April Showers Bring May…Turf Grass!

Sgh006I was looking over my turf grass fields today and I got to thinking…

I feel so lucky to be farming here in Fryeburg, Maine. We’re right near the Saco River, smack-dab in the Saco River Valley and blessed with nutrient-rich soil.

Soil is everything in farming and I don’t take my responsibility lightly. In fact, I focus on it.

A customer asked me what set my sod farm apart from other farms. After thinking about it for a minute, the answer was clear.

“Attention to detail.” I answered.

Attention to Detail Sets Us Apart

You may be thinking that everyone says that. I agree that “attention to detail” is a mite overused.

The fact of the matter is this: maintaining soil health takes some patience.

When we cut our sod for shipping, we strive to limit the soil we remove to less than 3/8ths of an inch! That way, we don’t deplete our soil and are assured of keeping our fields healthy.

Further, instead of dousing the turf grass with chemicals, I use IPM, or Integrated Pest Management. It’s all about monitoring conditions and letting some things go while treating others. In the end, we have healthy sod that feels like a soft rug underfoot.

I liken the care of the soil to the care of our bodies.

“You are what you eat,” isn’t just about people. It applies to the soil too!

The abundant earthworms I see show me that I’m doing the right things to keep my soil healthy. Success with sod should never be about treating a symptom, adding chemicals to the mix to banish one affliction while upending something else.

The Turf We Grow

As a member of Turfgrass Producers International, we follow all the established rules to ensure a top-quality product. And, after 11 years of continued growth in our turf grass division, we’ve got a good handle on what makes for great sod.

Sod is like skin on the face of the earth. It’s a living, breathing oxygen sink that, when healthy, catches the rain and delivers it back to the ground. Healthy sod doesn’t experience run-off and can fend off insects, fungus attacks and trampling, as in lawns and athletic fields.

The two types of turf grass we grow are Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue Blend. Here’s how they compare:

Bluegrass-Fescue-Chart

Contrary to what some say, well-managed turf grass is a healthy and beneficial addition to the landscape. ‘Well-managed” doesn’t mean chemical-doused, over or under-watered or neglected. I’m talking about sod on a healthy soil bed, watered and monitored regularly before any issue gets out of hand.

In fact, here are just a few of the beneficial uses of healthy turf grass that deserve mention:

  • It absorbs airborne pollutants. An acre of healthy turf can absorb hundreds of pounds of sulfur dioxide, for instance, over the course of a year
  • Turf in the United States traps an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt that would, ordinarily, escape into our atmosphere
  • Healthy turf absorbs rain and run-off, cleans it as it passes through and recharges our ground water supply in the process
  • Turf helps diminish erosion, a major problem world-wide
  • A turf buffer around buildings is helpful in fire retardation

A well-managed lawn can be a hero, as you can see, both from a health standpoint and environmentally.

And by the way, we also supply what we call ‘native sod’ that can be used for natural areas. If you’d like to read more about our native sod, you can find that here.

We have all sorts of resources for you including pricing on our turf grass that you can explore here.

An Unexpected Benefit

IMG_0757wlogoI’ve seen deer in my fields and bears walking across them. And geese. Lots of Canada Geese. Or “Goose, Goose Daddy,” as my youngest son says when he tries, in vain, to catch them.

Great flocks of geese scatter and ascend to the blue sky, and settle a little further away from my son who delights in the spectacle.

So just think…the healthy sod we grow here at Green Thumb Farms may have hosted deer, bear, geese, dogs and happy little boys.

After all, I have two little boys who like to roll in the stuff along with my dogs. I’m glad to be able to say that I have no fear of letting them do it. I know, for a fact, that they will be safe.

It’s that attention to detail that makes all the difference.

That’s how I know that my turf grass sod will arrive at your home healthy, fresh from the Saco River Valley and well-loved by the wild and human inhabitants that call this place home. It’s infused with good energy!

 

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