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.


If you have not put down your second application of fertilizer and your lawn is over 14 days old go ahead and put it down now. The second fertilizer application can be as simple as Soil Burst 5-15-10, 6-20-20, 15-15-15, or 21-7-14. All these products are readily available for purchase. The reason you want to put down three applications of fertilizer before we receive a hard frost is to secure the strength of your lawn. When the ryegrass first starts growing it is a single bladed turfgrass that is spindly and weak, but with each day that it is in the ground it gets stronger and stronger. A hard frost will slow down the growing process dramatically and it will take a lot more effort to get nutrients to the plant. Many of you already know that foliar fertilizers are best during the cold winter months to maintain color so it’s good to get ahead with granular fertilizers while you can. Your lawn will grow very little during December and January so it is best to have it nice and juiced up going into the slow season. If you will be letting your lawn go dormant for the winter months it is a great time to put down a high potassium fertilizer such as 0-0-50 or 0-0-22. These will keep the plant strong and stress free during the winter. You can also make an application of prodiamine to keep winter annuals at bay. This application is too late if you overseeded or still plan to overseed.

Now that the nights are cooler the grass plant requires less water to maintain its stability. If your lawn is at least 14 days old you should have cut your watering back to once a day early in the morning to keep it wet. If it gets really hot outside during the day it may require a light afternoon misting. After the lawn has been established for over 28 days you should be cutting your water back to every 3-5 days depending on the temperature. These should be deep and infrequent watering to ensure a strong root system for our brief cold snap. Today’s ryegrasses are extremely heat and wear tolerant and can tolerate less water during prolonged periods of warm weather. If you did not overseed your lawn you should be watering no more than twice per week now and by November 1st you can cut it to once a week. As soon as we receive a frost you can back the water off to once every 3-4 weeks. Yes you did read that correctly. A dormant lawn does not need that much water to survive and typically our winters bring enough supplemental irrigation to handle this requirement. If we don’t get any rain then you would want to water for about an hour once every few weeks.

If you haven’t put a lawn in yet and have been waiting for overseeded sod it is ready to go. This is always a busy time of the year around West Coast Turf for sod, so get your order in now. As always send me any questions I may not have answered in today’s blog.