The Best Sod for Northern Virginia
Our Turf is a combination of fescues and bluegrasses to produce the best turf possible. It provides the longest green color for the year and can be kept beautiful with minimal management and input if desired. Our sod is-
- 90% Fescue
- 10% Bluegrass
- Easy to Maintain
- Drought Tolerant
- Kid and Pet Friendly
- Medium Blade
- Naturally Darker Shade of Green
- Loves Sun and Shade
- Perfect for Homes
This is the most widely sold grass blend in the Mid-Atlantic region and for good reason. It holds a green color for a longer period during the year and is drought tolerant. It does well with less intensive fertilizer programs and has some shade tolerance.
The blades are considered a medium blade, but what is now medium was considered fine not long ago. Compared to older grass varieties, turf type tall fescue blend is naturally darker in green color. It is best described as the happy medium of grass.
Get MD/VA-Certified Sod
Call today to get a free quote.
Great experience called the day before to place my order, I showed up a little early for my pickup time so it wasn't cut yet. It was cut on the spot and I had it on the ground at my house within a few hours. Highly recommend getting your sod at premier turf fatms.
The Importance of Turf Quality and Certified Sod
Sometimes quality is at the top of your list, other times, you just need the quick, cheap thing. When it comes to sod, how do you know what you’re getting? Are you getting the cheap thing for the highest price? There is also the reality that what is referred to as “sod” can vary in quality and even type from farm to farm, without most people truly understanding what they are buying. How can you be sure you are getting the type you want and the best quality possible? State certification is one measure you can use when judging sod quality. ‘Certified Sod’ is often called for by landscape architects or government bids because they know what they are getting then, and so can you!
For us, on our farm, it is easiest to do one thing: just grow and harvest the best. All of are fields can be certified upon request. This ensures that only the best varieties make the cut. We adhere to strict standards to make sure every blade of grass we grow meets the requirements for certified sod.
What is VA/MD-certified sod?
It is sod that has been grown and inspected according to guidelines set by Virginia Crop Improvement, Virginia Tech, and University of MD. The sod must be only grown from the best varieties of grass and go through several quality checks to finally be labeled as “Certified Sod”.
The process starts from the Virginia Tech “Recommended Turfgrass Varieties List” for each year. Only grasses named on the list can be grown to produce certified sod. To compile the list, researchers at Virginia Tech and University of MD conduct trials at various locations throughout both states. The individual varieties are graded several times a year on attributes that are conducive for growing quality Turfgrass in our area. These grades are then compiled at the end of the year and the varieties that rank best are put on the recommended list. It is also important to note that varieties must rank well for at least 2 years before being considered, to insure longevity.
Just because a variety makes the list does not mean that every seed is the same quality. Before buying seed, each lot must pass lab tests for purity, germination, and they must be free of weed seed. Only then do we buy the seed and have it mixed into our specific blend. The certification process is so stringent that even the seed being blended is watched by an inspector.
Once the seed arrives at our farm, it is planted and then takes months to grow into a beautiful field. Once the field is ready to be harvested, the sod is inspected once more. An inspector from VA Crop Improvement comes to the farm and walks the fields. They look for contaminants like noxious weeds and other grasses and also assesses the overall health of the grass. We are also required to show proof that the field was planted with certified seed, by giving them the tags from the bags of seed used to plant the field.
Once a sod field passes certification, we receive tags that can be given to the customer for their records, if requested. The certification is only good for six months. Then, in order to maintain certification for that field, if it hasn’t been fully harvested, it must be site inspected again.
It’s a lot of work, but we think our sod and our customers are worth it.
Learn About Netting Before You Order
Netting is a plastic mesh that is used by most growers as a harvest aid for turf-type tall fescue sod. Once a field has been planted, we unroll this plastic mesh over the bare ground. The seed then germinates, and it grows up through the netting. As the grass grows, you no longer see the netting.
It takes about nine months for a field to be ready for harvesting. At this point, the grass looks great, but the roots aren’t developed quite well enough to give the sod structural stability during harvesting and transportation. This is why we use netting. The netting provides added stability to allow for earlier harvesting. Fields with netted sod can be harvested and replanted within a year.
By comparison, fields without netting are usually on a two-year cycle. This is why most acres grown for fescue have netting in this region.
However, there are some downsides to netting. Netting is designed to hold together, which means it doesn’t break down in the soil quickly. When such sod is put in high-traffic areas, the grass may get worn away and the netting may still be visible. Netting can also be a problem when you have to dig an area for a new landscape bed. You will need to cut through the mesh, which can be cumbersome. Anyone who has dealt with netting in their yard knows just how miserable this process can be.
Moreover, netting is absolutely the wrong choice for athletic fields. Cleats can actually get caught in the netting, leading to poor play or even injury. Netting is also not recommended for yards with dog traffic. In general, netting is advantageous for sod farmers, but it is rarely beneficial for customers.
Non-netted sod has numerous advantages. Non-netted sod has to grow for longer before it is harvested, which means you’re buying a more mature product. The strength of most plants is in the roots, and this is true for grass. This is where food is stored by the plant and nutrients are obviously brought out of the soil. The stronger the roots, the greater chance of success for your new yard.
This is more important than you might realize. Sod needs a lot of support when it is first laid in your yard. If the sod undergoes any amount of stress, it’s going to rely heavily on its root system to survive. We’ve seen too many fresh-laid yards fail to come back only to discover that netted sod simply wasn’t resilient enough to get the job done in these cases.
On the flip side, we’ve seen yards that looked hopeless spring back to life because the sod had a mature root system. Usually, it’s non-netted sod. This isn’t to say that you can’t have a successful yard with netted sod, and now you know the difference!
Here, at Premier Turf Farms, we are trying to grow 100% non-netted sod. Right now, this isn’t possible due to demand and available land, but we are close. Without the netting, the sod has to be fully mature and grow a strong root system to be ready for harvesting, transportation, and installation. Although we think this is better sod, it does add significantly to the costs of mowing, growing, and maintaining our fields.
If you need non-netted sod, please be sure to tell us when ordering. We usually have some available. Even though non-netted sod takes more time and energy to grow, we do not charge a premium. This is the sod we want to grow, and we are working hard to make it available to our customers.