When buying sod in Central and South Florida, you will run into two different bases soil wise: Sand based or Muck based. We get a lot of questions over the phone about which is better for our customers, and here is why we think sand based is far better for your Central and South Florida lawn:
Most of the state of Florida has sand based soil, which is what we have on the farm. Now, this is not the sugar sand you find on the beach, but more of a sandy soil. Muck based soil is really only found around Lake Okeechobee and is typically used for farming. When harvesting the sod and transplanting it into your lawn, the more similar the soil, the better your new sod will acclimate and thrive. If you used muck based sod, the roots wouldn't have much incentive to leave that nutrient rich muck and travel down into your sand based soil. The deeper the root system, the more drought tolerant your lawn will be. The more drought tolerant your lawn, the less water you will need to use to irrigate it. This saves not only your wallet, but helps the environment, as well!
Muck oxidizes over time, which means that it shrinks. This will leave unsightly gaps in your lawn. You will need to then fill these gaps with additional sod and soil… yet another added expense.
Muck based sod will show up looking green and lush, but over time, it will decline as the sod is not used to sand based soil.
A great way to give your sand based soil a head start and ensure optimal drought tolerance is to get a starter fertilizer like Scott's Starter Fertilizer, which is available at most home improvement or gardening stores. Apply that to your bare soil and water it in really well. Lay your new sod and give that a good watering as well. What that is doing is sending the fertilizer deep into the soil, giving the new roots a great incentive to travel further down. You will have a well rooted in, healthy lawn in no time!
Give us a call to place an order for your farm fresh sod today! 407.290.0150
Here is an example of our sand based Palmetto St. Augustine sod, healthy and lush!
Well, as evidenced by the onslaught of Spring Breakers descending upon our gorgeous state, Spring is here! This time of year always makes us feel fortunate to live where we do… Great climate, fun activities, and something new and different is always a short car ride away. You can be enjoying a laid back weekend in the Keys full of fishing and tropical fun, switch things up to a more urban, city setting with fancy restaurants in Miami that night, then hit up a family friendly, world class theme park in the Disney area the next day, if you so choose. The options are truly endless. We at the farm experience yet another side of Florida with miles of unspoiled pasture land, plentiful wildlife, and the cattle ranch/ sod farm lifestyle. We may spend the day paddle boarding in the Indian River Lagoon, and then head to a rodeo that night without even dusting off all the sand. There is truly something for everyone no matter which direction you turn!
Another huge perk of living in Central and South Florida is how green and lush our lawns can be. With some care and maintenance, you can have yours looking HGTV ready for many years to come. The best way to ensure your lawn starts out healthy is to buy from a reputable, high quality farm. Make sure your sod is being cut the morning of delivery. Buying sod that has been sitting on the pallet can set your lawn and your wallet back big time, as problems with fungus and appearance issues are sure to follow. You also want to make sure the place you're purchasing your sod from has a regular fertilizer and weed/pest control schedule in place. Some farms will cut corners to save money in this area, which will then cost you time and money when you lay diseased, pest ridden grass. As in most areas of consumerism, you generally get what you pay for. Beware of the pitfalls of "Cheap" sod!
We are pleased to be able to keep our costs affordable by cutting out the middle man. We grow, maintain, harvest, and ship our own sod, so that eliminates a lot of additional and unnecessary price increases for you. It also allows us to have total control over the quality of our sod. We are a family owned and operated company, so we care about our product and take pride in our business! We have Floratam St. Augustine, Palmetto St. Augustine, Argentine Bahia, and Empire Zoysia available for you. Check out our varieties page to see which one is right for you, or just give us a call and one of our friendly and knowleadgable sales reps will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Give us a call to schedule your delivery of farm fresh sod and enjoy your lawn this season! 407.290.0150
Here is a recent photo of our Floratam St. Augustine fields.
Here in Florida, there really isn't a bad time to lay new sod in your lawn. Our mild climate makes gardening year round an achievable task. That being said, we are coming into a really wonderful time to lay new sod. As we roll out of Winter and into Spring, more people are looking to utilize their outdoor living space. Sand boxes are being revamped and color is appearing with renewed vigor in lawns here. The weather is perfect for enjoying the outdoors! Installing your new sod now will ensure that you not only beat the Spring rush, but that you will also be well established and able to enjoy it as the warmer temperatures hit. Laying your turf in cooler temperatures is also easier on the installer!
Our sod is grown in Okeechobee County at our family owned and operated farm, cut the morning of your delivery, and shipped to you by our safe and courteous drivers. Since we are coming from a little further South than some other farms, we aren't hit as hard by frosts… Which means our turf is already greened back up and ready to deliver to you.
Here is a close up of what our Floratam St. Augustine looks like in the field today. As you can see, there is a little bit of browning from the recent frosts at the tips, which is almost completely grown out.
Here is a close up of the Palmetto St. Augustine. There is no longer any evidence of the frost, and the signature emerald green color of this variety is plain to see.
We hope these pictures help as you search for the right sod to install in your lawn or commercial/residential job!
Much of Florida has experienced freezing temperatures a few times in the last month, and these low temps can affect your St. Augustine lawn. You may have noticed your lawn browning at least a little and reverting into a dormant state. This is all normal for this time of year and to be expected when experiencing the low temperatures we have had recently.
If you feel as though the frost has killed your sod at least in patches, you can either wait until Spring to see what parts of your lawn greens up, or check the stolons periodically throughout the Winter. The stolons are the long, vein-like parts of your grass that some people refer to as "runners". These runners should be at least a little green on the inside when you break them open. If you find the insides are rotten looking and brown, that area of your yard may have died. You then have a couple of options. The first option is that you can leave it the way it is and wait for the live patches to grow in. When going that route, be sure to leave the dead sod there to deter weeds from growing in. This may take a while, depending on the size of the dead patches, and if you would rather not wait, you can go with your second option: Re-sodding those areas. The new sod will blend quickly and have your entire lawn looking perfect by the time Spring rolls around.
You can also mow your lawn a little closer than you normally do during the winter to encourage new growth. This will have the browned blades disappearing a little quicker with each trim.
As we head into February, the worst of the Winter weather here in Florida is most likely over. Keep checking back with us to read up on how to prepare your lawn for Spring!
Whew! We don't know about y'all, but we sure are tired of all this rain! As farmers, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, and she isn't making it very easy to harvest sod right now. We are still rained out in our Argentine Bahia fields, but are hoping to be able to get in there to cut late next week.
The wet weather is causing a delay on harvesting in our Palmetto and Captiva St. Augustine fields as well, and we are hoping to be able to harvest those varieties in the middle part of October.
We are still able to get our Floratam St. Augustine harvested, as well as the Empire Zoysia, as long as those fields don't have standing water. Just give us a call to see what the field is looking like and to place your order!
For all previous customers, especially those with shade tolerant St. Augustine varieties, don't forget to apply fungicide to your lawns once this wet weather clears out.
Also, we are still running our free delivery special on two or more pallets to certain counties… We aren't sure how much longer that will be going on, so get the deal while you can!
Hope you are all having a wonderful beginning to Fall!
It is officially Fall to most of the world, as Labor Day has come and gone. Here in Florida, the seasons are not drastic, so it will be a bit before we experience a change in weather. Most of the folks we know aren't too concerned with that, however, and are unpacking their Autumn decor and creating festive displays around and outside the house. I have noticed several wreaths adorning doors and cheerful garden flags with pumpkins lining neighborhoods. What a fun time of year!
The holidays also bring out many peoples craftiness, and we are no different. Since the dawning of Pinterest.com, it seems that has been taken to a whole new level! Our boards are full of burlap wreath tutorials and pumpkin carving ideas, as well as recipes with Autumn flavor… Pumpkin chocolate chip bread anyone? We have also been enjoying our fair share of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. It's just not the holidays until you take your first sip! Although, here in Florida, we have been drinking them iced!
It's also a time to utilize our lawns more often, as the weather becomes less and less scorching. Outdoor seating is dusted off and fluffed out and gardening is not such a miserable task, but is instead enjoyable again. It's also such a great time of year to lay sod, as the weather is conducive to less stress on your newly harvested and installed grass. Take advantage of our free delivery special to certain counties, and it's a win – win situation!
Here is a photo of a burlap wreath that Hallie just made to put on the front door of one of the ranch houses. It definitely looks like Fall!
As we see light at the end of the tunnel from the dog days of Summer, we are eagerly anticipating Fall on the farm… It is such a beautiful time of year with cool breezes and lots of wildlife activity. Our cow work schedule is set for the coming months, and it's always much more pleasant to saddle up when it's a bit brisk out. We are really excited! In honor of that time of year when it's easier to spend the day outside without melting into a puddle, here is a blog post about our gorgeous sunsets on the property. We are really proud of them, and feel very blessed and thankful to be able to see them every morning here. After all these years, they have yet to lose their charm… They are just that beautiful! Click the link below to see for yourself.
Now, not only is the Fall a good time for being outside on the ranch, but it is also a wonderful time to lay new sod in your lawn. Not only is it easier for you when the heat breaks a bit, but it's also great timing for your new sod. Here in Florida, we have the luxury of never having a "bad" time to install new landscaping, but some are better than others for various reasons. For example, if you lay your new sod in the Fall, it will easily acclimate and put down roots throughout the cooler months with no stress on it, and then as soon as it begins to warm in the Spring, you will already have a head start on your neighbors with a gorgeous, super green lawn. Treat with some weed and feed fertilizer, sit back, relax, and enjoy it!
We hope you are all having a great end to your Summer and we would love to have an opportunity to send you some of our cut fresh, straight from the family farm sod!
Here is a photo taken in our Floratam St. Augustine fields recently. The rainy July here translated to some super green sod!
Whew! Here at the farm we have been experiencing record amounts of rain this July! August has proven to be drier, and the sod is looking great after all that moisture! It's beautiful emerald green as far as you can see on the sod fields. Our St. Augustine Floratam and Empire Zoysia is currently available for delivery to your home or business and we would love to send some to you! We are still unfortunately on a wait list for Argentine Bahia, but are hoping to be able to cut next week sometime. We won't ship anything to you unless it is of the highest quality and we sure do appreciate your patience. As always in the summer, we are holding off on harvesting our Palmetto St. Augustine and Captiva St. Augustine. These varieties have a tendency to fungus easily, and therefore don't do well on the pallet during the dog days of Summer. Fungus loves three things: Warm, Wet, and Dark… Which is exactly the conditions you will find when stacked on a pallet during these hot months. They do much better being installed in the early to late Fall, Winter, Spring, and early Summer. We want your lawn to look the best it can!
Are you experiencing some fungus problems in your lawn from all the rain? Most people in Florida are right now. No worries! A topical fungicide purchased from a garden center or home improvement store will restore the health of your lawn. Be sure to read the instructions on the label and follow any safety precautions. You can also check our previous blog post on the topic of Rainy Weather and Your Florida Lawn by clicking the link below:
I don't know about y'all, but we are getting a whole lot of much needed rain here at the farm! Judging from the radar on the Weather Channel, it's affecting most of Florida and doesn't appear to be letting up anytime soon. This is the perfect time to discuss rain and the health of your lawn during this kind of weather.
Whether it's a mild downpour or a significant Tropical type storm, it's always a good idea to pay attention to the amount of precipitation your lawn is receiving. Too little or too much moisture can make it necessary to adjust your settings if you have a sprinkler system installed. If your lawn squishes when you walk, it's a good idea to turn that irrigation system off until you can walk through your yard without seeing water puddling up. There's no use wasting water when it is definitely not needed. A good way to train a St. Augustine lawn to be more drought tolerant is to wait until you see the blades of grass wilting a bit before running the sprinkler. This will entice your roots to go down deeper into the earth, seeking moisture. The deeper your roots, the more drought tolerant your lawn will be. This will save you money and be more "Green" by using less water, a natural resource. Just be careful not to water too little and cause your lawn to experience a drought like environment. Every irrigation system is different, so you may have to fiddle with yours a bit to get that happy medium when it comes to moisture levels.
Another thing to look out for when moisture levels are high is fungus… Especially in the shade tolerant varieties of St. Augustine, like Palmetto. You will notice round circles of discolored or yellowed grass in your lawn if it is affected. Luckily, a trip to the store for some fungicide and a simple application following directions on the package should nip it in the bud. If you find the problem to be recurrent, you may want to decrease the amount of water that area is getting. Fungus loves three things: wet, warm, and dark. A shaded area of a Florida lawn can match all three criteria if the moisture levels aren't monitored.
If you are installing new sod during a particular rainy period, and have chosen a St. Augustine variety, you may want to go ahead and apply fungicide to your new turf directly after laying it. This will ensure that you won't encounter this wet weather problem and will allow your new lawn to be healthy and green.
Here is a photo of the storm rolling in over one of our pastures.
Spring has sprung and we are so excited about it! Your lawn is gearing up for a long hot summer and I'm sure you're noticing the "green-up" taking place. Zoysia grasses will go dormant in the Winter time, and although we don't experience the cold weather down here in Florida as much as most of the country, you may still have noticed some browning of your lawn during the frosts we have had. Not to worry! This is all normal for Zoysia turf and a gorgeous lawn is around the corner! We have some helpful tips on how to go about maintaining your Zoysia turf in the early Spring, which will result in a healthy, quality, gorgeous lawn for years to come. Here are the guidelines we suggest following:
GIVE YOUR ZOYSIA LAWN A BUZZ CUT:
Once you're sure there will be no more frosts in your location, go ahead and mow your Zoysia lawn very short. The suggested mowing height is between 1"-2" for Empire and Jamur Zoysia, but a real scalping in early Spring can be beneficial to paving the way for a lush and healthy lawn. Just be sure to bag any clippings and remove them. Usually just adjusting your lawn mower down one setting will be enough to mow your turf tight enough to reap the rewards of this practice.
Zoysia turf is usually pretty resistant to fungus, but it is a possibility, especially when overwatered or in areas that aren't getting the suggested daily amount of sun. (Zoysia grasses like to have full sunlight all day) Applying fungicide topically to your lawn should alleviate the problem. Just be sure to read the instructions and maintain proper safety practices. Be careful not to overwater, as this may increase the probability of fungus.
You will want to apply a broad spectrum insecticide if you believe your Zoysia turf has been infected with bugs. A few examples of insects that could be feasting on your lawn are Bill Bugs, Army Worms, White Grubs, Web Worms, and even Chinch Bugs can affect Zoysia turf. Make sure you follow the directions on the label carefully, and be sure to water in any granular insecticide after application.
Spring is a great time of year to fertilize, and the recommended blend for Zoysia turf is 1-0-1. This means 1 part Nitrogen, 0 parts Phosphorus, 1 part Potassium. A typical formulation of that you may find is 15-0-15. Don't wait until the hot summer months to fertilize, as this will "burn up" your lawn and cause a lot of damage. Now is definitely the time to complete that task and you will reap the benefits all Summer long with a healthy, lush, and green oasis!
Spring time is also a good time to apply a pre-emergent Herbicide. This will ensure that the seeds of weeds just below the surface don't have a chance to germinate and wreak havoc in your lawn. If you have missed the window of opportunity and find that weeds are already popping up, you can apply a topical Herbicide to ensure the problem doesn't spread. Be sure to carefully follow the label's directions and always use proper safety precautions when handling chemicals.
If you aren't sure you're up to the task or simply don't have time in your ever increasingly busy schedule, a great option is to hire a professional lawn care company to complete the Spring maintenance for you. We recommend that any Zoysia lawn owner has a regularly scheduled spray program in place. This way, the professional can see a problem before it get's out of hand and nip it in the bud. This practice can result in an extremely healthy lawn that won't need replacing for many years. The cost is not terribly expensive compared to the alternative of replacing your lawn annually.
We hope these Spring time tips have helped! As always, please let us know if there is anything we can help you with your Southern Sod Services, LLC lawn!