The holidays are right around the corner and everyone getting ready to enjoy some family time.   I think you should do the same with your lawn!  This is a good week to put some final touches on your grass and get it ready for all your visitors. 

Since we are lucky and get to enjoy 300 days of sunshine, there is nothing that brings people together like a good looking lawn.  It is a pretty safe bet to say the entire country is jealous of our winter weather here in Arizona and California.  While we continue to enjoy temperatures well above normal our ryegrass is in heaven and is growing like crazy.  There is nothing better for your winter lawn then a nice steady rain followed by 70 degrees and sunshine.  Even though we are having a warmer winter than normal I am still seeing many lawns starting to get that yellowish tint to them.  I know last week I discussed fertilizer options for your lawn and it is important if you want a bright green lawn for the holidays to get out there and apply the iron, calcium, and magnesium now.  If you are seeing a yellow color to your lawn it is not a result of overwatering, but more a result of a nutritional deficiency.   

I have attached some pictures of a lawn that is under nourished and one that shows how your lawn can look with the right fertilizer applications and by keeping your watering to a minimum.  The pictures I have attached show a lawn treated with foliar 16-0-4.  Again I gave several options last week for fertilizers, just make sure you are using something.








Watering is always tricky at this time of the year because we are getting high’s of 75 during the day, but night time temperatures hover around 40-45 keeping plenty of moisture in the plant and allowing us to really stretch out our irrigation cycles.  Make sure when you run your system that you get a good deep watering of 8-10 inches and this can be checked by inserting a screwdriver into the soil after you finish watering.  During the winter months a nice deep watering may get you 5-7 days before you need to run another cycle.  If you cannot get a deep watering in one cycle make sure to set your clock to run twice with some soak time in between.  A good way to do this is to run about 20 minutes at 4 am followed by 20 more minutes at 6 am.  This allows the water to penetrate the soil and you will avoid runoff.  

I have had a few customers ask about doing some late winter ryegrass seeding because they are regretting not overseeding.  You can put seed down but the germination is going to be slow.  At this time of the year expect a month to pass before significant growth comes on.  The problem that we run into with a late seeding is getting it into the existing turf so you get seed to soil contact.  A higher than normal rate of seed will be required such as 15 pounds per 1000 SF and the entire area must be covered to keep it warm.  I am not a big proponent of this, but it can be done.  It is very important to keep the heat in the ground and a good dark pelletized fertilizer and mulch will help. 

Now for those of us with dogs who love to go all over the yard there are some ways to get those areas back.  I have written before about how ryegrass is a single plant and when a dog urinates on it there is little hope for recovery.  The best way to fix this problem is to treat the dog areas like a golf course treats fairway and tee divots.  Make a sand and seed mixture in a bottle and when the areas become bare, rake them up and add the mixture.  You won’t need to water daily just use your normal schedule and these areas will fill in over time.  It is not going to be a one week turn around but figure they will come back in about a month or so. To help speed up the process add a little fertilizer and mulch to the mixture and you have the perfect seed mixture.  If you need a little extra seed we do still have the BOBSeed available in the 10 pound containers if you call our offices.  This is the same seed we use at our farms for all of our fields and we also use it whenever we need to do some touch up work.

The pictures below show nutrient deficiencies as well some areas where dog damage is prevalent.  Take a look at some of the lawn areas and you will notice the small green circles of grass in the yellow turf and this is from a dog urinating on the lawn and getting excess nitrogen to the area.  Since the rest of the lawn has not been fertilized these areas stand out. 

Dog Spots



 I have also attached a couple pictures of dormant turf so you can see the difference in winter color between paspalum and bermudagrass.  As you can see the Platinum paspalum still has about 50 percent of its color while the bermudagrass has gone completely dormant for the season.  You can expect to see the paspalum start to green up in mid February and the Bermudagrass will be closer to early April.  While the paspalum can be overseeded for winter color this is a grass that can come with the ultimate in cost savings not only with low nitrogen requirements but also by withholding excess water and seed during the winter months.  I think most of us would be happy with 50 percent color for December – February if we knew that it would be saving hundreds of dollars on water and labor.

Dormant Platinum vs. Dormant Bermudagrass on December 20th 





With the end of the year comes prime football season.  West Coast Turf has spent the last couple weeks getting ready for the College Football Bowl season as well as putting some touches on some NFL fields.  Some of the most recent field updates we have done are the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers play and the host of the Holiday Bowl, and we are continuing to put the final touches on the new Spring Training site called the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.  I have put in some pictures for you to look at and get some close ups of the fields before they are played on. 

Rose Bowl install this month



Qualcomm install this month


Salt River Fields at Talking Stick


Here we are today harvesting in Palm Desert, CA, for delivery up in Oakland tomorrow.  The Raiders are lucky that our crew are fans!  Nothing is stopping this harvest and delivery.


Oakland Bound! 

Have a good holiday season and remember we will be closed December 24th until January 3rd.  If you have questions I will answer them periodically throughout the break.

Happy Holidays!