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14 interesting turfgrass sod facts and stats

Posted March 2
Updated March 3

Turfgrass sod may seem like a fairly straightforward concept -- it's grass and soil held together by roots and can be installed in locations ranging from private homes to college football stadiums -- but there are plenty of surprising things people may not know about turfgrass sod.

  1. In a well-maintained 5,000-square-foot lawn there will be approximately 6 turf plants per square inch and 850 turf plants per square foot for a total of 4.25 million turf plants.
  2. Water makes up to 80 percent of the weight of grass plants.
  3. And Up to 80 percent of the grass plant’s weight is located in its roots, which strengthens soil stabilization.
  4. Sod helps keep water quality high by reducing soil movement/erosion, which is the number one cause of poor water quality in North Carolina.
  5. Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients and can be spread on the lawn for healthier turfgrass. For every 100 pounds of dried grass clippings, there are approximately 4 pounds of nitrogen, 1 pound of phosphorus and 2 pounds of potassium, all of which are essential elements for good growth.
  6. Allowing grass clippings to return to the turf rather than collecting them can reduce the need of fertilization by about 20 percent in some instances. This is often referred to as "grasscycling."
  7. A lawn releases oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide and ozone.
  8. Dense, healthy lawns prevents run-off by absorbing rainfall six times more effectively than wheat fields and four times more effectively than hay fields.
  9. Turfgrass sod helps control pollution, trapping some of an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the US atmosphere.
  10. As part of a well-designed and maintained landscape, sod increases a home’s property value by 15 to 20 percent.
  11. Sod is used on many of our state maintained roadside median strips and shoulders to provide safe and effective stopping in case of emergencies.
  12. Sod absorbs noise, naturally cools its surroundings and reduces glare from the sun.
  13. Sod extends the seasonal window of opportunity to successfully establish a homelawn compared to seeding. Seasonal seeding is usually limited between September and November, whereas sod can be installed year round.
  14. Certain grass types cannot be seeded and can only be sodded.

As you can see, there’s more to sod than meets the eye.

This story was written for the North Carolina Sod Producers Association.

This promotion is supported in part by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

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