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How to identify quality turf

Identification

Feel the Quality Turf

  1. Was top rated independently tested seed used to produce the turf?
  2. Is the turf neatly stacked, consistently cut and well presented?
  3. Are the edges of the rolls sharp (not ragged)?
  4. Are the pieces of your turf free of holes or tears?
  5. Is the turf neatly mown, dense and rich green in colour?
  6. Is the turf completely free of broadleaf weeds?

If you answer yes to the above questions, you purchased excellent quality turf. The descriptions below will explain why these features are important to the quality and performance of your turf.

General description of quality turfgrass

The most important quality of turf is the seed from which it was produced. The only way for you to determine which types of seed were used to produce a turf is to ask the producer. For turf to be stacked neatly, it must be carefully harvested to ensure a uniform thickness. The thickness of turf rolls is critical for good, rapid establishment once the turf has been laid. Turf rolls that have a soil layer greater than 6mm will root more slowly than those with less than 6mm. However, a soil layer of less than 3mm will tend to dry out during transportation and will require much greater amounts of water once it is laid.

  1. The ability of a turf producer to consistently harvest turf is governed by several factors:
  2. The age of the turf being harvested.
  3. The skill of the harvesting operators.
  4. The texture of the soil on the turf farm.
  5. The sophistication of the turf growing regime.

How old should quality turf be?

In general, the younger the turf the better it will perform for you. Young turf roots faster and deeper and generally requires less care to establish. Older, mature turf tends to establish more slowly and can be highly susceptible to increased risks of disease.  The ideal age of turf which will harvest and install easily, but root and establish quickly is an average of 12 months.

Turf that can be harvested is generally old enough to be easily installed. A good quality producer will ensure that the turf meets both criteria.

How should the turf look when it is first unrolled?

The turf should look excellent. In the industry this is called roll-out quality and a producer's reputation is, in part, established on the appearance of the turf when the customer first unrolls it. To ensure that the roll-out quality is the best, Rolawn will mow the turf immediately prior to harvest.

Should each roll of turf be identical in appearance and size?

No, but they should be pretty close. The best turf producers will generally harvest the turf from one field before moving into another field. This ensures uniformity. Turf will also change in appearance during the year. That is to say, turf harvested in March could look different from that harvested in July or October. A good quality producer will strive to supply a uniform product. Slight differences in the colour of the turf at roll-out are less important than the age of the turf. Colour differences will dissipate with time, old turf will only get older.

Remember

A good quality turf producer is proud of every roll of turf sold. Ask those important questions about how the turf is produced and transported, and inspect the turf when it first arrives. If you believe the turf is not good quality, discuss it with your landscaper or supplier at the point of delivery or collection.