Some in Nashville want a beautiful, picturesque lawn for their landscape, and some do not. It is simply a matter of taste and budget. Regardless of your preference, a recent job that our landscape company installed emphasizes the importance of healthy soil and laying sod at the right time of the year.
Though sod can be laid during most parts of the year, fall and early spring really are optimal times The temps are cool and the moisture is high. Along with proper timing, a good foundation of graded compost and microbiologic fertilizers help get the green stuff off to a booming start. We suggest a 1" under layer of premium compost and granular fertilizer per application rates. Liquid natural fertilizers can also be applied throughout the seasons to help keep turf at its finest.
Dr. Earth and Espoma brands carry some of the best products we've come across. We stress natural at all times in order to feed the soil biology, which in turn, feeds the plant. Yes a few weeds might pop up from time to time, but like life, it is our view that lawns shouldn't be perfect. Too many chemicals and too much frustration is required to maintain.
Fescue, which stays green all year, needs consistent moisture during the summer, and possibly an over seeding in the fall to stay thick. Smart irrigation practices are always encouraged as overwatering can cause just as many issues as under watering. Fescue can perform in the sun, however, part sun conditions really are optimal. Too much shade and the thickness begins to wain.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Zoysia and Bermuda grass. These brown in the winter, however, are very tough and can withstand periods of drought and plenty of foot traffic. These varieties perform well in sunny to part sunny areas. The more shade they receive the more thin they become. As long as the turf is healthy, Zoysia and Bermuda do not require an irrigation system nor fall over seeding or multiple fertilizer applications. Definitely low maintenance. These varieties can be sodded in early spring through summer as they thrive in warmer temperatures. Seeding and plugging are a cheaper option but best practices with these techniques really should be followed as it can be a bit trickier.
Whatever direction you choose to go, it's always good to know best practices. Ensuring your life and turf grow exceptionally well!
Citation: http://www.seedland.com/ (image of Zoysia front lawn)