I think we’ve all noticed the steady increase in our temperatures over the last couple weeks and as the weather warms up so does our soil.  As of this morning, the current soil temperature was 60 degrees at 6:30 am.  This is a good indicator that over the next few days we will be in the range to get our warm season grasses up and growing.  We would like to see temperatures remain in this range for a few days and then it is time to start treating our summer lawn.  The forecast does call for some cool weather in the middle of the week, but it will be brief and isn’t enough to cool the soil back out of the growing range. 

As I stated a couple weeks ago we are looking for soil temperatures to be 64 degrees for three consecutive days by 8 am.  When we reach this mark it means we will start to see growth of our warm season grasses and they will begin their fight to push the ryegrass out.  In the next week I am advising that you go out and purchased some summer fertilizers to give your lawn a push to start competing with the ryegrass.  I suggested a couple of options then and I will quickly go over them again for you. 

The first option is to use ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 at 5-10 pounds per 1000 SF and water it in for a minimum of 7 minutes afterwards.  This is providing your lawn with one pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF so you do need to make sure that if you choose this option that you stay on top of the lawn and begin mowing 2 times per week to keep thinning out the ryegrass.  If the weather stays in the optimal range for your cool season lawn to thrive it will be very important to concentrate on mowing heights and lightly verti-cutting to aid in the transition process. 

The second option is to spoon feed your lawn with slower release products such as 21-7-14, 15-15-15 and ¼ to ½ pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF.  Remember the first number on the bag is the percentage of nitrogen so to determine your rate you would divide the percentage by 100 to determine the amount of nitrogen in a 100 pound bag.  Since most if not all bags are 50 pounds you would divide that number in half.  For example 21-7-14 is 21 percent nitrogen, it would have 21 pounds of nitrogen in a 100 pound bag, so therefore it would have 10.5 pounds in a normal 50 pound bag.  What this means is that to get a ¼ pound of nitrogen you need to divide the percentage on the bag by your desired pound rate to determine pounds per 1000 SF.  (1/4 pound of nitrogen or .25/.21 “percent on bag” = 1.19 pounds of product per 1000 SF to get ¼ pound of nitrogen)  If you have paspalum for a lawn remember that you do not want to ever apply products such as ammonium sulfate and it is best to stick with organic fertilizers such as Milorganite.

Your watering should continue to be around 15-20 minutes twice per week depending on your sprinkler head and water pressure.  Make sure you test your soil with a screwdriver and you should be able to push it down 6-8 inches into the soil to ensure a deep watering.  At this time do not back your watering down.  We are still a couple weeks away before temperatures will be optimal to get a faster transition.  The soil is currently warm enough for growth, but since we are just getting into range for growth, cutting the water back now would be detrimental for both grasses.  In a couple weeks it will be a good idea to cut back your weekly watering by 35-40 percent to help aid the transition process once we are seeing good warm season growth.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I get seed for my lawn?

If you have a hybrid bermudagrass there is not a seed for your grass as they are all grown vegatatively.  The only warm season grass out there with seed currently is Sea Spray seasore paspalum.  If you put a common seed down be prepared for it to take over much of your lawn–keep in mind that it will have a huge effect on your allergies as the seed heads are not sterile like the hybrids.

  • Where can I buy the products you are suggesting?

 You can check your local nursery or any of the 7 Sprinkler World locations.  They can be found at www.sprinklerworld.com


  • What time should I be watering?

Watering should be made early in the morning between 4-8 am when environmental conditions are best.

  • Should I turn off my water to transition my lawn?

This was an old turf philosophy but has proven to be extremely harmful for your warm season grass below.  It is best to cut the water back 35-40 percent for a week or two and then continue normal watering.  If you turn the water off completely you will damage the grass below.

  • What height should I cut my lawn?

Keep your lawn between ¼ inch to 1 inch depending on the type of mower you have.  If you have a rotary mower do not try and cut below ¾” and never mow more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade at a time.

  • Where can I pick up a few rolls of your sod?

Call our office and we will let you know the store that is close to you that carries our sod and what days they are receiving it.

Please e-mail me if you have any more questions!