Choosing the Best Sod Variety

Choosing the Best Sod Variety
Although old man winter still has a firm chilly grip on the thermometer, warmer days lie just around the corner. If your springtime projects include laying sod, here’s a primer for three of the most popular varieties. Armed with information on the benefits and maintenance required for each, you’ll be ready to lay the right variety for your home or business.

Click here to see a chart comparing all three varieties.

If you’re looking for a lush, soft lawn where you and the kids can roll around and play, zoysia is a great option. Recommended mowing heights range from half an inch to 2 inches. Like Bermuda, it turns golden brown during dormancy in areas with frosty winters, and then greens up each spring.

Choose for its excellent shade tolerance and wear resistance, along with its ability to withstand close mowing. Because it is slow growing, it also requires less frequent mowing.

Skip if your lawn includes areas that tend to stay wet. Zoysia does not tolerate wet soil well.

Popular varieties include Zeon, Marvel and El Toro. All perform well in our area of the country, although El Toro requires less mowing and requires less water.

In many parts of our region, people require a sod that can stand up to serious Southern heat and drought without daily watering. In these areas, Bermuda is the strongest contender. It has a recommended mowing height
of 1 to 2 inches, although some varieties can tolerate heights as low as half an inch. Like zoysia, it goes dormant with the frosts and greens up each spring.

Choose for its high performance in numerous categories. Bermuda receives excellent marks in tolerance of high temperatures and drought, along with wear resistance and the ability to withstand close mowing.

Skip if your lawn has deeply shaded areas. Bermuda tends to perform poorly in shade.

Popular varieties include TifTuf, Tifway 419, TifGrand and TifSport. TifTuf is a relatively new cultivar from the University of Georgia, prized as a more sustainable variety—even among other Bermuda grasses. It uses 38% less water than other Bermudas, offering stellar performance against heat and drought and requiring less frequent mowing.

If you long for a green lawn all year round, Rebel Supreme tall fescue is the best option in our region. It has a recommended mowing height of 2 to 3 inches.

Choose for its deep green color that remains green year round. Fescue is a cool season grass that exhibits exceptional shade performance and cold hardiness.

Skip if you prefer close mowing or if your lawn lies in the Deep South. Fescue grows best from a line north of Interstate 20. It also requires more water and maintenance than Bermuda or zoyzia.

Popular varieties include Rebel Supreme, which was specifically developed with more extensive root systems to better withstand drought and heat in the South.

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