BC Instant Lawns and Landscapes BC Instant Lawns and Landscapes

Turf and Sod News Vancouver, B.C.
Your Source For New Lawn Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How much soil does a new lawn require?

The ideal lawn should be constructed with at least 3” of a well draining soil. The soil itself should contain at least 70% sand and the sub grade should be self draining. Soils that contain high volumes of wood chips and organic matter should be avoided. Soils that contain paper recycling waste and have a strong odor should be avoided as well. In most cases topsoil today is manufactured from compost, be sure to ask your supplier the contents of the soil and ensure the composting process is complete. A soil analysis
with a ph balance of around 6.9 should be requested from your supplier.


What type of Grass does my property need?

All turfgrass varieties offered from Fraser Valley Turf Farms are recommended seed types for the moderate climate of the British Columbia, Lower Mainland. Selecting a variety of grass should consider the following: Hours of sunlight your property is exposed to all year round, wear and tear from usage and how much maintenance you are willing to give your new lawn. For lawns the receive less than 70% sunlight, a shade turf would be best suited for your property. For heavy duty play and animals, the bluegrass would be the best choice. For low maintenance the shade turf would be ideal but only after the new lawn has established itself. It is not recommended to mix varieties of turfgrass on a property.


When is a good time to plant a new lawn?

Planting a new lawn may be done in any season. Turfgrass is available year round except when the ground is frozen. The ideal time to plant a new lawn is during growing seasons although many lawns are planted throughout the year. If your lawn is planted during the winter the roots will begin to take as soon as the temperature rises. Frost will not hurt the new lawn.


What is un-netted turf?

Most new lawns contain a plastic netting that is non-biodegradable. The netting is used when planting a field , the roots of the turfgrass adhere to the netting allowing the turfgrass to be harvested with ease. Many homeowners may not be aware of the netting until a bare patch has developed in the lawn. Un-netted turfgrass does not contain a plastic netting. Many homeowners now request un-netted turfgrass due to the problems that may occur in the future with the plastic meshing.


Is there a low maintenance turf that requires less water?

Yes! But only after your new lawn has established. The shade type turfgrass is deep rooting and will require less watering in the future once the root system has firmly established itself. Shade turf thrives well in the shade compared to the other grasses and will also do well in full sunlight areas.


How long does a lawn project take?

Most new lawns can be completed in 2-3 days.


Can I lay a new lawn over an existing lawn or partial existing lawn area?

It is not recommended to lay new sod over an existing lawn area. New lawns should be prepared with a proper soil base so the roots of the sod will be able to penetrate through. You may have short term success with laying new sod over an existing lawn or on poor soil but in the long run problems may occur. New lawns should be planted on a minimum of 3" of a sandy soil.


What about watering restrictions in my area and watering my new lawn?

In most municipalities and regions watering restriction exemptions are made for new lawns.


How thick is sod?

Sod thickness is about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. When preparing the soil near the sidewalk or driveway the soil should be raked out 1/2" below the height of the border.


How Long can turf / sod be rolled up for?

Sod may be rolled up during cool weather for upto 3 days. During hot weather a maximum of 24 hours or less depending on the temperature. Sod will begin to yellow when rolled up to long, the sod will recover if laid when yellow by applying water and an application of fertilizer. If the sod has become slimy and a black color, the sod is likely not going to recover.



Other Questions About Your New Lawn


This is a very a cold week in the Vancouver, B.C. Lower Mainland. Temperatures in the evening are expected to dip down to -10.
At the Turf Farm we are having a difficult time harvesting for clients.

1. Installing new sod during frost seasons: Some customers have been asking about getting their new lawn installed during frost season and if this will be problematic. The simple answer is NO. Installing a new lawn during frost season will not affect the quality of your new lawn. Once the new sod is installed, assuming that the preparation is completed correctly (we will cover that next), the sod will remain dormant until the temperature increases. What the most important issue and one that is overlooked by many contactors is if the grass does not recieve moisture due to the cold snap. Believe it or not, your new lawn will require some watering during the winter. Until the roots of the new sod have established, meaning you can no longer lift the sod by pulling on it, the top layer should not be allowed to dry out. This is normally not a major problem in the Vancouver area as we probably receive the most amount of rainfall in the world but in general to keep your new lawn beautiful, an eye on moisture content in your new sod should not be overlooked. For more information visit the home page of Fraser Valley Turf Farms www.fraservalleyturf.com.


2. PREPARATION FOR YOUR NEW LAWN: A new lawn is an important investment for many homes that is expected to add value, beauty and usage for many years. At the turf farm preparation of the fields is much like the preparation you should follow for your new lawn. After all we are simply transplanting the grass from our field to yours.


The first consideration should be given to drainage problems that might occur. Lawns do not like to be under water, nor do the people using them like to be walking in puddles. A good rule to follow when preparing your sub grade (The area below the soil) is to grade away from the house and grade in a general direction. This means that all water runoff should accumalate in a single area or multiple areas that allow for the water to naturally run. The most common mistake in preparation is using topsoil as a grading tool. When installing top soil for your new lawn, a uniform depth of soil is required throughout the entire area. If your depth of soil is excessive in one area and lacks the required depth in another, future growth problems in your new lawn may arise. Using topsoil as a grading tool does not achieve the proper results for water runoff. The topsoil required for a new lawn should be well drained consisting of at least 50%-80% sand, this means that any excess water will flow through the soil and rest upon your subgrade. Your subgrade should carry this water to either your drainage system or naturally runoff.


When constructing drains, be sure to test them before covering to ensure the water is flowing in the correct direction. I have seen many projects come the winter months the lawn is under water even though an extensive lawn drainage system was constructed. To fix this problem is costly and could possible take you right back to step 1. In most new residential projects the landscape company is brought in after the primary grading has being completed by the excavation for the builder. This is typically where the problem arises because the builder or homeowner does not want to spend the additional money re-grading the property. In some cases the hardscape (retaining walls, patios, fencing) construction has being completed making acess difficult for machinery to access thus only allowing for labor intensive hand grading. In either case, to ensure that your new investment is protected for many years to come, proper grading should be completed before new topsoil is installed. Next Purchasing Topsoil>