About Don

Don graduated from the University of Maryland and has been involved with sod and turf grass for the past 38 years.

Start Planning Your Tropical Garden Design: Tips for Selecting, Planting and Caring for Palm Trees

As February drags on for anyone with the winter blahs, those who prefer to spend time in their gardens may feel like our gray days will never lift. The good news? With temperatures in Wilmington, N.C., hovering in the 50s and 60s this week, you can start to think about designing a tropical landscape to help you pass the time.

When you gaze out the window, would you like to create an exotic setting with palm trees? Here are some tips to help you begin thinking about creating the best garden design. Our landscaping experts are always pleased to share their recommendations for selecting, planting and caring palm trees on your property!

Design Suggestions for Palm Trees in Wilmington, NC

Sometimes, you have a vague notion that you want to enhance the landscaping at your home but don’t know where to begin. Unless you have natural horticultural talent, you need the help of gardening professionals to help you execute a plan that is right for your property. To begin this process, consider the following questions:

  • Are you trying to create a sense of privacy around your home?
  • Do you have enough space to handle a 50-foot or taller palm tree when it matures?
  • Do you have a shady area, which many palm trees prefer?

If you answered “yes” to these questions but still feel confused about which one to select, we have photos of several palm tree designs to spark your own landscaping plan. Some of the palm trees, which thrive in our area, include:

  • Pindo
  • European and windmill
  • Sabal palmetto

As you can see from these photos, you can tuck a gardening ornament into the palm’s greenery to create a personal oasis. If you want a shield with some open spaces, one of the repetitive designs might work well on your property. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages, and let us know your favorite!

Contact Our Landscaping Experts for Palm Tree Recommendations

The landscaping experts at Superior Sod and Gardening Supplies can help you pick a palm tree that will thrive in our area. If you would like to learn more, we have some helpful information here. If you have any other questions, we are always delighted to share our knowledge about palm trees, sod and other gardening supplies.

Contact us!

Why Inspect Your Yard Now?

Making a regular tour of your yard allows you to find small problems before they become big, expensive problems. If you contract out your yard work, don’t assume the workers will bring problems to your attention. They may not be looking.

Visibility During Winter

Winter is a good time to inspect your property because many plants are dormant. Their leaves are down and it’s easier to see under bushes and into the corners. Make sure you go all around the boundaries, not just the areas where you spend the most time.

Here are some things to look for during a yard inspection:

* Trash, vandalism and theft, especially along roads and sidewalks. Studies have shown that trash attracts more trash. Discarded food, wrappers and containers draw rodents, insects and breeding mosquitoes. New plantings can be vulnerable to thieves.
* Standing water means a drainage problem. Don’t let your valuable sod and plantings drown!
* Broken, rotting or rusted fences. A fence in poor repair can’t do its job of keeping what you want in and what you don’t want out.
* Broken or damaged trees and shrubs. Damage to deciduous trees is easiest to see when the leaves are down. Look for broken or split branches and sprouting fungus. Check the bases of bushes and small trees for signs of animals gnawing the bark. Tending to small tree problems while they can be handled from the ground or by a climber is easier on your lawn than waiting until a truck has to drive across it to take care of a major problem.
* Discolored or wilted sod and leaves may have many causes such as soggy soil, damaged roots or stems, insects, disease or exposure to harmful chemicals such as herbicides and salt spray.
* Animal damage. Many people enjoy watching backyard wildlife. Most birds, animals and insects do no harm to your sod and yard. Some are beneficial, but others can cause problems. Watch out for holes and tunnels in the lawn and under plantings, droppings, missing leaves and bitten-off stems, holes drilled in bark and wasp nests in trees or under eaves. Dealing with wildlife problems may be as simple as bringing your pet’s food dish inside, so that it doesn’t attract the skunks that dig up the sod, or may require a licensed pesticide applicator or exterminator.

Solutions for Landscape Problems

We have many years of experience in solving landscape problems! Contact us for assistance!

Take Good Care of Your Sod

As a homeowner, you want to keep your sod healthy and strong for as long as possible. To do so, there are some instructions you should follow, and points to avoid. The most common mistakes are over-watering, over-fertilizing or applying too much nitrogen or pre-emergent. Sod care is about balance. As a general rule, less is more.

Problem Areas

Sod is susceptible to disease, insects and weeds, but all of these problems are treatable. Disease is an issue in the warmer season, especially in high-humidity climates. Too much nitrogen just makes the disease spread. Watch for brown patches in the sod, and treat with fungicides to prevent continued damage.

The following insects can thrive in your sod if they go undetected:

Crickets
Leaf hoppers
Spittlebugs
Chinch bugs
Ground pearls
Fall armyworms

Inspect your grass for weakening and discoloration. If you have an infestation, or a mild insect issue, you should identify the type of bug as quickly as possible and treat it with an insecticide, such as Diazinon, Sevin or Merit.

Weeds, like insects, need to be identified before you treat them with the appropriate herbicide. However, using herbicide in the first two months after installation can damage the lawn. Act defensively, and mow your lawn regularly to keep weeds at bay.

Practice Good Habits

If you want to maintain your sod so family and friends can enjoy it, you should practice good lawn-care habits. Continue to water, mow and fertilize your sod. When you first install your sod, water it daily (between 5 and 10 a.m.). As the sod knits together, begin to water every other day, and then every third day. After the sod is established (approximately four to five mowings), further reduce the frequency of days you water. This prompts the root to search for its own water.

When you mow, take one-third of the grass at most. The more frequently you mow, the faster and thicker the grass grows.

Before fertilizing, get a free soil analysis from the NC Extension Service. Depending on the analysis results and the type of sod you’re growing, you’ll want to use a small amount of nitrogen and fertilizer with iron, to keep the grass green.

Superior Sod is available to answer your questions with situation-specific advice. Contact us to discuss sod-care and maintenance.

Don’t Let Winter Put a Freeze on Your Lawn

Winter can be a tough time for lawns. Less than ideal conditions can leave a lawn looking patchy, bare and unhealthy when spring rolls around. Prevent and repair winter damage with these simple tips.

Why Does Winter Damage Occur?

Harsh winter weather can be tough on lawns. Extended periods of freezing weather or many months of freezing and thawing can damage individual grass plants and roots. Increased precipitation from rain and snow can also cause problems with over-watering. Decreased hours of daylight slow plants growth and make it even more difficult for your lawn to recover from this damage.

Although you may see only the problems in your grass, winter weather can cause soil damage as well. Soil is made up of granules of different types of materials like sand, clay, loam and silt mixed in with water and pockets of air. Cold temperatures can cause soil to freeze, which damages the delicate soil structure and can lead to compaction. Compacted soil does not drain well, and plant roots struggle to grow in compacted soil. Likewise, cold soil temperatures can hinder the uptake of certain key nutrients plants need to thrive.

How to Prevent and Repair Winter Damage

Good lawn care all year round will make your lawn less susceptible to winter damage, but first you have to identify the root cause of your problem. If excess moisture is your problem, you may want to consider cutting back on watering after July. You may also want to remove existing grass in spring and plant a variety that tolerates water better. If freezing temperatures are your problem, you can plant a number of hardy varieties of grass that can better stand up to cold weather. If you notice that the shaded areas of your lawn struggle to grow after winter, you can replace these areas with mulch or topsoil. Lastly, if you have low-lying areas that fill with water during the winter, you may want to consider leveling these areas. Although it sounds difficult, leveling a yard can be done quickly and easily by a quality landscaping companies.

Superior Sod has many products and resources to help repair winter lawn damage. We carry a variety of weather-hardy grasses as well as mulch and topsoil. Contact us today to see how we can turn your patchy or unhealthy lawn back into a lush, green oasis.

Add Topsoil and Mulch to Improve Your Sod or Seed Landscaping

To get the best results from your purchase of Superior Sod products, you will also need sufficient quantities of high-quality topsoil and mulch.

Topsoil
Topsoil is used to level out uneven ground or to add extra nutrients to the soil prior to planting. The topsoil we can order or deliver for your landscaping project comes from our partner, Mr. Parker. He produces a certified compost mix comprised of 15 percent turkey compost, black dirt and sand. The product is then heated so it can be certified weed seed free.

Without that topsoil, it can be difficult for seeds to germinate into thick, healthy grass. It also makes the lawn look more beautiful and manicured by leveling out any natural hollows or dips in the grass, which simplifies the process of laying out sod. We carry a full selection of topsoil at our farm terminal in Ogden, or we can deliver it right to your door.

Mulch
We can also provide you with a layer of mulch, which adds extra compost and nutrients to the soil. It makes a lovely border for the edges of your project, where it intersects with trees, bushes and walkways and protects topsoil from being blown away or eroded by the wind and rain.

At Superior Sod, you can buy several varieties of mulch to protect your topsoil and provided added nutrients for your plants and trees. They are all triple shredded and free from debris or foreign byproducts. We can deliver many colors and styles of mulch including:

Hardwood: Typically is made from a hardwood, such as oak. It provides a natural windbreak which prevents soil erosion for pathways, slopes, and steep banks.
Chocolate brown: A hardwood mulch that has been dyed to a chocolate brown color. The dye is guaranteed to last for a year or more.
Superior red: A vibrant red color made from non-toxic dye, it provides a splash of interest to any landscaping design.

Mulch and topsoil look great and are an important step in designing your new yard-scape. To put mulch or topsoil down before your next seeding or sodding project, you can stop by and load up anything from a bucketful to a truck full. If you prefer, we will deliver the mulch and topsoil orders directly to your site.

Signs You Are Overwatering Your New Sod

You need to water new sod often to ensure it takes root, but watering it too much is possible. Overwatering can make your sod soggy, and this problem could prevent it from creating a robust root system. When sod has too much water, it is vulnerable to damage from disease, fungus and insects. If you start to see the signs of excessive watering, skip one or two of your watering sessions. You want the sod to be moist, not soggy.

Failure to Knit

After 1 to 3 weeks, your sod’s roots should begin to knit into the soil. You should observe the sod starting to grow 1 week after installation. Carefully lift one corner of the sod, and if it is difficult to lift, the roots are taking hold. If it’s still easy to lift the corner with gentle force, you could be over watering.

Root Rot

Too much watering could cause the roots of your sod to rot. During your new sod’s first week, you should look at its roots. Any sign of rot means you could be using too much water, or you’re watering too frequently. Because new sod requires watering daily, you have to pay close attention to the amount you are watering to avoid overdoing it.

Soggy Soil

Before the roots begin to grow, lift up the sod after a regular watering. You should touch the sod and the soil with your finger, and both should feel damp but not muddy. The sod shouldn’t feel like a sponge full of water; if it does, that’s a sign you are giving it too much water. The danger of overwatering is that the roots will never grow into the soil below.

Moisture Depth

The moisture depth of the soil beneath the sod is a good indication of whether or not you are over watering. Directly after sod installation and until the roots take, you should water the sod enough to moisten the top inch of the underlying soil. After the sod starts to establish its root system, you should water the soil down to 6 inches of moisture but reduce the number of times you water. Any deeper, and you are most likely over watering.

If you’re interested in installing sod on your property or you need help with the care and maintenance of your new sod, call Superior Sod & Garden Supplies today.

Advantages of Sod

Well, winter is in full swing here, and it’s just about time to start thinking about what you’ll do with your yard for the rest of the year. It’s always a good time to think about using sod in your lawn, and here are some advantages.

Less Water, Lower Heat, Property Value and Erosion Control

If you have chosen sod, you’ve chosen well. It can be used in 2 to 4 weeks, and it can be put down any time the ground is not frozen, so you don’t have to wait until spring. It also uses less water, contributing to lower costs for you. And the use of seed takes 2 to 3 weeks to germinate, while sod is an “instant” yard.

One of the biggest reasons to use sod in your yard is that it keeps heat down. In the hot summers of North Carolina, sod will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt, and it will be a good 15 degrees cooler than a regular lawn (just soil). It also reduces gases and releases oxygen, which makes the air cooler. Who wouldn’t want that?

Another great reason for using sod is that it adds value to your home. In today’s world, as people move around and change homes frequently, you never know when you’ll want to sell. The value of your home will go up by 15% to 20% if you have a sod yard. It’s also much safer to play on sod than it is to play on soil, fescue grass or asphalt.

The last big reason for using sod is that it contributes to the health of the soil. The minute you put it in your yard, it begins to control erosion. You can stabilize your soil by using it on hills and on steep slopes in your lawn. It also acts as a filter, and it helps to get rid of mud. It also muffles and gets rid of noise.

Contact Us With Any Questions

So, if you have any other questions, get in touch with us! We service the greater Wilmington area and can help you find just what you need in terms of installation and sod. We hope you’ll consider using sod in your yard; our customers are always happy with our products, and we are here to help you make the most of your yard.

Secret for Eliminating Weeds: Rev Up Your Mower After Early Sod Installation

If you’re like most homeowners, the sight of unwanted weeds can hit your hot button. Every year, you spend hours of back-breaking work on your knees, pulling and yanking the wayward growth in an ongoing fight against nature. Despite futile attempts to pull out the weeds by their roots, these ugly splotches continue to return–marring the appearance of your lawn.

Tackling Neighbors’ Suggestions for a Clean Slate

You’ve tried every trick in the book to eliminate weeds permanently including a few that your neighbors have suggested. Some of these include:

•Spreading newspapers over large areas

•Laying down thick rubber mats

•Using bricks to hold down large trash bags

When the gardening season starts each year, you think that one of these remedies will deliver the desired result: a weed-free lawn that will set the stage for an enviable garden. However, to your dismay, you still find those ugly eyesores stubbornly poking their heads up in new locations around your home.

In exasperation, you arrive at Superior Sod & Garden Supplies in search of professional help for effective weed elimination. As you breathe a sigh of relief, our experts finally set you straight about the best ways to put an end to this annoying problem.

Clearing Up Sod and Weed Misconceptions

With renewed confidence that you can finally get your weed battle under control, you decide to install sod. However, you initially think that it must be left undisturbed, so the grass can take hold. You also anticipate the need to resist your weed-attack mode and wonder how you will control years of automatic action.

Fortunately, our knowledgeable team members at Superior Sod & Garden Supplies educate you about sod and weeds, correcting many misconceptions. We let you know up front that weeds often grow through the sod seams, so you’re not set up for disappointment. Then, we prepare you with the best plan of attack.

Here are some of our sod and weed tips:

•Mow your sod as soon as it is needed–even 1 week after installation.

•Allow the time necessary for the sod to heal and knit together.

•After 2 months from the sod installation, spot spray for any weed that persists.

You are relieved to learn that mowing these weeds should remove 99% of them. This year, you will finally enjoy a beautiful lawn!

Best Ways to Win the War Against Weeds

At Superior Sod & Garden Supplies, we know that the best defense against weeds is growing a thick and healthy lawn. You can achieve this goal by:

•Using a quality sod

•Having a professional handle installation

•Following through with correct mowing, fertilization and watering

We prefer to avoid the use of chemicals, which is expensive and dangerous for your health and the environment. Our experts can offer reliable guidance about a safe and effective way to deal with sod installation and weeds.

Stop pulling out weeds–and your hair. Contact us!

Create a Lawn With Curb Appeal

If you’ve ever wondered how home and business property owners keep their emerald green lawns looking so great, the answer is “sod.” Soil varies from one region to another. It’s important to purchase top-quality sod from knowledgeable suppliers with experience in grass, soil and moisture for specific areas. Sod also solves the problem of the labor involved in growing and maintaining a lawn with curb appeal. For business properties, this tip is especially important.

Sod Experience by the Acre

Superior Sod & Garden Supplies has been growing sod for 40 years. With acres of sod planted and sold, we offer customers the advantage of ordering sod at our conveniently located store. Keeping the region green is what Superior Sod & Garden Supplies does best and why Superior Sod & Garden Supplies has been recognized by the Arboretum of Wilmington, N.C., as “Best in Education” for the past 7 years. The professional staff is recognized for reliability and dependability.

Basic Guide to Use of Sod

Sod is grown in special soil with a variety of seed types. Superior Sod & Garden Supplies provides assistance to help choose the best sod for various areas of lawns and gardens. For example, in high foot-traffic areas, Superior Sod & Garden consultants will recommend a more durable type of sod than areas with less foot traffic. Superior Sod & Garden Supplies makes recommendations for the best type of sod based on the amount of sunlight, water and soil the sod receives daily.

Easy to Install and Maintain

Sod is sold in large rolls, so it’s easy to install. In most cases, it takes little time for sod installation, depending on the overall size of the lawn. The benefit of choosing sod is having a sod expert with years of experience like Superior Sod & Garden Supplies available to create a beautiful lawn that adds value to home or business properties.

Join the Superior Sod & Garden Supplies Community of Satisfied Customers

After you purchase your sod from Superior Sod & Garden Supplies, you will join the community of our satisfied customers. You can always depend on us for additional information about sod and garden supplies. Order sod today for the beautiful lawn you’ve always wanted.

Customers can call “Big Al” with any questions, which he is always pleased to answer!

Jump-Start Lush Lawns: Tips for Sod Installation & Correct Fertilizers in Wilmington, NC

By the time December arrives, thoughts of landscaping and gardening are often in a resting stage like the earth. However, those of us itching to get our hands back in the soil may have several opportunities readily at hand. With the 10-day weather prediction in Wilmington, NC, forecasting mostly 60s and 70s and the historical monthly average hitting close to 60 degrees through February, you can still install sod during the winter.

Ideal Times of the Year for Sod Installation

Are you yearning to get a jump on beautiful grass for the upcoming season? Are you confused about the best times for sod installation? The perfect time for sod installation is from the last day of any frost, particularly when using Centipede (mid-April) through October.

If you missed that period, You can also install sod when it is going into dormancy or is totally dormant and has no green leaf tissue. Here are other good times for sod installation:

Late fall
Winter
Early spring

When attempting dormant sod installation, one simple step is the key to success. Simply keep the sod pad moist. Fortunately, the rainfalls in our area during any phase of dormancy will do this work naturally for you.

Guidelines for Best Sod Fertilizers and Times

Now that you have the green light on sod installation during the winter, are you wondering about the best fertilizer? Are you still feeling unclear about the best times to fertilize? Here are reliable guidelines from our knowledgeable experts at Superior Sod & Garden supplies:

Before installing your sod, apply an application of 5:5:15 – referred to as a STARTER Fertilizer.
Use approximately 3 # per 1,000 square feet and lightly rake into the top 1/2 inch of soil.
After the sod has knitted down anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks during the growing season, apply a second application of either 5:5:15 for Centipede or 16:4:8 for any other variety.
Irrigate this fertilizer into the soil and off the leaf tissues.

Another important step is to spoon feed your fertilizer–only as needed. In addition, select one with lower Nitrogen because excess amounts will make your grass susceptible to Brown Patch and other diseases.

Reasons to Avoid High-Nitrogen and Weed-and-Feed Fertilizers

When you want a lush-looking lawn, you may mistakenly think that more is better. Chain stores often feed this misconception because they carry fertilizers, labeled for southern lawns, which are too high in Nitrogen (30%). This approach is actually inappropriate for our area.

According to our experts with four decades of experience in the industry, the only grassvariety that can handle this high amount of Nitrogen is in the Bermudas. In Wilmington, NC, this amount of Nitrogen will ultimately send Centipede into a decline. Consequently, your lawn will be vulnerable to the following:

Disease
Weeds
Winter injury or kill

To avoid undesirable results, it is also important to avoid applying a Weed-and-Feed fertilizer before or just after any sod installation. The chemicals used in this formula create a barrier in your soil, which will block seed germination. In addition, they also prevent sod from becoming unified and settling down.

Would you like to learn more about proper sod installation and fertilizers for our region? The experts at Superior Sod & Garden Supplies, who are committed to educating customers, can help. Contact us!