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TIPS

LAWN TIPS
Fall Overseeding Easy transition has a great deal to do with how the lawn was prepared and overseeded in October. For Tif type grass, we recommend light power raking and scalping to remove top growth. Other varieties of grass can also be power raked and then scalped. Severe scalping and severe verticutting can cut too many stolons which slow growth, resulting in damaged turf and poor transitioning in the Spring. We do not recommend severe verticutting and power raking in preparation for over-seeding. Therefore, moderation is key to avoiding damage to the turf when overseeding!

Spring Lawn Conversion In late March or early April, when warming begins, dormant bermuda begins to emerge. Because of the competition between the 2 grasses (Bermuda & Rye) care should be taken to enhance the bermuda while antagonizing the Rye. Keep in mind, the time to change from rye to bermuda is April through May. This can be done by doing the following:

1. Lower your mowing height.

This takes away leaf area from the rye, which causes the rye to use up food reserves in the roots. This is known as burning out. The lower mowing height also opens up the canopy for direct heat absorption, which favors the bermuda grass by warming up the soil.

2. Fertilize.

A light application every 2 weeks of a water soluble nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. This might increase growth of the rye, so an additional mowing in the middle of the week may be necessary. This fertilizer application will weaken the rye grass in addition to reviving the dormant hybrid-bermuda.

3. Aerification (poking holes in soil).

This is optional, but highly recommended. This should weaken the rye and encourage the hybrid-bermuda grass to emerge.

4. Reducing Water.

We recommend that you reduce the amount of watering. DO NOT SHUT OFF COMPLETELY! Reducing the amount of water will help to further stress the Rye. Remember, you want to antagonize the rye, and enhance conditions for the bermuda grass. Shutting off the water will definitely damage both grasses.

NOTE: Shaded areas will notoriously hold on to the rye, even sometimes in the heat of mid-summer. Often there is poor bermuda in these areas because of the shade conditions. Also, low-lying areas which remain wet will hold the rye. Aerifying and applying gypsum will help drainage and aid transition. Following these tips will make transition from winter grass to summer grass easier and will avoid unsightly, burned out appearance.

LAWN MAINTENANCE

MAINTENANCE – MOWING

The variety of lawn grass you choose will dictate the maintenance you will need to have a healthy beautiful lawn.

Generally speaking, tif lawns require more maintenance than lowers. It is suggested you use a power reel mower for best results. A mowing height of ½ to ¾ of an inch is recommended: no taller than 1 inch. Because tif lawns have a tendency to produce thatch, it is suggested you dethatch at least once a year, if not twice. Generally this is done in either the spring or fall. Mowing our lawn so it resembles a putting green will require 2-3 mowings a week. Actual putting greens on golf courses are mowed daily. This can only be done with a power reel mower. Rotary mowers do not produce the quality of cut at the shorter heights of cut.

Midiron is a medium coarse texture grass and has a more open growth characteristic. Therefore you may use a rotary mower with excellent results. Dethatching is recommended, but not as often as tif lawns. Mowing heights can vary from ½ inch to 2 inches.

LAWN WATERING
Watering lawns in the Southwest is becoming more of an issue. Conservation is becoming more important, not only save water, but also because the cost will keep rising. Therefore following a few simple steps will ensure you a green healthy lawn and save water at the same time. You probably use the most water when you first install your lawn. For sod, water frequently for the first two weeks, 3 times a day for about 10-15 minutes. For stolons, water 4-6 times a day for about 5 minutes (be careful not to float them away). After the lawn is established, you should water as needed. We recommend you choose one of 2 schedules: A: Water 2 times per week for 45 minutes on water day 3 times 15 minutes = 45 B: Water 3 times per week for 30 minutes on water day 3 times 10 minutes = 30 These are only suggested schedules – your area and soil makeup could require changes to meet your needs. Of course having a timer installed is the best way to save time and money to get the right amount of water.
LAWN FERTILIZING
Our Southwest desert soils are very alkaline, and the lack of nutrients to keep turf grass green and healthy. Fertilization is the supplementation of nutrients to the soil. There are three main nutrients; Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. A fertilizer containing all three of these nutrients is called a complete fertilizer. It is suggested to apply a complete fertilizer at least 3 to 4 times a year. Fertilizers containing trace elements such as sulfur, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese should be applied at least once a year. Application rates of nitrogen can produce excessive growth, will produce thatch, increased water use and cause disease problems to occur. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the correct amount of nutrients.
PLANT / TREE WATERING
Our Southwest desert soils are very alkaline, and the lack of nutrients to keep turf grass green and healthy. Fertilization is the supplementation of nutrients to the soil. There are three main nutrients; Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. A fertilizer containing all three of these nutrients is called a complete fertilizer. It is suggested to apply a complete fertilizer at least 3 to 4 times a year. Fertilizers containing trace elements such as sulfur, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese should be applied at least once a year. Application rates of nitrogen can produce excessive growth, will produce thatch, increased water use and cause disease problems to occur. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the correct amount of nutrients.

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