WHEN TO PLANT: Late August - October
The preferred time to plant a lawn is Oct/Nov. when weeds are at their lowest growth cycle. This will allow the root system to develop over the winter in preparation for the hot and dry summer months. Spring is a good time to plant lawns if a proper weed control program is first implemented.

CULTIVATE SOIL/ORGANIC MATERIAL
Plow, rotor till, hand dig or somehow soften/breakup the soil to allow for good root and water penetration of the soil. This operation is the most important part of the whole process to obtain a healthy drought tolerant lawn with deep roots. Depending on soil (i.e. clay or very sandy), you may want to add All Grow or Leaf Grow to the soil. Incorporate fertilizer & lime and level to final grade. Apply fertilizer and lime to the area as follows; use starter or 5-10-10 fertilizer apply ½ lb. per 1000 square feet; use pellets or granular lime, apply 40 lbs of lime per 1000 square feet.

SCATTER SEEDS
Pick a good quality seed (from the label look for 98% pure seed no weed, no crop seed, low inert ingredients with a germination of 85%). Note, you can refer to Maryland Department of Agriculture website to see a listing of seed varieties that do well in the state of Maryland. Sow at the recommended seeding rate. Sow 1/4 of the seed to the entire area in one application. Follow with the next three applications in different directions. For best results use a hand crank operated seed spreader.

RAKE SEED INTO THE SURFACE LIGHTLY
Using a bamboo or fan rake, brush the seed barely under the soil.

MULCH LIGHTLY
Mulch with 1/8th inch of straw. Straw will provide shade to new seedlings and help retain moisture.

NEWLY SEEDED WATERING
Water seeds in thoroughly with a fine mist nozzle. Depending on the time of year, the seed bed may take as many as 5 short cycles per day. Germination will occur within 2 weeks for some grasses while others may take as long as 3 weeks. For this reason: YOU MUST KEEP SEED BED DAMP UNTIL ALL SEED HAS GERMINATED. HOWEVER, DO NOT OVER WATER! Reduce the number of cycles per day to just keep the surface damp.

MOWING
After 3 weeks most of the seed will be germinated and you can cut back on the number of watering cycles. When the grass reaches to 2 or 3 inches in height. Allow the seed bed to dry out just enough so that you can walk lightly on it without leaving footprints. Mow the lawn with a sharp blade (a dull blade will pull the shallow rooted new plants out of the soil). Set the mower at a 3 inches cutting height. After the initial mowing, watering cycles should be set to maintain 1 to 2 1/2 inches of water per week, depending on your location during the summer months and until the weather cools.
American Turf specializes in the planning, installation and maintenance of high-quality commercial and residential irrigation/sprinkler systems. We will design and install a quality sprinkler system to meet your needs. A quality sprinkler system will save you time and money. It will also encourage your landscape to thrive in hot weather months. Our knowledgeable estimators will tests your water pressure and custom design an irrigation system for you that will cover all the areas you request. We will make recommendations as we see them based on our test of your water pressure and/or the availability of sub meters in your area.
American Turf installs top of the line irrigation systems. We offer a 2 year full system warranty, best pricing and service available, guaranteed. We offer free estimates on all sprinkler systems.

Installing a sprinkler system will pay for itself just with the money you save on conserving water. When watering by hand, 50 % of the water used is lost by runoff, evaporation. If available, a separate water sub-meter for irrigation can be installed to avoid paying sewer charges on the water used when watering your lawn or landscape. Automatic sprinkler systems can be programmed to run in the early morning when water evaporation is at its lowest.

A system installed by American Turf will evenly water your lawn and plantings, in sufficient quantity but without excess, using all possible means to ensure efficient control. We will propose the most suitable technical solutions to provide the best value for the money. Our teams of professional installers, with the most modern machinery and equipment available today, will install a system of underground pipe in the turf areas, with minimal disruption to your lawn. All garden areas and planting beds are hand dug to minimize damaging the existing plant material.

We are a full service company and install custom irrigation plans that will reflect your site needs. Because we have right equipment, and staffed with knowledgeable and experienced personnel, no installation is too large, too small, or too complex for American Turf. You can be sure your job will be handled in the most professional manner, from design to completion. We are committed to your needs and the protection of our environment. In addition, our service department will maintain your system to keep it in perfect working condition, season after season. All installations performed by American Turf are warranted for 2 years against defects in the workmanship, and all parts (including sprinkler heads, valves, and controllers).your irrigation system to meet the demands of your landscape needs, while providing you with the ultimate end result-a beautiful green and healthy landscape.

Whether you are interested in a new lawn sprinkler system or service for your existing system, we analyze the short and long-term needs of the landscape constantly with an eye toward safeguarding your investment and protecting its design integrity. We pay attention to details and offer complete prompt and courteous customer care.

Our full service irrigation division is backed by trained technicians and our Guarantee of Satisfaction. All our new installations are guaranteed as well as our repairs/service. When installed correctly, as it will be by the professionals at American Turf, on average the system will last 15 years or more. All things considered, isn't it worth the expense to make sure your lawn and outdoor landscaping is protected by a professionally-installed irrigation system? Please contact us. We look forward to installing a great system for you. References provided upon request.
Installing Your New Sod
Sodded lawns are easy to establish and provide a solid return on your landscaping investment. While the site preparation is similar for sodding or seeding an area, the maintenance required to establish healthy turf-grass is lower for sod. Here is a comparison that will help you decide whether to install American Turf sod or seed the area:


STEP 1: Ordering
Order your sod to be picked up or delivered after the site is prepared and sprinklers are ready.
Decide how much sod you need. To do this you need to measure the area to be sodded. This is done by taking the length multiplied by the width of the area to be sodded and divide this number by nine (9).
(Click here to use the measuring tool) This gives you square yards you then need (we recommend adding 10% to this number for edges and irregular shapes). We usually need 48 hours notice to schedule deliveries. If you plan to pickup your sod, please call a day in advance if possible, especially during hot weather periods to ensure you get a fresh product. Sod is cut daily for specific orders.

STEP 2: Soil preparation
Prepare the site prior to the arrival of the sod. Proper soil preparation is important to the establishment of your sod or seed.
Site Preparation - For both sod and seed you or your landscaper will need to:
  • Remove any grass, weeds or debris from the area
  • Establish a rough grade to eliminate high spots
  • Spread any topsoil, to low areas if needed
  • Apply soil amendments (see NOTE* below)
  • Level and rake the installation site until it is smooth and has drainage away from the home
  • Grade areas along sidewalks, driveways or existing grass approximately 1½ inches below the surface you  are joining against to allow for the thickness of the sod pieces
*NOTE: These steps are essential to successful installation of sod
Soil amendments:
Proper soil pH and nutrients are important to the success of your sod installation. A soil sample should be taken to identify any potential problems. If you do not have time to wait for a soil sample we recommend that you apply 40 lbs. of granular lime and 10 lbs. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 1000 square feet.


STEP 3: Installation
  • Install the sod immediately after delivery. The turf should be installed within 24 hours or it will spoil.
  • Begin installing along a straight edge such as a sidewalk. Then go back to the starting point and tear a piece in half to start the next line, continue this brick pattern for the entire job. This keeps the seams from lining up and the job looks much better. Don't walk on the newly installed sod during installation always stay on the dirt for the next piece.
  • Arrange the rolls so there is a minimum amount of traffic on the prepared soil
  • Begin by laying two or three pieces along the straight edge and lay sod in a horizontal brick pattern
  • Butt ends and sides of the sod strips making sure there is no overlapping and no gaps
  • Fit the sod around obstacles or in smaller places by simply cutting with a sharp knife or box cutter/razor knife
  • Once an area of approximately 15' X 15' has been laid, water immediately. The objective is to not let the sod dehydrate.

STEP 4: Watering
  • Once you have installed an area big enough to set up a sprinkler turn it on. The sooner you get water on the sod the better.
  • After all the sod is laid, begin watering to build up the sub-soil moisture
  • This may require up to 2-3 inches of water per day for the first 2-7 days *
  • Probe the soil to determine if the moisture has penetrated to at least 4 inches
  • Each day may require more that one application depending upon wind, temperature and soil condition
  • Water the sod every other day the second week, weather permitting water 1 inch per watering
  • Shady areas will require less water and should be evaluated separately and be watered as needed
* NOTE: Measure the water applied by using rain gauges or by placing pie plates or cans on the lawn in areas covered by sprinklers and timing the fill rate to desired inches. We can only recommend the amount of water your new sod or seed will require. We cannot recommend how long you should leave your sprinklers running as water pressure, type of soil, amount of rainfall, outside temperature, and wind varies greatly.
Week 3 is used as a transition period from daily watering with frequent applications each day to an increased number of days between watering. Cut the watering back to once a week and then to only when needed. By the end of the establishment period, the grass should be able to go several days between watering depending on the season and weather.

Become aware of dehydration signs

Stage 1: Grass has a purplish tint
Stage 2: Blades turn steel gray and footprints are left when walked on
Stage 3: Grass turns straw color
If any of these signs start to appear, go back to watering deeply as instructed in step 4 above.


STEP 5: Mowing
  • After about two weeks the new sod will probably need mowing.
  • Before you mow, make sure the sod is rooted to the ground. You can do this by going to a piece of sod and trying to gently pull it away from the soil surface. If you cannot, the sod is rooted enough to mow. If you can still pull it away from the soil surface wait another 3-4 days and test again before mowing.
  • It is important to let the area dry for a day or two after the peel back test to let the ground firm up before mowing so as not to leave ruts in the area from the mower.
  • Make sure you have a sharp blade on your mower.
  • Set the mower to 3 ½ - 4 inches or more for the first mowing as the grass will be long after all the water. Mow again in 2-3 days to the desired length of 3 - 3 1/2 inches. You will be able to mow the grass less often.
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass leaf at any mowing as scalping the grass plants will shock it, making the plants more susceptible to disease, pests and drought. A longer grass leaf protects the grass plant from heat and helps to discourage weeds.