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1120 SE Century Drive Lee's Summit, MO 64081 ~ sales@austinfarms.com ~ 816-246-4489
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How to Choose Sod


  1. Was exceptional seed used to produce the turf?
  2. Is the turf neatly stacked on the pallet?
  3. Are the edges of the turf rolls sharp?
  4. Are the pieces of your turf free of holes or tears?
  5. Is there no more than 1/2 inch of thatch on the turf?
  6. Is the turf neatly mowed, dense, and a rich green color?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you purchased excellent quality turf. The descriptions below will explain why these features are important to the quality and performance of your turf.

Quality Turf Grass general description:

The most important quality of turf is the seed from which it is produced. The only means for you to determine which types of seed were used to produce a turf is to ask the producer. For turf to be stacked neatly on a pallet, it must be carefully harvested for the soil to insure a uniform thickness. The thickness of the turf rolls is critical for good, rapid establishment once the turf has been laid. Turf rolls that have a soil layer greater than 1/2 inch will root more slowly than those with less than 1/2 inch. However, a soil layer less than 1/4 inch will tend to dry out during transportation, and will require much greater amounts of water once it has been laid. The ability of a turf producer to consistently harvest turf is governed by several factors.

Those factors are:

  1. The age of the turf being harvested.
  2. The skill of the harvesting operators.
  3. The texture of the soil on the turf farm.

How old should quality turf be?

In general, the younger the turf the better it will perform for you. Young turf roots faster and deeper, and generally requires less care to establish. Very young turf, however, presents some problems to both the producers and the landscapers. The turf is difficult to harvest because it will tear, or is not uniform and holes can result. Very young turf is tender and weak, and will break apart during installation. These difficulties cost both the producer and the landscaper time and money. It is not necessary to harvest extremely young turf. The ideal age of turf, which will harvest and install easily, is 6 - 18 months. Remember, turf that can be harvested is generally old enough to be easily installed. A good quality producer will insure that the turf meets both criteria.

Should each roll of turf be identical in appearance and size?

No, but they should be pretty close. First, there are several different sizes of turf rolls available, ranging from 1 - 50 square yards per roll. The best turf producers generally will harvest young turf from on field before moving into another field. This insures uniformity. Turf that is harvested from multiple fields and or different ages can result in one roll looking noticeably different from the next. Turf also will change in appearance during the year. That is to say, turf harvested in March could look different from that harvested in July or October. A good quality producer will strive to supply a uniform product. Slight differences in color of the turf at roll-out are less important that the age of the turf. Color differences will dissipate with time, old turf will only get older.

Remember, A good quality turf producer is proud of each and every roll of turf shipped. Ask those important questions about how the sod is produced and transported and inspect the turf when it first arrives. If you believe the turf is not good quality, discuss it with the landscaper or producer.

Can good quality turf be too old?

Yes, turf that grows too long on the farm will perform poorly compared to turf 6-18 months old. This is not to say that turf older than 18 months will not grow, but older turf tends to have more thatch, loses both color and density, roots slower and requires more water, fertilizer, and care for establishment. You can often identify older turf, because it is very light in weight, is difficult to tear, has a substantial thatch layer and a very thin layer of soil. To insure you are getting good quality turf, ask your landscaper or producer how old the turf is.

How should the turf look when it is first unrolled?

The turf should look excellent. In the industry, this is called "Roll-Out" quality, and a producer's reputation is, in part, established on the appearance of the turf when the customer first unrolls it. To insure that the roll-out quality is the best, a producer will mow and sweep the turf immediately prior to harvest, place it on a lorry minutes after it is cut, and transport it to you the same day. Turf that is harvested and transported properly will be beautiful in appearance and cool to the touch when unrolled.

Measure Sod
New Sod Care
Watering Guide
Measure Sod
New Sod Care
Watering Guide