Sand-Based Sod versus Muck-Based Sod
Sand-based sod is just that – sod based out of a sandy soil. But what in the world is muck? Muck is a dark, loomy soil that is found in the southern part of the state, around the banks of Lake Okeechobee & south into the Everglades.
As a whole, Florida’s soil is predominately sand-based. In fact, Florida’s state soil is actually called “Myakka Fine Sand” – no, Myakka’s not just a small town, it’s actually our state soil! Myakka is described as a gray, fine soil (which is mostly sand), is only found in Florida, and covers 1.5 million acres of our great state.
Contrarily, once you move farther south into the state & get closer to Okeechobee area, you run into muck soil. Muck soil is similar in looks to what you may find in northern states. Because of this, many Florida Transplants (snowbirds) think it’s better to have a muck-based sod, since they are used to their dark soil from up north.
The fact of the matter is, while we don’t think muck sod is a terrible choice – for our central Florida area, it isn’t necessarily the best. It’s always best to keep a living organism (such as sod) in the same environment that it is used to and has thrived in. For instance: you would not want to take muck-based sod and install it in our sandy soil that we have here in the greater Tampa Bay area.
You may wonder what will happen if you plant muck-based sod in your sandy yard. The answer to that is pretty simple: it may not necessarily die, however, it will not be the healthiest possible lawn. Remember our post a few weeks back about how strong roots = strong grass? Well, muck-based sod will not grow roots deep into a sandy soil, as it has grown accustomed to the nutrients and environment of the muck that it was grown in. You want your lawn’s roots to be as deep as possible for the greatest possible health.
If you’ve been quoted for sod recently, and wondered why some sod companies quoted you for a 400 square foot pallet, whereas others may have quoted a 500 square foot pallet, that is because sand-based sod comes in 400 square foot pallets, whereas muck is in 500 square foot pallets. This is because muck soil is much lighter in weight than our Floridian sandy soil, so will sit better on a pallet without breaking it, and will be easier to transport and lay.
The moral of the story here is the best type of soil for you will be based on what type of soil your property is. The more similar the soil, the better chance your sod has to acclimate and thrive.