Archive for the ‘Commercial Sod’ Category

History of Sod – Sod Houses

Friday, December 16th, 2016

When people think back on the olden days, everybody pictures the log cabins that appear as part of America’s history in some of the oldest photos available. While it’s true that trees did serve as the home retreat for many settlers during our country’s infancy, another of Mother Nature’s materials was also widely used among pioneer families to make homes: Sod.

The History of Sod - Sod Houses | Evergreen Turf: Arizona's Premier Sod Supplier

Bark and branches were fantastic when they were available, but not every part of our country had access to ample amounts of trees. In fact, there were areas where people could go for miles upon miles without spotting a single tree. As settlers traveled across the plains and prairies of the central and western United States, they were forced to get a bit more creative with their natural resources. In these barren lands where the idea of forests was purely fictional, homesteaders turned to the ground beneath their feet to build roofs over their heads.

How Sod Homes Were Made

It all started with the strong, intricate root systems of plains grass. Holding the earth beneath them in their tight, compact grip, the roots served as a starting point for what would later become sod bricks. When the earth was soft and moist, particularly after a good rain in the summer or a spring thaw of melting snow, settlers would use ox-drawn sod cutters to plow the land and break up the earth. These sod cutters were particularly designed to cut the clumps of dirt into long and narrow pieces. From this point, the settlers used axes to chop the strips into brick-sized pieces. Just as you would expect, these sod bricks were then stacked vertically, one by one, side by side, forming the walls of settlers’ sod homes.

Once the walls were constructed, the structures were usually topped with roofs made from interlaced twigs, hay, thin branches, or other readily-available natural resources. The final touch often included another layer of sod atop the twigs and branches as a finishing touch. It wasn’t uncommon to see sod homes built into the sides of hills or banks. This saves the settlers time and energy, as they could dig away the earth at the side of the incline, using the dug-outs to serve as portions of the homes’ walls and roofs.

Why Sod Homes Worked

For starters, any shelter is better than no shelter at all. Prairie grass and the surrounding sod was readily available in certain parts of the country, and it served its purpose in providing walls and a roof to those who needed them. Because sod was available in ample supply, these houses were cheap to make. Their earthen construction also worked well in accordance with seasonal temperature changes; they were often warm in the winter, and they usually stayed cool in the summer months.

Why Sod Homes Didn’t Work

Alas, you’re not likely to look around and see tons of sod homes as you’re driving to and from work these days. As it turns out, sod homes had some significant deficits, despite doing their best to keep settlers warm, safe, and dry. Of course, being that these homes were made completely of grass and dirt, snakes, mice, and other critters saw no problem calling these houses their homes. Rattlesnakes were known to move in and become unwelcome roommates, and there wasn’t much the settlers could do about it.

These earthen structures were also susceptible to the elements. Leaky roofs were quite common, if not completely expected. Once water found its way into the homes, the dirt floors became muddy messes. Naturally, the sod that comprised the roofs, when wet, became quite heavy as well. Collapses and cave-ins were common in the days after big rains, as the layers of earth took days to dry out, and the structures weren’t often sturdy enough to withstand the heavy sod tops.

All in all, sod homes did their duties until something better was able to be built. Although they certainly weren’t meant to last for lifetimes, America’s early settlers learned to love sod in their own rights and rely on this great material that our Arizona Turf team prides itself on today.

Did our story about sod houses and settlers teach you something new about our country’s history? We’d love to hear your thoughts at our Evergreen Turf Facebook page!

Accenture Wraps Up at Dove Mountain, an Arizona Sod Golf Course

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Another great year at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship played at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain golf course. This Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is a stunning course and it seems like this year it challenged most of the players. In the end of the week long match play championships Hunter Mahan was able to push his game the furthest and beat Rory McIlroy in the last match. Mahan is now the World Golf Champion after winning with a 2 and 1 score at this year’s Accenture Match Play Championships. Below is an image from Accenture Match Play Championship of this years course out at Dove Mountain.

Accenture Match Play Championships at Dove Mountain, an Arizona Sod Golf Course

It’s been reported that the semi-finals and the finals were played on the same day, which doesn’t usually happen. This could have attributed to the way some of the players played. We are pretty sure Mahan is happy with the way the game played though. Even after traveling and playing in other tournaments for the five weeks before Accenture Match Play Championship Mahan still had enough energy and drive to play hard and win. This win for Mahan this gave him his second world championship title.

Next year we look forward to seeing who takes the win at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Evergreen Turf grows sod in Arizona for the Dove Mountain golf course and many other Arizona golf courses that also host tournaments. Follow this link for a full video recap on Round 6 of the Accenture Match Play Championship, from the PGA

Super Bowl 46 Had Same Result as Super Bowl 42

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

If you read our earlier blog post about the 2012 Super Bowl feeling like deja vu from the 2008 Super Bowl played on our local sod field at Arizona Cardinal’s stadium, then you know that we don’t want to say we told you so, but we had a feeling this years result might happen.

field-1666276_960_720

While Patriots fans certainly are not feeling good about Super Bowl XLVI (46), they did fight hard until the end trying to win this years game. In the end the Giants took home the win, from the Patriots one more time at a Super Bowl with the score ending in 21 – 17. We also hear that Indiana did a great job at hosting this year’s game and events that come along with it; so at least the fans, from both teams, were able to have a good time before the game – as only the Giants fans were celebrating after the game.

In just a few years the Super Bowl will be back in Arizona and we at Evergreen Turf look forward to conditioning our locally grown Arizona sod for the University of Phoenix Stadium to host the game. Considering the match up of the Patriots and the Giants started in Arizona maybe they will be playing here again come the 2015 Super Bowl. They say third times a charm so maybe both the Patriots and the Giants will make it back to Arizona and the Patriots could take the win.

Kyle Stanley Wins First Tournament at TPC – Waste Management Phoenix Open

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has come and gone and Valley residents are recovering from all the fun and suspense of watching the players battle it out for the win. The winner of the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open was Kyle Stanley, who took home over a million dollars.

vacation-1284012_960_720

This popular golf tournament not only has the professional golf players leaving with money, but Valley charities also benefiting from the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This year one of the days events of wearing green raised $35,000 for Arizona Clean and Beautiful.

Back to the game… we hear Stanley was very happy with his first place trophy as the week prior he was defeated at another PGA tournament. Here is how he and some of the other players finished the weekend with the final leaderboard from this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open:

  • Kyle Stanley 69-66-69-65—269 (-15)
  • Ben Crane 69-67-68-66—270 (-14)
  • Spencer Levin 65-63-68-75—271 (-13)
  • D.J. Trahan 72-70-64-66—272 (-12)

We are thrilled that Stanley’s first time playing on the TPC greens at the Waste Management Phoenix Open brought him a win – congratulations Kyle Stanley!

Follow this link for a full video recap on Round 4 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, from the PGA. We can’t wait to see who takes next year’s trophy home from the Open. In the meantime we know the TPC fairways sod will be ready for the tournament.

Waste Management Phoenix Open Played on Arizona Sod at TPC

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Arizona is home to many golf tournaments, but one of the most well known tournaments played in the Phoenix Metro area is the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is happening this year on January 30 – February 5 at TPC Scottsdale. TPC Scottsdale is one of the local courses that Evergreen Turf supplies Arizona sod to. Come time for the Waste Management Phoenix Open the greens will be all set, not only for the golfers but also the crowds and the partiers that the Waste Management Phoenix Open is known for.

The Thunderbirds have been hosting the Waste Management Phoenix Open for many years. Through their efforts, they are able to give five golfers sponsor exemption this year. So far four of the five golfers have been announced, and they are: Jeff Quinney, Fred Couples, Harris English, and Mark Calcavecchia. Not only do the Thunderbirds help bring in some great golfers, they also give back to the community and the fans of the game with all of the festivities at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Thunderbirds work with dozens of Arizona charities that benefit from this event with donations of millions of dollars. While the Thunderbirds want to ensure there are great players at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, they also want to make sure the community is benefitting from it as well. One of the favorite things they are known for with fans is the Greenskeeper Tent.

Evergreen Turf prepping sod in Arizona at TPC for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

During the golf tournament, there is a very popular section for patrons to watch the players from, the Greenskeeper Tent, which will be moving this year. If you have a Greenskeeper ticket for the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open you will now be viewing the tournament near the lake, along the 18th fairway and the 17th green. While here you will be able to see some of this years players, like Phil Michelson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Leonard, Lucas Glover and many more. Even though the Greenskeeper Tent will be moving locations it is still the most popular place to be and be seen at Waste Management Phoenix Open.

In any event, when you come to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, get there early and wear lots of sunscreen, the Arizona weather might be gorgeous, but the sun is still pounding down. This large tournament allows you to follow all of the players or stick with your favorite, in any case it’s best to let them play golf and not interrupt them. Also many people like to come out earlier in the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open since there are different events going on all around, like the FBR/Xerox Silver Pro-Am. This particular event is popular because there is a lot of celebrity participation in it. There are also other Pro-Am games during the week as well if you are a golfer and want an opportunity to play. Another place to check out while you’re at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the new Albertson’s Fan Zone. Here you can do all sorts of activities like check out the newest ATV and UTV from RideNow Power Sports or eat at Zinburger. This area is not only a fan zone, but a food, fun and entertainment zone!

If you didn’t get enough fun while at the Waste Management Phoenix Open during the day you can always come back at night on Wednesday – Saturday for the famous Birds Nest, adults only. This year the Birds Nest is sponsored by Coors Light and has a ton of great events in store for Waste Management Phoenix Open patrons. Opening Night at Birds nest will feature Slightly Stoopid. The Goo Goo Dolls will also be at Birds Nest to perform and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas will be there for a special DJ set.

Waste Management Phoenix Open is a fun filled week for everyone to enjoy. If you need more information about the events happening at the Waste Management Phoenix Open click here. Also if you want to check out another great golf tournament in Arizona make sure to read our blog about World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship 2012 happening February 21 – 27.

Super Bowl 46: Will It Be a Repeat of Super Bowl 42?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Seems like Super Bowl history might be repeating itself this year, only thing that’s different as of yet is the field the game will be played on. Super Bowl XLVI (46) will be the New York Giants vs. the New England Patriots, and it’s not the first time for these teams to come head to head at the Super Bowl. Just three years ago these same teams battled at University of Phoenix Stadium home to the Arizona Cardinals. After a hard fought battle on one of the top NFL fields, the New York Giants took the win for Super Bowl XLII (42).

This year Super Bowl XLVI (46) will be played in Indianapolis on the Colts field, where the Giants and the Patriots will be battling head to head, yet once again. Considering the history between these two teams it seems like the Patriots will have a lot of vengeance while playing the Giants. Not to mention that the season that these two teams competed, the Patriots were undefeated until the Super Bowl – one can only predict how heated this game will get.

No matter what team you are going for Super Bowl is a great event to watch as a football fan. There is also all of the feasting on tasty foods, cold beer and entertaining commercials to be watched. Good luck to the Giants and the Patriots!

In just another few years Arizona will be hosting the Super Bowl again, maybe these two teams will come back again or better yet our Arizona Cardinals would be playing on their Evergreen Turf-supplied home turf.

World Golf Champions – Accenture Match Play Championship Played on Arizona Sod

Monday, January 30th, 2012

A great view of Hole 7 at the Jack Nicklaus designed course at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain where World Golf Champions - Accenture Match Play Championship will be played this year.

For the past three years the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship has been played on one of the best golf courses in Southern Arizona. This Tucson area golf course is location in Marana, Arizona within the Dove Mountain community. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is home to this stunning Jack Nicklaus golf course where Accenture Match Play Championship is played. Evergreen Turf is proud to be the supplier of the local Arizona sod that is played on at this course. The golf course sets the bar when it comes to luxury playing, and staying. As a guest of the Ritz-Carlton resort you can play this course, which is highly sought after considering so many great golfers play here every year at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Or become a member of the Golf Club and have access to play the course year round. If you are a golf fan, this is a course that should be on your bucket list of courses to play, it’s also a tournament that should be on your list of golf tournaments to see in person.

Not only is the Accenture Match Play Championship set in beautiful surroundings, it is played on incredible courses. The two tournament nines are played on the Saguaro and Tortolita courses, for a par 72 measuring 7,833 yards. The courses and their architecture add to the fun of playing at this style of competition. Nicklaus built the courses with both professionals and everyday golfers in mind, where everyone could take to the greens, and possibly cross paths with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Luke Donald, and Tiger Woods. Over the years Accenture Match Play Championship has had many talented golfers compete. This year’s players have not yet been announced, but considering the lineup of past years it’s sure to make for a great game.

Unlike most other golf tournaments Accenture Match Play Championship is based on a simple premise, have the best 64 golfers in the world compete in an exhilarating head-to-head match play tournament. To top it off, not only will the players be on very well manicured and beautiful courses they will be surrounded by Arizona’s naturally gorgeous habitat, but it gets even better – the Accenture Match Play Championship is the highest prize-money tournament in the world, last year Luke Donald earned $1.4 million by beating his fellow golfers. Even world renowned golfers, like Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, and many others, that don’t win, can take hundreds of thousands of dollars home. While there is a lot of money for the players to win, Accenture Match Play Championship also gives back to others. Working with The First Tee charity and the Tucson Conquistadores Charities, which donate to many of the local charities such as Special Olympic, The Boys & Girls Club and more.

Evergreen Turf is looking forward to being a part of this year’s Accenture Match Play Championship at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain again.

Phoenix Area Sod Lawns being taken over by Spurge

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Over the summer many lawns in the Phoenix area can develop weeds, particularly Spurge. You might recognize this weed as close to the ground, dark in color with some forms having hairy or purple-red spotted leaves and red stems. Spurge can grow in a circular shape and create a dense mat of weeds.

As you prepare your winter lawn we want to help you get rid of these pesky weeds.

Spurge is the most common turfgrass weed in the US, and Arizona in particular due to the heat. Spurge primarily grows in the summer, but it can grow well into the fall. It is easy for this weed to grow in Arizona sod in the fall since the weather remains warm here.

Your first reaction to kill this weed would be to spray it, but we advise against doing so. If you are planning to overseed your lawn, applying weed killing chemicals could slow down the growth of your new lawn. We recommend pulling the weed up with your hands, roots and all. This method of removing Spurge weeds is better for your lawn if you are preparing it for overseeding and in general, since it isn’t as harmful to your lawn.

If your lawn in Phoenix did grow Spurge this year we hope that you were able to pull it out before any real damage was done to your winter lawn. If you feel like your lawn is already a total loss you can always order fresh sod from our Arizona sod farm, already overseeded. In any case we want to help you prevent weeds from ruining all of your hard work in maintaining your sod in the Phoenix area, as it can be a struggle given our environment. The best weed prevention is a healthy lawn!

Follow us on Facebook for the most up to date tips on Arizona sod maintenance.

See the University of Arizona PDF (Link) “Managing Spurge in the Landscape” for extra information beyond our blog post.

Sod in Arizona Has Not Been Treated Well This Summer

Friday, July 29th, 2011

This summer has been rough on sod in Arizona, especially on many of the golf courses in the Valley. With all of the crazy weather Arizona had this year it made it difficult for bermudagrass to grow in well, creating sub par greens. We are happy to know that summer is almost over and things are looking up for Arizona golf courses.

In order to get some of the Valley’s best golf courses ready for the fall Evergreen Turf is rolling out the green carpet for these courses. After the hard summer these courses have had we will be busy maintaining the greens and fairways to ensure they are up to par come fall. See our latest job at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona home to Accenture Match Play Championships.

Fresh Arizona Sod at Poston Butte

Evergreen Turf, Arizona’s premier sod producer is also working on TPC Scottsdale, Wildfire at Desert Ridge, Poston Butte (see image on right) and Gainey Ranch just to name a few. We have our freshest varieties of sod from our Arizona farms ready for all golf courses. We’ll be sodding and sprigging with some of our Arizona sod varieties such as TifGrand, Tifway, Tifgreen, MiniVerde, TifEagle and TifDwarf. Evergreen Turf isn’t the only one who has noticed how hard Arizona golf courses were hit this summer. The United States Golf Association (USGA) has also taken note of the huge difference Arizona golf courses have had transitioning this summer compared to last.

Evergreen Turf is looking forward to Valley residents and guests getting the chance to play on these golf courses once they are fresh and ready with some of our very own Arizona sod. Also we are looking forward to our Arizona Cardinal’s getting out on their field of our Arizona sod come fall, now that the NFL lock out is over!

Evergreen’s Arizona sod featured at 1st Annual Cornhole Cup

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Evergreen Turf at Cornhole Cup
Fresh Arizona sod at Cornhole Cup
Evergreen Turf's Jimmy Fox at Cornhole Cup

Evergreen Turf participated in the First Annual Doug and Wolf’s Cornhole Cup this year, not only as sponsors, but also as a team in the competition. The Cornhole Cup was put on by KTAR Sports 620 and partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix. At the end of an amazing day of playing Cornhole, the event raised over $13,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix.

The day started with Evergreen Turf arriving at CityScape in Downtown Phoenix at 5:30am to set up the field for the Cornhole Cup. CityScape is mostly concrete, with accent areas of grass that Evergreen installed back when they opened in Fall 2010. As a partner in the event, Evergreen supplied a natural Arizona sod creating a lush green playing field on top of the concrete. Arizona sod, Tifway 419 set the scene for the tournament to begin.

As the team battled it out, the turf held up heroically surprising many a player and spectator. Once folks learned the Tifway 419 was the same sod variety used on the Arizona Cardinals field they knew it would hold up as the games continued. Coach Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals even came out for a few rounds on the boards.

Everyone had a great time, whether their teams were still playing on the boards, hanging out drinking and, eating BBQ or watching the tournament. In the end, one team walked away with the grand prize. It was close to midnight when the grand prize was awarded and the turf still looked great!

Evergreen Turf had such a great time at the event. Owner Jimmy Fox played on the Evergreen Turf team that came in 6th out of 64 teams. Way to go team Evergreen!

Evergreen Turf always enjoys getting out and supporting our community and we were happy to participate in such a great day supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix at the Cornhole Cup.