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Part 1 of 4-Tune up your underground sprinkler system
As Southern California warms up after a cool, wet Spring, we enter the months of May through September when the quality of your lawn is directly related to the efficiency of your sprinkler system and the level of your maintenance program.
The goal of a sprinkler system is to apply the same amount of water to the entire lawn at the same time. To meet this goal, do the following:
- All sprinkler heads in the lawn area should be of the same manufacturer (Rainbird, Toro, Hunter, etc) and the same model number. This uniformity of sprinkler heads will insure that the amount of water coming out of each head is delivered in the same manner.
- Head-to-head coverage (100% overlap) is critical. All heads must cover each adjacent head 100% (side-to-side and across). Simply put, the water from every head MUST hit each adjacent head. The area directly in front of the sprinkler head will stress if head-to-head coverage is not achieved.
- To properly place the sprinkler heads, start with a head in each corner. Even “corners” that are not 90 degrees should have a head. Moving out from each corner head, place a sprinkler at that spot where the last drops of water land side-to-side and across (100% overlap). Placement of heads is made easier if you mark the locations with colored flags that are available at any irrigation store (Ewing Irrigation sells 100 flags for $8).
- After the heads are in place and before the trenches are filled-in, turn on the system to visually check whether head-to-head coverage has been achieved. Make any necessary changes before you fill-in the trenches.
In my next blog (PREPARING YOUR LAWN FOR SUMMER-PART 2), I will discuss how much water a lawn needs and at what time of the day to run your irrigation cycle. If you are preparing to order sod from Southland Sod Farms and you have further questions on tuning up your irrigation system, feel free to email me at:
If sod is exposed to hot weather for even a few hours, it’s susceptible to on-pallet spoilage. Think of all of that sod sitting outside of the big box stores baking in the summer sun, sometimes for days at a time. To avoid this problem, after we harvest Marathon Sod, the pallets are transferred into our own specially built cooling chamber which, through a high tech evaporative cooling process, drops the sod temperature to well below 40 degrees. Brrrrrrrrrrrr! This prevents the sod from spoiling, keeping it fresher and healthier, so it will thrive when establishing itself at your home.
No one else in the sod industry is equipped to provide this valuable service. We are the only sod grower whose commitment to quality dictates making such a substantial investment for our customers.
MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD (10-1-4) provides your lawn with naturally and organically derived nutrients for vigorous growth in the spring, summer and fall. It is an organic nitrogen lawn food, and as are all natural and organic fertilizers, MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD is most effective during the warmer seasons.
MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD can be used with virtually any fertilizer spreader, and only needs to be applied every 4 to 8 weeks. It is ideal for use with MARATHON SOD and with all other lawns.
Green is the color of a healthy, vigorous lawn that will be enjoyed by family and pets.
Green is the color of a lawn that will cool the surrounding area and that converts greenhouse gas to oxygen.
And now, being “Green” is even easier with MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD.
Try a free sample of MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD. Send an email to Tom McClure, Sales Manager at Southland Sod Farms, email@example.com, and we will make arrangements for you to pick up one 18 pound bag of MARATHON NATURAL AND ORGANIC LAWN FOOD at a Southland Sod Farms authorized nursery near you. This offer expires July 1, 2012.
(Southern California residents only)
Have you ever wondered how Southland Sod Farms produces such beautiful, green and lush MARATHON SOD? We use a unique formulation of fertilizers that produce the greenest turf available in the sod industry. That fertilizer is available for sale at any MARATHON SOD distributor.
Not all fertilizers are created equal. SOUTHLAND SOD FARM’S exclusive fertilizer, MARATHON ALL-SEASON, contains a blend of nitrogen that is quickly available to the grass year-round.
Following a monthly fertilizer program can return your lawn to the look of new sod. If you ignored fertilizing your GENUINE MARATHON SOD during the wintertime, it’s time to start feeding your lawn with MARATHON ALL SEASON FERTILIZER
MARATHON ALL SEASON FERTILIZER is:
Formulated especially for MARATHON lawns.
Nitrogen-rich for quick greening.
Three fertilizers in one, using three application rates:
Quick Boost—revives faded lawns with a high nitrogen formula.
Apply MARATHON ALL SEASON FERTILIZER at 7 pounds per 1000 square feet
Winter—high nitrate gives relief to yellowed lawns in cooler weather.
Apply MARATHON ALL SEASON FERTILIZER at 6 pounds per 1000 square feet
Maintenance—provides the right balance of nutrients to keep lawns green and looking lush no matter the season.
Apply MARATHON ALL SEASON FERTILIZER monthly at 3.5 pounds per 1000 square feet
Most people associate a green vigorous lawn and landscape with spring and summer. Certainly that would be true in the mid west or east coast. But this is Southern California, we don’t have seasons, we just have cool, warm and hot. While Marathon Sod thrives year around in our climate, the rain and cooler temperatures provide the ideal environment to invigorate your lawn’s color and density. It’s easy, just fertilize and over-seed.
The following steps will restore your lawn in 4 to 6 weeks:
-Mow the lawn a little lower than normal to a height between 1 1/2 and 2 inches
-Use a flex rake to remove any thatch that is visible in the damaged areas.
-Apply Marathon Sod and Seed Starter Fertilizer (15-15-15) at a rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet.
-Distribute Marathon Seed at a rate of 1 pound per 200 square feet.
-Cover the seed and fertilizer with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the seed covering material that your local nursery recommends.
Keep the seed uniformly damp for 7 to 14 days. Better yet….watch the weather and seed just before we enter a wet rainy cycle. Seed germination will start within 7 days (depending on the temperature) and should be completely germinated within 21 days. Mow the lawn at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches after a month to six weeks or when it is 3 to 4 inches high. Fertilize with Marathon All Season Fertilizer (24-2-4) after the second mowing and every month there after.
Slowly back off on your irrigation cycle until you are watering the lawn 2 to 3 times per week (depending on the winter rains).
Thoroughly clean your barbecue. Fill the propane tanks. Your Genuine Marathon lawn will be thick, healthy, and beautiful in time for your Easter get-together. Enjoy!
I received a phone call last week from a homeowner who was concerned about an offer he had recently received from his local water company. It seems that the water company was trying to eliminate as much grass as possible from their distribution area and were offering to pay their customers to remove their lawns. He felt that the implication of the offer was that grass is bad. It is not the first time that we at Southland Sod Farms have been notified of such efforts.
Although it would seem unnecessary to state the obvious, GRASS IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT! Just like trees, and other plants, it supports and enhances the environment. But, with current hyper-focus on water use, grass has become the subject of undeserved environmental criticism. Of course grass uses water, but so do all other plants. Despite the voices of its critics, here are some of the good things grass does with water.
Grass reduces greenhouse gas. Grass absorbs greenhouse gas and converts it into life-giving oxygen. Grass does this at a much higher rate than native plants because grass has higher leaf density and a faster growth rate. A 2500 square foot lawn converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen to sustain a family of four!
Grass is nature’s air conditioner. Trees seem to get all the credit for naturally cooling the air because they provide shade, but grass lowers surface temperatures through “evapotranspiration” which is a process similiar to that used by old-fashioned evaporative coolers (“swamp coolers”) for home air conditioning. On a hot summer day, lawns will typically be 30 degrees cooler than artificial turf! Aside from just creating a comfortable setting, grass also reduces energy demand by lowering the ambient temperature around a home.
Grass purifies water. Turf (grass) roots act as a natural environmental filter, and in combination with soil biology make lawn root zones an ideal medium for the biodegradation of contaminants that are carried in runoff water.
Grass purifies the air. Grass absorbs particulates and some of the worst atmospheric pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and ozone.
Grass provides urban habitat. We think of cities as places where people live, but they are also places where native birds and animals reside. Landscapes provide the habitat and forage areas for our wildlife co-inhabitants. Turf is a highly productive forage area for birds and small mammals.