Click Here to Order Your Marathon Sod
Free Sod Installation Video
Picture

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Look here if you cannot find answers in the Maintenance Guide

General Questions

Maintenance Questions

General Questions:

Q. How often should I water my lawn?

A. It depends on the turf type and when it was installed. Please check under the Maintenance Guide for specific details.

Q. What is the difference between Marathon and competitive brands?

A. We pioneered tall fescue sod in Southern California. Marathon, is our brand name for that species of grass. Other growers now produce copies of Marathon under their own brand names. The difference is that we use our own varieties including one that was ranked number 1 by the US Dept. of Agriculture each year for the three years that it was tested. Just like different varieties of apples, for example, have different characteristics different varieties of grass within a species have different characteristics such as color, texture, and disease resistance. Some varieties are superior to others. Those in Marathon have been selected to offer the best combination of desirable traits. In addition, our production methods are different and result in a denser turf. All of these attributes make Marathon a very pretty lawn, as well as one that holds up well. We have been growing it since 1983 and because of strong customer satisfaction it has earned a great reputation and become the most popular sod in Southern California. And just in case you have a problem - Marathon is guaranteed for a year. If you'd like we will be happy to send you our free "do it yourself" video, brochures, and authorized dealers throughout Southern California.

Q. What makes Marathon III so much better than other dwarf or "double dwarf" tall fescue brands?

A. Marathon III is the latest development in our Dwarf Marathon product line. Marathon III grows significantly slower (see "Tall Fescue Morphological Characteristics", The University of California, Riverside, table 11) than standard tall fescues and previous generation dwarfs. Some competitors have adopted the term "double dwarf" to describe their slower growing tall fescue. The phrase is purely advertising oneupsmanship without botanical meaning. There is no difference between "dwarf" and "double dwarf."

 The best way to compare sod brands is to look at samples of each. Sod quality differences among growers can be significant. If you don't have time to make the comparison, suffice it to say that our production techniques result in a denser lower turf than other sod farms. If you'd like we will be happy to send you our free "do it yourself" video, brochures, and authorized dealers throughout So. Calif.

Q. What is the difference between Marathon (original), Marathon II, Marathon III?

A. The Roman numerals II and III represent a progression in slower growth and aesthetic improvements over the original Marathon. The Marathon products are all tall fescue grass species and are significantly more durable than other cool season varieties for use in Southern California.

Within the Marathon group, original Marathon is slightly more durable than the others, and its faster growth rate allows for quicker recovery from injury. It contains a variety that was ranked "number one" in US Dept. of Agriculture sponsored tests for three years out of three. This is a reflection of strong disease resistance.

Marathon II and our newest addition Marathon III include exclusive dwarf varieties developed by our research team with the requirements of our Southern California market area in mind. The breeding selection criteria has focused significant attention on dwarfing the plants thereby reducing growth rate. Marathon III is our most recent dwarf development and has set a new benchmark for slow growth and less clippings. Another benefit of the new varieties is darker color. Marathon II and Marathon III can be mowed lower to between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches while Marathon should be mowed about one half inch taller. Overall, Marathon III has the most manicured look and slowest growth. Marathon II falls between Marathon I and III in growth rate.

Original Marathon should be used where wear and tear and recovery from injury are the top priorities. Marathon III should be used where a more manicured look is more important than maximum durability. If you'd like we will be happy to send you our free "do it yourself" video. If you would like to find an authorized dealer near you, see our where to buy section of this web site.

Q. What is the difference between Marathon and Marathon Lite?

A. The difference between Marathon and Marathon Lite is the growing process. Both Marathon and Marathon Lite use the same seed, however Marathon Lite is grown without soil, using a hydroponic process that was developed and patented by Southland Sod Farms. The resulting turf is almost 50% lighter than traditional field grown turf. As a result, we are able to cut the sod into larger pieces, thereby reducing installation time and effort. Furthermore, the optimum control of water and nutrients afforded by this growing process, enhances the dwarf characteristics of lower mowing, finer texture, and increased density.

Q. I can buy fescue from a discount warehouse. What's the difference?

A. The fescue sold at discount warehouse is not the same as Marathon. It is the same species, but that is where the similarity ends. Their sod comes from growers in marginal agricultural areas. Due to the extremes of weather where the sod is grown it is sometimes dyed green (run your hand across it or ask). In order to cut costs less seed is used resulting in a lower density, shaggy looking turf. Also, they use different varieties than those in Marathon. Marathon contains our own varieties including one that was ranked number 1 by the US Dept. of Agriculture each year for the three years that it was tested. Different varieties within a species have different characteristics such as color, texture, and disease resistance, some are superior to others. In addition our production methods result in a denser turf. All of these attributes make Marathon a very pretty lawn, as well as one that holds up well. We have been growing it since 1983 and because of the strong customer satisfaction it has become the most popular sod in Southern California. And just in case you have a problem - Marathon is guaranteed for a year.

If you can, go to a discount warehouse and take a look at the sod they have in stock and compare it to Marathon for yourself. If you look in the where to buy section of this web site, you will find a Marathon retailer where you can see our sod. Also, if you'd like a free "do it yourself" video or brochures we would be happy to send them to you.

Q. Do you sell to homeowners? Why not? It doesn't say in your advertisements that you're wholesale only!

A. We do not sell directly to homeowners, although, after you have placed an order with one of our authorized dealers, we will deliver your order fresh direct to your home from our farm. Nurseries assist us by providing a convenient place to distribute our information, collect your payment (due to sod perishability advance payment is necessary) and get all the necessary delivery information. In addition, they carry our supporting product line of Marathon seed and fertilizer. As a result we are in a kind of partnership with the nurseries to serve you better and therefore do not sell retail in competition with them. We are in the yellow pages and on the internet to offer you information and a referral to an authorized dealer. If you like we will be happy to send you our free "do it yourself" video, brochures, and authorized dealers throughout So. Calif.

Q. Do you install sod or can you recommend anyone in my area?

A. We do not install sod. We are the growers and we make the delivery to your home. If you would like to install it yourself we will be happy to send you our free "do it yourself" video. If you would like someone to install it for you ask your nursery for a recommendation or select a licensed landscape contractor from the yellow pages. Be sure to specify that you want them to install Genuine Marathon from Southland Sod Farms, not a lesser quality imitation.

Q. I'm a homeowner and would like to call for my landscaper, can I just have the price, why not?

A. We sell wholesale only to licensed nurseries and landscape contractors. As a courtesy to your contractor we cannot quote you our wholesale price. You are his customer and he is ours. We must respect that relationship. We can tell you our suggested retail prices.

Q. I'm not licensed but I am a contractor, can I just get a rough estimate?

A. If you are not licensed we are not authorized to sell to you and cannot quote you the wholesale price. We can give you the suggested retail prices.

Q. What's the fair market price for Marathon?

A. Our suggested retail price is between 42 to 50 cents per square foot depending on delivery area and Marathon type. Nurseries in your area will generally be around that price. Lower quality imitation brands will be about 10% less.

Q. What kind of sod do we use with dogs?

A. No sod is completely resilient to dogs. Tifgreen and St. Augustine are the most tolerant to dog urine however, they too will burn. According to the feedback we get, burning seems to vary. This is likely the result of varying soil moisture. A wet lawn will not burn nearly as easily as a dry one. In either case the Tifgreen or St. Augustine will recover, while Marathon will not. However, be aware that these varieties are not green year around and go dormant in winter.

Maintenance Questions

Q. Mushrooms in new lawn

A. Mushrooms are caused by just the right combination of water, temperature, and humidity. They need constant moisture and often appear due to the frequent watering needed by new sod. As you reduce your watering after the sod is established the mushrooms will go away. They will not damage your lawn. Just mow them off and reduce your irrigations so that your lawn can dry off between waterings.

Q. Bermuda in Marathon

A. There are no effective weed killers that will kill bermuda in a Marathon lawn without also killing the Marathon. Use "Round-up" to spot treat the bermuda infested area then re-sod or plant seed. Be aware that bermuda seeds are carried into your yard by birds and wind if there is other bermuda in your neighborhood. Also, bermuda seeds can stick to the inside of your gardeners mower and be carried in from one of his other customers.

Q. Watering and fertilizing new lawn

A. Water new lawn - see Maintenance Guide.

Q. You tell me how often to water but not how long

A. We do not specify how long to water because sprinkler systems put out varying amounts of water called precipitation rates. As a rule of thumb you should water until runoff occurs or until you have applied 1/2" of water. To determine how long to run your sprinklers to apply 1/2" of water place a can on your lawn and turn on the water for 15 minutes. Measure the height of water in the can. Multiply the height by 4 to get the precipitation rate in inches per hour. For example: If the height of water in the can was 3/8" after 15 minutes, then:

4 x 3/8" = 1 1/2 inches per hour

To determine how long to water in order to apply 1/2", divide by the precipitation rate:

1/2 " divide by 3/2" per hour = 1/3 hour = 20 minutes

You may also use our lawn watering calculator.

If you cannot find answers to your questions, you can call Southland Sod Farms.

[Home] [Products] [Dealers] [Installation] [Lawn Care] [eStore]

To order, visit an Authorized Nursery Near You or call 1-800-532-3489
 Available only from Southland Sod Farms

Southland Sod Home Page  - Marathon Sod