Super-Sod's New Sustainable Site
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One-of-its kind GREEN Office and Irrigation Demonstration Gardens in Middle Georgia.
There's a beautiful new building and gardens on Sod Farm Road in Fort Valley, Georgia. Super-Sod's new office building is a handsome dark gray, but the building and grounds are truly “green” in construction and purpose. Soon after Super-Sod vice president Ben Copeland Jr, visited Israel to study water use with a Georgia Department of Agriculture trade mission, he moved ahead with the new project. With the combined knowledge of old and new technologies—such as cisterns and irrigation equipment—the new sales center and surrounding gardens are purposed to serve as an educational center and model for smart water use.
Green Office Building
Irrigation Demonstration Gardens
Customer Parking Lot Paved in Drivable Grass
Drivable Grass is a new sustainable landscaping product that combines pavers and turf grass to create a water permeable system. The system prevents water runoff associated with regular pavement and reduces the heat island effect experienced in normal parking lots.
Butterfly Roof and Cisterns for Stormwater Collection
Georgia is very blessed with rainfall compared with most of the world. Ben's view of water use is that Georgia doesn't have a supply problem; the state does, however, have a rainfall collection and smart use problem. With that in mind, the new building's roof is designed to slope inward toward itself in order to catch more rainfall than a normal roof—it's called a butterfly roof due to its profile (as seen in the pictures).
This roof efficiently catches rainfall and directs the water into gutters that drain into two enormous cisterns located on either side of the building. The cisterns can hold 16,900 gallons of total rain water; this collected rainwater supplies all the water to the surrounding gardens—the gardens are connected to neither city water nor well water. On top of that, the gardens are not planted with drought-tolerant plants as a criteria. This is not a risky situation: the system is designed to collect enough water to carry the gardens through even the worst drought. An example of the numbers: 1” of rain captures 3000 gallons from the roof and the worst drought on record in the area involved 1” of rain over 6 weeks.
Smart Irrigation Technology and Practice
Coupled with the collection of rainwater provided by the butterfly roof and cisterns, the gardens surrounding the office building employ efficient sprinkler heads, smart meters and timers, as well as irrigation mats that irrigate the ground from below.
The goal in using these irrigation technologies is to reduce as much evaporation (or water loss during irrigation) as possible and to take it a step further by irrigating based on evapotranspiration rates (or the amount of water plants need based upon the weather). How this is done is by irrigating from below and minimizing evaporation while the irrigation controller accesses the Internet to read current evapotranspiration rates. When evapotranspiration is low, the gardens don't get watered because they don't need the water as much as when rates are high—reducing the water use by 50% at times.
Amended Clay Soil with Soil3
Georgia red clay is an infamous soil – compact, acidic, low in organic mater, and with extremes of soggy to parched. The gardens are highly amended with Super-Sod’s product, Soil3 organic humus compost. Soil3 improves soil structure, adds nutrients and soil microbes, neutralizes pH, and improves drainage while aiding the native soil to hold onto water more efficiently.
Read more about our new Sustainable site and the featured materials and products:
You're welcome to look around the Irrigation Demonstration Gardens on your own during our office hours or call ahead to schedule a guided tour.
Super-Sod's Middle Georgia Farm, Store, & Irrigation Demonstration Gardens
158 Sod Farm Road
Ft. Valley, GA 31030
Toll Free: 800-535-1320
Monday-Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday: 8am to 11am
Contact any of our Stores to order or schedule delivery of our products featured in the garden (such as sod, grass seed, Drivable Grass, and Soil3 organic humus compost).