Backyard Vegetable Gardens: Choosing Fertilizers

When I moved from an apartment into my first house, a vegetable garden in the back yard was my priority. My goal was to plant vegetables in season, then can and freeze any extra for use later. While the goal was lofty, it was clear that I had a lot to learn. Take fertilizer for example. I had no idea that one kind was any better than the other. Fortunately, a kindly neighbor helped me to learn the value of soil analysis, reading the information on the packages before buying any product, and how the nutrients found in the product would affect the growth of different plants. If you are a novice gardener, let me help. I'll tell you what needs to be in that fertilizer, how to spread it properly, and what it will do for your vegetables.

4 Different Types of Grass Used in Commercial Sod


Are you considering getting a head start on spring and summer landscaping projects by purchasing a roll-out sod product instead of planting a lawn the traditional way? If so, you're probably already aware of certain benefits of choosing to go this route, including having an instant lawn rather than having to wait for weeks while seeds take root and grow. However, there are several different types of grasses that are available in sod form, and each one is formulated to thrive in specific environmental conditions. Following are four types of sod grass and what types of areas they are best suited for.

Bella Bluegrass

Developed by seed scientists at the University of Nebraska from the Kentucky Bluegrass known for nourishing Thoroughbred race horses, Bella Bluegrass performs exceptionally well in areas affected by drought because it does not require nearly as much water as other types of grass. Nonetheless, it remains lush and green throughout the season and is quickly becoming a favorite of homeowners all across the country who are trying to keep household water use down.

Centipede Grass

Imported from Asia at the beginning of the last century, Centipede grass has been in use as a lawn grass in the southern part of the United States for about a century. However, it's only recently begun to be found as a sod roll-out product available from home improvement retailers. Centipede grass is best in locations that experience hot seasonal weather that causes less resilient types of grass to dry up.

Discovery Bermudagrass

You've probably heard of Bermudagrass as being the hands-down best type of grass to use on high-traffic areas such as golf courses, public parks, and even busy back yards, but a new variety, Discovery Bermudagrass, is even better. Imported from Europe about four years ago, Discovery Bermudagrass combines all of the advantages of traditional Bermudagrass with very slow vertical growth, meaning that it only needs to be mowed about once per month during the growing season. It's best used in the southern States because it's highly heat-resistant.

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is among the best all-purpose grasses because it performs well in a variety of climate and cultural conditions. Now available as roll-out sod, it's an excellent choice for those who live in areas with cold winters. It's also disease and pest resistant and even though it has a high level of cold-tolerance, it adapts well to summer heat.

Choosing the right type of sod is the first step in creating a lovely lawn, so be sure to ask your lawn and garden specialist (like those at California Sod Center) which type is best for your specific purposes.


18 March 2015