How is sod harvested?

Cultivating sod for our clients requires patience, time, and attention to detail. B & B Hoffman crews work tirelessly to grow turf that is healthy, robust, and free from weeds so when planted in its final destination it compliments any home, workplace, or recreation area.

With several farms located in central Minnesota locations, we help ensure a fruitful season by offering a variety of terrain and temperature. Our Kentucky Bluegrass is fertilized regularly and mowed every other day to produce thick, full turf. Sod is harvested 12-16 months after planting when the ground is not frozen (in our case, typically April through November).

Sod is harvested in the morning while the temperature is low, therefore increasing the shelf life of the product. Our specially designed sod harvesting machine lifts strips of sod out of the earth like long rolls of carpet, removing both the sod and roots and some of the underlying soil so the root system stays in place. It is rolled into two sizes for purchase at our Elk River location, or available for delivery throughout the Midwest.

To see more photos and videos, or learn more about the products B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com/gallery/, or call 763-434- 6572.

 

 

Early Autumn Lawn Care Tips

As temperatures begin to cool and leaves fall, autumn brings ideal conditions to care for your lawn. Before thinking about dusting off that snowblower, here are a few tips to ensure your lawn will be beautiful next spring.

Lay Sod. If you’ve been waiting to lay sod, now is the time to do so. Cool temperatures and regular rainfall allows sod to retain moisture and root quickly. Since we are experiencing a rather hot fall so far, plan to install sod on an overcast day to avoid stress on the plant. Prepare your soil by removing debris on the surface and filling in any small holes. Use a rake to loosen the soil and add any topsoil you may need. Apply the sod in a brick-like pattern, using a utility knife to fit the sod together tightly. Once the sod is in place water it immediately. Typically, it takes sod 2-3 weeks to root completely; avoid mowing until roots are strong, approximately 14 days after installation.

Let your soil breathe. Aerate your existing lawns in the cooler fall season to reap the benefits year round. Aeration creates small holes into the soil, either by using a spike or a machine to remove a core of grass and soil from the lawn. Benefits of aerating are: stronger grass roots, reduced water runoff, improved air exchange between the soil, and less susceptibility to disease. Increase root growth by allowing your grass to breath and minimizing thatch build up by aerating prior to applying a fall fertilizer.

Apply fall fertilizer. While many homeowners may think fertilizer should be applied in the spring, fall is an ideal time to refresh your lawn before going dormant in the winter. Fall fertilization will assist in storing food and ensuring strong roots throughout the winter, and greener grass after the spring thaw. Apply fertilizer around the first week in October for best results.

Purchase sod and winterizing fertilizer from B&B Hoffman Sod Farms in Elk River. To learn more about us and products we offer, visit us online or call 763-434-6572.

Can You Lay Sod in the August Heat?

Is it practical to put sod down in August? Absolutely! Sod can be installed in August when it’s hot and dry, however, you will need to be very diligent on watering. For an established yard, Kentucky Bluegrass is resilient and will go dormant if not watered properly. Because of its resiliency, it should come back once you get the water going again. However, you may see weeds trying to creep in.

The season at B&B Hoffman Sod Farms will continue into November, weather permitting, so if watering is an issue, September and October are also great times to lay sod due to the cooler temperatures and occasional rain. If you do lay sod in August, water at least once a day for 8 days (unless it rains, then that is a day of watering). After 8 days, the grass will tell you when it needs water by looking a little blueish in color. Be very mindful of this and get water on it right away.

Before you lay the sod, prepare the soil by removing twigs, stones and other debris larger than a golf ball. Fill in low areas with good quality topsoil. It’s easy to add to the soil when it is bare, so take advantage of the opportunity if needed. Break up soil clumps that are larger than 2 inches in diameter and smooth the soil with a stiff garden rake.

If you have the opportunity, lay sod on a cool, overcast day to minimize plant stress. If you lay sod in the heat of summer, call some friends to help get the sod down in a hurry and have a little fun along the way. Stagger rolls in a brick like pattern and have seams tight together without overlapping. A utility knife works best for cutting the sod rolls.

Once an area of sod is in place where you can water it without getting wet, turn on the sprinklers. Moisten the soil to a depth of 4 inches or until you can lift the sod and see that the water has penetrated through the sod and saturated the ground underneath. After 8-10 days gently tug at the sod, if you feel a little resistance, then you know the roots are starting to anchor in the soil and it is safe to mow. Mowing stimulates root growth; therefore, you want to mow around the 10 day mark.

To learn more about the Kentucky Bluegrass that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms grows and other products we offer, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com or call 763-434- 6572.

5 Reasons to Choose Sod over Seed

If you’re dealing with a yard that is dirt or a lawn on its last legs, you might be weighing the pros and cons of sodding versus seeding. You may already know that seeding will save you money in the short term but the fact is, it will cost you extra time while potentially not saving you as much money as you expect. It is very labor-intensive and can go sideways easily if you’re not diligent. 

Five main reasons you should choose sod over seed:

Rapid Growth. Overseeding takes a full growing season to establish, but sod establishes within a couple of weeks and doesn’t have to deal with some of the pitfalls over overseeding. 

Instant Lawn. One of the best aspects of sod is that it provides an instant lush green lawn. Within a few hours, turfgrass sod transforms a yard from bare soil to a living carpet of grass with mature density and a solid root system that looks great instantly.

Environment Friendly. Turf grass sod cleans the air and helps recharge our groundwater supply. Grass blades take in carbon dioxide and the worst atmospheric pollutants and gives back pure oxygen making it one of nature’s finest, least expensive filters, working to improve the environment.

Resistant to Weeds. Sod is excellent at outcompeting weeds due to being pre-established and carefully managed. The grass grown at B&B Hoffman Sod Farm is fertilized regularly and irrigated as necessary to produce beautiful, strong grass that withstands unsightly problems such as weeds.

Weather Resistant. The other main problem with overseeding is that it is vulnerable to inclement weather. High winds and heavy rains can completely destroy your freshly-laid seed before it has a chance to begin establishing, wasting your time and money in the blink of an eye. Because sod is fully mature the day it’s installed, it can immediately control erosion and flooding even on steeply sloped areas, as it sinks down roots rapidly.

If you have a yard renovation on your mind or sod need for 2022, give B&B Hoffman Sod Farm a call for a quote on high-quality Kentucky Bluegrass Sod. Each piece is grown in uniform thickness and bred to be dark green, soft, and durable to withstand harsh climates. We are proud to grow about 600 acres of natural grass every year, available for delivery or pick up, in big and small rolls for any size job.

Contact B&B Hoffman Sod Farms For Your Next Lawn Project

As you gear up for summer and plan hours of outdoor entertaining, contact B&B Hoffman Sod Farms located in Elk River, MN for all your sod needs. From fixing a small patch of lawn to installing a whole new turf, our seasoned professionals are here to help.

Our family sod farm grows, harvests, and delivers the highest quality Kentucky Bluegrass Turf in Minnesota. We are committed to growing a superior product at a low price, and we pride ourselves on impeccable customer service.

B&B Hoffman Sod offers convenient delivery services to homes and businesses to fulfill your sod needs. Our experienced drivers will strategically place pallets of sod around the yard for you, making installation easy. All turfgrass delivered in Minnesota is cut within 24 hours of delivery, ensuring the best possible product.

Are you ready to transform your lawn into lush green grass, with mature density and a solid root system? Within a few hours, sod transforms a yard from bare soil to a living carpet of grass with mature density and a solid root system that looks great instantly. Our Kentucky Bluegrass sod is easy to install and maintain and will leave your yard with a beautiful instant upgrade! 

To see more photos or learn more about the products B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit us online at bbhoffmansod.com, or call 763-434- 6572.

 

Everything to Know about Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the most beautiful varieties of lawn grass out there. When given its preferred growing conditions, this grass produces a dense, lush, green lawn that lives up to its reputation. KBG is known as one of the more durable varieties on the market, making it a perfect choice for yards with high traffic, pets, or kids. Here is a guide on what to expect when choosing Kentucky Bluegrass sod for your lawn.

Physical properties of Kentucky Bluegrass. KBG is a cool-season lawn grass that is a great fit for northern climates with warm to hot summers but cold winters. It is a premier sod choice for Minnesota homeowners due to these properties. The easiest method of identifying KBG is to look at the tip of the blade of grass. Each KBG blade resembles the shape of a canoe boat, where it is tapered off at the top and bottom.

Kentucky Bluegrass Maintenance. 

  • Watering and drought tolerance: Bluegrass has the natural ability to survive several weeks or longer of drought. KBG has a shallow root system, so if it doesn’t rain, it will need to be watered a couple of times a week during the summer to keep it green.
  •  Fertilization: Use a blend of fertilizer similar to 5-14-42 during the summer (every 6 weeks after sod is installed), and when you winterize your yard use 20-10-10.
  • Mowing: Start mowing your sod 7-10 days after installation at 2-2 1/2 inches.
  • Weed prevention: Spray with a weed killer as you see fit. If you see weeds starting, take care of them as soon as possible to prevent spreading.

Have more questions? Reach out. We are available to help answer your questions regarding Kentucky Bluegrass or sod! Just give us a call or send us a message. We are committed to growing a superior product at a low price, and we pride ourselves on impeccable customer service.

Visit B&B Hoffman Sod at the Northern Green Expo

As the snow blankets our sod farm, our focus shifts from growing and selling sod, to connecting with our commercial partners and planning for the season ahead. For over 20 years we have participated in the Northern Green Expo, a trade show held each January at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This unique event is presented by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, bringing together a wide variety of professional outdoor resources to educate and network.

Held January 11th-13th, 2022, attendees can take part in training modules and social events, meet with exhibitors, listen to keynote speakers, and showcase trades related to outdoor supplies or maintenance. Supported by major industry leaders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it is a great opportunity to learn more about landscaping, nurseries, ground maintenance, and anything related to planning and living in the warmer weather months.

More than 6,000 people visit the Northern Green Expo every year to network and eagerly plan the next growing season. If you are interested in learning more, please click here for additional details on the event. Stop by booth 706 if you are around to meet our family and discuss the best sod options for your spring plans.

B&B Hoffman Sod is currently closed for the season but we are always available to answer questions at 763-434-6572. We hope to see you at the Northern Green Expo in January!

 

Prevent Winter Damage from Moles & Voles

Moles and voles don’t hibernate over the winter, they simply dig deeper tunnels to escape the cold. The Minnesota snow cover combined with our tendency to go outside less often in the winter makes their tunnels much harder to see; giving the illusion of hibernation. You can avoid the nasty surprise of tunneled lawns in the spring and prevent winter damage from burrowing pests by taking a few precautionary steps this fall.

Signs of Mole or Vole Damage

Determining which pesty pest is tearing up your lawn will dictate which preventative measures you should take.

  • Mole Damage Signs: 
    • Mole hills: mounds of dirt that mark where a mole excavated dirt.
    • Feeding tunnels: long tracks of slightly raised earth.
  • Vole Damage Signs: 
    • Tracks of dead grass: voles will eat some grass roots, and roots from flowers and veggies.
    • Small holes in the ground: small holes about an inch across, in your yard, or at the base of shrubs indicate a surfacing vole.

Three Ways to Prevent Mole and Vole Damage During the Winter

  • Don’t mulch too early: mulch is a great tool when you’re trying to protect plants from cold weather. Mulch is also, unfortunately, popular with voles. Instead of putting mulch down in early fall, wait until the first frost to apply your mulch. Waiting a little bit may convince an interested vole to set up home somewhere else for the winter.
  • Install barriers: common barriers include lining the bottom and sides of your beds with hardware cloth to prevent moles and voles from getting in from the ground.
  • Apply repellents: Applying an effective mole and vole repellent is a safe and reliable way to prevent winter damage. You can find repellents at your local lawn and garden center. Cedar oil is also another option to drive harmful bugs away from your lawn in addition to controlling the moles and vole’s food source.

We hope these tips will help protect your lawn this winter but if spring appears and you find your grass damaged from moles or voles, reach out to B&B Hoffman sod for low-maintenance kentucky bluegrass that is resistant to disease! Whether you need to replace a small section of grass or your whole lawn, we can help!

Installing Sod in the Fall? It’s The Perfect Time!

A common misconception is that sod must be laid during the typical growing season. It makes sense… we usually plant everything else in the spring. Even though you can successfully lay sod in the spring and summer, installing sod in the fall actually achieves great results. There are a couple of factors to consider when installing sod in the fall.

Fall means cooler temperatures.

The fall months bring cooler temperatures and increased precipitation which is ideal for completing installing sod as there is less risk of your sod overheating or drying out. You still have to water regularly, but you may need to use less water as with the cooler temperatures, the water isn’t evaporating as quickly. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have success in the hotter, dryer months of the summer. You simply need to be more diligent with your watering and maintenance. In other words, if you are planning on going to the cabin every weekend in the summer, it is probably best to wait for the fall to sod your lawn!

Fall sod installation timing.

As long as we are harvesting our sod fields, you can install it in your yard. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to watering your sod. If you are blowing out your irrigation system, you will still need a water source (think garden hose & sprinklers). If it’s JUST before winter, give it a good soaking and if it freezes it will go dormant and take off in the spring. However, if it warms up again you may need to drag out the hose/sprinklers. This usually occurs in the late October/early November timeframe. We do harvest sod up until the ground is frozen or the snow is too deep, but the rule of thumb is to try and have your project done by the end of October as our Minnesota November weather is very unpredictable.

Fall is a great time to lay sod. Follow these steps when installing and caring for your sod in the fall, and don’t forget to fertilize your lawn (mid-October) with a 20-10-10. If you have any questions regarding the installation of sod feel free to contact us at 763-434-6572.

Maintaining Your Lawn in a Minnesota Drought

Maintaining a lush lawn can be a chore during these long heatwaves- even more so if there are watering restrictions. Your once beautiful green lawn may now be crunchy and brown. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your lawn healthy during this Minnesota drought.

Mowing during a drought: We suggest avoiding mowing during a drought. Your lawn is likely under stress and will have a hard time recovering from mowing. If you must mow be sure to set your deck higher, to around 3 inches. Taller grass will be able to shade its fragile root systems and keep the soil moist.  Avoid mowing areas that have a “dead” look to them. 

Be sure your mower blades are sharp. When a lawn is cut with sharp blades, healing takes place quicker. Dull blades tear the plant rather than cutting it, which leads to more damage and stress to the grass.

Watering your lawn in a heatwave: A lot of Minnesota is under a watering ban so be sure to check your local regulations before getting your sprinkler out. If you’re allowed to water be sure to get started before 8 AM; optional water times are 5:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The cooler temperatures help slow evaporation and minimize extra stress on your grass. Water enough to wet the roots and don’t water again until the grass has dried.

If you are under a watering ban prepare for the next rain by setting up a rainwater collection system. For every inch of rain, you can collect more than 500 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet of the catchment area. There are commercial systems and DIY options- do some research to find which would be the best option for you.

B&B Hoffman Sod Farms grows natural Kentucky Bluegrass sod which is well-known for its ability to maintain its beauty and adapt to changing temperatures and watering practices. Starting out with a strong, low-maintenance lawn like Kentucky Bluegrass will make a big difference when drought or poor conditions strike. To learn more about summer lawn care and the products that B&B Hoffman Sod Farms offers, visit them online at bbhoffmansodev.wpengine.com or call 763-434- 6572.