining, you do not water, and on the other hand if it's hot, dry and windy, you may need to water more. After two weeks of watering, you can reduce this to every other day. After that, the watering can be reduced again.

  • When should I be fertilizing my sod in the second year?
    Fall is the best time to feed your lawn. Ideally you should take a soil test of your yard to see what fertilizer requirements are needed. Soil test kits are available at our farm locations. A soil test will also determine the pH on your lawn. Proper soil pH will help the fertilizer feed your lawn efficiently. Typically you need to apply one pound of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft; this first application should be around Labor Day weekend and the second application of nitrogen and phosphorous should be in the first week of November.
  • What is the best way to get rid of crabgrass without killing my good grass?
    Since crabgrass is an annual grass, it will die with the first killing frost, usually in late October. In midsummer, you should concentrate on improving the good grass. Feed your lawn ASAP with a quality fertilizer. You should fertilize again in the middle of November with a winter type fertilizer.

    Your well fed good grass will now grow and strengthen during the winter months. Next year, in the early Spring, you should apply a crabgrass pre-emergent product. There are many manufactures of this type of product. Read and follow all label instructions. The key to stop future crabgrass outbreaks is to maintain a thick and healthy lawn. This will require appropriate fertilizer and annual crabgrass pre-emergent product applications.

  • How much preparation is necessary for overseeding? Should overseeding be done after aeration?
    Fall is a great time to over-seed your lawn. There is some preparation needed prior to over-seeding your lawn. Typically, you should mow your lawn short to exposed the thinned out areas. You should seed with a slit seeder. A slit seeder will create small slits into the soil and drop seed into the slits all in one pass. The main objective with any seeding is to maximize soil to seed contact.

    Seeding after aeration is a good idea. too. Make sure you have plenty of cores to expose the soil for seeding.

    After any type of seeding, it is important to feed the lawn with a balanced starter fertilizer. Read and follow label instructions.

  • How long should I wait to fertilize zoysia/bermudagrass once installed?
    Assuming you fertilized at the time of installation, you should fertilize again in 4 weeks after installation. If the grass goes dormant in those 4 weeks, do not fertilize. You should only fertilize when the grass is actively growing. Next year, you should fertilize at Spring green up.
  • My lawn has started dying off in patches. It was treated for Brown Patch with a fungicide, but now it's spread even further. It comes up in clumps and appears to be dead. Could this be grubs? How would I know/treat?
    This summer has been extremely harsh on Tall Fescue lawns. The excessive amount of rain coupled with the high night time temperatures exacerbated the lawn fungus outbreaks. Pythium and Brown Patch are your main concerns.

    Pythium kills the lawn in small 1 to 3" circular patches. Areas that are low and hold water are of special concern. Check for Pythium fungus mycelium early in the morning. It will look like grayish oily cotton tufts. If properly identified, treat immediately.

    Brown Patch, while unsightly, will not normally kill your lawn. Brown Patch will cause 1-2' irregularly shape circle on your lawn.

    Both diseases can be treated with disease specific fungicides. Check your local garden center for products. Read and follow all product label instructions. Grubs will typically start havoc on your lawn in late September and October. If you think grubs are becoming a problem (more than 10 grubs per square foot), an insecticide should be applied prior to egg hatching which occurs in early August.
  • How do I overseed an established lawn?
    We find it best to overseed on or near Labor Day Weekend. For best results, rent a slit seeder from your local hardware or rental store. This is a gas powered machine that cuts slits in the ground and will meter out grass seed as you push it along. The grass seed will drop into the slits. This action provides great soil to seed contact that is needed for germination.
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  • What is the best type of sod to install if you have dogs?
    Our Durablend Tall Fescue is a nice fit for dog owners. Once established, its deep roots will keep the grass soft and green all summer long. The dense grass will crowd out weeds so herbicide use can be kept to a minimum. The high microbial activity in the grass' thatch layer will break down all that Fido can throw at it.
  • What type of grass seed do you recommend for semi-shaded areas?
    The type of grass seed depends on the amount of sunlight on the semi-shaded area. Tall Fesuce and Kentucky Bluegrass will need at least 6 hr of daily sunlight to produce a decent lawn. If your shade levels are higher, you may have to go to a shade tolerant mixture of seed.

    Please call our office if you have any questions.

  • How many square feet are on a pallet?
    Our Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Bermuda pallets will contain 600 sqft of grass. Zoysia pallets will contain 500 sqft.
  • What are the dimensions of a sod roll?
    Our standard small turfgrass rolls will measure 2' by 5', though sometimes they are cut at about 1.5' by 6'. Our big rolls will measure 3.5' by 90'.
  • How much does a pallet of sod weigh?
    Normally, a full pallet of sod weighs 1800 lbs. A pallet can weigh a little more after a rain because of the additional moisture.
  • Which of your grasses are best for shady areas?
    Our Durablend Tall Fescue will thrive in up to 30% shade. With higher amounts of shade, grasses grown for sod will simply start to thin out. If you think you have denser shade, you may have to try one of the heavy shade tolerant seed mixtures. Our Shade Seed mixture and Jonathan Green's Shady Nook are great choices if you're interested in seeding.
  • How do we return pallets in order to receive a refund?
    If you have Central Sod pallets left over from a delivery or pick-up, you can bring them back to either our Annapolis, MD location or Centreville, MD location. The pallets will usually fit in vans or pickup trucks. Each pallet is $10 and will be refunded by check.