14
Aug

Late Summer Sod Tips for California and Arizona Lawns

Summer Sod Tips for California and Arizona Lawns

Summer is wrapping up, the kids are heading back to school, and I’m sure you’re ready to come out of hibernation. While the summer heat is far from over in Arizona and California, it’s going to become tolerable outside. With the slightly cooler mornings it’s time to get back outside and get your lawn ready for fall. Most people start thinking about overseeding their California and Arizona sod in September, but ideally you wouldn’t start the process until October when nighttime temperatures get into the 60’s. Between now and then there are some important steps you need to do to get your lawn ready and to save some headaches down the road.

Between May and September you’ll probably notice your lawn has grown at twice the rate it does during the winter months. Warm season grasses love the warm, wet weather. Most people thought the hot weather would keep the grass from growing well, but remember warm season grasses optimal growing temperatures are between 90-105 degrees. During this season any of your weaker areas should have filled in with the warm season grasses runners. These spots can be slow to fill in during the dry, hot days but as soon as the humidity kicks in the grass really takes off. If you still have large open spots I would suggest picking up a few rolls of sod and patching them prior to overseed. You don’t want to seed directly into the soil.

summer lawn

During the summer months you’re getting lots of new growth on the grass plant and you need to help it thrive. The best way to do this is to thin out the top growth by using a verticut or power rake. Most people only use one during the overseed season but it’s a vital part of promoting new growth during the summer months. When you get too much top growth the grass will get clumpy and keep your new plants from growing. A verticut or power rake will open the turf canopy and thin out the grass plant. Doing so will promote new plant growth. This will also allow you to mow your lawn shorter without scalping. Set the power rake or verticut about halfway down and run over the entire lawn. You can easily mow or rake up the material. Keep in mind that by thinning it now you will save yourself hours of labor during overseed. If you wait until overseed to thin your lawn you may need to repeat this process several times.

For the next month you don’t want to promote top growth unless you don’t plan on overseeding this fall. The more material you have, the more material you will need to remove during overseed. I like to stick to slow release nitrogen products or products that will promote root growth during late summer. There are lots blends that will work but phosphorus and potassium will help your roots at this time of the year.

It’s still too hot to really cut back your water but during the wet periods you can let the lawn stress before you turn the irrigation system back on. Let the lawn go until you see some bluish grey spots appearing in the lawn. These areas aren’t dying but they are stressed. When you see these spots you know it’s time to water again. You can start to back your water down in mid-September when the nights cool off a little more.

If you’ve had persistent weed issues during the winter months you can apply Prodiamine. One product that a lot of people use is Barricade. This must be used 7 weeks prior to overseed. Keep in mind you must wait 7 weeks after you spray this product before you overseed. For the first two weeks of overseed you will need to keep the seed a little more wet than usual so the roots of the new plant can break through the Barricade layer. If you sprayed this week it would have you overseeding in the middle of October which is perfect. The best overseeding period is typically from October 7th-October 31st. Any time you seed during this time frame you will have very little competition from the underlying warm season grass. If you go earlier be prepared for the warm season grass to come back and be actively growing while you’re watering the ryegrass seed.

One way to keep the warm season grass in check is through applications of plant growth regulators such as Trinexapacethyl. One such product that many use is Primo. This can be applied 5-7 days prior to overseeding at .5 oz/1000 SF and right after the first mowing at .35 oz/1000 SF. If you seed during the normal window in October you can skip this step unless you have a very lush, over fertilized lawn going into fall. This is not an endorsement of these products but a generic list of products you can try.

The final thing you can do is mow a little lower for the next few weeks and reduce the turf density. Right before overseed I will tell you to let the grass grow up about 30-40% prior to scalping but you have over a month until you need to worry about it.

Remember when you start to see seed in the stores you want to find a perennial ryegrass that is weed free, and has a high germination rate. Many of the products you will see will be cheap in cost and won’t provide you with a dark green lawn during overseed. I will put out overseed instructions in September as we get closer to the season.

If you have any questions, please hit the “Ask Jay” button at the top right of this page.

Till next time,

Jay

 

 

 

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06
Sep

Pre-Overseeding Tips for Your Lawn

I would like to start by congratulating everyone on making through another California and Arizona summer. I know we still have a couple months of triple digit temperatures, but the worst should be behind us at this point. As we move into September our morning temperatures will start to feel less painful, but remember your warm season grass is loving this weather–especially your California and Arizona sod. I have started to field questions regarding fall overseeding and I want to tell you to hit the brakes. Don’t just tap the brakes, slam on the brakes. You will see ryegrass hit the stores in the next week but walk away or buy it and sit on it until temperatures really drop. Today I want to discuss prep for the fall, and how to get your grass ready to overseed. This won’t be a tutorial on how to overseed, but instead some pointers of what to do before you overseed.

  

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18
Sep

California and Arizona Sod Tips: It’s ALMOST Time to Overseed Your Lawn!

With the recent heavy rains and slightly cooler temperatures no doubt people are thinking about overseeding their California and Arizona lawns. While the calendar says September 18th and you will surely see people overseeding, I suggest you wait a few weeks. Follow my California and Arizona sod tips for a beautiful lawn. Overseeding does not need to be a one day process. You can begin the process a little early. Then, when temperatures are in the 60’s at night, you will just need to give your lawn one last haircut, drop the seed and begin watering.

Preparing to Overseed

Prepping for overseed is often a large ordeal. By starting the process gradually you can eliminate the headaches associated with trying to do it all in one afternoon. I want to reiterate something I have been saying for the past few years. The height of the grass is not associated with a quality overseed. In other words scalping the grass down to the dirt does not guarantee good results. Opening up the turf canopy does.

The shorter you mow your lawn the tighter the leaf blades become. This makes it harder to get the ryegrass seed into the plant. If the seed is lying on the surface it will be slow to germinate and much of the seed will be lost. The seed needs a base to grow out of. Getting inside the grass plant allows for perfect moisture, heat, and a solid growing medium. By looking at my last statement you can now understand why I say without a good warm season grass base (used on popular California and Arizona lawns) you will most likely have a poor ryegrass season. The seed will establish much faster inside a healthy grass stand than it will on bare dirt.

Arizona Sod

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25
Sep

Fall Overseeding and Your Lawn

The days are getting shorter and the heat is starting to die down a little as we enter the fall season. With fall comes the onset of overseeding in many parts of the country and the West Coast is no different. For those new to overseeding let me give you a brief definition. Overseeding is simply the process of seeding a cool season grass into your warm season turfgrass in order to maintain winter color. This is not a mandatory process if you have grass, but it is one of the options that are out there for homeowners and professionals.

There are a few options during the fall months to take care of your lawn, and without question the most popular is to overseed. Outside of overseeding you have the option of using turf colorant such as Endurant to give your dormant grass a nice green appearance.  Or you can just let your lawn go dormant for the winter months (brown can be the new green!). There is no right or wrong approach, so decide what you would like to do as the temperatures begin to drop over the coming weeks.

If you will be letting your lawn go dormant it will stay fairly green until the first hard frost which is around Thanksgiving and will start to green up in late March. If you have a paspalum lawn you can usually get through the month of December with a green lawn and it will start greening up in early March.

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23
Oct

Watching Your (Overseeded) Grass Grow

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.

OVERSEEDED SOD Read the rest of this entry »

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24
Sep

It is ALMOST Time to Overseed Your Warm Season Lawn

The days are getting shorter and the heat is starting to die down a little as we enter the fall season. With fall comes the onset of overseeding in many parts of the country and the west coast is no different. For those new to overseeding let me give you a brief definition. Overseeding is simply the process of seeding a cool season grass into your warm season turfgrass in order to maintain winter color. This is not a mandatory process if you have grass, but it is one of the options that are out there for homeowners and professionals.

There are a few options during the fall months to take care of your lawn and without question the most popular is to overseed. Outside of overseeding you have the option of using turf paint such as Endurant to give your dormant grass a nice green appearance or you can just let your lawn go dormant for the winter months (brown can be the new green!). There is no right or wrong approach so decide what you would like to do as the temperatures begin to drop over the coming weeks. If you will be letting your lawn go dormant it will stay fairly green until the first hard frost which is around Thanksgiving and will start to green up in late March. If you have a paspalum lawn you can usually get through the month of December with a green lawn and it will start greening up in early March.

(Dogs love overseeded lawns!)

(Dogs love overseeded lawns!)

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11
Sep

Thinking About Overseeding Your Warm Season Lawn?

With the heavy rains and slightly cooler temperatures we had this past week no doubt people are thinking about overseeding. By the way, if your sprinklers are still set to on, turn them OFF. While the calendar says September 11th we’re still a few weeks away from having temperatures in the optimal window. Overseeding does not need to be a one day process. You can begin the process a little early and then when temperatures are in the 60’s at night you will just need to give your lawn one last haircut, drop the seed and begin watering.

Prepping for overseed is often a large ordeal, but starting the process gradually you can eliminate the headaches associated with trying to get it all done in one afternoon. I want to reiterate something I have said for the past few years. The height of the grass is not associated with a quality overseed. In other words scalping the grass down to the dirt does not guarantee good results, but opening up the turf canopy does. The shorter you mow your lawn the tighter the leaf blades become making it harder to get the ryegrass seed into the plant. If the seed is lying on the surface it will be slow to germinate and much of the seed will be lost. The seed needs a base to grow out of and getting inside the grass plant allows for perfect moisture, heat, and a solid growing medium. By looking at my last statement you can now understand why I have said without a good warm season grass base you will most likely have a poor ryegrass season. The seed will establish much faster inside a healthy grass stand than it will on bare dirt. Read the rest of this entry »

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30
Sep

Overseeding

For the past few days the deserts have finally woken up to some fall temperatures. It almost seems like the weather knew to change with the calendar on Friday but looking at the not so distant future it probably won’t stay this way. Driving around this week I’m starting to see lots of places begin the overseed process but it is still a little early to do unless you absolutely have to get the lawn done for an early event. For those of you that are new to overseeding I’m going to describe exactly how to overseed your lawn, what it means to overseed, and answer the questions if overseeding is right for you. This time of the year can be tricky for home lawns but with the right care your house will look just like West Coast Turf’s farms.

Overseeding is mandatory in the south and western portions of the United States for people that would like to have a green winter lawn. When the air and soil temperatures drop too low warm season grasses will lose their color and go into dormancy for the winter. If you’re from an area that usually receives significant snowfall or cold temperatures you’re well aware of the dormant season. For those of us that have warm temperatures during the day we have the ability to overseed our lawns with BOBSeed perennial ryegrass for the winter months to keep our lawns green.
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16
Oct

BOBSeed + Soil Burst = Happy Customers

Before I begin talking about the next step in perfecting your lawn I will let everyone know that overseeded sod is now available if you’ve been waiting to sod your lawn.

The overseed season is well under way for most people so I thought I would take a few moments to talk about the next few steps after your seed starts to emerge from the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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28
Aug

The Misery is Coming to an End–Really!

WCT installing the new Sewallo GC

This has been an extremely long summer so far and I’m not quite sure if that is because I’ve spent every morning out on the trails or if it has just been hotter than normal. For those of us that are in Arizona we know July was one of the hottest ever recorded. Then we started August with 9 straight days without going below 90 degrees. That is absolutely brutal weather for us runners and non runners, but it has been beautiful for your lawn. Who would have ever thought the more we suffer the more your lawn thrives? Read the rest of this entry »

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