Winter Tips for Your Lawn

January 26th, 2017

Although Arizona isn’t subjected to the freezing temperatures most of the rest of the country endures around this time of year, winter weather still has an impact on Southwestern lawns and landscaping. As chilly temperatures begin to settle in for the coming weeks, here are a few winter tips to help keep your lawn healthy and happy until spring rolls back around.

Winter Tips for Your Lawn

Bermuda Grass in the Winter

Because of its hardy and drought-resistant nature, Bermuda grass has long been a favorite of Arizona homeowners. While it’s beautiful when it’s growing healthy and strong, colder temperatures can cause alarm for people who aren’t experienced in dealing with this type of lawn. Rest assured, this tough species doesn’t require much from you to get through the winter.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • Sod With No Overseed – If you didn’t overseed your sod, it’s probably gone dormant by now. There’s nothing to do now but sit back, relax, and let your lawn rest until the thermometer starts to rise again.
  • Overseeded Sod – If you overseeded your sod, it’s probably experiencing a little shock. As the bermuda grass begins to go dormant beneath the surface, small, quarter-sized yellow spots may begin to appear. These markings are nothing to fear. In fact, they’re an indication that your lawn was healthy when temperatures were warmer.

The spots occur because you probably overseeded during the warm season (late September to early October) when the bermuda grass was still flourishing and out-growing the ryegrass overseed. As it enters dormancy, it leaves behind evidence of the places where it was out-doing the overseeding.

To help your overseeded lawn heal these spots, switch from granular fertilizers, which are typically slow to get a reaction when the temperature drops, to foliar (spray) fertilizers during the winter months.

Winter Foliar Fertilizer 101

Many people fail to alter their lawn care routines when winter falls in Arizona. Although our state generally enjoys a mild climate between November and March, the temperatures can still drop below optimal levels if you’re using granular fertilizers. Foliar fertilizers’ formulas often withstand winter better than their granular counterparts, allowing your overseeded sod to perform at its best.

  • Heating Elements. Some foliar fertilizers heat the plants up, helping to facilitate growth. Ferrous sulfate and endurant turf paint will both provide heat to your overseeding.
  • Organic Options. There are certain organic fertilizers that work well in the winter. Seaweed extracts, kelp, and compost teas will help boost your roots while feeding the organisms within the soil that help your lawn grow. Ask our team about the best organic options for your particular species of grass.

Winter Watering 101

Your fertilizer isn’t the only element you should alter when winter comes – it’s also important to pay attention to the way you water your lawn. You should dramatically cut back on your watering schedule during the cold season. Your winter ryegrass requires a lot less water than your summer sod. You only need about 20 minutes of watering two to three times a week to keep your ryegrass properly hydrated from December through mid-February.

If you didn’t overseed, shoot for a monthly watering unless a good rainfall hits, in which case, you can wait to water until your lawn shows signs of stress.

Looking for a little more assistance? Be sure to check out our Evergreen Turf Fall Over-Seeking/ Winter Lawn Care Tips, and reach out to us if we can be of further service!

6 Easy Ways To Make Your Backyard Fun For Kids

January 13th, 2017

Entertaining your children needn’t cost an arm and a leg. Create a fun and safe backyard space for kids with the following DIY tips.

6 Easy Ways To Make Your Backyard Fun For Kids

Build a ground-level trampoline

As a safer, prettier alternative to a standard above-ground trampoline, consider one that lays flush with the ground. All Things Thrifty offers a helpful tutorial for building one yourself for less than $300 and a handful of supplies outside of your normal tool and garden kit. If you have a pool, build your ground level trampoline along the perimeter to serve as a second diving board.

Make a mud kitchen

Kids are happiest when they’re dirty! Let their creativity take center stage by providing tools for digging, molding, and shaping. Think of your backyard as an urban beach with mini shovels, buckets, tools, and more. Encourage your child to create “foods” such as mud pies as they experiment with Mother Nature’s materials including water to alternate the consistency of the messy medium.

Teach them how to grow

No, not emotionally—although that’s important too. Rather, learn how to grow food alongside your little one with a simple DIY garden bed. Whether you’re using individual potted plants for simple herbs or a fully converted sandbox, it’s easy to get kids excited about the idea of looking after a living thing. Tending to a home garden is also a great opportunity to teach your children about balanced nutrition and frugality.

Make a sand pit

Like the mud kitchen, a DIY sand pit will provide hours of entertainment for young ones who simply want to navigate the world around them on the ground floor. Build an easy teepee above a sand pit out of 2x4s for supervised climbing or add outdoor cushions around the edges to make the pit adult-friendly. Buckets, rope, toy cars, oversized rocks and sticks—the more “tools” the better.

Turn an outdoor fence into a chalkboard

Hey There, Home has an easy-to-follow tutorial for creating an outdoor chalkboard that will last for years to come. With a few supplies from your local hardware store you can have a canvas for the kids and their wildest creations.

Make a music wall

Get your children interested in music at an early age with household materials like old pots, bikes wheels or tire coverings—anything you can think of! There are no rules to a music wall other than ensuring your instruments are securely fastened with a nail or hook. Let your children make unique sounds with a worn out spatula or wooden spoon. The best part is sitting back and watching them explore with little to no instruction.

Any great backyard transformation doesn’t happen in a day. Start with one or two projects that seem most manageable and get the kids involved. Ask them to practice their writing skills by making a supply list or assign roles like “Best Assistant” and “Lead Painter.” Low cost backyard fun is right around the corner.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Overseed This Year

January 3rd, 2017

Winter can really make you re-evaluate your lawn care regimen. Don’t like the look of a dormant lawn? Now is the perfect time to put your overseeding plans into place so you don’t have to deal with a dormant lawn ever again.

arizona sod can be overseeded for a green lawn all year

You may have noticed that some of your neighbors’ lawns are keeping up their curb appeal as the temperatures have begun to drop. Chances are, they started overseeding with perennial ryegrass when it was still warm outside. The best way to produce a perfect winter lawn is to overseed around the middle of October.

Why Should You Overseed Your Arizona Lawn in the Fall?

Because Arizona summers are notoriously scorching, the ground stays warm much longer than it does it much of the country. Because of this, fall lends itself to an optimal overseeding environment in Arizona, as temperatures tend to linger at or below 65 degrees when night falls beginning in October.

Autumn creates the perfect environment: Soil that’s still warm from the summer heat and cool air that helps facilitate germination.

When you time it right and employ just the right tools, equipment, and ingredients, a lawn that’s overseeded in the fall will yield green grass all year.

What Happens when You Overseed in the Fall?

Simply put, when you overseed, you’re planting a grass seed directly onto an existing turf. This process works great for seasonal grasses such as bermudagrass, which is a warm-season grass. Bermudagrass is super hardy and drought-resistant, which makes is an excellent option for the Southwestern lawns of Arizona in the summer months. In the winter, bermudagrass goes dormant, however, which can leave a lack-luster lawn.

Overseeding allows you to replace dormant warm-season grass with cool-season seeds that will take over when your bermudagrass dies out. By choosing an optimal fertilizer and watering regularly (but not too much), your overseeded bermudagrass will continue to grow as the ryegrass begins to take root.

In the beginning of the overseeding season, the warm temperatures tend to lend themselves to outstanding growth of the bermudagrass, which often out-competes the ryegrass. As the ryegrass begins to grow, your lawn will likely look immaculate, as both species of grass are growing together. When colder temperatures settle in, the bermudagrass will head into dormancy, leading the way for your well-nourished ryegrass to take its place on your lawn.

By combining warm-season grass and cool-season overseeding, you’ll ensure a lawn that’s healthy, lush, and green all year long.

Need a reminder to help you remember when it’s time to fertilize your Arizona sod lawn? Our Evergreen Turf team will be happy to help you keep your lawn looking lush and green all year long. Sign up for fertilizer reminders today!

How To Get A Sod Lawn On A Budget In Arizona

December 16th, 2016

Beautifying your home with a sod lawn doesn’t have to break the bank. Get started with the following tips from homeowners.

How To Get A Sod Lawn On A Budget In Arizona

Step 1: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Follow the old carpenter’s creed and measure your lawn twice to ensure accuracy. Sod comes in rolls that typically cover 20×25 feet of yard space. Check with your garden center for exact measurements and plan to have the sod delivered the same day you want to install it.

Step 2: Remove Grass

Removing dead grass will take a while, but the more you’re able to clear, the better. Cut whatever you can’t remove as low as possible. Remove rocks, twigs, and other debris to ensure you’re starting with a clean slate. Next, wet the lawn and aerate it so that your sod can become deeply rooted. The easiest way to do this is to rent a soil aerator. Home Depot offers basic aerator rentals (ideal for small to medium sized lawns) for less than $100 per day.

Step 3: Prepare The Soil

Aerating the lawn will most likely present more work, so don’t stop preparing just yet. Remove any newly discovered soil plugs, weeds, or rocks throughout the yard. Your goal is to clear the space entirely of things that would inhibit the growth of new sod—otherwise your hard work will have been in vain. Drainage problems? Fix them. Heaps of dirt? Level them. Be sure to mark the precise location of sprinkler heads and underground utilities for easy access once sod has been installed. Lastly, fertilize the yard with a heavier concentration of phosphorous and wet the earth one final time.

Step 4: Install Sod

Lay your new squares of sod as closely as you can get them without overlapping. Prevent gaps by working slowly and squeezing two pieces together with your hands before laying the third. Start from the straightest point in the yard (e.g. along the fence) and work your way inward. Stagger each roll of sod as you would if you were laying bricks. Using a sod cutter or sharp knife, cut the sod accordingly once you begin to fill in oddly-shaped areas and the space around sprinkler heads. Avoid air pockets by working slowly and patting the sod down as you go without stepping on it.

Step 5: Maintain

A thorough watering is the best way to complete your sod installation. Water once per day—mornings are preferable due to less heat and evaporation. Be aware that night watering can encourage fungal disease since the lawn won’t have a chance to dry out in the sun. Taper your schedule to every other day after the first week and eventually twice per week. Keep off the new lawn for at least one week which might mean taking the kids to the park and keeping the family dog indoors.

When it comes time to mow, aim for a 1/3 of the lawn’s current height. For example, if your grass has grown three inches, mow it down to two. Avoid the weight of a riding lawnmower as the grass will be susceptible to damage. Opt instead for a traditional walking mower with a sharp blade. Bag your trimmings.

Laying your own sod is certainly a good way to work your muscles and learn a new skill. And as with any successful DIY project, the feeling of accomplishment carries its own set of rewards.

If you choose not to DIY, we offer professional install when you purchase our sod in Phoenix, Tucson and surrounding areas.

Contact us to order your sod.

Fence Line Landscaping: Beautiful Looks for Your Property’s Borders

December 16th, 2016

Wondering what to do with the area around your fence to make it less boring and more eye-catching? Here are some fence line landscaping ideas for homeowners.

Here are some fence line landscaping ideas for homeowners.

A Clean and Simple Perimeter

Sharp lines often signify clean designs, and when it comes to your yard, this rule still holds true. Sometimes the simplest of layouts can bring the most peace and serenity to a property. If your goal is to create an inviting space that speaks to the simplicity of life, stay centered by keeping the center of your property plain and well-maintained.

Along the fence line, create a space of one to a few feet between your property’s perimeter and the lawn. Define this space using pavers, bricks, or other landscaping accessories. Fill the void in your newly-defined space with mulch, and small shrubs. Plan ahead before you plant them so you can be sure to evenly distribute them along your fence line.

The sharp lines and small shrubs will be easy to maintain and won’t be overwhelming when you walk into your yard.

Bolstering Your Border with Bricks and Flowers

Looking for a way to incorporate a little more color into your life? Why not expand this Side Yard Makeover idea, and take it to the next level by covering more square footage than that which simply rests alongside your house?

Start by choosing plants that grow well in Arizona, such as desert agave or blackfoot daisy perennials. Plant them a few inches from your fence along your entire fence line, taking care space them evenly from beginning to end. Cover the area with weed control fabric to help keep pesky gardening maintenance at bay. You’ll probably want to cut some holes in the fabric to allow the plants to grow. Cover the fabric with a good amount of mulch.

Dig a path around the outer edge of the of the flowerbed, and lay stone edgers from end to end, taking care to tuck the weed control fabric under each brick as you move along. Once the edgers are laid, you may find that you have even more room to add color. If you want to fill in the gaps with additional plant-inspired creativity, take a step back, and think about what you want your final project to look like. You could sporadically place a few prickly pear cactuses to add bright flair to your southwestern yard, or sprinkle in some salvia plants for a fuller experience.

Yin Yang Yard Serenity

Take your landscape design to flowy new levels with two-different colors of stones. Create a yin yang garden by choosing two different shades of stones that complement and offset each other at the same time. Create fluidity by separating the two colors with a ridge of rocks that define each color’s specific space. As an added bonus, you can add a few Arizona-friendly plants into your rock gardens, and you still won’t need to worry about using an excessive amount of water. Rock gardens take care of themselves and require virtually no additional maintenance once they’re in place.

For more stunning landscaping ideas, be sure to check out our Evergreen Turf Sod Blog!

History of Sod – Sod Houses

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!

4 Fun and Easy Landscaping Ideas For Your Front Yard

December 16th, 2016

Looking to spruce up your front yard? Curb appeal isn’t just a real estate term – every homeowner should enjoy the look of their most valuable asset. Draw inspiration from Pinterest and give your yard the makeover you’ve been wanting for years. Here are four fun and easy landscaping ideas for your front yard.

4 Fun and Easy Landscaping Ideas For Your Front Yard

Mid-Century Modern

Nothing alludes to a good mid-century vibe quite like clean lines and simple aesthetics. Even if your home’s interior doesn’t match, opt for a 1950s landscape by laying large square cement pavers. Fill in the spaces with rock and/or grass.

Other tips:

Add a small vintage bistro set on the patio to tie the look together—a small bench or powder coated metal chair will work well too. Flamingo lawn ornaments could lend a playful, welcoming element to your walkway.

The Warmest Welcome

Don’t shy away from using doorway décor to get your message across. Do you host frequently? Have a large collection of trinkets in the home? Take that cozy vibe outdoors with a welcome sign or seasonal flag. DIY signs look anything but cheap when you use a wood stain and carefully-applied stencils.

Other tips:

Add a few candles in a large glass vase or potted plants. Work with the changing seasons by adding a pop of color for spring and a pair of pumpkins in the fall. Sometimes replacing a worn out welcome mat is enough to give the porch a fresh face.

Next Level DIY

Ditch the high-maintenance flower beds in favor of a Do-It-Yourself walkway made from pallet boards. Hometalk shows you how it’s done:

  • First, clear the area you intend to use for the walkway. It may require some digging or the removal of existing plants and shrubs.
  • Next, dampen the ground and lay fresh soil so that it’s easy to work with around and between the pallets.
  • Lay the boards into the soil and pack well. Whether it’s curvy or straight, the important thing is to give the pathway a walk test to ensure it is smooth.
  • Add a coat of outdoor sealant. Not only will it add a bit of shine, it will help prevent rot and extend the longevity of your new walkway.

How to find free pallets:

Check your local businesses first. Large chain stores generally have specific processes for waste disposal and won’t part with extra wood. Scour garden shops or hardware stores—motorcycle shops too. Mind your manners and ask! A little kindness goes a long way.

Enhance Your Garden

The best makeovers are those that include the existing features of any given space. Does your front yard contain several trees? Make them pop with a circular enclosure—an easy way to incorporate a stunning focal point that would otherwise be lost in a sea of similar suburban homes. Start by laying flagstone wall blocks to form a circle around your plant of choice—staggering them as you would brick. No flagstone? Use large rocks instead. Fill in the circle with decorative rock or a vibrant flower bed.

Other tips:

Turn an eye-sore of a focal point into a jaw-dropper by placing faux hollow rocks over unsightly pipes and sprinklers. Elevate your garden by making a raised flowerbed along the path that leads to your front door. All it takes is one or two small projects to completely transform your home’s exterior.

For more inspiration, visit Pinterest and peruse additional front yard landscaping ideas. Design a yard that makes you proud to call your house a home – one that will stand above the rest.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Yard

November 1st, 2016

You can have a lush green yard and still make it eco-friendly. Here are some tips on creating an eco-friendly yard in Arizona.

arizona sod

Things to Avoid

While pesticides and herbicides are a quick, effective approach to lawn maintenance, you may be interested in methods that are a bit kinder to the environment, and to the family pets who explore the outside world with their noses and mouths. Instead, opt for:

  • Pulling weeds manually. It doesn’t have to be a hassle if you commit to a regular schedule. As an added bonus, you’ll get a great workout!
  • Natural herbicides like hot water, table salt, vinegar, or essential oils like cinnamon, clove or citrus. Simply pour or spray over unsightly weeds.
  • Take the garlic and onion from your garden and return it to the Earth as a pesticide. Pulse one whole onion and one clove of garlic in a food processor then add one quart of water. Use the diffused water as a plant spray. (Note: dogs should not eat onions. They are toxic to them.)

Taking the First Step

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed when restructuring your lawn to be more environmentally friendly. Implement one or two easy changes and build upon your eco-friendly yard from there.

  1. Harvest rainwater to naturally hydrate your plants. Because rainwater contains less salt and more nitrogen, it’s a healthier choice than tap water. Create a basin to allow for collection and optimal saturation.
  2. Be a smarter waterer. Take the time to learn the specific water needs of each plant in your yard as they’re not all created equal. Use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler to cut water usage up to 50%. Water earlier in the day to minimize evaporation.
  3. Create a compost bin to nourish your garden, aerate soil, and decrease your contribution to local landfills. Fill the compost with items such as: fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and used filters, tissues, paper towels, egg shells, and shredded paper.

Choose Plants Wisely

Even if you keep your lawn in immaculate condition, the fact is some plants are better than others in terms of maintenance and the environmental impact made by watering and fertilizing.

  • Indigenous trees and flowers require less care than plants that aren’t native to Arizona. Find the right plants for your yard and you’ll see them thrive without much work on your part.
  • Utilize companion planting as a way to optimize small garden space and promote healthy growth. Companion plants also create healthy soil and discourage unwanted pests from settling in the area. Some examples of companion plants are:
    • Roses and garlic to act as a natural pest repellent.
    • Carrots and leeks due to the smells of each.
    • Chives and tomatoes—the former protects the latter.
    • Cucumbers, radishes, and dill keep cucumber beetles away from the whole bunch.
    • Carrots and spring onions—a mutually beneficial match.
  • Attract pollinators with specific flower species.
    • Butterflies love bright hues of yellow, red, orange and purple along with flowers with flat blossoms. They also flock to fallen fruit, so don’t be afraid to leave it on the ground—it’s great butterfly food and a natural compost.
    • Bees are attracted to the natural pollen and nectar of wildflowers and bright flowers that grow singly rather than together.

If you need sod in Phoenix or Tucson, or surrounding areas of Arizona, contact us today.

How to Attract Bees to Your Yard

November 1st, 2016

Bees are beneficial in many ways, which is exactly why you should consider attracting more bees to your own yard. Intrigued?  Read on to learn more about the importance of bees, and how to attract bees to your yard!

arizona sod

Why Are Bees Important?

From the pretty petals you like to pick up and smell to the fruits and veggies that are the root of your home garden, many of the plants you encounter on a daily basis needed a little help getting going.

Pollination is the process whereby pollen is transferred from the male part of the flower (the stamen) to the female part (the stigma).  When boy meets girl, seedlings begin to grow.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Because these two parts of the flower don’t connect naturally, the pollen needs a little help getting from one spot to the other.  This is where bees come into play.

When bees stop by to smell the roses (or any other flower), the plant’s pollen collects on the body of the bee.  As the bee wanders around the petals, the pollen falls of its body, distributing this seed-creating substance from the stamen to the stigma.  There are literally dozens of foods and plants we may not ever even know about if it weren’t for the handy assistance of bees helping to pollenate the flowers.

Why Are Bees in Danger?

Over the last decade or so, a few bee scares have hit the headlines.  On a number of occurrences, massive numbers of bees died seemingly simultaneously, causing widespread alarm, if not panic, in parts of the country.

As it turns out, the death of bee populations doesn’t necessarily signify the end of the world, but it does raise a red flag of awareness.  MSNBC explored Why we can’t stop panicking about the honeybees last year in an interesting article that explores the recent spike in bee deaths.

In the end, it seems bees’ lives changed dramatically when they became commercialized worker bees, so to speak.  Once upon a time, bees could frolic and pollinate small, organic, diverse fields to their hearts’ content.  In today’s world, they’re exposed to plenty of chemicals and pesticides; meanwhile, their natural habitats are diminishing.

How to Welcome Bees into Your Yard

Ready to create a buzzworthy habitat for your favorite pollinating property guests?  It doesn’t take a ton of work to welcome bees into your yard, but you’ll likely notice a big change in your ecosystem’s happiness shortly.  Foods and plants that produce flowers will roll out the red carpet for your stinger-wielding, winged friends.

Consider planting these flowers and plants:

  • In the Garden: Peas, squash, eggplant, broccoli, cucumbers, watermelons, and pumpkins
  • Around the Yard: Pear, plum, and apple trees
  • Sweet Finishes: Raspberries, blackberries, and gooseberries

Use chemical-free pesticides.  As we discussed, chemicals and pesticides have been major contributors to the decline of bee populations.  Chemical-free plants equal happy bees, so go organic, and stick to a more natural way of life.  Your bees will thank you.

Make a Bee Shelter.  Bee pots are easy to make, and they provide great refuge for hardworking pollinators.  Start with a small clay pot and a small lump of garden moss to cover the drainage hole.  Fill the rest of the pot loosely with hay, then place the pot upside down in a warm, sheltered spot in your yard or garden.  Bury half the pot underground to keep it from going anywhere.  The moss will shift down once the pot is upside down, allowing just enough space for the bees to come and go.

If you’re feeling super crafty, try making a mason bee house.

Have you been successful at bringing bees to your yard?  We’d love to hear about it!  Please share your bee stories and photos at our Evergreen Turf Facebook page!

Top 3 Organic Fertilizers for Sod

November 1st, 2016

Gone are the days of using traditional fertilizer to take care of your sod. Not only can it be costly, fertilizer can actually do more harm than good—to both grasses and the animals that walk on it. Go the eco-friendly route with these top three organic fertilizers for your Arizona sod lawn.

arizona sod

First, it’s important to know that compost—whether homemade or bagged—is what nourishes your soil whereas fertilizer is what feeds your plants. To maintain a healthy lawn, spread compost two to three times per year. Making your own compost pile is easy…

  • Use a large bin in order to retain moisture and heat. Compost bins are classified as being either stationary or rotational.
  • Compost materials must be turned in order to provide the oxygen required to break down the contents.
  • Understand the compost bin you choose should be dependent upon the plant matter you plan to contribute along with your intended time frame for usage.
  • Compost piles should be a mix of green and brown matter. Brown material can be tiny bits of shredded paper, dry leaves, and coffee grounds while green can consist of fruit and vegetable peels. Aim for a 1:1 ratio of green and brown.
  • You’ll know when the compost is ready for use when it resembles natural soil. It should be dark and crumbly. When you’re ready to use it—
    • Spread it across your lawn and rake it in evenly to create a thin layer no thicker than a quarter inch. If it’s clearly visible or appears to be sitting atop the blades, you’ve used too much.
    • Water for 15-20 minutes and adhere to your normal watering schedule for one week. Do not mow your lawn during this time—let the sod absorb the nutrients from the compost.

If a compost pile sounds like too much work, use composted cow manure. Like fertilizer, manure can burn the lawn if it’s not thoroughly composted so be careful. Heed the following tips to make sure it’s done correctly:

  • Make sure it’s is dry as there is a high concentration of methane gas in the wet stuff—a surefire way to kill your lawn.
  • Collect your supplies: manure, gloves, shovel, bucket, rake, fertilizer spreader and hose with spray attachment.
  • Break up large chunks of manure with the rake or your hands and shovel contents into a bucket.
  • Pour the manure into the fertilizer spreader and spray it evenly over your sod. It helps to walk in a straight line up and down the lawn.
  • Soak the lawn to ensure the cow manure seeps into the roots of your sod grass and keep off! That means foot traffic from humans and pets.
  • Repeat process monthly for optimal results.

Visit your local home garden center and purchase an organic fertilizer.

  • Top brands include Milorganite, Safer Brand, and Bradfield Organics.
  • Fertilizing schedules depend upon your specific sod type, so be sure to follow the recommendations you researched or received from your sod installation professional. In general, you should follow your lawn’s normal water and mow schedule, making sure to leave the grass trimmings in the yard to decompose.
  • When it comes time to fertilize, choose a slow release organic product and be sure not to overfeed. Follow the instructions on the bag. As a rule of thumb, fertilization should take place in early fall and in the spring.

Organic fertilizing may seem arduous, but the payoff for being environmentally conscious is greater than you might expect. Feed your lawn the nutrients it needs to reap the benefits of beauty and sustainability in your yard.

Contact us today if you need sod in Arizona.