The Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario Green Certification Program was created with the intent to produce a third-party auditing program of best management practices for nursery sod production in Ontario. The objective of Green Certification is to increase the level of professionalism in the sod industry and promote awareness of the sustainable practices used by sod growers to consumers and industry peers. This certification program is the first of its kind for sod producers in North America. With assistance from a consulting company specializing in grower certification programs, a set of best management practices standards was created for the Ontario sod industry. The standards are specific to the sod industry including water management, nutrient management, pesticide use, soil condition and erosion, record keeping and documentation, worker safety and standard operating procedures. This strictly voluntary program provides assurance to consumers that NSGA Green Certified members meet or exceed industry standards in sod production. In addition, the program promotes a safe workplace environment, recycling and community relations. In order to receive certification, all sites owned or leased by a grower must participate in an independent third-party on-site audit. Upon certification, each operation must submit an annual report and conduct an on-site verification audit a minimum of once every three years. The NSGA is committed to improvement in the best management standards and keeping the standards up to date with changes in provincial regulations and current environmental concerns.
Why Most Lawns Are Sodded
IS A SODDED LAWN LESS WORK?
Yes, a professional sod lawn needs no special care because it is a healthy mature lawn when installed, whereas a sprigged or seeded lawn requires years of nurturing to reach maturity. Sod is grown under expert supervision from either top quality seed blends or certified hybrid sprigs. After it’s been installed, just water, mow and fertilize your sod lawn as needed and it will remain a healthy, green carpet of grass, requiring very little maintenance.
WHERE CAN I USE SOD?
Sod can be installed practically anywhere, even where seeding is impossible or too costly. Sod is often used to stop soil erosion and water pollution on slopes where rain would wash away both seed and soil.
Sod is available in a variety of grass blends to suit various needs such as climate, amount of usage, sun and shade conditions.
CAN SOD WITHSTAND TRAFFIC?
Certainly! Sod establishes itself quickly. In a couple of weeks, it’s ready for full use. It creates the perfect surface for lawn games and family outdoor living. With today’s various blends of hardy grasses, sod is chosen for parks, golf courses, athletic fields, as well as residential homes and business parks.
WHEN CAN I INSTALL SOD?
Sod has revolutionized the lawn business! Now you can install a sod lawn anytime during the year when the ground can be tilled. There is no need to wait for the “right” season to put in your lawn.
IS SOD A GOOD INVESTMENT?
Yes — it’s the only way to go — from bare soil to lush, green lawn in just hours. Yet, it’s relatively inexpensive to use. In the few hours it takes to install your sod lawn, your property value increases significantly and even more in aesthetic value.
HOW DOES SOD AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT?
With today’s ecological concerns, many more people are considering sod for its environmental benefits. Willowlee is Green Certified with the NSGA ensuring that our farming practices meet or exceed environmental requirements.
Sod cools and cleans the atmosphere by reflecting the sun’s heat and absorbing noises, carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. It releases valuable oxygen and moisture into the air we breath. As it grows, sod silently contributes to a healthier environment.
Sod lawns meet the needs of today’s fast-paced, demanding lifestyle.
How is sod related to our lifestyle?
Today we expect convenience, efficiency and quality in our products. Buildings are going up almost overnight and attractive landscaping is installed in hours. Why wait 1 or 2 years for a new lawn to struggle to maturity when you can have a beautiful sod lawn complimenting your buildings right now. That high quality sod lawn can be conveniently installed in hours, at a surprisingly low cost.
Benefits of Turf Grass
OUR PRECIOUS PLANET
Being A True Environmentalist Begins Right Under Our Feet
Turfgrass — Functional, Recreational & Aesthetic
The earth has been good to us, but we haven’t always been good to it.
While industry and technology have provided jobs and goods to make life easier, the effect on the environment has been substantial. But we can help restore this precious earth with something as simple as turfgrass — the earth’s living skin.
The U.S. Congress has acknowledged these positive benefits to our environment.
“Turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect, reducing energy consumption and contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends.”
Scientific research has documented the many benefits of turfgrass to our environment.
Our turfgrass lawns, parks and open areas:
• Provide a natural, comfortable, and safe setting for fun and games.
• Release oxygen and cool the air.
• Control pollution and reduce soil erosion.
• Purify and replenish our water supply.
The satisfaction of creating beauty within the landscape can be rewarding for you and the environment. With turfgrass sod, the rewards are practically immediate.
• A well maintained lawn and landscape can enhance the “curb appeal” adding as much as 15 percent to the value of a home.
Today’s improved turfgrass varieties are very effective in reducing pollution.
• Turfgrass traps and removes dust and dirt from the air.
• 2,500 square feet of lawn absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.
Nature’s Air Conditioner
Another benefit that everyone enjoys, usually without notice, is turfgrass’ tremendous cooling effect.
• On a hot summer day, lawns will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil.
• The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity.
• The cooling effect of irrigated turf reduces the amount of fuel that must be burned to provide the electricity which powers the air conditioners.
• Watered when the grass plant needs it, turfgrass will very efficiently and effectively use almost every drop.
A Natural Filter
Runoff water in urban areas carries many pollutants.
• Turfgrass acts as a natural filter, reducing pollution by purifying the water passing through its root zone.
The clean gentle strength of turfgrass is the most cost-effective method for controlling wind and water erosion.
• A healthy sodded lawn absorbs rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field and four times better than a hay field.
• A sodded lawn will absorb greater amounts of rain than a seeded lawn; even after three years of growth.
Fun & Games
The soft resilient surface of turfgrass is the safest and least expensive place to play.
• For backyard ball games or the Super Bowl, athletes of all sizes prefer the green cushion of turfgrass.
• Turfgrass is the only place for putting, picnics or just plain relaxing.
Our Mental Health
Turfgrass quietly adds to the beauty of our lives and even our mental and physical health.
• Doctors have shown that people recover faster in a hospital when given a landscape view, rather than seeing only the walls of adjoining buildings.
. . . a continuing source of oxygen and cool air.
. . . a cleansing answer to our environment.
. . . a source of beauty and comfort.
With the benefits of turfgrass working their wonders for us, we will be able to share a beautiful and healthy planet with our future generations.
Above Ground . . . Grass plants are 70 to 80 % water • Grass clippings are 90% water
• Grass clippings contain 4 percent nitrogen, 2% potassium and 0.5% phosphorus
• A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain: 6 grass plants per square inch, 850 plants per square foot, 8.5 million plants total.
Below Ground . . . 90% of the weight of the grass is in its roots • A single grass plant has 387 miles of root
• There are 329,000 miles of root per square foot • 3 billion miles of roots in a 10,000 square foot lawn
• Turfgrass sod is a superior form of erosion control, with tests documenting:
• A dense lawn is 6 times more effective than a wheat field and 4 times better than a hay field at absorbing rainfall
• Sediment losses from sodded areas will be 8 to 15 times less for tested man-made erosion control materials and 10 times less than for a straw covered area.
• Runoff from a sodded area will take 28 to 46 times longer than for five popular erosion control materials.
• A 50 by 50 foot lawn (2,500 square feet) releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and perosyacetyle nitrate.