It may seem like having a lush, grassy backyard would be a far-fetched dream in Arizona. Summer temperatures get high and require a special type of grass, and when the winter season rolls along, new grass has to be planted entirely. There are a few variations that you can choose from when it comes to what grass you want to choose for your desert lawns. There are also some steps that you can take to prepare your yard for the process. Here, we offer our top lawn seeding tips to help you get ready for the cooler weather.
Lawn Seeding Tips to Remember During Arizona Winters
1. Know the Life Cycle of Bermuda Grass
Something important to take into account is the type of grass you currently have in your backyard. The grass that does best in the hot Arizona summers is called Bermuda. It can be maintained with proper watering during the record temperatures, and during the winter months, it goes dormant. This means that it will not have the desirable lush look that you may want for your lawn. The life cycle of Bermuda grass is typically around six months, with it beginning to sprout in May and return to dormancy in late September or early October. There is a way to extend this time frame slightly by applying iron to portions of the grass, but this can be a time-consuming process that is probably best left untouched. You now have to decide which winter grass will be the best for you.
2. Overseeding Summer Grass
The process of obtaining winter grass is called overseeding, and it has to do with planting new grass on top of the dormant Bermuda that is already in your lawn. The best time to do this would be in early or mid-October. It’s important to get the timing right, or else several issues can arise and make it difficult for the new grass to grow. If the weather is too hot, then the Bermuda grass will continue growing and compete with the new winter grass that you place on top of it. If the weather isn’t warm enough, then the seeds will not sprout quick enough. The best rule of thumb is to wait until the nighttime temperatures drop to about 60 degrees. One of the most important of our lawn seeding tips is to stop fertilizing your Bermuda grass a month or so before you start the overseeding process. Mowing your lawn to around a ¼ to ¾ inch height helps prepare for ryegrass seedlings and is an important step in preparing some room for the new grass to grow.
3. Types of Ryegrass
Ryegrass is the standard recommended type of winter grass that would be used in overseeding your Bermuda grass lawn. There is only a small distinction between the two ryegrass types, which are considered perennial and annual. Annual ryegrass tends to be cheaper, but it does not have as nice of a look as the perennial variety. Perennial ryegrass also tends to grow faster, so you are likely to have your lawn looking nice and green quicker than if you chose to go with annual. The perennial grass is compared more to a turf style lawn and is more suitable for wear, so it is a great choice for those who use their lawns quite frequently. For those looking to save a few dollars, the annual choice is still an okay bet, though it might not withstand use as easily as it’s counterpart.
4. Watering Tips for Winter Grass
Now that you’ve decided on the grass that you wish to have in the winter time, there are a few lawn seeding tips to remember when it comes to watering and maintaining your yard. One good thing about winter grass is that it does require less water than you would need in the summertime, but it still is important in the growing process to give the grass the water it needs to grow and survive. The time of watering is important to minimize evaporation, so early in the morning or later at night are your best bets. Watering every three days is all it takes to maintain your ryegrass once it is established – over watering can not only damage your lawn but wasting water is not eco-friendly. If you see any puddles or find that the soil is mushy, this is a sign that you are watering too much. Make sure not to water after there has been rain, and always check to see the status of your soil.
Get Green Lawns in the Winter with Fix My House
With the lawn seeding tips provided, you now have a basic idea of what goes into maintaining a yard throughout the winter season in Phoenix. The next step is having a knowledgeable team install the sod and seeding that you will need to have a green, healthy yard during these months. Our landscapers at Fix My House are always ready to help with your lawn care needs. They are also available to give you an estimate on the costs and will answer any questions you might have. Contact us today to make an appointment and get the yard you really want this upcoming winter!