The Q&A Archives: How to rebuild a neglected

Question: I live in Riverside CA where it is extremely hot and dry in summer and cold/frost in winter (zone 18). It seems like I have very short windows of opportunity to rebuild my lawn in the fall or spring. Which would be better: adding seed, digging up and reseeding, or sod? What is the best choice for turf in my clay heavy soil?


Answer: Warm season grasses are most popular in your growing region - St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia. Some gardeners plant Bermuda and then overseed with perennial ryegrass to achieve an almost year around green lawn. If you decide to do this, start this fall; rake the area to make little channels for the seeds to rest. Overseed with perennial ryegrass and spread a thin layer of compost or peatmoss over the newly seeded turf. The ryegrass will germinate in 7-10 days if you keep the seedbed moist. The rye should grow nicely for you until the weather begins to get hot. Next April, overseed your rye with bermuda grass seed. Between the two grass types you should have a nice green lawn. Enjoy!

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