winter grass - Knowledgebase Question

Chandler Heights, AZ (Zone 8B)
Question by mannblk2003
September 17, 2005
when is the best time to seed for winter grass and what is the best procedure for doing this?
i live phoenix az and havent had good luck in the past.


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Answer from NGA
September 17, 2005

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There are 2 growing seasons in the low desert, with 2 different types of grass thriving in each. In summer, warm-season Bermuda is the primary grass. It goes brown and dormant as temperatures cool in late fall. At that point, some people choose to overseed it with ryegrass, which is a cool-season variety. Rye dies off as temperatures heat up. Some people dont overseed, just letting the Bermuda go dormant. Bermuda should be coming back by now, but if it wasn't watered (if the house was empty for example), it could look "dead" but it would come back with watering. Assuming there is an automatic sprinkler system, I'd suggest watering to see what happens. Water should penetrate 8-10 inches deep for bermuda. (In winter, water needs to penetrate only 4-6 inches because rye has a more shallow root system.) You'd have to do careful soil preparation to replant, so to familiarize yourself with lawn care and what's involved, I recommend an excellent resource, "Desert Landscaping for Beginners" by Arizona Master Gardener Press. It has a complete chapter on lawn care, including maintenance charts. I hope this info helps.

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