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 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much fertilizer do I use, what type, and when should I fertilize the grass?

    Use 13 -13 -13 of any brand and 10 pounds per 1000 square feet, which works
out to 5 pounds per pallet; you should fertilize as soon as you can to help the
grass get established.

     How much do I need to water the grass when I lay it?

    You need to water it every day for the first week and a half to two weeks;
then every two to three days for a few weeks; you do not want water standing
on the grass but you do want the water to soak through to the ground below
the grass; usually an hour a day is plenty.

     What do I use to kill chinch bugs?

    You don't use anything. St. Augustine always has chinch bugs but normally
the St. Augustine grows faster than the chinch bugs can eat it so they are not a
problem. Sometimes during a drought when the St. Augustine is not growing
at its normal clip, it cannot outgrow the chinch bugs. At times like this you
can use Diazinon or Dursban to control them; read the label for the proper rate
of application.

     I have circular brown spots in my yard. What is it and what do I do about it?

    Most likely it is a fungus called Brown Patch. The pathogens for Brown Patch
and other fungi are always present in the sod. You can take a sample from
anywhere and find the pathogens that cause this and other diseases. What
causes the diseases to start affecting your sod are the conditions it is in.
Brown Patch starts showing up when you have wet conditions with water
standing in puddles. Poor drainage or shade that keeps water from
evaporating can cause water to stand in places and this is where Brown Patch
starts appearing. The best solution to take is to correct the drainage situation.
You can use a chemical called Daconil to stop the spread of the fungus but it
will not repair the damage already done. Brown Patch rarely kills the grass
and it will re-grow when the conditions are correct again. To prevent this in
the future correct the drainage situation.

     Can you over water grass?

    Yes, you can. If water is standing in pools then you have over-watered. With
water standing on grass in the heat of the day the grass will begin to wilt.
Having water standing on the grass drowns it because it cannot breathe. Since
standing water weakens the grass, it then becomes more susceptible to
diseases and other stresses (see previous question). You want the grass and
soil beneath to be moist but you do not want water standing.



Install the Sod Immediately and Begin Watering! Do not wait Until the Next Day.

Sod is perishable and must not be allowed to remain on the pallet. Proper watering is essential to the establishment of your new sod. During the first week, keep the sod and soil beneath completely soaked—it is almost impossible to over-water during this period. As a general guide, water once a day during this critical first week. Watering times should be approximately 2-2.5 hours. These numbers may need to be increased during very hot weather.* If water starts to puddle, cut back a bit on watering time. During the second week, reduce watering to 1 hour a day, gradually allowing the soil to firm. This will make it possible for you to mow for the first time toward the end of week two. After three weeks your sod should be established and you may cut back to a normal watering routine which for the Houston area is once every two to three weeks during the spring and summer.

*Frequency and length of watering will depend on how warm, how windy, and how rapidly the lawn dries out following each watering. Remember the goal during week one is to keep the sod and the soil beneath moist all of the time.

Helpful Hints on Installation

The sod you have received from Vincent Turf Farms, Inc. is of the highest quality. It has been delivered within 24 hours of harvesting in its full freshness and vigor, free of weeds and disease. But like any living plant that has been cut out of the ground, put on a truck, driven down a freeway - and replanted at your location, it must now devote its energies to reestablishing itself with new root growth. It needs water to do this—please reread the watering instructions above.

           Apply a pre-plant fertilizer, like 13-13-13, to the ground before planting on sandy soils of 10 pounds per 1000
square feet, this is not necessary on nutrient rich top soil.

           Make sure that your sprinkler system gives you head-to-head coverage so water application is uniform. This is critical as
almost all sod failures are due to improper coverage of the irrigation system.

           Butt edges and ends to fit tightly against each other. Depending on season some top-dressing may be required between joints.  This prevents drying out of the seams. Stagger strips as though laying

           Where needed, trim sod with a sharp knife or machete.

After Laying the Sod

           We cannot stress the proper watering program too much.

           Stay off your new sod for at least 14 days.

           Mow after two weeks with your mower set at the highest cutting height to reduce scalping. Never mow off more than 1/3
the height of the grass. If you have planted the sod in the shade, mow it very little and let it grow taller than the rest of your
lawn so that it can get as much sunlight as possible.

           Fertilize your sod three times per year. Spring, Summer, Fall

           Control your pets. Urine spots and "foot printing" on soft, soggy sod may cause permanent problems.

Troubleshooting Hints

Chinch Bugs - Chinch bugs kill the grass by sucking the plant juices. Dead areas in the lawn during the summer usually indicate chinch bugs. Use Dursban granules to rid your lawn of chinch bugs and follow the directions on the label.

Bluish gray areas appearing in the lawn - These are spots which have wilted because they are not getting as much water as the adjacent areas. Soak with a garden hose until you can adjust your sprinkler system for better coverage (adding a head, etc.).

Sod not rooting - Within 10 days your sod should have many roots emerging, if not, check your watering. NOTE- Sod in shade will root very slowly, if at all. Most turfgrass sods require 4 to 5 hours of full sun or an entire day of filtered light to successfully root and become established. Sodding in shady areas is not recommended. If you do plan to sod in a shady area, do it when the grass is dormant in the late fall and winter.

Brown spots - These can be caused by pets, dry spots, areas that are not rooting or possibly fungus. About 95% of the time, when you see a brown spot it is due to lack of water. Check by pushing a screw driver into the ground where the sod is green and then into the brown spot. If it is harder to push into the brown spot, you will know it is simply dry.

Mushrooms - Do not worry about these. When you cut back on the watering, they will go away

Vincent Turf Farms
Phone: 281-932-0234

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