Lawns, Sod and Soil Preparation for the Raleigh and Cary Area

10 factors That Will Prevent You From Having a Healthy Lawn

  1. Too much sun or not enough sun for the type of grass you chose.
  2. Lack of sunlight and root competition caused nearby trees especially oaks and maples.
  3. Planting a lawn in a area that is not properly drained.
  4. Choosing the wrong grass type for your situation
  5. Not killing completely pesky grasses, like Bermuda grass, and weeds with round up before tilling.
  6. Not tilling your soil if you have compacted clay soils, especially with Fescue lawns. Till when the soil is slightly moist, and till deeply (4-6”) with a heavy Dingo machine, not a hand tiller. A deeply developed root system is the key to getting lawns through dry summers.  A grass’s mission statement is to create a deep root system before the leaves develop. So work with Mother Nature in our Triangle area’s compacted clays, and till deeply, you will definitely see the benefits.
  7. Not adjusting the Ph level of the soil, based on a soil test, with lime or sulfur so the acidity/alkalinity of the soil is in correct range.
  8. Not having enough organic matter in your soil. You can resolve this by adding pine bark fines or compost.
  9. Not maintaining your sod properly right after it is installed.
  10. Not fertilizing, liming, aerating, thatching, mowing, irrigating and resolving pest and disease problems and your lawn once it is established

If you don’t have enough sun for a lawn, plant an evergreen groundcover or simply mulch the area.

Grasses We Installed in the Triangle Area

Cool Weather Lawns

These cool weather lawns remain green in winter; do well in some shade, but struggle with root completion from nearby trees. Soil preparation is very important as is an automated, underground irrigation system to water the lawn during dry spells. Be sure to water deeply and infrequently. Fescue can be sodded any time of year except the hottest days summer, seed in mid fall for best results.

  • Fescue… needs 4 hours of full sun

Warm Weather Lawns

The warm weather lawns go dormant is winter turning a tan color, but thrives in the summer’s heat and humidity when cool weather lawns struggle. It can be sensitive to extremes in cold when planted at the wrong time without good maintenance going into the winter. It is best to sod when roots are actively growing April through October.

  • Tifway 419 Bermuda…needs 8 hours of full sun
  • Compadre Zoysia…needs 6 hours of full sun
  • Zeon Zoysia…needs 6 hours of full sun
  • Saint Augustine…needs 4 hours of full sun