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Winter Tips for Your Lawn

Cold temperatures have arrived in California and Arizona, and those of you with overseeded sod may begin to see your lawn go in a little shock. One of the things you will notice first is bermudagrass going dormant in the turf causing small quarter sized yellow spots in your lawn. This is nothing to be concerned about as today we will discuss getting those spots to fill in. If you didn’t overseed your lawn for the winter it’s most likely dormant at this point and you can sit back and let your lawn sleep for a few months.

I’m sure many of you have seen the small yellow spots over the years in your overseeded lawn. The question is what is causing it and what can you do about it? First, this isn’t something to be concerned about. It’s actually a sign that you had a very healthy lawn going into the overseed season. Since many people overseed in late September/early October you’re still fighting with warm season growth. By supplying water and fertilizer to overseed the bermudagrass continues to grow and has a tendency to out compete your newly seeded ryegrass. When you’re overseeded lawn first start growing it looks immaculate, but it’s good to remember some of this is bermudagrass. The bermudagrass/ryegrass combination looks incredible and when it’s growing in it can be tough to distinguish the two.


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Spring/Summer Transition and Your Lawn

We all know that transitioning from ryegrass back to a warm season grass is difficult (especially for California and Arizona sod), but throw in some cooler than normal weather and now you have a battle. Every year the producers of ryegrass seed seem to make their seed a little more heat resistant in search of that year round turf. The problem with this is that we’re shortening the growing window of our warm season turf. Not to mention that cool season grasses in the desert areas use much more water than the underlying warm season turf. The solution is to aide your lawn in transition, and to get your lawn free and clear of ryegrass in the next couple weeks.

Before I go into techniques to remove ryegrass I want to make a couple points about how the average lawn looks at this time of the year. We all love our winter lawn for its color, texture, and feel, but it’s important to remember that it puts agronomic stress on your lawn. When you have two different grasses competing for nutrients, water, and sunlight you’re bound to have an “ugly period.” The turf world refers to this as the transition period. This is the period of time when the cool season grass is starting to die off slowly and the warm season grass is trying to emerge. What creates the ugly period is the competition.

(BTW...this beautiful turfgrass is NOT going through and ugly stage!)

(BTW…this beautiful turfgrass is NOT going through an ugly stage!)

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Saving Water on Your Lawn and the Benefits of Natural Turfgrass


Everyday we are reminded that we are in a drought situation.  My last few blogs have been about this same subject, and I think it is important to continue with the topic.

A group of diverse children playing outside.

The press is convinced that ripping out your lawn is the answer.  But is it?  No.  You can  have an environmentally beneficial lawn and use water wisely! Here are some more tips on how to save water while still keeping your lawn alive during our historic drought: Read the rest of this entry »

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Water Restrictions and Your Lawn. What Now? PART-2

So here we are, May of 2015, and for the first time in many of our lives we are being asked to cut our water usage by at least 25%. As I alluded to in PART-1 of using water wisely (please click here to read PART-1 if you have not already) many people view water consumption solely as an agricultural problem. It is easy to look at the percentages of water used by the agricultural industry and blame them for the water shortage, but have you considered that the real problem lies within us.

Did you know that over the past ten years the agriculture industry has lowered their water use rate from as much as 90% to less than 69% of total water consumed? Again many of you will look at the percentage of water used and say it is still too high, but the homeowner use rate has skyrocketed, while agriculture has learned to adapt and change.

Did you know the average family of four wastes 10,000 gallons of water a year waiting for hot water to arrive to their shower? Right there you can save 6% of your yearly water use. I know we’re supposed to be talking about landscape water rates, but more needs to be addressed than simply blaming one industry. I will be the first to tell you landscape water use rates need to go down. The average household wastes 16,000 gallons of water per year overwatering their landscapes. This is an additional 9% of your yearly water total being wasted. Today I will be giving you directions on how to not only save the 9% of overwatering, but I will also give you ways to save another 10% by watering smarter and using proper agronomic practices. I would be remised if I didn’t say this before I begin. Grass doesn’t waste water, people do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Water Restrictions and Your Lawn. What Now? PART-1

With the new water restrictions in California, I think now is a great time to revisit the proper way to irrigate your lawn. We have some say they will be taking out their lawns due to the water restrictions, but before you do so I think it is important to take everything into consideration.

We often see every issue in society as black and white, but there is always a grey area. We all take our own individual sides of an issue, but we need to take the time to find a middle ground. Just as is the case in the political spectrum one answer isn’t always correct. Two sides need to work together to come up with a way of solving our problems. Over the next week I will be writing a two part series on how to conserve water and have a great lawn at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »

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WEEDS! Pre-Emergent Herbicides and Your Lawn

Last week it was raining and in the low 60’s and this week we will be pushing the low 80’s. Everyone knows that the rain is great for our lawns but it is also great for producing weeds.

As we move through February it is important to think about your lawn from the previous year. Did you have weed issues? Were you constantly pulling spurge out of the lawn during the summer? Even if you didn’t have a bad case of this last year you should still think about putting down a pre-emergent herbicide. The window to apply these is from now until the end of February. If you miss the window and the seedlings have already germinated you can bet you will be on your hands and knees this summer pulling weeds out of your turf.

Sod Harvester

AutoStack Sod Harvester


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Soil Prep/Lawn Establishment

With the rising temperatures we have quickly entered the best time of the year to plant sod. I’m sure a few of you just read the first sentence and thought that I was crazy since we’re hitting 105-110 degrees most days. Warm season turf is so well adapted to this type of weather that establishing a lawn during the summer is a simple process with the right prep work and follow up. I’m going to outline some simple cost effective steps for those looking to put in a lawn this summer.

Living in the desert we all know that water is scarce so we want to do our best to preserve it and not overuse it. One of the best water saving tips is putting in an automatic sprinkler system. Before I proceed I will tell you that I don’t recommend putting in a new lawn without one. A good sprinkler system will allow you to put out the correct amount of water in a given period of time and will help eliminate waste.

BOBSod does very well during the hot summers.

BOBSod does very well during the hot summers.

Setting up a manual sprinkler or hose is inefficient, time consuming, and most of all it is very tough to gauge the amount of water you actually put out. Before putting in an irrigation system you should by a small gauge to check your homes water pressure. Knowing how much water pressure you have will determine how many sprinklers can be on each valve. Depending on the area you will be watering you may need a couple to several valves to correctly operate your irrigation system. Most sprinkler systems are set up with a valve that controls the drip lines to the plants and then a valve for each section of the turf. A home with 1000 square feet of turf will typically have two valves to control the lawn. If you have very low water pressure you will probably need to add a third valve so less sprinklers are running at one time.


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Watering Your Turf

By now most of you have overseeded for the fall or made the decision to let your turf go dormant for the winter. I think now is an appropriate time to talk about the best way to control your water bill and at the same time give your grass the best chance of thriving. Our extreme summers often give homeowners the wrong idea of just how much water is necessary to grow a green lawn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting Your Lawn Perfect for the Holidays!

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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Water Saving Tips/College Football/Ultra Training

The month of December is a time of slow growth for your winter ryegrass.  We won’t start to see the resurgence of growth until early February when the temperatures start to warm back up.  Since we typically receive the majority of our harder frosts during December-February it is a great time to get outside and adjust your clock for the winter season.  If you are still running a summer watering schedule on your lawn, or if you haven’t adjusted your clock since you overseeded now is the time to make some changes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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