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16
Apr

Tips For Mowing Your California and Arizona Sod

Maintaining a lush, green lawn in the arid climates of Southern California and Arizona can be quite a challenge. It’s totally achievable though, with the right approach. Mowing plays a pivotal role in keeping your lawn healthy and attractive. Here are some tips on the best way to keep your lawn beautiful when mowing:

1. Choose the Right Mower: It is crucial to select the appropriate mower to achieve optimal results. For Southern California and Arizona, where lawns often consist of warm-season grasses like bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, or St. Augustine grass, consider using a rotary mower. These mowers are well-suited for cutting thicker grass types commonly found in warmer climates.

2. Adjust Mowing Height: Maintaining the correct mowing height is vital for the health of your lawn. In hot and dry climates, it’s recommended to keep your grass slightly taller to provide shade to the soil and retain moisture. Adjust your mower’s cutting height to leave the grass blades around 2 to 3 inches tall. Taller grass also helps to inhibit weed growth by shading the soil.

3. Follow the One-Third Rule: Adhere to the one-third rule that states

you should never remove more than one-third of the grass blade’s height in a single mowing session. Cutting more than this can stress the grass and make it more susceptible to drought and diseases. Aim to mow your lawn regularly to maintain a consistent height.

4. Mow When the Grass is Dry: Mowing wet grass can lead to an uneven cut and cause clumping, which can smother the grass beneath. Additionally, wet grass is more prone to tearing, resulting in an unhealthy appearance. Therefore, it’s best to mow your lawn when the grass is dry, preferably in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler.

5. Sharpen Mower Blades Regularly: Sharp mower blades ensure clean cuts, promoting healthier grass growth. Dull blades tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leaving ragged edges that are more susceptible to disease. Check your mower blades regularly and sharpen or replace them as needed to maintain optimal cutting performance.

Alternate Mowing Patterns: Changing your mowing pattern regularly helps prevent soil compaction and encourages upright grass growth. Consider mowing in different directions each time you mow to avoid creating ruts and uneven wear on your lawn.

6. Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn: Grass clippings are a valuable source of nutrients for your lawn. Instead of bagging them, leave them on the lawn to decompose. This practice, known as grasscycling, returns essential nutrients like nitrogen back into the soil, promoting healthy grass growth. For more information, visit westcoastturf.com 

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25
Jan

A Guide to Repairing Patches and Bare Spots on Your California & Arizona Sod

Maintaining a lush and vibrant lawn in the California and Arizona desert areas can be challenging due to the arid climate and water restrictions. However, with the right knowledge and care, you can revive your lawn by addressing patches and bare spots effectively. Here are some practical steps to repair and rejuvenate your lawn. Southern California and Arizona are known for their hot and dry conditions, making lawncare a unique challenge. Patches and bare spots can result from various factors, including:

  • Drought Stress: Limited water availability can lead to dry and bare areas in your lawn.
  • High Temperatures: Intense heat can cause grass to wither and die, creating unsightly patches.
  • Poor Soil Quality: Many areas in these regions have sandy or clayey soil, which may lack essential nutrients.
  • Overuse of Fertilizers: Improper use of fertilizers can contribute to patchiness and bare spots.
  • Foot Traffic and Compaction: High foot traffic can compact the soil, restricting grass growth.

Repairing Patches and Bare Spots:

  1. Watering Strategy:

Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth.

Invest in a smart irrigation system to optimize water usage based on weather conditions.

  1. Choose Drought-Tolerant Grass Varieties:

Opt for grass types like Bermuda that thrive in arid climates.

  1. Soil Improvement:

Consider using a soil aerator to alleviate compaction issues.

  1. Appropriate Fertilization:

Use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients without causing excessive growth. Follow recommended application rates to avoid fertilizer burn.

  1. Overseeding:

Overseed the existing lawn with drought-resistant grass seeds to fill in bare spots.

Ensure good seed-to-soil contact by raking the area lightly after seeding.

  1. Mowing Practices:

Set your mower blade to the recommended height for your grass type.

Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height at a time to prevent stress.

  1. Adequate Shade:

Plant shade trees strategically to provide relief from the scorching sun.

Use temporary shade structures for vulnerable areas.

  1. Pest and Disease Management:

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, as weakened grass is more susceptible. Use eco-friendly pest control methods to minimize environmental impact.

Repairing patches and bare spots in your lawn in desert areas in Southern California and Arizona requires a holistic approach that considers the unique challenges posed by the arid climate. By implementing water-wise practices, choosing appropriate grass varieties, and addressing soil health, you can enjoy a resilient and green lawn year-round. Stay committed to regular maintenance, and your lawn will become a thriving oasis in the midst of the desert landscape. For more information, visit https://westcoastturf.com

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02
Jan

Illuminate Your New Year’s Eve: Southern California Garden Party Edition

As the mild Southern California evenings grace us with their presence, take the opportunity to bid farewell to 2023 in style. Transform your outdoor space into the ultimate New Year’s Eve garden party with a few simple nighttime decorating tricks. From creative lighting to reimagined Christmas decorations, here’s how to craft the perfect atmosphere for a night of socializing, hors oeuvres and cocktails, and dancing under the stars.

  1. Set the Stage for Comfort: Before diving into the decorations, ensure your guests have a cozy outdoor space by incorporating heating elements like portable fire pits and heat lamps. Opt for lush, cold-activated superior fescue sod to delineate your party area and walkways, providing a resilient foundation for your festivities.
  2. Hanging Decor Magic: Utilize the vertical spaces in your backyard for festive decorations. Hang star garlands, streamers, curled ribbons, and glittery Christmas bulbs from tree branches, decks, outdoor staircases, or even your backyard tool shed. Embrace the charm of irregular placement to weave together the existing elements of your outdoor haven.
  3. Elegance in Floral Pots: Add an air of sophistication with cut flowers in decorative pots that match your chosen color theme. White roses in glass bowls with gold foil accents exude classic elegance. Scatter these floral arrangements at the edges of your party space or make them the centerpiece of guest tables for an extra touch of charm.
  4. Reimagined Christmas Decor: Give your Christmas decorations a second life in the backyard. Revitalize a Christmas tree with metallic tinsel, glittery ornaments, and luminous garlands. Illuminate tree trunks, arches, and awning poles with Christmas lights or create a magical ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. Transform a Christmas wreath with quirky elements like pinwheels for a playful touch.
  5. Creative Outdoor Lighting: Soft lighting is key to maintaining a festive and relaxed atmosphere. Reuse Christmas lights and explore other inventive options. Hang candles in mason jars from tree branches, use votives to outline walkways, or employ tiki torches to corral your guests and create a warm glow that lasts well into the night.
  6. Enchanting Archway Designs: Welcome your guests with festive archways that set the tone for celebration. Cover them in balloons matching your color theme, string lights, or drape long “hair” tinsel to add an element of mystique. Make your guests feel like VIPs as they step into your transformed garden party space.

With these imaginative decorating ideas, your New Year’s Eve garden party is guaranteed to be a memorable affair. Embrace the enchanting ambiance of a beautifully adorned outdoor space and usher in the new year surrounded by the warmth and beauty of your transformed garden. Cheers to a night of celebration, under the stars and in good company! For more information visit: http://westcoastturf.com

Happy New Year!

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01
Dec

Synthetic Turf – Drought Fix or Health and Environmental Hazard?

California is no stranger to drought, it’s a recurring feature of our climate, especially in desert areas. Arizona has been in some stage of drought since 1994(!), so drought is a long-term concept in the West. Many shifts are made for the purpose of water conservation, one of which is in landscaping. With these dry times saw a large uptick in fake lawns. 

In a recent controversial move, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill aimed at restricting the use of “forever chemicals” in synthetic lawns. The veto highlights the state’s complex stance on artificial turf, as it was a material once promoted as a water-saving solution during droughts. The vetoed bill was part of a broader effort to address health concerns associated with synthetic turf, particularly the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals, found in the crumb rubber base of artificial turf, have been linked to various chronic diseases. Despite growing worries about the environmental impact and health risks, manufacturers claim they are working to address concerns by exploring alternative materials. However, removing PFAS entirely has proven challenging.

The debate over synthetic turf in California reflects a shift in legislative priorities, with some cities already moving to ban artificial lawns due to environmental concerns. Researchers emphasize the potential health risks associated with PFAS, which can enter the human body through various pathways, including skin contact, inhalation, and water contamination.

Studies indicate that high temperatures can cause chemicals to leach out of the crumb rubber base, posing additional risks to human health. Synthetic turf, known for its heat-retaining properties, can reach temperatures significantly higher than living grass, making it a cause for concern. Experts suggest that real grass and plants offer a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic grass. Drought-friendly landscaping options, such as warm-season grasses and native plants, provide cooling benefits and contribute to a healthier urban ecosystem.

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03
Oct

NFL Player Safety: the Role Grass Surfaces Play

Football is a rough contact sport, one with inherent risk for on-field injuries. While those injuries are inevitable, the extent and severity of them depend on several factors. One of those factors that is currently trending in the news is the use of grass versus artificial turf. Aaron Rodgers started and ended his season with the Jets during Week 1 of Monday Night Football with a torn Achilles tendon. So what does this have to do with grass? Well, a lot.

In terms of safety, there is a huge difference between playing on natural grass and artificial turf. Here are a few:

1.     Traction – with natural grass, you get more consistent traction as well as footing. Players are less likely to slip on sod than they are on slippery turf.

2.     Shock absorption – since grass is much softer and more forgiving of a surface, it provides much better shock absorption, which cuts down on injuries and concussions by absorbing the impact players’ bodies might otherwise take.

3.     Lower risk of scrapes to players’ bodies – skidding into any surface can be painful, but natural grass provides a softer landing than artificial turf, as it’s much less abrasive.

4.     Joint injuries – since a grass surface is much more forgiving, it causes less stress to joints, such as knees and ankles – both season-ending injuries for an NFL player

5.     “Turf burn” – artificial turf reaches much higher temperatures than natural grass. Especially in the beginning of a football season in warmer regions, this can cause heat-related injuries for players, as well as discomfort in general.

Optimizing player safety is a top priority for every NFL team and the surface they play and practice on plays a larger role than most people know! West Coast Turf provides sod for many football fields, among many other sports and venues. For more information, visit our website at: westcoastturf.com

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07
Sep

The Importance of Water in the Hotter Months When Laying your Arizona or California Sod

With the intense heat of the summer, it can be an intimidating task to lay sod. Often, the ideal time to lay sod is early to mid-fall, or in the spring. For many people though, summer is the perfect time to get it done. 

Summer can be a hard time for new sod, since it’s hot and the sod can be vulnerable to drought. But with the right strategy and lots of water, you can install warm or cool season sod any time of the year. Here’s how:

  1. Test your soil. Your soil’s health determines the overall health of your grass and testing to make sure it will thrive is the right way to a successful lawn. It helps to balance your soil’s pH so when you apply nutrients found in fertilizers, your grass is able to absorb those. When soil’s pH is off, nutrients can’t be absorbed as effectively and fertilizer you buy may be a waste of money. Taking a soil analysis and sending it to a laboratory is an affordable way to test. 
  2. Choose the right sod for your lawn. Does your lawn have a lot of shade? What grass colors, textures, and physical aspects do you want in your sod? These are questions to ask yourself when choosing. Of course, the climate you live in – in our case, dry desert – plays a huge part in the selection as well. Luckily, this part of the process can be made easy by consulting one of the experts at West Coast Turf. 
  3. Measure the planting area. This will help you determine how much sod you need to order and is crucial whether you’re laying sod in the summer, fall, or spring. There are many apps and tools to calculate how much surface area you’ll need to cover and how much sod is needed. 
  4. Kill and remove old grass. When you install new sod, it’s important that all currently existing grass and other vegetation be removed. 
  5. Prep soil and level. This step is especially important for laying sod in the summer months. Proper site preparation makes it easier for new grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly—this allows your sod to establish quickly during the stressful heat of the summer. Although you will still need to water your lawn a lot during the summer, deep roots will make the lawn denser and drought resistant, allowing for more efficient use of water and nutrients. A dense lawn will outcompete weeds and resists insects and disease a little better as well.
  6. Lay the new sod. It should remain on the pallet a very short time during summer installations as this will cause the sod to dry out. If you notice the sod is heating up on the pallets, unstack them and spray them with water.
  7. Water and fertilize. It is crucial in the summer months to make sure you are watering your grass adequately!

Please let us know if you have any questions or want to talk about installing new sod! Visit https://westcoastturf.com for more info.

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26
Jun

Dos and Don’ts of Home Sod Installation

When installing California and Arizona sod for your home, there are several dos and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure successful establishment and healthy growth. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Do:

  1. Prepare the soil: Ensure that the soil is properly prepared before laying the sod. Remove any existing grass, weeds, rocks, or debris and loosen the soil with a rake or tiller. Level the surface to avoid uneven areas.
  2. Test soil pH: Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content of the soil. Adjust the pH as necessary by adding lime or sulfur to create an optimal growing environment for the sod.
  3. Water the soil: Before installing the sod, water the soil thoroughly to provide adequate moisture for the roots. This helps the sod to establish and promotes good root contact with the soil.
  4. Lay the sod promptly: Install the sod as soon as possible after delivery or purchase. Sod is a perishable product, and delaying the installation can lead to drying out or root damage.
  5. Lay the sod properly: Start laying the sod along a straight edge, such as a sidewalk or driveway, and work your way across the lawn. Butt the edges of each piece tightly against each other without overlapping, ensuring no gaps or spaces are left between the pieces.
  6. Water immediately: Once a section of sod is laid, water it immediately. This helps settle the soil, removes air pockets, and promotes contact between the roots and soil.
  7. Water regularly: Keep the sod moist by watering it regularly for the first few weeks after installation. Aim for deep watering to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to shallow root growth and other issues.
  8. Mow with care: Once the sod has established and grown to the recommended height, mow it to maintain its appearance. Set the mower at the appropriate height and avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t delay installation: As mentioned earlier, avoid delaying the installation of the sod. The longer it remains rolled up, the greater the chances of it drying out and deteriorating.
  2. Don’t stretch the sod: Avoid stretching the sod while laying it. This can cause the roots to separate from the soil, making it difficult for them to establish properly.
  3. Don’t leave gaps or overlaps: Ensure that the sod pieces are laid tightly against each other without gaps or overlaps. Leaving gaps can result in weed growth and uneven appearance, while overlaps can lead to uneven rooting and hinder growth.
  4. Don’t overwater or underwater: Striking the right balance with watering is crucial. Overwatering can suffocate the roots, encourage disease, and lead to shallow root growth. On the other hand, underwatering can cause the sod to dry out and wither.
  5. Don’t walk on the sod too soon: Avoid walking on or putting heavy objects on the newly installed sod for the first few weeks. This gives the roots time to establish and prevents damage to the delicate young turf.
  6. Don’t mow too short: When it’s time to mow, avoid cutting the grass too short. Scalping the lawn stresses the grass and weakens its ability to thrive.
  7. Don’t neglect maintenance: Once the sod is established, continue with regular maintenance practices such as watering, fertilizing, and weed control. Neglecting these aspects can lead to the deterioration of your lawn.

Remember, each sod variety may have specific care instructions, so it’s always beneficial to consult with a local expert or refer to the sod supplier’s recommendations for best results.

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13
Jun

Essential Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn While on Vacation

You look forward to getting out of town to relax on your summer vacation, but it’s important not to neglect your lawn’s health while you’re away. With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure your Arizona and California lawn stays vibrant and healthy even during your absence.

  1. Mowing and Trimming: Before leaving for your vacation, make sure to mow your lawn to an appropriate height. Cutting it slightly shorter than usual will help maintain its appearance for a longer period. Trim the edges to give your lawn a neat and well-maintained look.
  2. Watering: Proper watering is crucial for the health of your lawn. If you’re going away for a short trip (up to a week), deep watering just before leaving should be sufficient. However, for longer vacations, consider these options:

a. Automatic Sprinkler System: Install an automatic sprinkler system or set up timers to ensure your lawn receives adequate water. Adjust the settings based on your lawn’s needs and local watering regulations.

b. Seek Help from a Neighbor or Friend: Request a trusted neighbor or friend to water your lawn while you’re away. Provide them with clear instructions on when and how much to water and show them how to operate your irrigation system if necessary.

c. Slow-Release Watering Methods: Consider using slow-release watering methods, such as drip irrigation or soaker hoses, which gradually provide water to your lawn over an extended period. These methods can minimize water wastage and keep your lawn hydrated.

  1. Weed Control: Weeds can quickly invade your lawn and compete with grass for nutrients and sunlight. Prior to your vacation, apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed growth. Alternatively, hire a professional lawn care service to manage weed control in your absence.
  2. Fertilization: Proper fertilization promotes healthy grass growth and resilience. Apply a slow-release fertilizer a few days before your departure to ensure your lawn receives essential nutrients throughout your vacation. This will help maintain its health and vigor.
  3. Arrange for Lawn Care Services: Consider hiring professional lawn care services to take care of your lawn while you’re away. They can handle tasks such as mowing, watering, fertilizing, and weed control. Discuss your requirements and schedule with the service provider to ensure your lawn receives the necessary attention.
  4. Mulch Beds and Landscaping: If you have mulch beds or other landscaping features, ensure they are well-maintained before leaving. Mulching helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth, so replenish mulch layers if necessary. Trim any overhanging branches that could potentially shade or damage your lawn.
  5. Secure Outdoor Items: Before leaving, secure any outdoor furniture, toys, or equipment that may obstruct or damage your lawn during strong winds or storms. Store them safely or anchor them down to prevent them from causing damage.

By following these tips and making suitable arrangements, you can maintain a healthy lawn even while you’re on vacation. Planning ahead and enlisting the help of professionals or trusted neighbors will ensure that your lawn stays vibrant, weed-free, and well-hydrated during your time away. Return from your vacation to a lush, beautiful lawn that enhances the overall appeal of your home.

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18
Nov

West Coast Turf Wishes The Rose Bowl Stadium a Happy 100th Birthday

Friday, October 28, 2022 was the Official 100th Birthday of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. At West Coast Turf, we are proud to provide them with their sod and we join them in celebrating one hundred years of being one of the most famous and beloved venues in sporting history. 

Some fast facts: The Rose Bowl has a seating capacity of 92,542, making it the 16th largest stadium in the world, and the 11th largest in the United States. Best known as a football stadium, it’s been home to the UCLA Bruins football team since 1982 and has hosted 5 Super Bowl games (3rd most of any stadium). It’s also a notable soccer venue, as well as a concert venue for many of the most iconic and famous musicians – Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Journey all played there, as well as Lilith Fair festival. 

The Rose Bowl was designated a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark in 1922. Since 1993, West Coast Turf has been the proud providers of their turf that so many sports and teams have played on. We know that the grass you play on is one important aspect of what makes a stadium so popular, and we are honored to provide their Bermuda sod for them year after year.

To see our full client list, click on the About Us section. 

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18
Nov

Maintenance practices for your Arizona and California Sod

As we move into November it’s a safe assumption that if you were going to overseed you have done it by now or plan to in the next week or two. There is still time to get a winter lawn in if you would like, but its also beneficial to let your lawn go dormant for the winter. With so many new paint and dye options it makes the decision a little easier for homeowners to let their lawn go dormant and still have a green winter lawn. Today I want to talk about the next step in the overseeding process and also what to do if you decided to forgo overseeding this year. 

Overseeded Turf

Fertilizer

Overseeded turf really benefits from front loading fertilizer during the grow in stage. You should have applied a starter fertilizer with your seed and if the lawn is 3-4 weeks along now you can give it another boost before the cooler temperatures arrive. Once you have mowed your ryegrass for the first time and feel like you have a good stand of grass, I recommend making that second application of fertilizer. While there are hundreds of choices on the market for fertilizers to use, I’m choosing to keep things simple so you’re not running all over trying to find different products. 

Calcium Nitrate (15.5-0-0 on the bag) – Calcium nitrate is a great way to give your new ryegrass a kick start and help the tillering process. This can be applied up to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 SF. Remember the first number on the bag is the percentage of nitrogen in the bag. Therefore, this bag is 15.5% nitrogen. To apply one pound of nitrogen you need to divide .155/1 = 6.45 pounds of product equals one pound of nitrogen. 

Ferrous Sulfate – Ferrous sulfate can help get your grass a deep green color and keep it that way when the temperatures cool off in late November. This is a water-soluble product that can be mixed in a hand sprayer with a ½ pound of product and 3-4 gallons of water. Spray this mixture over 1000 SF but keep it off walkways, concrete, paver, and anything you don’t want to get an iron stain on. I recommend having someone help you apply the product. You can have one person apply the product and another use a small piece of plywood of cardboard to block pavers, etc. I would wait until he ryegrass has been in at least four weeks before applying it. This can be applied every 14 days throughout the winter for strong color.

Balanced fertilizer – A couple other products that are readily available and will help your early season ryegrass are 15-15-15 or 21-7-14. I have seen both products at nurseries and the box stores. 

The key is to get your ryegrass in good shape and strong before we get our first frost. This is typically around Thanksgiving but areas outside of town will get it sooner. Once we get a couple hard freezes the granular fertilizers provide less benefit to the grass and foliar fertilizers should be utilized. This is normally the case from December to February. 

Watering 

Once the ryegrass is established you can really cut back the water. Keep an eye on the soil moisture and the general look of the ryegrass. You will find you can go several days without water during the winter and the ryegrass won’t be affected. When you do water make sure its deep and you can easily push a screwdriver in the ground 6” after application. The easiest way to tell if your lawn needs a drink is the blueish grey tint on the plant or if you walk on it and the grass doesn’t bounce back up quickly. Never set your water to run daily, it does nothing for the grass except injure the root system and wastes water. Keep an eye on the forecast and shut off the system if rain is expected. We all need to do our parts to save water and getting a smart irrigation clock or monitoring for moisture will make a tremendous difference.

Non overseeded Turf

This is a great option for those that want to save water and maintenance time during the winter. Not only will your lawn be happy it got a rest, you wallet will also be happy. I recommend forgoing overseed every few years to give your lawn a break and have a full growing season. 

If you still want to have a green winter lawn look at turf paints or dyes that are readily available online and through some distributors. Each product will have a different rate for application so read the label carefully and cover up any areas you don’t want to get paint on. Most of the paints are organic and safe for kids, pets, and to play on. If you have concern about a particular product, I recommend reading through their literature to find the right one for your family.

Since your lawn is not actively growing it does gives weeds a chance to come in and cause some issues. Its best to apply a pre-emergent such as Prodiamine on the entire lawn and this will give you 90+ days of control. This cannot be applied if you are still planning on overseeding this year. It MUST be done 6-8 weeks before seeding or you will not get the seed to emerge well. 

Watering 

There isn’t a particular watering schedule that must be maintained during the winter except to keep some moisture in the ground every 2-3 weeks. I leave my irrigation clock off all winter and hope there is some timely rain every few weeks. If we don’t get any rain, I will give my lawn a good drink and start the process over again. This can be done until March when the gras sis starting to green up again and the temperatures is rising. 

Fertilizer 

You don’t need to apply any fertilizer during the winter, let the lawn rest and bring it back in March. Its okay to apply some nitrogen into November to maintain some color and a little growth but the plant will shut down once it gets too cold and the fertilizer will not benefit the plant.

If you have any questions let me know. 

-Jay

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