06
Mar

Create a Drought Resistant Lawn with these Arizona and California Sods

Drought Resistant Lawn

Hope all you California and Arizona residents stayed dry from all the rain these last few weeks. The good news is, it looks like we’re finally going to get a break from the rain (for now, at least). However, we still have some time before Spring arrives. So, soak up the wet winter weather while you still can, because it won’t last forever.

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15
Jan

El Nino, Drought, and Your Lawn

We have been hearing about El Nino for some time now and it’s finally upon us. To most of us it spells relief that the drought may finally come to an end. We have been battling one of the worst droughts in history the last few years, and snow and rain will allow many to breathe a sigh of relief. By no means are we out of the woods yet as a few days of snow and rain won’t take care of the problem.  It appears the weather models will be correct for this spring. It’s going to be wet spring which will bring back a lot of landscape areas that were put into seasonal dormancy to save water.

As I drove into work this morning I saw two common areas that had their sprinklers running while it was raining. It has been raining for the last four days and it doesn’t appear to be letting up until the weekend. While none of us want to interfere, it is important to let your homeowners association or city know that water is still running in these areas. There is only so much water we can save at our residences, but there are others areas we can step in. Most parks have the irrigation clocks set to run daily, and there is not enough man power to check the areas daily or even weekly. One way to fix this problem is the addition of rain sensors or gauges that attach to the irrigation clock to shut off the sprinklers. I know we can’t go back and fix all the parks that were put in past years, but we can make sure that all new areas are doing everything they can to save water. The majority of people are extremely responsible users of water and we need to encourage others to also use water wisely. 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
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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16
Jun

“Don’t Gravelscape L.A.”

We came across this article that ran in the Los Angeles Times last weekend called Don’t Gravelscape L.A.

They make some GREAT points! Before you consider ripping out your lawn, please read this article and we bet you will change your mind! We are in a drought, and we need to be water savvy. But you can still have a lawn!  Really!

People are starting to panic about their lawns. The Metropolitan Water District is adding $350 million to its lawn removal rebate program and homeowners are scrambling to rip out grass and replace it with something easy and oh-so drought tolerant — gravel or artificial turf. At least one lawn removal contractor promises to do it for free (the company cashes in the rebate).

Drought panic and rebates incentivize too many quick and dirty solutions for our water crisis. All over the city — and especially in park-poor areas, where postage-stamp lawns may be the only relief from pavement — we have to think before we act. Will exchanging a living, breathing yard for a bleak gravelscape save water? Some. But is it the only way? Is it the right way?

gravel

Before you call the gravel truck, here are a few things to consider.
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09
Jun

Spring/Summer Transition and Your Lawn

We all know that transitioning from ryegrass back to a warm season grass is difficult (especially for California and Arizona sod), but throw in some cooler than normal weather and now you have a battle. Every year the producers of ryegrass seed seem to make their seed a little more heat resistant in search of that year round turf. The problem with this is that we’re shortening the growing window of our warm season turf. Not to mention that cool season grasses in the desert areas use much more water than the underlying warm season turf. The solution is to aide your lawn in transition, and to get your lawn free and clear of ryegrass in the next couple weeks.

Before I go into techniques to remove ryegrass I want to make a couple points about how the average lawn looks at this time of the year. We all love our winter lawn for its color, texture, and feel, but it’s important to remember that it puts agronomic stress on your lawn. When you have two different grasses competing for nutrients, water, and sunlight you’re bound to have an “ugly period.” The turf world refers to this as the transition period. This is the period of time when the cool season grass is starting to die off slowly and the warm season grass is trying to emerge. What creates the ugly period is the competition.

(BTW...this beautiful turfgrass is NOT going through and ugly stage!)

(BTW…this beautiful turfgrass is NOT going through an ugly stage!)

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01
May

Water Restrictions and Your Lawn. What Now? PART-2

So here we are, May of 2015, and for the first time in many of our lives we are being asked to cut our water usage by at least 25%. As I alluded to in PART-1 of using water wisely (please click here to read PART-1 if you have not already) many people view water consumption solely as an agricultural problem. It is easy to look at the percentages of water used by the agricultural industry and blame them for the water shortage, but have you considered that the real problem lies within us.

Did you know that over the past ten years the agriculture industry has lowered their water use rate from as much as 90% to less than 69% of total water consumed? Again many of you will look at the percentage of water used and say it is still too high, but the homeowner use rate has skyrocketed, while agriculture has learned to adapt and change.

Did you know the average family of four wastes 10,000 gallons of water a year waiting for hot water to arrive to their shower? Right there you can save 6% of your yearly water use. I know we’re supposed to be talking about landscape water rates, but more needs to be addressed than simply blaming one industry. I will be the first to tell you landscape water use rates need to go down. The average household wastes 16,000 gallons of water per year overwatering their landscapes. This is an additional 9% of your yearly water total being wasted. Today I will be giving you directions on how to not only save the 9% of overwatering, but I will also give you ways to save another 10% by watering smarter and using proper agronomic practices. I would be remised if I didn’t say this before I begin. Grass doesn’t waste water, people do. Read the rest of this entry »

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