Category Archives: Knowledge

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Yes! You CAN Plant Sod All Year Round!

We are often asked questions regarding how long we will cut sod, when it’s available, when we stop cutting for the year, or if it’s a good time to plant, and similar.

  • We cut sod and have it available ALL YEAR ROUND (as long as the ground isn’t’ frozen or snowed upon, which doesn’t happen too often here in the Southwest).
  • We never stop cutting sod (again, only if the ground is frozen).
  • Sod can be planted ALL YEAR ROUND, even when dormant.
  • Planting sod ALL YEAR is perfectly fine in Albuquerque and the nearby surrounding region with similar elevations.


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How much sod can my half-ton truck carry?

Category : Knowledge , Ordering Info

Unless you have a truck from the 1960’s or older, “half-ton” does not accurately describe hauling capacity. Today’s half-ton pickups are capable of hauling more than 1000 pounds (1/2 ton). We have successfully loaded many half-ton trucks with one pallet (approximately 2000-2300 pounds depending on water weight).  However, we do not recommend carrying MORE than 1 pallet in your half-ton truck.

IMPORTANT: With this being said, we still HIGHLY recommend checking with your specific truck’s manufacturer (Chevrolet, Ford, GMC., etc.) or your owner’s manual for your truck’s exact hauling specifications. 

Stonegate Turfgrass Ranch takes no liability for damage to your vehicle.


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Great Reasons to Grow a Lawn

Mowing, watering, fertilizing, edging and spraying a home lawn requires commitment and attention. However, it also serves you well and improves your environment.

The next time you are mowing, thinking that Xeriscape may be the ONLY alternative, consider this:

A. The lawn area (approx. 1000 sq.ft. per home) in a block of eight average homes has the cooling effect of about 70 tons of refrigerated air-conditioning. One ton of refrigerated air-conditioning will cool approximately 400 sq.ft. of interior space. The average home requires about 3-4 ton of cooling capacity to perform its function. Consider then, how much energy those lawns save on your electric bill by cooling the exterior areas around your home.

B. Grass and mature trees cool the air and encourage rainfall. Rocked yards, parking lots, sidewalks, streets, stucco homes, etc. perform the opposite!

C. On an extremely hot day, grass can be 15-20 degrees cooler than exposed soil and as much as 40-60 degrees cooler than concrete or asphalt.

D. Acting like a gigantic sponge, lawns absorb all types of airborne pollutants, such as soot, dust and carbon dioxide, as well as noise. While your lawn is busily performing any of these functions, you may not have noticed, it is very quiet and has no moving parts.

E. Recent studies show healthy lawns absorb rainfall 6 times more effectively than a wheat field, 4 times more than a hay field and 50-100 times more than hard-packed dirt – being exceeded only by virgin forest. Lawns hold and filter the rain back to the aquifer, where everyone can use it again, and again, and again!

F. Remember, our planet has every drop of water that has ever been on earth. However, it is redeposited in different ways and areas. Many times it is lost forever, due to man’s ignorance of his environment, such as, banning green areas (grass) in favor of Xeriscape. (See E.)

G. A 50×50 foot healthy grass area will produce enough oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four every day. Most Xeriscape yards provide little to no oxygen.

H. Quality turf grass not only reduces runoff water, it also prevents erosion by water or wind which results in the loss of valuable topsoil. Unfortunately, most Xeriscape yards aren’t even TRUE Xeriscape, and have nothing more than rock and gravel, with sometimes small green plantings, which provides little or no runoff protection.

I. Homes, sports fields and parks, with healthy lawns, provide safer recreation areas where grass acts as a cushion to reduce shock and potential injury. In addition, children can’t or won’t play in rocks, tumbleweeds or sand – they prefer grass.

J. Aesthetically, there can be no argument that a beautiful lawn is immediately pleasing and relaxing in appearance. When comparing a grassed area to a rocked area, there is no question as to which is more pleasurable to the senses.

K. While some may scorn its needs, others find lawn maintenance an excellent opportunity to enjoy reasonable exercise and a break away from the tv, computer, or other household happenings.


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Why Choose Sod?

LAWNS & OUR ENVIRONMENT

Turf grass is earth smart. Scientists throughout the world are increasingly documenting the significant role of turf, particularly in urban/suburban settings where the removal of turf and other vegetation has amplified problems such as the “urban heat effect.”

In the 1990 Farm Bill, the U.S. Congress noted:

Tree plantings and ground cover, such as low growing dense perennial turf grass sod in urban areas and communities, can aid in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect and reducing energy consumption, thus contributing to reduce global warming trends.

BENEFITS

According to the Professional Lawn Care Association of America, a thick, healthy lawn has several environmental benefits including:

OXYGEN

625 square feet of lawn provides enough oxygen for one person for an entire day.

TEMPERATURE

On a block of eight average houses, front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning.

POLLUTION

Turf absorbs gaseous pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, converting them to oxygen.

DUST AND DIRT

Turf traps an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the atmosphere.

FIRE RETARDATION

A buffer zone of grass around buildings helps retard the spread of fire.

WATER QUALITY

Turf prevents soil erosion, filters contaminants from rainwater and reduces runoff.

 

VALUE, CURB APPEAL & PERSONAL ENJOYMENT

Not only is sod good for the environment, it will add value and improve the curb appeal of your property. The increased attention your property gets after a makeover will move a house quicker if you’re in the market to sell. Or, if you are not selling, the new look will make you feel good to just sit and enjoy it.


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kids on grass

Put Something Beautiful In Your Yard…Your Family!

Summer is here! Kids are out of school. Are they begging to play outside…or will they decide not to because they don’t have anything nice to play on?

If you have real grass for them to play on, the answer is yes! But if you have Xeriscape, imitation grass, or just plain dirt for a play surface, then expect to raise “couch potatoes” who want to stay inside and play video games for the entire summer.

It’s your choice. Put something beautiful in your yard! Your family…and give them REAL grass to play on. Grass is the safest natural play surface on earth!

Call us today to get started, so your kids will stay active over the summer!

ORDER TODAY!


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Considering Artificial Grass?

Before you invest your hard-earned money in artificial turf, here are a few reasons you might think twice about it!

1. It’s expensive!

About 10-30 times more than live turf grass, depending on the style of artificial turf you choose.

2. It’s extremely hot during the summer months and can easily be as hot as asphalt.

Your children or pets will not be able to play on it until it is cooled down. To do that, you will have to soak it with many gallons of cold water. WHAT? Isn’t that why you considered it in the first place? To “save on water”, but now you have to soak it WITH water just to “enjoy” using it? Now that doesn’t make much sense…does it?

3. It’s difficult to keep clean.

The easiest way requires large amounts of water to wash away the dirt. That water will run straight into the storm drains and NOT back into the aquifer, opposite the water you would use on live turf. Or you can choose to vacuum it, but since it’s such a huge investment, you’ll want to make sure you maintain it properly by having it professionally cleaned.

4. You trade one for another. Maybe you’ll save a little on your water bill, but not as much as you can save on your electric bill by having LIVE turf in areas surrounding your home or office.

The lawn area (approx. 1000 sq.ft. per home) in a block of eight average homes has the cooling effect of about 70 tons of refrigerated air-conditioning. One ton of refrigerated air-conditioning will cool approximately 400 sq.ft. of interior space. The average home requires about 3-4 ton of cooling capacity to perform its function. Artificial turf will not cool your homes exterior or help with your electric bill in any way.

5. Artificial turf isn’t environmentally friendly as you think.

REAL turf absorbs all types of airborne pollutants, such as soot, dust and carbon dioxide, as well as noise. Artificial turf does not.

 

IMPORTANT ARTIFICIAL TURF ARTICLES

 

Please read the articles below, prior to purchasing and installing artificial turf:

Fake grass has a drawback: It gets too hot, study says

The Las Vegas Sun

(Real) Turfgrass to replace artificial turf at Toronto’s BMO Field

Athletic Turf News

TFC (Toronto’s BMO Field) could be on (real) grass by start of next season
The Toronto Star

Artificial Turf: Does it Increase the Risk of Sports Injuries?
Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY

At City’s Synthetic Fields, High Lead Levels Fuel Debate
The New York Times

Synthetic Turf Playing Fields Present Unique Dangers
University of Missouri

Artificial Turf Cleaning Tips
Yep, you really DO have to clean it!

Reporter questions plan to irrigate synthetic fields
Athletic Turf News


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Shop and Compare Your Sod

Category : Knowledge , Turf Care

It seems we all shop and compare prices.  Milk, butter, oranges, gasoline, motor oil, etc. all share the same thing; there is little difference from one producer to another.

But, when it comes to sod, there are vast differences in quality; however, many folks don’t shop and compare. Even if the sod looks like it has been sitting around for a week, or longer, many will buy it because it’s just cheap and convenient to purchase! Will it even survive once you lay it down?

Much of the sod purchased from the big outlet stores is brought in from out of state, which many do not know. It takes about an hour to deliver our sod from our farm to our retail lot, in Albuquerque; not a full day or two that it might take from an out of state farm!  Our sod never sits around for more than a few hours; simply because we never harvest unless it is ordered and pre-sold. The big stores can’t, or won’t do that, because it takes too much labor to spend time selling low profit items such as sod.  But…we promise to take as much time as needed to explain and educate you, our very valued customers, on the value of a green, healthy lawn.

Thank you for choosing us, when selecting our sod for your next project!


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Should I Seed or Sod My Yard?

The lush, beautiful lawn you desire can be achieved through a variety of methods. Seeding and laying sod are two of the most common options, and if installed and cared for properly, either option can provide you with the lawn of your dreams.

There are many differences between choosing to seed or lay sod, but the end result is usually the same, as well as the maintenance level after established.

Seeding

Pros:

  • Establishing turf from seed requires less labor to install, but more care during the germination and establishment stages.
  • The initial investment is less, because you are not paying for the 18-24 months farm labor to grown turf ready to cut for sod rolls.
  • More selection of turf seed can be found than sod types.
  • Faster installation than rolls of turf.
  • Difficult areas can be successfully seeded.
  • High quality seed will yield higher quality results.

Cons:

  • Needs more “baby sitting”.
  • The amount of time accomplish the final result…a lawn you can use.
  • Traffic should be kept completely off a seeded area until it is at least 2″ tall.  Even then, it should be mainly undisturbed, since foot traffic, pets, etc., can easily destroy tender seedlings.
  • Frequent watering during germination. The ground should be kept moist during the entire germination process.
  • Seed cannot be planted all year long (sod can, if the ground isn’t frozen). It does not germinate below a certain temperature, and has a hard time germinating in the summer heat.
  • Weed control during establishment stage is necessary.
  • Erosion is more likely to happen to a seeded area vs. a sodded area. Even if it rains once during the germination process, the pattern can end up very patchy and may need to be over-seeded several times.
  • Low quality seed will yield low quality results.  Many seed mixes you find at a big box store are not even designed for the area you live in. These low quality mixes often contain weed seeds, have low germination rates, and could contain grasses that you do not want. Seeding rates may be difficult for the average person to calculate, and when incorrect can have a negative impact on seed germination. An NTEP rated variety, which means it has been independently evaluated and rated by the National Turf Evaluation Program, means these selected grass seeds have been specifically bred for superior green grass color, disease and insect resistance and drought tolerance.

Tips for Seeding

Use top quality seed. Ask about germination rates. Grade 1 is better than Grade 5.

Using a spreader will ensure you get the proper coverage of seed. Too much coverage of seed can cause the seed to compete with each other. Too little and you will have bare spots. A spreader will work perfectly.

Don’t seed in the hot summer months. Seeds have to compete with usual summer weeds, and do not germinate well in heat and inadequate moisture during the summer. Spring and fall are usually the best times to lay seed.

Planting seed too deep will not allow it to germinate.  Laying seed and covering with about 1/8th inch of topsoil is plenty to start germination.

Sodding

Pros:

  • Instant lawn
  • Can be walked on within days of planting.
  • Instant erosion protection.
  • Great for sloped areas or erosion-prone areas where seed would have difficulty surviving.

Cons:

  • Higher initial cost.
  • To establish you will need to use a larger volume of water than after established.
  • Requires a lot of manual labor to install.

Tips for Sodding

Choose fresh, healthy sod. You don’t usually find quality sod in the big box stores.

Proper soil preparation is one of the most important steps prior to sodding. The optimal soil will be a loamy mix, therefore clay type soils will need amendments such as compost and peat moss.


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Don’t Be Fooled

Category : Knowledge

StoneGate Farm EntranceWell, they’re back at it again! We’ve heard that local nurseries might be telling customers that they are getting their sod from us. This happened to us a couple years ago too.

Wow! We didn’t know we were THAT popular!

Our sod is ONLY sold directly from our Moriarty farm or from our Albuquerque store on the Northbound I-25 frontage road (north of Candelaria).

If someone other than us is telling you that they sell our sod, we’d appreciate knowing, so give us a call!

OUR LOCATIONS


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In This Summer Heat, What Is The Best Time to Water?

Category : Knowledge , Turf Care

During these hot summer days, we often get questions regarding the best time to water.  It’s best to irrigate between 6am and 8am, as this allows for minimal evaporation and maximum absorption.

We do not recommend watering during the middle of the night, as the longer water stays on the turf and does not absorb, the greater the risk for disease.  Nor do we recommend watering during the heat of the day, late afternoon or early evening, since the heat will cause the water to evaporate quickly rather than absorbing into the soil.

As always, feel free to call us with any questions!


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