Sod replacement types and information

Unlike planting a lawn from scratch or even re-seeding an existing lawn, sod replacement results in immediate satisfaction as it’s ready-made. All you have to do is water and feed it, and it can be a thing of landscaping beauty from one year to the next.

Of course, sod isn’t made in a factory or stitched together one blade at a time by elves who need something to do in the spring. No, sod is grown in a controlled, farm-like setting where it’s nurtured and cared for until it’s ready to fly the coop, so to speak. Interestingly enough, the whole concept of a sod farm was introduced in Ontario in the 1950s by a farmer named William Ruthven who developed a 900 acre turf farm from scratch and jump started an entire industry that thrives 50 years later like never before.

Sod is grown in a controlled setting where the environment – weather and the soil, primarily – are most conducive to sustained, seasonal production. Any successful sod replacement starts with how the sod is grown to begin with, and important factors include: Soil type (loam is usually the best), the depth of the soil and uniformity of the soil depth and the depth within a contained area, and the kinds of drainage systems available.

There are many species used for sod production, including: Kentucky Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass/Fine Fescue, Fine Fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass Sod, Creeping Bentgrass, Turf-type Perennial Ryegrass, Fine-Leafed Fescues, Turf Type Tall Fescue, Supina Bluegrass, and Weeping Alkaligrass.

Kentucky Bluegrass sod is the most popular for sod replacement in Ontario because of how well it adapts to cool, humid environmental conditions. It’s deep, rich colour makes it an excellent choice for private homes, cemeteries, institutional grounds, parks, golf courses, sports fields, boulevards, and offices and commercial lawns. When it comes to sod replacement, we recommend looking for a brand of Kentucky Bluegrass sod made from a combination of two to four varieties of Kentucky Bluegrasses.

Once seed has been planted to grow sod, it normally takes one and a half to two years before it can be harvested, though with proper maintenance this can occur after only one year of cultivation. In our experience, sod is mostly in demand between April and November, though we recommend customers choose an installation cycle later in the year.

What sod characteristics are most important? Everyone has their own opinion, but we look for sod that has uniformity of thickness, good density, is free of insects and weeds, has an acceptable colour, is strong enough to handle without falling apart, is mature, and has a minimal amount of thatch.