Local News

Low supply pushing up prices for popular Bermuda grass

Posted January 29, 2015

It’s not yet spring, but it is harvest time for sod.

There’s plenty of zoysia on its way to market, but it's a different story for Bermuda grass this year.

“We feel that we’re just low (on) our overall supply heading into the peak season of 2015,” said Brad Hubinek, owner of Super Sod in Raleigh.

He said the entire sod industry in the Southeast is having supply problems with the increasingly popular grass. The problems began during the recession of 2007. When construction plunged, so did the demand for sod. That’s when a lot of growers switched their fields to other crops.

Now, construction has rebounded, and so has the demand for sod. Higher sod prices are expected this season as the industry works through the shortage.

“The sod industry really follows construction very closely,” said Grady Miller, a crop scientist at North Carolina State University.

His best advice to homeowners this season is to be patient.

“But if they need grass, they may have to choose another grass other than Bermuda grass,” Miller said.

Hubinek said zoysia is a good alternative.

“Zoysia is a fantastic grass, a warm-season grass like Bermuda,” he said. “If a homeowner wants to have the best looking yard in the neighborhood, that's the option to go with.”

If only Bermuda grass will do, Hubinek says help is on the way - but not anytime soon.

“I think this time next year, it'll be quite different,” he said. “We'll be in better shape.”

Visit the North Carolina Sod Producer Association website for a list of growers and information about the types of grass and when to lay sod.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ryan Walsh Jan 30, 2015
    user avatar

    @LISKM ...get a grip

  • heelzfan4 Jan 29, 2015

    Love my Zoysia. It chokes out weeds and pesky monkey grass! Hardly ever have to water.

  • hardycitrus Jan 29, 2015

    The other thing about Empire is that it takes very little for it to get established and then pretty much never again needs water. It loves heat over 100 degrees. And it will choke out Bahia grass, the stuff that sends up those antenna like spikes 18" and keeps you mowing mowing mowing. I think I cut the Empire 5 times last year. If I wanted it greener I could have fertilized and cut it more.

  • hardycitrus Jan 29, 2015

    Get Empire Zoysia. It grows in gravel, it grows in muck, it grows in shade. It spreads, and it will get into your flower beds, but if it's a choice between some flowers and now lawn, the lawn wins. I only did the perimeter of my yard and in 5 years I had 100% coverage.

  • beaupeep Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread

    As small as the lots are that they're allowing in Cary, the leftover ice from my drinks would do it.

  • reid47960 Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread

    You would never get enough water from those sources to keep the sod alive long enough to establish.

  • Christopher Rose Jan 29, 2015
    user avatar

    If the water comes out of a rain barrel or grey water what's wrong with that?

  • liskm Jan 29, 2015

    Does this mean people may have to scatter some grass seed vs. laying instant yard carpet that requires endless volumes of valued drinking water to keep up their green preen image?