Sod Shortage Grips Texas, Much of Country

The grass hasn’t been so green on the other side of a rough winter and spring, as a major sod shortage grips Texas and much of the country.

April and May are about as busy as it gets for the team at Arlington Grass.

“That’s when everybody gets out in their yards and starts getting everything looking good,” said JW Watson, who owns Arlington Grass.

That’s why it’s frustrating for him to look in front of his shop and see only empty pallets.

“We’re just having a little trouble getting in everything we need,” said Watson.

Sod farmers in Texas and across the country have been hit hard this year by a rough winter and cooler, dryer spring, creating a big shortage of grass.

“It’s really put everything behind schedule,” said Watson.

To make matters worse, many places, like Arlington’s Tierra Verde golf course, experienced grass damage this year they’re not used to seeing – meaning demand is now high for a product that’s not readily available.

“Most of these grasses are between 15 and 20 years old,” said Mark Claburn, Golf Superintendent for the City of Arlington. “We haven’t seen a winter like this in over 30 years. It’s really the first time these grasses are having to go through something like this.”

Claburn stresses most of the course’s greens aren’t in bad shape – but he wants to fix the damage sooner than later.

“We’re hoping in a couple of weeks they’re able to start moving sod,” said Claburn.

Fans of Arlington’s Tails N’ Trails Dog Park are also keeping their fingers crossed. A large section of the area for bigger dogs was scheduled to have its grass replaced last week – but is still waiting for sod. Until it arrives, a smaller, temporary space for large dogs has been set up.

Watson said recent rain and warmer temperatures should help the situation and he’s optimistic his suppliers will be able to ship about large quantities of sod in the coming weeks. But until then, all anyone can do is wait. 

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