Landscape Professional Larry White Explains Why & How He Installs Dormant Grass from Turf Connections
Larry White, owner of Foothills Professional Landscape, has spent the last 20 years enhancing the beauty of an already spectacular place—Lake Keowee, South Carolina. White has lived and worked in the region long enough to know how important good landscaping can be, in more ways than just providing excellent curb appeal. After years of preparing new homes for move-in, White understands that an uncovered dirt surface without landscaping means erosion, mud, and ultimately, more damage to be corrected. Some new homeowners opt to plant grass seed and wait for it to grow in, or cover their unfinished landscapes in straw in colder seasons until warm-season grasses are green, but White knows there’s a better solution.
In the winter, White installs dormant warm-season turfgrass sod from Turf Connections sod farm, with locations in Cheraw and Springfield, South Carolina, to provide his customers with an instant lawn, even if it is brown because of dormancy. Dormancy occurs in warm-season grasses in the fall when cold weather shuts down the sod’s root systems. The grass stops growing and turns brown, but does not die. In the spring, when weather warms up, the roots of the grass begin growing again, and the leaf blades green up.
To install dormant grass in the winter time, White levels the soil, lays the sod, runs a roller over the sod to ensure tight contact with the soil and eliminate air pockets, and then waters the sod. In general, the sod will survive on limited rainfall and moisture from ice or snow, and won’t be irrigated again until the roots start growing and the leaves green up in the spring. White says it’s important to note that he doesn’t fertilize the grass until springtime when it’s actively growing again.
“If you use seed it takes time for that to come up. If you use straw, the wind gets it and blows it into mulch beds. I’m doing a lot of high-end homes up on the lake, and they want their yards to look finished immediately. They don’t want a muddy yard, or to have to walk out into the yard to get something and come in with mud on their feet. By putting dormant sod down you’re eliminating the mud and the erosion immediately, and most of our clients are excited to know you can do this during the winter.”
White warranties his grass for one year — a risk he’s willing to take as someone with a long-standing knowledge of turfgrass in his region. “Zoysia, for me and all my customers, has been the best grass ever,” he says. “They’ve always been happy with it. I never get any calls back about it.”
Compared to other varieties of turfgrass, which require meticulous upkeep, installing dormant zoysia eliminates the long waits for seeds to grow and the extra work that comes from installing straw or mulch, only to remove it in the spring. “We plant year round,” he says. “The grass starts going dormant in October, and then it starts greening up in April or May.” Despite the common misconception that dormant grass can’t be installed in the winter, White has been doing it for five years. “We’ve found that it does survive through the winter on the ground,” he says. For a homeowner looking for a finished lawn with as little hassle as possible, installing dormant grass just makes sense.
Dormant grass requires very little upkeep — weeds are to be expected, but White says as the grass greens up, the weeds die off. In his experience, enough water to keep turf moist and a trim with a push-mower to knock down the weeds, (being careful not to cut the grass too short), is all dormant grass needs to keep it in good shape until spring. Knowing the best ways to care for a grass installation in the winter months is valuable information. When it comes to sound business decisions for Foothills Professional Landscapes, peace of mind comes from confidence in the turfgrass they use, and the supplier that provides it. For this security, Larry White trusts Turf Connections.
“I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and I’ve had a lot of suppliers, some that are very well known in our area. Everything you buy from those other sod farms is expensive, and the quality isn’t like what you get at Turf Connections. His cuts are thicker and wider. He has great sod. I get to talk to the owner when I call in. He always answers the phone.”
Turfgrass is central to a professional, completed landscape, and for White, Turf Connections means counting on quality, both of the turf and the services they provide. “When you’re talking to the owner, there’s no miscommunication. He’s just a great businessman to deal with,” White says.
Completing a landscape isn’t just an afterthought, it’s an essential step to the completion of a new home. For White, working with Turf Connections is like laying dormant sod: a clear choice.
“He’s the only one I use. I don’t even call anyone else. I don’t want anyone else’s sod.”
Contact Turf Connections to order your own sod now!
(843) 862 8873