28
Sep

FAQ About Fall Overseeding of Your Warm Season Grasses

A couple weeks ago I put out a post on overseeding and now that we’re through September it’s time to get the process started. Click here for the previous post on overseeding for full instructions. In today’s blog I wanted to pass along some of the most frequently asked questions during this time of the year.

When is the best time to start overseeding?
Ideally overseeding should be done when nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 60’s. Typically this will be the month of October. Obviously there will be some spikes and lower than normal temperatures during this period but anytime during October is good.

How low do I need to scalp the grass prior to seeding?
The height of the grass isn’t as important as opening the turf canopy. The shorter you mow the grass, the tighter the turf canopy will be which will result in the need to verticut more aggressively. I recommend not going lower than ½”. There is no need to take the lawn to the dirt or you will cause long term problems to the grass plant. Read the rest of this entry »

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18
Sep

California and Arizona Sod Tips: It’s ALMOST Time to Overseed Your Lawn!

With the recent heavy rains and slightly cooler temperatures no doubt people are thinking about overseeding their California and Arizona lawns. While the calendar says September 18th and you will surely see people overseeding, I suggest you wait a few weeks. Follow my California and Arizona sod tips for a beautiful lawn. Overseeding does not need to be a one day process. You can begin the process a little early. Then, when temperatures are in the 60’s at night, you will just need to give your lawn one last haircut, drop the seed and begin watering.

Preparing to Overseed

Prepping for overseed is often a large ordeal. By starting the process gradually you can eliminate the headaches associated with trying to do it all in one afternoon. I want to reiterate something I have been saying for the past few years. The height of the grass is not associated with a quality overseed. In other words scalping the grass down to the dirt does not guarantee good results. Opening up the turf canopy does.

The shorter you mow your lawn the tighter the leaf blades become. This makes it harder to get the ryegrass seed into the plant. If the seed is lying on the surface it will be slow to germinate and much of the seed will be lost. The seed needs a base to grow out of. Getting inside the grass plant allows for perfect moisture, heat, and a solid growing medium. By looking at my last statement you can now understand why I say without a good warm season grass base (used on popular California and Arizona lawns) you will most likely have a poor ryegrass season. The seed will establish much faster inside a healthy grass stand than it will on bare dirt.

Arizona Sod

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24
Aug

Summer Tips for Your Sod Lawn in Arizona and California

Summer is wrapping up, the kids are heading back to school, and I’m sure you’re ready to come out of hibernation. While the summer heat is far from over in Arizona and California, it’s starting to become tolerable outside. With the slightly cooler mornings it’s time to get back outside and get your lawn ready for fall. Most people start thinking about overseeding their California and Arizona sod in September, but ideally you wouldn’t start the process until October when nighttime temperatures get into the 60’s. Between now and then there are some important steps you need to do to get your lawn ready and to save some headaches down the road.

Between May and September you probably noticed your lawn has grown at twice the rate it does during the winter months. Warm season grasses love the warm, wet weather. Most people thought the hot weather would keep the grass from growing well, but remember warm season grasses optimal growing temperatures are between 90-105 degrees. During this season any of your weaker areas should have filled in with the warm season grasses runners. These spots can be slow to fill in during the dry, hot days but as soon as the humidity kicks in the grass really takes off. If you still have large open spots I would suggest picking up a few rolls of sod and patching them prior to overseed. You don’t want to seed directly into the soil.

lawn green

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02
Dec

Winter Tips for Your Lawn

Cold temperatures have arrived in California and Arizona, and those of you with overseeded sod may begin to see your lawn go in a little shock. One of the things you will notice first is bermudagrass going dormant in the turf causing small quarter sized yellow spots in your lawn. This is nothing to be concerned about as today we will discuss getting those spots to fill in. If you didn’t overseed your lawn for the winter it’s most likely dormant at this point and you can sit back and let your lawn sleep for a few months.

I’m sure many of you have seen the small yellow spots over the years in your overseeded lawn. The question is what is causing it and what can you do about it? First, this isn’t something to be concerned about. It’s actually a sign that you had a very healthy lawn going into the overseed season. Since many people overseed in late September/early October you’re still fighting with warm season growth. By supplying water and fertilizer to overseed the bermudagrass continues to grow and has a tendency to out compete your newly seeded ryegrass. When you’re overseeded lawn first start growing it looks immaculate, but it’s good to remember some of this is bermudagrass. The bermudagrass/ryegrass combination looks incredible and when it’s growing in it can be tough to distinguish the two.

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01
Nov

Fall California and Arizona Lawn Tips!

It appears fall is never going to arrive as we’ve hit 90+ degrees twenty-three days in a row in the Phoenix area. The nighttime temperatures have slowly begun to cool but surprisingly they have yet to fall into the optimum range to overseed. For those who may have thought they were too late to drop seed, you still have a couple weeks to get your lawn going. Most people have already overseeded their lawns so I want to give some tips to assist your ryegrass while your warm season grass continues to grow.

If you overseeded anytime during the month of October I’m sure your lawn looks absolutely beautiful right now. It’s important to keep in mind that some of your grass is probably bermudagrass that bounced back from being scalped. How could this happen you ask? With daytime temperatures in the 90’s and nights in the 70’s it has allowed for an extended growing season. Many people including our sod farms use a turfgrass regulator such as Primo prior to scalping to help keep the bermudagrass in check. While this does help with a lot of the grow back it can’t prevent everything from coming back to life. Now that the ryegrass is up and growing strong it’s also a good time to put down a first or second application of Primo or other growth regulator. These products will greatly increase the density of your ryegrass and keep the bermudagrass from growing back. Why do you want to keep the bermudagrass out? If the bermudagrass is actively growing it is preventing your ryegrass from filling in completely. This is usually first observed after the first frost and the lawn will have small quarter size dormant turf spots throughout the turf. This is not a big deal as the ryegrass will eventually fill it in but something to keep in mind.

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22
Aug

Preparing Your Lawn for Fall Transition

We’re halfway through August and the temperatures are still soaring well into the hundreds. As I sit here ordering my ryegrass seed for the farms I figured it was a good time to put out a short blog on preparing your lawn for the fall.

The hot/humid weather is ideal for warm season grasses, especially with sod in Arizona and California. If you had any weak areas in your lawn you saw one of two things happen over the last couple weeks. You either saw the weak areas begin to grow in size or you saw your problem areas fill in as the stolons moved across the open ground.

If your weak areas are getting larger you should take a close look at your irrigation system. Sometimes it appears sprinklers are getting great coverage but when you put out bowls to check for water volume you often find that area is being missed. One of the most common areas for this is right in front of your pop up sprinklers. That triangular spot right below the sprinkler is the hardest spot to cover on the whole lawn. The easiest way to fix this issue is to put in a dual spray nozzle. These cost around $3-$4 and can be installed in under a minute. Read the rest of this entry »

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05
Nov

Tips On Maintaining Your Non-Overseeded Lawn This Winter

As we move through the fall season many of you will choose the option to forgo overseeding this season to save some water. With the prime growing season behind us you’re going to start to see your lawn start to slow down. The days are becoming shorter and your warm season grass is starting to need less inputs. There are a couple areas where you can cut back this winter to save yourself money. I will go into detail what you need to maintain a non-overseeded lawn during the winter, and go briefly over an overseeded lawn watering and fertilizer schedule.

My first suggestion for those that will not be overseeding is to turn your irrigation clock off except on the day you will be watering. Having your lawn set up to automatically run certain days and times during the fall/winter will cause you to use much more water than your lawn can utilize.

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25
Sep

Fall Overseeding and Your Lawn

The days are getting shorter and the heat is starting to die down a little as we enter the fall season. With fall comes the onset of overseeding in many parts of the country and the West Coast is no different. For those new to overseeding let me give you a brief definition. Overseeding is simply the process of seeding a cool season grass into your warm season turfgrass in order to maintain winter color. This is not a mandatory process if you have grass, but it is one of the options that are out there for homeowners and professionals.

There are a few options during the fall months to take care of your lawn, and without question the most popular is to overseed. Outside of overseeding you have the option of using turf colorant such as Endurant to give your dormant grass a nice green appearance.  Or you can just let your lawn go dormant for the winter months (brown can be the new green!). There is no right or wrong approach, so decide what you would like to do as the temperatures begin to drop over the coming weeks.

If you will be letting your lawn go dormant it will stay fairly green until the first hard frost which is around Thanksgiving and will start to green up in late March. If you have a paspalum lawn you can usually get through the month of December with a green lawn and it will start greening up in early March.

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25
Aug

The Drought and Your Grass. How to Have a Lawn and Benefit the Environment.

Let’s face it–there is little one can do to escape the oppressive August heat in Arizona and California. But, did you know your property with grass is a good 30 degrees cooler than your neighbors’ with rocks, and 50 degrees cooler than the ones with artificial turf?  Natural turfgrass has some major benefits!

I thought I would start off today’s blog by giving you some light at the end of the dark tunnel we call “summer.” While we started the summer off with mild temperatures, they have quickly soared making it one of the hottest summers on record. In order to combat the temperatures most people try to stay inside or crank up their air conditioners, but what we should be doing is looking for ways to control the ambient temperature at our properties. Installing grass is one of the best ways for lowering the temperature around your house, and allowing you to stay cool when you’re out enjoying a beverage by the pool.

I know a lot of people are reading that first paragraph and saying we’re experiencing a historic drought–how can we put in a new lawn? Yes, we are experiencing a drought, but the media would have you believe all the water being used is by lawns and golf courses. How about hotels, pools, washing cars, long showers, fountains, air conditioners, increase in electricity usage, washing dishes, and on and on? It’s easy to blame turfgrass for using too much water, but we need to look ourselves in the mirror each day and realize all need to act responsibly during this drought. Some see grass as a luxury, and golf as a silly game that is using our water supply. What they don’t see are the positive effects turfgrass  has on the environment.

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23
Oct

Watching Your (Overseeded) Grass Grow

By now most of you are probably doing what I do all day and that is watching grass grow. If you threw down seed to overseed your warm season lawn in the last couple weeks it surely has sprouted,and should be filling in quite nicely with our weather.  It always amazes me how quickly ryegrass grows at this time of the year. You can check your lawn before you leave for work in the morning, and by the time you get home it has grown a ½”. It usually takes about 7-10 days to get your lawn really going, but once it does you will start to see the grass tiller and fill in any voids in your lawn.

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