I know it has been sometime since I last wrote a blog. Since I last blogged I took over a new position at West Coast Turf. I previously spent all of my time on sales and consulting and for the last few months I have spent 90% of my time managing the farms. I have been bouncing back and forth between our farm in Scottsdale and our farm in Eloy so my blog time has really been limited.

The good news is I have some good new tips for your lawn as we go through the transition period.  With a pretty mild start to our summer here in Arizona we can expect that these new and improved ryegrasses will be harder and harder to completely remove.

I’m giving you one goal for the next month.  Eliminate the competition with your warm season turf.

While it is much easier said than done I will provide you with some tips to help get you through this tough period.

  1. If you have not cut your water back 30% do so know. You don’t want to turn the water off completely or it will affect your Bermuda and paspalum.
  2. Stress the ryegrass out by lowering the height of cut and if you have a really thick stand still remaining rent a verticut and thin out the canopy. You don’t need to scalp the lawn, just keep lowering the heights to allow sunlight into the plant.
  3. If you have bermudagrass push the growth with a high nitrogen product such as ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 at 5 pounds per 1000 SF. Make sure you water this in when you’re done. If you have a paspalum lawn; shy away from the nitrogen and look for a good source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron.  You can find this in our Soil Burst 5-15-10 or most palm tree fertilizers. If you can’t locate any of those most hardware stores will carry Milorganite which is great for paspalum.
  4. Water your lawn every other to every third day. Water deep and infrequently. If you water daily during the summer months you will not have any roots. If you have a solid stand of ryegrass try and stress it out by going 3-4 days in between watering until it is all gone.
  5. Once you’ve removed your ryegrass you can now switch to maintaining a summer lawn. See point #4. You still only need to water every other to every third day incorporating 10-15 minutes of water for each day you skip. If you get runoff from a long irrigation cycle be sure to set the water to cycle/soak. For example if you need to run 45 minutes you would water 25 minutes at 6am, let it percolate and then water the remaining 20 minutes at 10am.

Now for those of you who don’t have any ryegrass and started with bermudagrass or paspalum you can use the same steps listed above except there is no need to stress out your lawn. The same fertilizers will apply to get your lawn started. You want to apply 1# of nitrogen every month during the growing season on bermudagrass and .25#/month on paspalum. It is much more important to apply micronutrients on the paspalum to maintain vigorous growth and color.

One of the most common questions we will get over the summer months is:

Is it okay to plant grass when it is this hot?

The summer is actually the best time to plant grass because all of our turfs are adapted to the arid environment. These grasses exhibit excellent drought tolerance and will root down in 7-10 days during the summer months.  When you plant grass keep your lawn wet by watering 3-4x a day for the first two weeks until it is well rooted and then switch to a normal watering program.

As always if you have any questions please let me know.

Until next time,