Answer: There are two main types of grass grown here in the low desert: a warm-season grass, which is Bermuda. St. Augustine, Zoysia and Buffalograss are other warm season choices, but they are not commonly planted here. If you want a winter lawn, Bermuda is overseeded for the cool-season with ryegrass. There is no grass species that can survive both temperature extremes here. Nor is there one that will thrive in shade. Also, many people install the Bermuda grass for the warm months and then let it go dormant in the winter. It is usually brown from about Thanksgiving until temps. warm up in the spring. Ryegrass does not get seeded by itself; in other words, you overseed Bermuda with rye, but rye can not be the only grass.
Bermuda can be installed from seed from May through August and sod from April through October. Overseeding with ryegrass takes place in October by Nov. 15 but is best not done unless the Bermuda has had at least 3 months, preferably a year, to establish a strong root system. There are many varieties of Bermuda. You can see test plots behind the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office in Phoenix at 4341 E. Broadway Road. It is open 7 days a week during daylight hours.
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