With the fourth of July landing on a Thursday this year many of you will have a long weekend so I figured I would give you a to do list for your lawn. We’re probably a week or two away from getting any monsoon activity so now is a great time to clean up the yard and get it ready to grow when the humidity starts to kick in.

Living in the desert it is often tough to get ideal growing conditions for a warm season grass. The high temperature help bermudagrass and paspalum grow but what they really desire is humidity. The humidity is a kick starter for your grass and if your grass has space to grow you can expect to see some quick changes to your lawn. Before I go into detail about what you will gain from the humidity I should address anyone that still has lingering ryegrass from the spring. Ryegrass has a tendency to stick around in shaded areas at this time of the year but you can bet the first blast of humidity will wipe it out. If you’re looking to hold on to this grass because you can’t grow bermudagrass in that spot then you will want to apply a fungicide now and every 14-21 days throughout the monsoon season. This is not a guarantee of success but the best way to try and save it through the summer.


Do you want the greenest grass around? Paspalum readily available in AZ.

In order to get your lawn ready for the monsoon season you want to open up the canopy and give it places to grow. The best way to do this is verticut or lightly dethatch your lawn. You can find these machines at most of the local rental stores and their very easy to operate. I would suggest running the machine two directions and then mowing up all the dead material. You’re not looking to dig into the soil, just open up the leaf tissue and remove some of the puffiness in your lawn. If you’re lawn feels like a sponge or has a speckled look where ryegrass has died between warm season leaf blades you definitely want to do this now. Typically this is done once in the summer and once before you overseed in the fall. Thinning out the leaf canopy allows sunlight into the plant and gives stolons (runners) a place to tack down. If all of the space is taken up by overgrowth or dead material those stolons will sit on top of the grass and will eventually just get mowed up. Take advantage of this new growth and give these plants a place to go.


These runners need a place to tack down. Lightly verticut to give them space.

Warm season grasses love humidity and with the onset of it just a week or two away it is a great time to put out some extra fertilizer and give your lawn a push. I recommend a application of ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 at 5 pounds per 1000 SF for bermudagrass or liquid Soil Burst 16-0-4. If you have paspalum stick with the liquid fertilizer or apply a product high in calcium and potassium. Since humidity puts added moisture in the air it does the same for your lawn so keep an eye on your sprinklers. You don’t need to water more than four days a week during the summer months so if we see a period of humid weather you can back it down to two days. During this hot, dry spell we’re currently having it is tough to go more than two days without watering if you expect to maintain good color. Your grass will not die if you go longer, it will just put itself into an extended period of dormancy and will need extra water to bring it back. I only mention this for those that choose not to water more than once a week or two in the summer just to keep the grass alive. Many people do this to conserve water but it is not going to keep your lawn aesthetically pleasing.

So if you have a little extra time this weekend in between barbeques; spend a few minutes prepping your lawn for the optimal growing season. I know it is hard to believe that anything can like it hot and humid but your warm season turf really loves it.