Thursday, February 22, 2024

How to find a good kikuyu turf supplier?

Turf grass is an integral part of many landscapes, from residential lawns to commercial properties and sports fields. With many types and grades of turf on the market, finding a reputable supplier is key to getting a high-quality product that meets your needs and budget. This article provides tips on how to research, evaluate and select the best kikuyu turf supplier like Buffalo Turf for your next turf grass project.

Types of turf grass: 

There are several major categories of turf grass to consider:

  • Cool season grasses like tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass are green in spring and fall but go dormant in summer. They perform well in northern climates.
  • Warm season grasses like Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, St. Augustine grass and buffalo grass thrive in hot, southern climates and go dormant in winter.
  • Specialty or hybrid grasses offer qualities like shade, drought and salt tolerance for niche applications.

Key things to look for in a turf supplier

The ideal turf supplier will:

  • Carry quality products from reputable growers
  • Use rigorous testing standards to vet grass varieties
  • Employ sound harvesting, storage and transportation methods
  • Provide technical guidance on site prep, installation and care
  • Offer flexible customer service and warranties
  • Have several years of industry experience
  • Vet potential suppliers thoroughly against these criteria before purchasing.

Research potential suppliers

Cast a wide net when researching suppliers in your area. Good places to start include:

Industry associations’ member directories – Legitimate suppliers often belong to state/national turfgrass associations or growers’ councils. Review member lists to find vetted companies.

  • Online reviews – Consumer review sites offer candid customer feedback on suppliers’ products, service, pricing and more. Take negative critiques with a grain of salt.
  • Social media – Many vendors use Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to share photos/info on their turf varieties, projects and company. Peruse posts to gauge quality.
  • Industry trade shows – If possible, attend local trade shows to connect with suppliers in person, examine products and ask questions.

As you research, compile a list of 3-5 top contenders for further evaluation.

Questions to ask potential suppliers

Thoroughly vet finalists by asking questions like:

  • Where do you source your turf grass varieties? Can you provide grower certifications?
  • What standards and tests do you employ to validate grass quality and purity?
  • Do you have different tiers of turf (premium, builder grade, etc.)? How do they differ in quality?
  • What logistics are involved in harvesting, storing and delivering turf?
  • Can you provide technical guidance on site preparation, installation and ongoing turf care?
  • Do you offer warranties? What is covered and for how long?
  • Can you provide 3-5 local customer references along with photos of previous installations?

Delivery and installation services

Choose a vendor that offers reliable delivery and quality installation:

  • Logistics – Ask how far in advance turf needs to be ordered. Will it arrive on pallets for easy off-loading? Confirm if crews use proper equipment to move turf without tearing or bruising.
  • Timing – Turf should be installed shortly after delivery, not left to sit. Discuss preferred timing for your climate.
  • Site preparation – Crews should remove old grass, grade and amend soil per guidelines before laying new turf.
  • Seamless installation – Turf should be laid tight with no gaps, seams staggered in a bricklike pattern for good coverage. Topdressing and starter fertilizer aid rooting.
  • Clean-up policy – Supplier should haul away extra turf, scraps, wrappers etc., leaving site tidy pre-watering.

Pricing and contracts

When comparing bids from finalists, look closely at:

  • Overall cost – Get quotes for turf cost per square foot/yard, delivery fees, site prep and installation. Beware unusually lowball bids.
  • Payment terms – Standard policy is 30% down, 60% upon delivery and 10% after acceptable installation/inspection.
  • Hidden fees – Watch for add-ons like fuel surcharges, overtime labor costs or price hikes after contract signing. Ask for guaranteed, all-inclusive pricing.

Before final sign-off, re-review contract fine print so there are no surprises down the road.

Ongoing communication

Stay engaged with your turf supplier during grow-in and beyond:

  • Provide photos and updates so they can monitor establishment progress and address any issues under warranty.
  • Consult on optimal watering, mowing, fertilization and other care for lushness.
  • For future upkeep or upgrades, consider a service contract for preferential customer pricing and service.

Concluding thoughts

Like any major landscaping investment, finding the best turf supplier takes diligence – but the reward is years of emerald green enjoyment. By thoroughly vetting grower reputations, grass quality, service reliability and more, you can partner with a turf pro who not only meets specifications, but exceeds expectations for your perfect grass. Reach out today to get the ball rolling.