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Tropical lawn installation

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dislocated, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    SOD is the best way to go. It doesn't matter where you live, Sod will always give the best results if installed properly. It is the only way to get a great looking lawn in hours. If done right the seems are not even visible. Your lawn will ultimately look the best if you use sod grown by a professional. If you need mor information on sod here is the industries Professional leader. Turfgrass Producers International. http://www.turfgrasssod.org check it out you will end up with the same feeling that everyone of my customers has had after using sod. It's the best way to go. Even financially. Look at the long run. months or years

    I really wish I was a little closer to the equator.:)
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    OK dislocated, one last try. The main reason to seed is that you are starting the grass plant in an environment it can adapt to from the beginning. There are perfect environments for each type of grass, but the only thing perfect about nature is its randomness. For any plant to establish from seed, it has to have the conditions it is genetically programmed to expect.

    In the case of using sod, it is used because it is easy. No time lag, instant lawn? But, what about the economic process? The sod farmer needs a plant that will come to market as soon as possible - while this is best for him, is this grass the best for your site? The sod farmer provides the perfect growing medium so his product is ideal - few lawn areas have this perfect environment.

    In most areas, to sod you have 1-6 choices, depending on how many sod farms are nearby - with seed, you have thousands of choices to select proper plants for your environment. The reason sodded lawns look so bad in a few years is that the site has not been properly prepared: the sod is cut from the perfect growing medium, and laid out on a lifeless soil. The stress on the plant is great, and it takes 3-5 years in our area for the stressed sod to adapt to the new medium and grow properly. If you seed, the germinating seed knows no other medium than where it has been sown, and it is adapted from the start. In new houses, sometimes front lawns are sodded for instant appearance & stability, and back yards are seeded for economy. Invariably in this situation, by the second year the seeded areas are the better lawn. Only in the case where the sodded site has been properly prepared will the sod retain the initial lush appearance.

    I wonder if use of sod in your area is based on practicality or economy (or perhaps both!). Perhaps seeding attempts in the past, without good irrigation systems, have resulted in excessive labor, watering, reseeding, etc., so that the sodding is in fact a cheaper way. If you are working an area over 2000ft², you may want to experiment with your seeding in just a portion of the turf area. Thus you would not have a major total overhaul if you are wrong about seeding. I would use three sections: sod on existing soil, small area of sod on improved soil (a test in case seed is total failure), 1-2K area of seed on existing (or improved) soil. Then over the next year or 2 you could make your own judgement about the best way to establish lawn on your site. Sorry, but the true test of any endeavor is the experience, especially with plants.

    Good luck, and if you do not come back here to give your results, I would be interested in hearing them myself: GroundKprs@aol.com, alternate: JimMc101@home.com
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,821

    I agree GroundKprs, I have had centipeed seed grow nicely out of ground that had no prep for many years. Ground that has had erosian problems. Centipeed will turn brown in a drought but it will come back green with a weeks worth of rain without replanting. Its a running grass too.
  4. dislocated

    dislocated LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for all the help. I like the idea of doing test plots and have already begun to try them. I have found some sources here for seed finally and am trying different types of grass in different areas. I will either come back here, or email those that want to know the results. Consider yourselves lucky to be living on the mainland. I do have wonderful weather year round, but do not have the resources available here. I did not know how much the Cooperative Extension Service used to help me, until I needed this service and cannot get it here. Yes, the service is offered, just not developed to the degree it is in the states. This is a total new experience, the houses are concrete, the fences are block and concrete, and the lawns are in square meters and tiny instead of acres.
    Again, thanks and if any one wants information about PR, I will provide what I can, just ask.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Tell us if you still like the weather there this summer with the high humidity and heat. :)

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