How We Grow Grass on Our Turf Farms
Growing high-quality grass on our 500 acres of turf farms is a big operation. Even some of our longtime residential and commercial customers don’t necessarily know what goes into it: some might think it’s a simple matter of harvesting what nature gives us. The truth is that when it comes to growing the kind of lush grass turf you would want on your own home’s front lawn, nature needs some help.
How much work goes into running a turf farm selling grass to customers from Vancouver Island to the BC’s Lower Mainland and beyond? Enough to keep six brothers busy all year round, plus plenty of part-time help to handle the busy spring and summer season. It takes the kind of expertise you can only get from doing this for over two decades, hard work and more technology than you’d need to run a small manufacturing plant. With 7 delivery trucks, 6 kinds of harvesters and about 50 major pieces of farming equipment, it’s a big operation – but it’s worth it to get the finished product: lush, high-quality grass turf for you when you need it.
Preparing the Land for Growing Grass Turf
When a visitor comes to one of our turf farms, they’ll see a nice, level surface of with healthy fields of grass growing out to the horizon. No clumps. No big rocks. No dips or puddles. That’s just perfect for growing. Of course, the land doesn’t start out that way.
What you get out of the land depends on what we put into it. We mix in an organic material, like the grass clippings from the previous year, mushroom compost and other organic nutrients. We loosen up the soil and roto-till it to break up the big clumps. It’s hard work – but we’re just getting started.
The next step is packing down the ground so it’s level. This is where some extraordinary technology comes in: we do levelling with the help of GPS. With a tripod set up in the middle of our field, we can see exactly where we need to pay attention, mapping out the entire area. When we know precisely where to pay attention, we go in with a Brillion packer. It’s got crows feet on the front and a single solid roller with little bumps on the back, packing it in so the earth is perfectly set up for seeding.
Now the land is ready to grow grass – but which kind? We actually grow a great range of grass turf and sod products, since the hardy, ‘bouncy’ grass you put on a sports field to stand up to teams of running school kids and 200-lbs high school athletes isn’t necessarily what you need for your front lawn. Our Perennial Rye, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Supreme grasses are grown on sandy loam – ideal soil for growing grass. We use washed sand to create perfect conditions for our Sand Sport, Fescue and Bent grass varietals to help them stand up to even tougher conditions than you typically get beyond your front or back porch.
When we first bought our land, we were looking for these sandy conditions that would set our grass turf apart. Whether the grass is being used for golf courses, school sports fields or residential yards getting professional landscaping treatment, it’s very popular with all of our customers – some of whom have been coming back to us for over 20 years!
Seeding the Turf
Next, we send in the Brillion Seeder. You fill up a hopper with however many bags of seed you need, set how many pounds you want to go per acre and just go up and down the field until you get it covered. It’s a big job – but we don’t cut corners and make sure every section gets the coverage it needs to ensure a lush, uniform look.
Helping the Grass Grow
Grass turf left to the elements can have a rough time, producing patchy fields choked with weeds. That’s not what we want to deliver to our customers who want beautifully-landscaped yards, so we need to give nature some more help.
We use fertilizer to push our crops to where they need to be, weed-free. Over the years, we’ve come up with our own blends of fertilizer that work with our different varieties of grass crops – and we offer those blends to our customers as well, along with the seed we use to germinate our fields.
After seeding, we put down plastic netting to protect the newly planted seed from the elements. We also have to make sure to keep the grass watered – which is a full time job!
With cooperative, sunny weather and a good amount of water, the germinated crop will come up in just 2 to 3 weeks! To keep the grass healthy and strong as it grows, we also mow the grass every two days; the more you mow it, the more clippings go down as natural fertilizer for the healthy grass!
Harvest Time at the Grass Turf Farm
We cut our harvest to order. We don’t have any extra turf just sitting around for months. What you get is freshly-harvested grass turf that’s straight from our fields. Our harvester machines take the turf right off the top and put it into our standard-sized turf rolls. Then we cut it, load it onto the trucks and get it to our customers right when they need it!
From Our Turf Farm to Your Lawn, Sports Field or Commercial Enterprise
When some folks talk about “watching grass grow” and roll their eyes with a yawn, we just chuckle. Out here on the farm, it’s not about just sitting back and letting nature take its course; we’re helping the grass grow with plenty of passion, hard work and team spirit – and that’s just the way we like it.
Learn more about the turf we grow for you on our 500-acre turf farm – and contact us for a FREE quote on your grass turf order