Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I water my lawn?

This depends on where you live. In California, the most common watering mistake is a schedule of short, frequent waterings. This schedule creates a shallow rooted plant that reduces the lawn's overall drought tolerance and keeps the sod constantly moist. When this occurs, turf disease may become active and damage the lawn. It is common for lawns to be damaged by a moisture-dependent fungus while suffering from lack of water at the same time. This is often seen on lawns having problems with uneven sprinkler coverage and dry areas (hot spots).

Too-frequent watering leads to weeds and diseases. Keeping the surface too wet encourages weed seeds to sprout and fungus diseases to flourish. Stretching the time between waterings results in a deep root that can go much longer between waterings.

How long should I water my lawn?

As all lawn situations are different due to climate, soil types and sprinkler systems,it is difficult to estimate a set a watering schedule for "deep watering." Some may receive enough water in 15-20 minutes, while others may take more than an hour. The best rule of thumb for watering is to water as deeply and infrequently as possible while avoiding runoff. If you have water running off the grass surface or puddling, your sprinklers are spraying too much at once, or your watering cycle is too long. Adjust as needed to avoid runoff.

Remember, a program of deep and infrequent early morning watering is best!This will help sustain a deep root system by bringing water to deeper soil depths, which allows the lawn to better withstand heat and dry conditions. It also reduces the potential for turf diseases, especially during the warmer months.

One common mistake is to water at dusk or later in the evening. Your soil needs to drain and dry out after watering, so irrigating when the sun can't help dry the grass surface will often result in an unhealthy lawn. Water management is one of the most important aspects of lawn maintenance, and it affects the overall health and vigor of the lawn. Efficient watering practices also save water and money, always a great reason to be aware of your lawn's water usage!

Desert lawn owners typically make the common mistake of watering too often and too long. The water is applied too fast for the soil to absorb it, wasting more water in runoff than stays in the soil. In hot climates, several short watering cycles in a row will allow water to drain into the root zone without runoff.

When does my lawn need the most water?

he most critical time for good watering practices is during the warmer months. In California, this season typically starts in May and continues through October. During these months, most areas of California receive little or no rain. Warmer temperatures during this time of the year will stress your lawn.

Remember that a schedule of deep and infrequent early morning water is best!

How can I tell if my lawn gets enough water?

The best way to determine whether your lawn is receiving enough water or not is to probe the soil to see how moist or dry it is. Simply take a narrow screwdriver and push it into soil in several places. If you are able to push in to the ideal root depth (at least 6 inches), then your soil is properly soaked. If you can only force the screwdriver a few inches below the soil surface, it means that the soil is not moist enough. In this case, watering time must be increased for water to reach a significant depth.

What is the best sod for kids and pets?

Our best recommendation for high traffic areas with kids and pets would be grasses that have a spreading growth pattern, such as the hybrid bermudagrasses. Varieties like our GN-1 or Tifway fall into this category, and although they will still suffer from spotting due to heavy traffic and dog urine, they do have the ability to gradually repair themselves. Hybrid bermudagrasses do have a dormant period during the wintertime, slowing in growth and losing color until warmer weather returns in the spring.

Bluegrasses also repair themselves, however it is a slower process. Our Medallion Plus variety of fescue sod with 10% bluegrass repairs itself and stays green year round. This blend makes for a durable all-around turf. We also grow PennBlue, a mix of bluegrass with 20% ryegrass that also is green year-round and can rejuvenate damaged spots.

What can I do about damage from pets?

When given full run of the yard, pets, especially female dogs and young, active animals, can easily ruin a new lawn in a few short months. The most common damage is from urine spotting, digging by younger animals, and wear and tear from constant use. You can protect your lawn by choosing a variety that is better suited to pets, or be ready to identify pet damage and decide how to control or correct it.

Urine spotting is typically the biggest problem. Female dogs will generally relieve themselves wherever they happen to be while out on the lawn. Levels of nitrogen in dog urine are high enough to "burn" the lawn, similar to a fertilizer spill. You can identify urine spots on a lawn by the brown grass often surrounded by a dark green halo of grass around the spot. There is very little that can be done to avoid this type of damage, especially if the dog has free access to the lawn during the day and night. Younger dogs can be trained not to use the lawn, but this requires a great deal of time and patience from you--and your lawn.

How do I perform a sprinkler test?

Place equal sized paper cups around the area and let the system run for 20 minutes. Then measure the water that is in each container. This will show you two things: One, are you getting an equal distribution of water in the area? If not, make the necessary adjustments to your sprinkler or sprinkler heads and test again. And two, how much water gets sprayed in twenty minutes? For example, if you have accumulated 1 inch of water in each container in 20 minutes, then you are spraying 3 inches of water per hour.

How do I remove my existing lawn?

Prior to the installation of new sod, any existing lawn should be chemically killed and removed.

Make sure that the existing lawn is well watered and growing vigorously. Apply an herbicide, such as Round Up or a similar product, to the entire lawn. Read and follow all label instructions. Apply a second application about two weeks after the first application. This will catch those areas missed and generally insure a complete kill of turf and weeds.

If the existing lawn contains bermudagrass, Kikuyu grass or other warm season grasses or weeds, chemical control will only be effective from April through mid-October. (Be aware that herbicides do not control the seed of common bermudagrass, Kikuyu grass or any other weed seed.) When the turf is completely brown and dead, the old lawn can be easily removed with a sod cutter. Be sure to cut thin! All you wish to remove is dead vegetation, not a thick layer of soil. After removal of the dead turf, clear the ground of all remaining debris.

How do I measure odd shaped lawn area?

To find the area of an odd shape, roughly divide the area into familiar shapes--circles, rectangles or triangles. Hint: Try to square off any curves. You don't have to be exact as long as you add a margin for error to be sure you have enough sod to cover your yard.

To find the area of a square or rectangle, multiply length times width.

Area of a rectangle =(L*W)

To find the area of a triangle, multiply the two longest sides together, and then divide by 2.

(Area of a triangle=B*H/2)

To find the area of a circle, take the radius (half the distance across the middle of the circle) and square it (multiply it by itself), then take that number and multiply it by Pi (3.14)

(Area of a circle=Pi * r2)

*Hint: Add about 10% extra to be sure you have enough sod for cuts and corners

How do I contact Pacific Sod for more info?

If you don't see a question here that you need answered, call or send us an email


Pacific Sod Main Office

305 West Hueneme Rd

Camarillo, CA 93012