Archive for the ‘Gardening Care’ Category

Sod Choice for a Yard with Various Shade Conditions

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Before adding sod to your yard, it’s essential that you assess the amount of sunlight that will reach the grass in each area of the yard. For this, you need to understand the various criteria for judging light levels, and how those light levels impact the sod.

Full Sunshine
Full sunshine usually means eight to nine hours of sun directly on the yard. Between sunrise and sunset there is no relief to the unrelenting sunshine. There are no trees to filter the sunlight at all.

Light Shade
This is considered to be approximately six hours of sunshine partially obscured by trees or other thin foliage. It could also mean less than six hours of sunshine unfiltered by any shade. Side yards usually have light shade since the house can block some of the sunshine.

Partial Shade
Partial shade means that the sun is filtered through trees or other foliage for eight hours a day. It could also mean that the yard is in direct sunlight for less than four hours. Backyards with many trees are usually yards that are considered partial shade.

This means the sun is always filtered through some kind of foliage, or it’s direct in the yard less than three hours per day. Yards that are filled with trees are considered shaded.

Dense Shade
Shade from a dense tree or between buildings will make it impossible for grass to grow. Dense shade means no sun reaches the ground at all.

Grasses that grow in full sunshine often will not grow in very shady areas. The grass can become patchy when the yard has areas of dense or heavy shade along with areas with full sunshine.

Kentucky Bluegrass
This type of grass will grow in extreme temperatures as well as full sunshine to light shade. It will not grow well in partial shade or extremely damp, boggy soils. The sod is strong and dense making it easy to cultivate. It’s a cool season grass so it does well in the winter.

Fine Fescue
Fine Fescue is another cool season grass that grows well in the shade and is very tolerant of drought. It does not require much fertilizer, but doesn’t stand up to heavy foot traffic. It’s great partially shady areas as well as being perfect for acidic soils.

St. Augustine Grass
This warm season grass has a high tolerance for both shade and full sunlight depending on the cultivar. Sevill and Captiva can handle five to six hours of full sunshine.

It’s important to note that each section of yard needs different irrigation and fertilizer applications. Grass growing in the shade needs less water than grass in full sunshine. Take that into consideration when installing grass.

Not only is it essential that grass in each area is treated differently, the grass growing in shady area has added stress that should be monitored. The grass growing in light shade is often fighting with trees and bushes for root space. Tree roots can spread far into the lawn, so remember that if problems start to arise.


Trey Palmer is the owner of Palmer’s Turf Nursery, a Tennessee sod farm since 1994.

Top Three Home Maintenance Tasks for the Fall

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Fall is here, which means one thing for homeowners: it’s time to do a little bit of maintenance. When fall strolls along, it is quite common to experience some unpleasant outdoor excursions, such as piles upon piles of leaves. (It’s a good thing you have a leaf mulcher.) During the fall, you will want to make sure that your home looks just as fabulous and updated as it did over the summer. With these three tips, you can keep your home from looking like an eyesore this year.

1. Take care of the leaves. This is the time of year where leaves accumulate at their absolute highest. Although it’s nice to take a peek at some gorgeous fall leaves, it’s also important to keep your home updated. When leaves start to pile up, you will want an efficient lawn mulcher which will keep the leaves away. Here are a few qualities to look for if you don’t own a leaf mulcher


• A clog-free vacuum system

• Ensure that it is made of an elastomer
• Something which is portable and is easily placed in any part of the home

A leaf mulcher will take you far. Don’t let the leaves get you down this year—take control! Plus, your home will look infinitely better without all of those leaves. Your leaves can become a safety hazard not only for yourself, but for any trick-or-treaters who attempt to walk up to your home this year.

2. Inspect your roof. It’s particularly important to check your roof in the event that you have experienced some heavy rains or winds this year. Look for cracks or any openings in your roof. There are many different ways your roof can experience damage, such as:

• Tree branches and limbs falling on the roof
• Buildup of debris
• Animals (such as woodpeckers or raccoons)
• Severe weather or storms

One of the reasons why checking out to see if your roof is in good working condition is because winter brings in heavier and less tolerable weather. Check up on your roof as soon as possible to avoid any additional issues later on.

3. Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Having your gutters cleaned out during the fall will prove to be beneficial to your home later on. In fact, fall is a prime time to have your gutters inspected. It is a much better idea to have you gutters cleaned out during fall so that you won’t have to suffer from thousands worth of damage later on. When your gutters are clogged up, there will be an excessive flow of water which can damage the side of your home, including its painting. 

Maintaining your home is crucial, especially when another season is about to arise. With winter just a month or so away, updating your home now can save you tons later on. It is easy to get rid of the leaves in front of your home, but having your roof and your gutters inspected will make a tremendous difference in the costs that will arise in winter.