I know that the temperature is still well into the 100’s right now and overseeding your Arizona lawn  is the last thing on your mind, but it is time to start to think about what you’re going to do this fall.  You need to ask yourself a few basic questions because they will dictate how you maintain your lawn between now and then.  Overseeding is not a cut and dry practice, nor is it for everyone.   Is overseeding is for you?

The first question that you need to answer is did your lawn  receive 100 days of no ryegrass competition or has it been actively growing for 100 days?  The 100 days of no competition is so important because it helps the grass establish a root system and increases the strength of the plant for when you do overseed.  If you just put sod down a month ago and turn around and scalp it in October it is very likely that you will see many bare areas come next spring.  You then need to decide how you are going to proceed if you will be overseeding.  You do not want your lawn overly juiced up on fertilizer come late fall and the bermudagrass starts competing with your newly seeded ryegrass.   I suggest no fertilizer applications 30 days prior to the date you plan on scalping and seeding your lawn.  The more fertilizer you put on your lawn between now and then will cause the grass to get a puffy look and feel, and too much growth will lead to scalping of the new leaf blades.   

Look at the calendar and pick out your approximate overseed date and use this as a guideline to have your bermudagrass in good shape, low on fertilizer inputs, and not aggressively growing.  There is no agronomic reason to seed your lawn before October 1st and the only reason you see golf courses and landscape areas do so early is for increased revenue and that quick green look.  Keep in mind that if you seed in September you will have aggressive bermudagrass and it will choke out so of the ryegrass leaving you quite a few bare areas once we receive our first frost. 

The next step is to buy your supplies early so you are not stuck on the weekend of overseeding running around town looking for different products.  To overseed your lawn correctly you will need the following items: 

*A verticut or dethatcher, 8-10 pounds of perennial ryegrass seed per 1000 SF of lawn (we suggest BOBSeed)

*Starter fertilizer such as 6-20-20, a second fertilizer to when the seed pops such as 15-15-15, and a third fertilizer to get the seed going before the frost such as 15.5-0-0, 21-7-14, or 15-15-15. 

The types of seed you buy are very important to the quality of your turf and how it will handle the winter season.  We see many lawns go off color after the first frost and that is because a lower end seed was purchased.  Do your research and find a seed with good color, perennial, superior cold tolerance, and one that germinates quickly.  We have had an increased demand for our seed over the last 5 years and have been selling the same seed we use on all of our sod farms, Chase Field, the Rose Bowl and several other fields under the name BOBSeed.  If you are not from Arizona the name BOB refers to Bank One Ballpark here in Phoenix, now named Chase Field.  The BOBSeed will work for any type of bermudagrass that you have and it comes in convenient 10 pound buckets to make sure you don’t have to buy a 50 pound bag and have lots of extra sitting around the garage for the mice to feed on. 

The last questions you need to ask yourself before starting the seeding process is are you going to do the seeding yourself or have someone do it for you?  As we get closer to the date I will write out the steps for a successful overseed and what you can do to help you have a easier time transitioning in the spring back to bermudagrass.  Keep in mind that not everyone has the same ideas on overseeding and often times they will just come in, mow the grass as low as it will go and put out several pounds of seed to make the lawn look good immediately.  The problem with this is that because overseeding is tough on grass it is important to follow the steps to ensure you have a good lawn year after year, not just in the short term.

So to summarize–you want to make sure your lawn has been growing uncontested for 100 days, watch how much fertilizer you put down between now and then, and get your supplies ready.  We will be stocking our BOBSeed in 35 Ace Hardware stores, Sprinkler World, and Silverbell Nursery starting the first week of September.  I will be posting a list of all the store addresses that have out seed so you can make sure you are getting the best product for your money.

***TIP OF THE WEEK:  Now is an excellent time to strengthen your root system before overseeding or just to help you get through the summer stress periods.  Here are some good products you can use to keep your lawn healthy and strong as we switch seasons.  You want to look for products with phosphorus or products high in potassium and as always they need to be watered in.  Here are some good ones to choose from: 0-0-50, 16-20-0, 0-0-22 or 6-20-20.  None of these products are high in nitrogen and will keep your growth in check as we approach the end of the season and they will help establish that deep root system every wants.

Please refer to my past blogs for info on how to keep your sod looking its best.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail.

Until next time,


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BOBSeed label DD4aEZ Turf