Sod Variety Descriptions

Which Product is Right For You?

Your sod choice may be based on several factors, such as fitting the desired look, level of maintenance, and durability you want for your lawn. Take a few minutes to review the sod options. Then go to our Sod Comparison Guide to compare varietal characteristics.
Genuine Marathon Sod was first produced in 1983. Since then, it has become the most popular lawn choice of homeowners throughout Southern California.

Well suited to Southern California soils and climates, Marathon is liked for its green year-round look. Thanks to a remarkably extensive root system, up to five times deeper than bluegrass, Marathon Sod uses less water and is tolerant of high heat. It is resistant to pests and diseases. Also it exhibits good shade tolerance (up to 40% shade). Marathon has excellent wear resistance against all kinds of foot traffic, making it perfect for families with children.

Since its introduction, Marathon Sod has been consistently updated. Our research and development program has created new improved tall fescue varieties used to enhance Marathon’s performance and appearance.

Three versions of Marathon have evolved, representing a broad range of characteristics. All Marathon varieties stay green year-round, and are deep rooted and drought tolerant. They differ in growth rate, depth of color, texture and durability. All Marathon varieties contain our own exclusive varieties and are grown only by Southland Sod Farms.


Original Marathon

Ideal for recreation and family use

  • Daily activity levels
  • Durable, hardy
  • Fast injury recovery
  • Can take up to 40% shade
  • Mow between 2 ½’’ and 3 ½’’
  • Coarse texture
  • Medium green year-round

*Families choose Original Marathon (Marathon I) for its all-purpose maximum durability.

*Please note: Even though Marathon I is hardy, no grass will hold up well to dogs!

Marathon II

Good Balance: Beauty and Easy Care

  • Weekend activity levels
  • Good injury recovery
  • Can take up to 25% shade
  • Mow between 2’’ and 3’’
  • Medium/coarse texture
  • Medium-dark green year-round

*With its slightly more refined appearance and high durability, Marathon II is the most popular choice of Southern California homeowners.

Marathon III Lite

Most beautiful appearance with least mow clippings

  • Low activity levels
  • Slow injury recovery
  • Can take up to 10% shade
  • Mow between 1 ½’’ and 3’’
  • Substantially reduced clippings
  • Medium/Fine texture
  • Dark green year-round

*Marathon III is the state-of-the-art dwarf fescue combining slow growth and a rich, dark green carpet-like appearance. However, because its slow recovery from injury, we do not recommend it for everyone.

Pureblue Lite

Improved elite bluegrass blend. Dense, elegant appearance. Medium-fine texture. Requires knowledgeable care to maintain refined appearance. Does best in moderate coastal areas; avoid using in inland valleys and warm, arid regions. Requires well-drained soil; does not tolerate salinity. Green year-round. Often used for indoor pet “potties”

Ryeblue Lite

80% Pureblue and 20% Perennial Rye. Very similar to Pureblue, with subtle differences (slightly lighter color, overall glossier appearance).


GreenWave is a creeping red fescue. This species is often seen on unmowed slopes. It can also be used in any ornamental area where a mounding ground cover effect is desired. It is relatively shade tolerant.


St. Augustine

Very coarse thick-stemmed runners. Used primarily where shade tolerance is the top priority. Native to the southern United States where humid conditions do not permit cool-season lawn varieties to flourish. Considerable thatching; requires concrete borders for containment. Dormant in winter.


Hybrid Bermuda. Excellent as athletic field or recreational turf. Often used on golf course putting greens. Very dense, low-growing, fine textured. Creates an attractive “manicured” look with consistent care and trimming. Develops thatch; requires concrete borders for containment. Becomes dormant in winter.

Zeon Zoysias

Southland SOD will no longer sell the Zeon variety, click on the button below to learn more.

Learn More

Lite Sod is our name for a sod production process technically known as “substrate.” The sod is grown on a bed of composted green waste spread about 1/2″ thick on a plastic barrier sheet. As the grass grows, the barrier forces the roots laterally thus forming a naturally interwoven mat. The sod weights about half as much as field grown sod, hence the name “Lite Sod.”

Twenty years ago we were looking to lower transportation and installation costs. Today we would name it Sustainable Sod because beyond the lighter weight, there are important sustainability advantages to the production process. Using green waste as the growth media is a significant contribution to recycling. The composted material is the ideal combination of water holding capacity, aeration and natural fertility, thus creating an optimum growing environment, which minimizes water and fertilizer inputs. The resulting sod is not only more sustainable but it is almost unnaturally dense and uniform.

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