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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Establishing a lawn from sod

A number of turf species are available as sod in California. Because a turfgrass is best suited for particular uses and geographic areas, it is important to select a high-quality, healthy turfgrass sod that is well adapted to a specific site. Sod mixtures can contain two or more species and usually include both shade-tolerant and sun-adapted grasses.

Getting ready to plant

  • Prepare the soil.
  • Be careful not to make deep footprints or wheel tracks before planting, as these depressions restrict root development and give an uneven appearance to the installed sod.
  • Order sod and install immediately.
  • On hot summer days, water the soil just before laying sod to avoid placing the turfgrass roots on a dry, hot surface.
  • Sod can be laid any time of the year, but when possible, it is best to avoid very hot or very cold weather.
  • Generally it is best to lay sod during the active growing period of your turfgrass species: cool-season grasses do best when planted during the early fall or early spring and the warm-season grasses do best when planted mid-late spring.

Warm-season grasses available as sod

Bermudagrass (hybrid)
Seashore paspalum
St. Augustinegrass

Warm-season grass sod usually consists of only one variety.

Cool-season grasses available as sod

Bentgrasses (some varieties)
Hard fescue (often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass)
Kentucky bluegrass (often mixed with perennial ryegrass and/or fine fescues)
Perennial ryegrass (often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass)
Red fescue (often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass)
Tall fescue

Cool-season grass sod often contains several varieties of the same species.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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