The Language of Sod 101

The Language of Sod 101

Sod University
Sod Language

The Language of Sod 101

cool-season grasses – For the most part, cool season grasses grow well in the Northeast and much of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. These areas are typically cool and humid, which are perfect conditions for cool season grasses to thrive. Cool season varieties include bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and rye grass.

cultivar – A group of cultivated plants that, when reproduced, retain their distinguishing features.

cultivation – Turfgrass cultivation is a mechanical procedure such as spiking, grooving, high pressure water injection, and deep tine, deep drill, solid tine, or hollow tine coring on established turf without destroying its sod characteristics.

cutting height – The distance above the soil line that grasses are clipped; the actual height at which grasses are cut. Varies from bench setting, depending on the firmness of the surface, the degree of thatch, and flotation of cutting unit.

dormant – Resting, or non-vegetative state, as it pertains to turfgrass growth.

fertigation The application of fertilizer through an irrigation system.

fertilizer – A nutrient material applied to plants to assist growth.

liquid fertilizer – Plant nutrients applied in solution. 

scalping – The term for removing more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time, leaving a stubbly brown turf. Continued scalping will weaken or kill the turf.

transition zone – the common reference to the geographical zone which is too far north to grow warm-season grasses well or too far south to grow cool-season grasses well.

turf – A vegetative ground cover composed of close cut, thickly growing, intertwining stems and leaves of grass plants; sod.

turfgrass – A grass used in the production of turf.

warm-season grasses – Grasses are more often found in the warm arid and warm humid states of the south and southwest. The humid areas surrounding the Gulf are best suited for Zoysia, St. Augustine, bahiagrass and centipedegrass while the arid parts of the region typically are best for Bermudagrass because of its excellent drought tolerance.

Want to learn more about achieving a great lawn? Check out our other Sod University tips here