Top Turf sod farm in Alabama and Tennessee


Top Turf Sod Farm

Hazel Green, Alabama
Lincoln, Tennessee










Farmer Chris Answers Your 



This is a close up of Fescue harvested and ready to use!  What kind of sod do I need for my yard?

If your yard is more than 50% shady, Fescue or Zoysia is recommended. If your yard is more than 50% sunny, Bermuda or Zoysia is recommended. If your yard is about 50% sunny and 50% shady, then you may choose whatever type of grass best suits your maintenance preferences. Bermuda requires less maintenance than either Fescue or Zoysia grasses, which both do best with regular mowing, watering, and fertilizing.

How much sod will I need for my yard?

In order to determine the amount of sod you will need, measure the square footage (the length of the area in feet, multiplied by the width of the area, in feet), and then divide by 9 (this gives you the square yardage). A pallet provides 50 square yards of sod cut in slabs, and a roll of sod provides 25 square yards of  sod cut into one long slab.  


What is the biggest mistake people make in purchasing their sod?

Many of our customers have confessed to initially choosing to purchase the cheapest grass they could find. A lot of people think that the brand is the most important part. For example, they believe that Tifway 419 Bermuda is going to be the same quality of grass, no matter what company it is purchased from. With regard to sod, the old adage, “You get what you pay for” is more than applicable. Many first-time buyers are under the mistaken impression that they can purchase cheap, bad grass, and improve it. This is possible, but not economical. It takes months of work, and usually ends up costing more to change bad grass to good grass than it would have cost to purchase quality turf to begin with.

 A first-time buyer should choose a reputable company. Ask friends and neighbors about their sod and the company they used. It is also reasonable to visit the farm or ask to see the sod before purchasing it. At Top Turf, we encourage our customers to ask questions and do research before buying.


How should I prepare my yard/ site prior to sod installation?

There can be some dead grass, or grass less than 1 inch tall, if it is scattered. Otherwise, it should be landscaped to the topsoil. A landscaper usually uses an implement called a “power rake” to do this. With regard to the terrain, slope, rockiness, etc., of the site, the shape should look exactly how you want it prior to having sod installed. Having turf installed is comparable to having carpet laid: Just like a saggy floor without carpet will still be saggy with it, if there are holes or large rocks on the site before sod is installed, there will be holes and  lumps in the yard after the installed grass settles.

 Top Turf Sod Farm doesn’t do site preparation. However, we can recommend landscape companies that do. 

A common mistake is to prepare the yard for sod and then wait several weeks before installing. It is important to install turf ASAP on newly landscaped ground, because rain or wind can create ditches and ruts and can wash or blow topsoil away.  


We can deliver it, or we can deliver and install it, or the customers may pick it uDoes Top Turf Sod Farm deliver and install grass or can I pick it up?

We can deliver it, or we can deliver and install it, or the customers may pick it up.

 If we deliver the grass, there is generally a minimum $75 delivery fee on local orders of less than 1000 yards. 

 If we deliver and install the grass, there is also an installation fee which is determined by the size of the area, the location, the terrain, etc. In order to install grass in a gated area, there must be an opening of at least 8 ½ feet so that our forklift can enter the site to deposit the rolls or pallets. If your fenced-in yard doesn’t have an opening this wide, there may be an increased installation fee due to the increased work load for our installers.

 In order to pick up your sod, you’ll need a vehicle capable of transporting the grass, which can get pretty heavy.  Pallets are 48 inches square, so a truck bed must be at least that wide to fit 1pallet; more or less than a pallet may be transported any a variety of vehicles.  Most customers use a truck or SUV with a trailer to transport their sod, but some have been known to toss a few slabs of turf in the trunk of their car. 

 Pickups smaller than half-ton (Nissan Frontier, Hard-body, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, S10, Ford Ranger/Mazda B series, Dodge Dakota) can carry half to three-quarters of a pallet, depending on exact model and suspension equipment. A half ton truck (Chevrolet C1500 Silverado, Ford F150, Dodge Ram 1500, Nissan Titan Toyota Tundra) is capable of carrying about one 50 yard pallet. A three-quarter ton truck will carry the weight of a pallet and a half, though unless they are equipped with a flat bed, only one pallet will fit in the bed, and the remaining half pallet will have to be loaded and unloaded by hand.   A one ton truck (Chevrolet 3500, Ford F350, Dodge Ram 3500)is generally capable of carrying two pallets, if they are equipped with a flat bed.  If they are equipped with pick-up style bed, they usually run out of room before two pallets are loaded, even loading them by hand.  A receiver-hitch trailer can generally carry one pallet per axle. Goose neck trailers can usually carry about two pallets per axle. Also, Fescue slabs tend to be bigger than Bermuda slabs because they usually have more moisture and are cut to be taller and thicker.

Field of Fescue grass - we can meet your needs -  as much or as little!

Should I purchase rolls of turf or slabs?

There is no difference in the cost: 2 rolls are the same price as 1 pallet; 2 rolls equal the same square footage as 1 pallet. Many customers ask to purchase one roll of sod, and intend upon picking up and installing the grass themselves. However, it is all but impossible to install a roll of grass without the required roll-installing machine. A roll of sod weighs 700-900lbs! Therefore, anyone who is picking up their sod should purchase their amount in slabs. Customers who hire Top Turf to install sod may get slabs, rolls, or a combination of the two, depending upon the terrain of the site. Rolls are generally easier to install unless there are ditches, slopes, flower beds, etc., in which case slabs are more easily cut to fit the shape of the yard.

When does grass go dormant for the winter?

Of the top-quality brands offered by Top Turf, only Bermuda and Zoysia grasses go dormant during the winter. Exactly when the dormant period begins depends upon the weather. When it first begins to frost, the grass will begin to go dormant. After a hard freeze, these types of grass are completely dormant. In north Alabama and southern Tennessee, turf will normally go dormant during the  month of November, and will come out of dormancy during the month of March. When grass is dormant, it loses it’s color and doesn’t grow. This means less maintenance for the customer. Fescue and hybrid Fescue with Bluegrass don’t have dormant periods, so they require more maintenance, but provide beautifully colored lawns all year.

 Buyers should use extra caution when purchasing sod during the dormant months. Unfortunately, some sod dealers will sell dead or almost-dead turf to their customers, claiming that their grass is dormant as an explanation for the lack of color and poor texture. It is important to buy from reputable companies, so ask around before making a purchase.

After your sod has been installed, you should water for 3 to 4 days!I recently had sod installed. Now what?

Water, water, water! How well your new grass will do depends upon how it is treated in the immediate days after installation. For about the first 3 days, keep the grass very damp to soaked - you can lift an edge of a slab and see for yourself how well it is watered. Within about 4 days, the root system will begin to attach, and it will feel and sound similar to Velcro when you lift an edge. At this time, you should be able to see tiny white roots growing from the sod to the ground. This means that the grass is doing well. It still needs to be watered regularly, but it has made it through that critical period when it really needs to be drenched.

Should I fertilize or treat my lawn?

Keeping a really beautiful lawn can take a lot of work! The level of maintenance is up to you, but for really gorgeous grass Top Turf recommends regular fertilizing for an optimal lawn. If you have Bermuda grass, we recommend that you use a pre-emerge in the very early spring. This will prevent weeds from sprouting throughout the summer. You should also use fertilizer (Nitrogen with varying levels of Potash and Phosphate) in late May and early August. You may use it again in late October, but it’s optional. If you have Fescue, you will want to fertilize at the beginning of March, the end of May, the beginning of September, and again in the middle of November. If you have Zoysia grass, we recommend fertilizing in March, May, August, and October. We also recommend using a fungicide twice a year on Zoysia grass - once in early spring, and once in late spring. It is also a good idea to use a pre-emerge on Zoysia in the early fall.

In order to understand what kind of fertilizer you need, it helps to understand what the numbers describing different types of  fertilizers mean: the numbers which are used to label different kinds of fertilizer refer to the ratio of Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphate in the mix. For example, a bag of 20 10 10 indicates that for every 100 parts of the combination, there are 20 parts Nitrogen, and 10 parts each of Potash and Phosphate.

For the first application of fertilizer on any turf which is coming out of dormancy, we recommend using a fertilizer comparable to 20 10 10, unless the soil is extremely deficient. (A soil sample can be used to determine deficient soil. In the case of deficient soil, a fertilizer comparable to 13 13 13 can be used for the first application.) For subsequent applications throughout the year, something similar to 34 0 0 would probably be best.

Farming sod positively affects the environment because it benefits the soilDoes farming sod affect the environment?

Farming sod benefits soil compared to other types of farming because it not only 1) decreases erosion to almost zero, it also 2) builds topsoil. Erosion occurs when the elements of nature (wind, rain, etc.) wash or blow away nutrient-rich topsoil. When topsoil is washed away, any chemicals that have been used on the area wash away with it, gathering in ditches, streams, and rivers. On a sod farm, the erosion is almost zero, even after a really heavy rain, and even on areas where grass was recently harvested - the roots of the grass are just below the surface, clinging to topsoil and preventing erosion. 

Erosion occurs in backyards too. Many customers make the mistake of having their yard landscaped for sod and then wait several weeks before installing. It is important to install turf ASAP on newly landscaped ground, because rain or wind can create ditches and ruts and can wash or blow topsoil away. 


What kind of chemicals does Top Turf Sod Farm use on sod?

We fertilize regularly with a mixture of Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphate. We also use Simazine, a pre-emerge which discourages the growth of weeds before they start. Top Turf uses very little herbicide on farmed turf because the intense schedule of mowing, watering, and fertilizing naturally discourages the growth of weeds. However, sometimes it is necessary to use herbicide. We use 2,4D only on the areas that need it. This chemical poses no threat to grass, pets and humans, as long as it is used as directed.  If you choose to use this herbicide at home, it is important to follow the directions because incorrect use could be harmful to certain trees and shrub-type plants, as well as fish.



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