As we get into the fall people are starting to get that itch for the ryegrass and the nice color that goes along with it, so I’m going to answer some “frequently asked questions” related to overseeding, general sod, and seasonal issues.  I will post an in depth overseeding manual as we get a little closer to the season and when the temperature decides to dip below 114 degrees.  You and I also know that with the start of the Michigan Football season around the corner there are more important things than overseeding, so maybe I will discuss a little college football also.

 Can I still lay bermudagrass or paspalum this season?

You can lay bermudagrass and paspalum up until about November 1st without having any rooting issues in the winter.  If you do lay grass this fall I suggest that you hold off on any overseeding and let it go dormant for the first year.  If you do want to overseed and want a grass that will stay green longer in the fall and green up quick in the spring use paspalum.

How much water does my grass need at this time of the year?

Each watering cycle should be to a depth of 8-10 inches.  In order to water 8-10 inches into the soil you need to apply between ¾” and 1” of water per application.  The average pop up sprinkler puts out about ¼” of water every 15 minutes.  Your lawn should be watered 2-3 times per week and less during the humid, rainy weather.

How do I get rid of the mushrooms in my yard?

If you are seeing mushrooms popping up in your yard it is definitely too wet and you are hurting the lawn by overwatering it.  If you water everyday your roots will never have to go down into the soil to get water.  A similar example would be if you watered a tree daily it would eventually fall over because the roots would stay at the surface.

I plan on overseeding, what should I be doing to my lawn now?

If you will be overseeding your lawn this fall there is no reason to continue to juice it up with fertilizer giving the new ryegrass competition when it is planted.  It is a perfect time to back off the fertilization and let Mother Nature provide the grass with heat and humidity and it will grow just fine.  If you have not put any fertilizer down in a while and your lawn is yellow go ahead and add some Ironite to green it back up. 

I am not overseeding, so what should I put on my lawn?

There is plenty of time left in the season to get good grass growth so a little nitrogen will help push your lawn to fill in weak areas.  If you have a paspalum lawn use a high potassium fertilizer to strengthen the roots.  In about a month or so an application of an organic fertilizer such as Milorganite will be perfect to keep a nice dark green color in your lawn in the fall.  Later in the fall, a pre-emergent can be applied to your dormant turf to keep the winter weeds away.

Should I scalp my grass now in preparation for seeding?

Let your lawn grow up 30-40 percent in height over the next month so when you scalp your lawn you are cutting to a normal height.  Grass does not respond well when it is scalped down to the nubs as it needs extra energy to try and get re-growth in the plant.

Can I put down a pre-emergent before overseeding?

You can put down a pre emergent such as Barricade or Dimension before you overseed but it must be done 6-8 weeks before you drop seed.  Now these pre- emergents can cause root clubbing and slow the initial growth of ryegrass so be prepared for a little extra work to get your ryegrass established.

When is the best time of the year to overseed?

You will want to wait for the daytime temperatures to drop into the lower 90’s and the night time temperatures in the high 60’s.

Where can I get ryeseed?

We all know that you can pick up an ordinary cheap seed from most places, but buying a low quality ryegrass seed will cost you more in herbicides, time, and you will be looking at a yellow lawn much of the winter.  I highly suggest purchasing West Coast Turf’s BOBSeed for any overseeding that you will do, as it is the same seed as we use on our sod farms and has passed rigorous specs to be called a sod quality seed. 

 Our seed will be available at Phoenix Ace Hardware stores, Silverbell Nursery in Tucson, Preach Building Supply, Elgin Nursery and all 7 Sprinkler World locations.  If you cannot make it to one of those locations, call our office at 800/832-TURF.  You will find a complete list of our seed distributors here at

Who has the best college football program year after year?

University of Michigan of course!!!

Enjoy the last of your summer!


NOTE FROM ADMIN:  Watch for Jay next Sat. on Channel 3 in AZ between 9-11 am!  He’ll be on with “The Garden Guy” w/ lawn tips!