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Overseeding Procedures

Fall has finally made its way to the valley and with the onset of shorter days are cooler temperatures. We’re right in the middle of the overseed season and with a few weeks left to get seed down I wanted to address what to do if you haven’t seeded yet and the next step for those of you that have overseeded. The window of opportunity to overseed is actually quite large but optimally it is done between October 1st and the second week of November. That is not to say you won’t have great success if you go a little earlier or later but historically this is when the weather is on your side.

Let’s start with those of you who haven’t overseeded yet. There is no need to worry or get out there this afternoon and do it; but you should have a plan. Part of your plan should include purchasing ten pounds of perennial ryegrass seed for every 1000 SF of lawn area, a starter fertilizer, and doing a full irrigation check. I have received a lot of questions about using a seed cover or mulch to protect the seed. This is completely up to you but it isn’t necessary during this time window. The seed cover or mulch will keep the plant moist and allow heat to stay in the ground but unless we really dip down in temperature the conditions are already favorable for growth. Birds seem to be another concern but you can rest assured that you’re putting down more than enough seed to get your lawn established even if the birds throw a party on your lawn. I know many people have always covered their lawn to speed up the growth of the ryegrass. I can’t say scientifically if this works or not but I do know that we don’t cover our seed here on the sod farm and golf courses do not cover the courses wall to wall to prevent birds or to help speed up growth. A cover is typically only necessary if you’ll be applying seed to an area after a frost has occurred.

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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. Read the rest of this entry »


February Weed Control for Your Lawn

We all know that with the rain showers the weeds are going to start to appear in our grass soon if we don’t take some action. The best approach for early season weed issues is to down a pre-emergent and with temperatures that will be on the rise soon.  There is no better time than in the next few weeks. I will be outlining the specific steps needed to take action before the weeds become an issue.

Normally when we have this cold of a year the weeds will emerge a little later than normal from the heavy freeze but with timely rains and some warm weeks we’re starting to see quite a few annual weeds appearing. If you live south of Tucson or up north where you are still getting morning frosts you can hold off on weed control until the end of the month, but for the Phoenix and Palm Springs area now is a great time to get this product down.

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IT’S FREEZING! And so is Your Lawn!

The past five days have brought in a weather pattern that us desert dwellers are not used to and I’m pretty sure many of you have noticed your dark green lawn turn to an ugly shade of yellow and brown.  While your plants outside have been suffering pretty bad with the deep freeze there is nothing to worry about with your lawn.  Ryegrass is well adapted for the cold weather and even though it is below freezing at night the daytime temperature is moving into the 40’s which will keep the lawn from going dormant.  It would take a couple weeks of freezing temperatures combined with very low daytime highs for you to lose all the color in your lawn.

I have been watching all my neighbors throwing covers over all their plants in hopes of preventing any frost damage and running their irrigation water for the trees on a trickle to keep the foliage but this is not necessary for your grass.  I have been by several neighborhoods where people are watering at 7:00 to 8:00am to try and get the frost off their lawn and instead of removing the frost they’re creating an ice rink.

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Spruce Up Your Lawns In December

With the holidays right around the corner I’m sure everyone wants to spruce up their lawns to show off to family and friends, so I’m going to give you a few tips to help make that happen.

We have been pretty fortunate to not receive any frost yet which has allowed the ryegrass to really take hold and start to flourish.  If you’ve been following the overseed plan you should be seeing a good amount of growth and the color of the turf should be bright green.  If you’ve missed a couple fertilizer applications, now is going to be your chance to really catch up and get that color back before the holidays.

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