The Q&A Archives: What type of sod should we plant?

Question: Our gardener/landscaper has recommended that we plant marathon 2 sod, and I don't know anything about the different types of grass. He says that marathon 2 doesn't go dormant in the winter but isn't as good with foot traffic vs. St. Augustine goes dormant in the winter but is hardier for foot traffic. Do you recommend one over the other, or are there any other types of grass you'd recommend for where we live (southern CA)?

Answer: Most homeowners are choosing Marathon II over St. Augustine because it has a finer texture (looks similar to Kentucky Bluegrass. Marathon is tall fescue. It's easy care and slightly coarser and more fibrous than bluegrass. It's the most rapid growing, rugged and durable of the Marathon family. It stays green year round and adapts well to varying Southern California climates and soils.

Color: Dark green year around
Growth Rate: Summer (1" to 1-1/2" per week), Winter (1/2" to 3/4" per week)
Texture: Leaf width ranges from 1/8" to 1/4" mixed. Within the range, leaves tend to average narrower in winter and wider in summer
Density: Approx. 50 tillers per 1-1/2" diameter core
Height: Summer (2-1/2" mowing height recommended), Winter (2" mowing height recommended)
Root Depth: to 6'

I'd go with your landscaper's recommendation and plant Marathon II.

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