Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass in Arizona

April 5th, 2018

Think all fertilizers are created equal? Think again! Fertilizers are comprised of different variations of chemical compounds, each of which has its own duty where lawncare is concerned. Choosing the right fertilizer depends on your answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of grass are you trying to grow?
  • Where do you live?
  • What time of year is it?

Read on to learn about the best fertilizer for Bermuda grass in Arizona.

best fertilizer for Bermuda grass in Arizona

What Does Fertilizer Do?

Fertilizer provides nutrients to the soil, which, in turn, help your grass grow and turn it that beautiful green color we’ve all come to know. Most soil doesn’t provide enough nutrients to support the healthy growth of grass. Fertilizer acts as a nutritional supplement, delivering essential ingredients that absorb into the ground so plants can more readily take on nutrients needed to sustain healthy development.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t understand the importance of fertilizer, which can be particularly impactful in Arizona’s high desert regions. In short, a lack of nutrients fosters yellowing lawns at best. At worst, malnourished lawns can present significant bald spots. Fertilizers help fill in the gaps and facilitate growth.

How Much Fertilizer Does Your Arizona Lawn Need?

Determining how much fertilizer you actually need is important. You don’t want to put too much fertilizer on the ground, as the organic elements can overwhelm your grass. On the other hand, you don’t want to fertilize too little because you’ll just be wasting time and money on resources that won’t do your lawn justice.

If you give your lawn too much—or too little—fertilizer, your efforts can have unintended negative consequences. Bermuda grass needs regular fertilizing for good growth and color during the growing season. As a good rule of thumb, apply fertilizer monthly during the summer to produce a lush and fruitful lawn.

If Evergreen Turf is installing your lawn, you won’t have to worry about the preliminary steps associated with outstanding yards. We fertilize every yard we install with 15-15-15 fertilizer right after we lay your sod, allowing optimal nutrition to make its way to your yard’s roots and setting the stage for a lush lawn long after we’re gone.

To expedite growth in the early phases, fertilize with balanced fertilizer two weeks after your lawn has been installed. Be sure to adhere to proper watering practices during this time, as water will help push the nutrients from the surface of the soil to the grass’s roots, which will help facilitate a healthy, lush lawn as your plants establish themselves.

On the other hand, you may notice your lawn is growing faster than you’d prefer. In this case, switch to a slow-release fertilizer such as 28-3-10 or 32-4-7, and reduce your fertilizing frequency to every eight weeks. Slow-release fertilizers allow your lawn to absorb vital nutrients over time, so they don’t get overloaded with minerals all at once, which can cause sudden growth that’s hard for some homeowners to keep up with.

What’s the Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass in Arizona?

For established lawns, a balanced fertilizer (preferably one with an analysis that’s high in nitrogen) is ideal. If this describes your situation, opt for a fertilizer with an analysis of 16-8-4 for best results. Alternatively, 21-7-14, 26-4-2, or 24-0-4 work well for established Arizona lawns.

If you’ve just installed your lawn—or plan to install a new lawn soon—that requires a different approach. For new lawns, the fertilizer of choice should be similar to a 6-20-20 analysis (6% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, 20% potassium) or a 15-15-15 (15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus, 15% potassium). For best results, apply the fertilizer right before—or immediately after—the sod is installed.

How Do You Know if Your Fertilizer Isn’t Working for You?

Your lawn will tell you readily if it’s not getting the balanced diet it needs to maintain a healthy lush look. An improperly nourished lawn will go one of two ways.

Under-Fertilized Lawns:

  • Thin
  • Yellow
  • Slow to recover from wear

Over-Fertilized Lawns:

  • Grow at excessive rates of speed
  • Produce excess thatch build up
  • Make a ton of extra work for you.

Chances are, if your lawn is “too healthy”, you’ll notice because you’ll suddenly find yourself spending a whole lot more time in your yard than you used to; and it’s usually for chores, not leisurely activities!

It’s important to note that you may be fertilizing and watering just the right amount, but if you’re not using a fertilizer with the proper analysis for your situation, the care you take in planning and executing your fertilizing schedule won’t matter much because the imbalance of nutrients will skew your results.

A beautiful lawn starts by picking a top-of-the-line product. At Evergreen Turf, outstanding lawns are what we do best! From helping you find the perfect fertilizer for your lawn to providing pest control and maintenance tips, our experts are here to guide you to greener grasses. Call or email us if you have lawn care questions only the pros can answer!

How To Transition Your Lawn Back To Warm Season Turfgrass

March 22nd, 2018

Naturally, now that the chilly season is on its way out, you’re ready to get your green summer lawn going. If you overseeded properly in the fall, you enjoyed a lush green lawn all winter long. Soon, however, temperatures will begin to rise, putting those cool-weather blades into dormancy, allowing your warm-season grass to usher in an entirely new look. Spring is the time when you transition your lawn from winter to summer.

Here’s what you need to know about the springtime transition:

Spring Transition

arizona sod- how to fix soil

Wilting or Brown Spots Don’t Necessarily Signify a Need for Water

If you’re currently looking at a winter lawn, the brown spots and wilting aren’t likely the result of a lack of water. Instead, you probably planted winter grass that isn’t meant to survive Arizona’s harsh summer conditions. If this is the case, you don’t want to nurture your ryegrass. Instead, you want to make sure your Bermuda grass is healthy and well cared for, so it can carry out the summer months.

When to Transition to Summer Grass

There is no hard-and-fast date because temperatures can vary from year to year. You’re looking for a time-frame in which night time temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees at least five days in a row.

1. Don’t Over-Mow

Lower your mower height so you gradually remove about 1/2 the blade. The open canopy you create will give the roots more access to the sun, allowing heat to reach the soil surface uninterrupted. This allows the root system to start making its moves through the soil.

2. Aerate

Since nutrients are essential to your new lawn’s roots, it’s best to eliminate as many obstacles as possible. Aeration removes excess thatch and other obstacles that can prevent water and heat from reaching your lawn’s roots. Aeration is your way of telling your Bermuda grass it’s time to wake up and get going! As a note, you shouldn’t aerate until May.

RelatedHow to Prevent Disease and Insects in Your Lawn

3. Don’t Over-Water

You don’t need to cut back on watering completely, but you do want to give your summer grass room to surface. Cut back on water for about five days to discourage ryegrass from continuing growth. The Bermuda will take over when the ryegrass starts to show signs of distress.

4. Find the Right Fertilizer

Fertilizer is key, but many people don’t understand the differences between the available options. When you’re transitioning from winter to summer grass in Arizona, you want to use a fertilizer that’s high in ammonium sulfate. This helps weaken the ryegrass, while simultaneously supplying your Bermuda grass with the nutrients it needs to begin growing.

5. Keep Your Yard Raked

As your ryegrass dies out, it’s important to keep your lawn cleared of all dead plant material. Make best friends with your rake; this will provide a clean slate that will allow your Bermuda grass to grow without interruptions.

Are you ready to make your lawn everything you’ve ever dreamed it can be? Check out our Evergreen Turf Guide to Transitioning Your Arizona Sod Lawn – Spring Edition to find out everything you need to know to keep those leaves green and happy!

 

Winter Rye Grass Lawn Care in Arizona

February 5th, 2018

You may think grass is grass, but your lawn would likely disagree. Grass, just like people, has different personalities; depending on the type of lawn you’ve installed – and the time of year you’re caring for it – you may need to adjust your approach to achieve an optimal outcome.

Rye grass is a great choice for Arizona lawns in the winter

Rye grass is a great choice for Arizona lawns in the winter if you’re looking for a lawn that stays green all year long. Winter rye grass—when coupled with a summer grass, such as Bermuda—will take on new life when the temperatures drop to more moderate conditions during the chillier months.

Here are a few things you should know when it comes to caring for your rye grass lawn this winter season:

Arizona Winter Rye Grass 101

Unlike Bermuda grass and other breeds of blades, winter rye grass doesn’t just go dormant when it’s not in season; it can’t survive the summers. Because of this, it needs to be replanted each year. Ideally, winter rye grass is replanted each October, which allows it time to settle in and take roots before its summer grass counterpart goes into hiding. Typically, when it’s properly cared for, winter rye grass will stay thick, lush, and green well into May (or until temperatures regularly sustain 100 degrees in Arizona).

It’s really all about timing. If your plant your winter rye grass too early, the Arizona heat can bake the seedlings, rendering them useless. If you wait too long, the seeds won’t have enough time to germinate and grow healthy before your summer grass starts re-growing. Although the optimal time to plant your winter rye grass is in October, you should see positive results as long as the weather stays warm enough to keep the seedlings healthy.

There are two types of rye grass—perennial and annual—each of which has its own characteristics and benefits. Perennial rye grass tends to be more expensive, but it’s often favored because it

  • Germinates faster
  • Has a finer leaf texture
  • Produces a darker green color
  • Tends to be more resilient
  • Doesn’t produce as much grass stain

On the other side, annual rye grass tends to be a more affordable option that still provides beautiful winter lawns for Arizona residents.   Annual ryegrass is less favored because it uses more water, and grows much faster than perennial ryegrass – meaning more grass clippings to deal with!

Watering

For established lawns, the amount of watering depends on the weather conditions. For optimal results, follow this watering schedule:

  • November & December: Every 3 to 7 days
  • Remainder of the Season: Every 7 to 14 days

After a winter rain, you can shut your water off for one or two cycles. Be sure not to over-water your lawn, as too much water can prevent your seeds from germinating and growing.

Fertilizing

It’s important to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn. Too much or too little of an ingredient can throw off the balance of your blades, impeding their growth or causing them damage. Feed your rye grass monthly with an analysis such as 21-7-14 or 22-3-9 for best results.To facilitate a positive growth process, do not fertilize your lawn until you’ve mowed it for the first time. Be mindful that too much fertilization can cause rapid growth and a buildup of excess thatch, both of which can create more work for you. If you don’t fertilize enough, however, you’ll likely be left with a yellowish lawn that lacks the results you were looking for.

Mowing

Mowing is a strategy in and of itself. Heed these tips for the healthiest possible rye grass winter lawn:

  • Keep it mowed around 1/2″ to 2″
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf
  • Do not mow until rye grass grows 2″ tall

A note of caution: Be careful not to scalp your winter lawn. Cutting the grass too short reduces its ability to photosynthesize properly. When this happens, the roots become susceptible to drought because they stay shallow and close to the surface, which can be devastating in our Arizona climate.

It’s important to maintain proper leaf lengths to stimulate deep root growth, which allows your lawn access to moisture that’s deeper beneath the earth’s surface. Because rye grass is not a spreading grass that comes from the likes of stolons or runners, a super short mowing strategy can cause your lawn to experience dead patches that overtake your front or backyard.

Your mowing frequency will depend on how quickly your grass is growing. Rye grass typically grows fairly quickly, so you may have to mow more frequently than you do with summer grass, but the end result will be a beautiful, luscious lawn. In other words, hello running barefoot through your yard all year long!

Procuring a proper lawn is a science. If you’re ready to get the green going all year long, your best bet is to reach out to lawn care specialists who understand Arizona’s unique climate.

Need sod in Arizona? Contact us today.

Signs You Have Overwatered or Underwatered Your Lawn

December 27th, 2017

When it comes to keeping a lawn healthy and happy, one ingredient stands out above the rest: water. Many homeowners assume water is one of those things that takes care of itself, but that’s simply not the case. it is possible to go overboard and overwater your lawn. On the other hand, if you leave your lawn to be watered by Mother Nature, especially in Arizona’s dry desert climate, you’re leaving it thirsty and weak. Even if you’re supplementing rain with a little bit of your own sprinkler system, your lawn may be underwatered. Like most things in life, there’s a balance between too much and not enough.

It's just as easy to underwater a lawn as it is to overwater, particularly here in Arizona

So, how do you know if you’ve over or under watered your lawn? Take a look!

Signs of Overwatering

As far as your lawn is concerned, too much of a good thing really can happen. In situations where a lawn is being overwatered, the water displaces all of the oxygen. Since plants need oxygen and a positive air exchange to stay healthy, the displacement of oxygen can be extremely detrimental. When you saturate your lawn with too much water, your plants also aren’t getting enough (or any) nutrients. Between the lack of oxygen and nutrients, an overwatered lawn often won’t stand a chance.

The following are a few-negative effects associated with overwatering:

  • Overwatered lawns often become discolored, as the lower leaves turn yellow.
  • Loss of density. Thick, lush lawns can seldom be achieved when they’re overwatered.
  • Overabundance of Unwanted Weeds. Weeds love environments with too much water. If you’re seeing a sudden spike in unwanted foliage, overwatering could be a factor.
  • Thatch Takeover. Too much thatch is problematic for any lawn, as it prevents the layers beneath the soil from getting the nutrients necessary to grow. Since overwatering can discourage roots from growing deep into the dirt, they’ll begin to stop growing near the surface. As they become entwined, the end result can be a thatch mat that forms right at the top of the soil.
  • Bothersome Bugs. Excess water can turn into an open invitation for unwanted lawn pests, as the thatch problem mentioned above can often turn into a safe harbor for harmful insects.
  • Environmental Un-friendliness. Overwatering not only does no good for your lawn, it wastes water, making it an environmentally un-friendly.

 

Signs of Underwatering

It’s just as easy to underwater a lawn as it is to overwater, particularly here in Arizona where natural moisture can be infrequent at times.

Here are some things to look for if you’re wondering if you’re underwatering your lawn:

  • The very first sign of an underwatering situation is discoloration. When the blades aren’t getting enough water, the leaves will turn from green to bluish gray.
  • Change in Shape. A lack of moisture will cause the leaves to shrink or roll inward. You’ll notice the blades begin to go from wide and fat to wispy and wilted.
  • Slowed Growth. Although you probably don’t sit on your patio and watch your grass grow, you’ll likely start to notice that you have to mow your lawn less and less frequently. If you don’t have enough water to carry nutrients to the roots of your grass, your blades’ growth will slow.
  • Healthy grass can bounce back when you walk across it. Proper moisture keeps the blades plump, so they return to their original shape after your foot moves onto the next step. Underwatered lawns don’t have the ability to easily go back to their original shape when you step on them. As a result, if you walk across a dehydrated lawn, you’ll likely see remnants of your path behind you. This is a sure sign your grass is becoming dormant or dying.

 

Besides physical appearance, there are a few ways you can test your lawn that will help you discern signs of distress. For example, you should be able to stick a screwdriver into a healthy lawn. If you attempt to do this with a dehydrated lawn, you’ll probably be met with resistance and find that it’s difficult to get the screwdriver into the ground. Ideally, you should be able to put a screwdriver into the ground anywhere from four to six inches. Moisture facilitates the movement of the tool deeper into the ground; if your lawn doesn’t have enough moisture to get the ground to give, your screwdriver won’t be able to make it too far below the surface.

At Evergreen Turf, beautiful lawns are our business! If you’re trying to figure out which blades will be best for your front or backyard, walk through our Lawn Selector wizard today!

How to Prevent Disease and Insects in Your Lawn

December 21st, 2017

Like people, no lawn is immune to disease and damage. That said, the better you take care of your body (or blades of grass), the more likely it is to live a long, healthy life. On the other hand, if you engage in harmful behaviors, the end result will usually reflect the unkempt lifestyle—even if the detrimental activities were accidental. Thankfully, Arizona, with its dry conditions, doesn’t really have much disease pressure, but there are some activities that can cause problems. Along the same lines, Arizona tends not to have too many issues with insects. On occasion, however, they do make an appearance.

The best way to keep insect infestations away is to use preventative insecticide in the spring when it starts to warm up.

The best way to prevent diseases and unwanted pests is to educate yourself about the possibilities so you can take steps to keep problems from occurring.

What Does Disease Look Like on Arizona Lawns?

Diseases are only caused by environmental stresses like overwatering and too much thatch—problems which can actually be correlated, depending on the situation. Thanks to Arizona’s specifically dry climate, we don’t have the diseases many other parts of the country have, but if you’re overwatering or over-fertilizing, you’re likely causing your lawn stress and inviting diseases.

St. Augustine is a common type of grass in Arizona because it’s quite heat tolerant, allowing it to thrive in the excessive summer heat and sun we see in this part of the country. Unlike many other types of grass, St. Augustine tends to do well on lawns that are well-shaded. Homeowners who have St. Augustine grass often face specific struggles, however. People commonly apply too much nitrogen to St. Augustine grass, which causes too much growth. Additionally, because this grass is often installed on lawns with shady areas, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to overwater in the summer, as shaded areas often require les water than those, which are directly exposed to full sunlight.

Generally speaking, if you water properly, dethatch regularly, and use the appropriate fertilizer for your type of lawn, you won’t have to worry much about diseases.

What Do You Need to Know About Preventing Insect Infestations in Arizona?

There aren’t too many issues with insects in Arizona, but there are times when they can become extremely problematic. Unfortunately, by the time they’re apparent enough for you to know there’s an issue, it’s already too late to stop it. Most of those problems start with insects that lay their eggs in the fall or spring. When the larvae hatch, you suddenly have a grub, moth, or ant problem that seems to come out of nowhere.

One major contributor to large colonies of unwanted pests is thatch. Thatch is the buildup of organic materials such as roots, stems, and leaves that accumulate at the surface of the soil. Regular dethatching is important for two reasons: it breaks up this barrier of matter that prevents moisture and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass, and it keeps bugs from taking up residence within the matted material. If thatch gets too thick, it can easily become an ideal home for unwanted pests.

Preventative pesticides and regular dethatching should put you on a path to a pretty pest-free property.

The best way to keep insect infestations away is to use preventative insecticide in the spring when it starts to warm up. In Arizona, target April or May for this process since it tends to warm up earlier here than many other parts of the country.

Are you looking for advice from professional lawn care experts? Our Evergreen Turf team lives and breathes beautiful lawns! Check out our Sod Blog for plenty of helpful tips and tricks. Contact us at Evergreen Turf today if you need sod in Phoenix, Tucson or the surrounding areas of Arizona.

Do Not Dethatch Your Winter Lawn in Arizona – Here’s Why!

November 22nd, 2017

As fall quickly turns into winter, the holiday season seems to be knocking on our doors quicker and quicker every year. Now that Arizona’s climate has finally cooled down to a tolerable temperature, you may be inclined to embark on your lawn dethatching project.  After all, with summer’s scorching sun subdued by autumn’s cooler temperatures, the time only seems right, right? Not true! November is not the time to dethatch your Arizona lawn.

dethatching provides the following benefits to your lawn

Here’s just a few of the reasons this time of year isn’t optimal for removing layers of thatch from your lawn.

Benefits of Dethatching

Dethatching is the process of removing the dead, grassy material that accumulates on top of the soil’s surface. When thatch becomes too thick and dense, your lawn’s roots may not be able to receive the nutrients and moisture necessary to maintain health, which can ultimately result in a dry, brown yard.

In short, dethatching provides the following benefits to your lawn:

  • Alleviated Soil Compaction. The more compact the soil is, the harder it is for the roots of your grass to grow. Dethatching facilitates the movement of air, moisture, and fertilizer throughout your soil. This, in turn, helps keep grass healthy.
  • Improved Water Penetration. Dethatching allows greater water penetration into the soil, so the roots of your grass can have access to the moisture they need. In the event of high moisture, such as rains or the occasional heavy snow in the area, dethatching provides a place for the water to go, reducing runoff.
  • Deeper Roots. A healthy lawn has deep roots that are firmly planted in the ground. The deeper the roots, the more able your grass is to sustain life by grabbing and storing valuable nutrients.

Most Dethatching Should Occur in August

In the climate of Arizona, dethatching should typically be performed between June and August. During those months, lawns are growing at their most active levels, which means it they can sustain the dethatching process and recover quickly.

If you wait until September or October, the dethatching process often removes stolons, often called runners. Stolons are stems that grow just below ground or right at the soil surface. These elements are your lawn’s main way to store it’s ‘food’, so if you do too much damage in the fall when the plant is storing carbs, you’re forcing your grass to use its own energy to regrow. In other words, improper dethatching robs your lawn of its food storage. Think of it this way – it’s the middle of winter, and you’re trapped in your house for the next four months. You’re starving, so you raid the pantry. You filled your belly for the meantime, but now there’s no food to eat when spring arrives.

Your grass will feel the same way if you deprive it of its food source while it’s busy stowing away the stuff it needs to last throughout the chilly winter months.

What if You Missed the Dethatching Boat in August?

If you didn’t dethatch in time this year, mark your calendar so you can hit the ground running when summer comes to an end next year. In the meantime, you can rake your lawn lightly in the fall and winter. You can also scalp it lightly, but take care not to scalp it all the way to the dirt, as you could find yourself facing lawn damage that would be similar to late dethatching. Be careful not to be too aggressive, and your lawn will thank you with lush green blades!

At Evergreen Turf, Arizona sod is our specialty. Whether you just need a bit of sod for a small project or are looking for a full lawn renovation with sod installation, we’re here to help you make the most of your outdoor space. Take a look at our winter lawn tips, or reach out to us if you have specific questions about how to deal with your Arizona lawn.

When & When NOT to Add Iron to Your Lawn to Keep It Green

November 15th, 2017

If your lawn is suffering from a yellow or brown tint, there are several reasons you may not be seeing green. For the most part, yellow grass is caused from a lack of nutrients that would otherwise facilitate healthy growth. Chlorosis, for example, is a condition that occurs when the green chlorophyll in the grass leaf tissue is unable to develop. Iron and nitrogen are key nutrients that keep your lawn looking its finest, and if the roots are unable to absorb these valuable elements, you’ll almost assuredly find yourself with an unpleasant-looking lawn.

Yellow grass is a sign of lawn iron deficiency. The dark green is what your turf should look like with Iron.

To keep things looking green, iron additives are often a vital resource in our high-desert Arizona climate, but rest assured, there are do’s and don’ts to the application process. Here’s a brief run-down on how to determine if you have a lawn iron deficiency.

When Can You Add Iron to Your Lawn?

You can add iron to your lawn just about any time of year. If you’re applying iron spray to newly planted grass, the key is to do so when the temperatures have cooled. When it’s hot and the sun is intense, iron can burn new, young grass leaves. If you’re working with an established lawn, or anticipating application of iron during cooler months, you should be in good shape if you adhere to the instructions of the element itself.

How Can You Add Iron to Your Lawn?

If you have determined that you have a lawn iron deficiency, then it’s time to get to work fixing the problem. Iron comes in two easy-to-use forms: spray and granular.

Spray Iron

When it comes to adding iron to your lawn, foliar feeding works faster. This is a technique where you apply the iron directly to the blades of grass, and it goes straight into the system. It lasts three to four weeks. Spray-on Ironite is fast-acting and can be helpful if you’re trying to see results quickly. Just be careful not to over-apply it, as that can turn your lawn gray.

Granular Iron

The granular version of iron goes directly into the soil. Its molecular structure needs to be broken down to be efficient, which means it takes longer to be effective than spray iron. However, granular iron tends to last longer than its spray counterpart. When you use granular iron, you should expect a 60- to 90-day wait time as for efficacy if you’re using granular iron.

What to Watch for When It Comes to Adding Iron to Your Lawn

Anytime you apply iron, be aware that it can cause orange stains that can be difficult – if not impossible – to remove. Avoid applying the substance to cool decks, surfaces, sidewalks, and pool decks, as these places will almost assuredly suffer the orange stains when the chemicals go to work.

Mind the temperatures, and shoot for application of iron when external temperatures are between 40 and 80 degrees. In Arizona, our grasses don’t adhere to the rules of the rest of the country when it comes to timeline. Fall, winter, and spring usually offer the best opportunities to add iron to your lawn without damaging the grass’s roots and foundations because the temperatures are milder during the colder months.

Be careful not to overdose your lawn with iron. It’s important to follow the package instructions to ensure your sod lawn isn’t exposed to undue harm as you add nutrients. Grasses generally don’t require a lot of iron, but they do need some. If you’re uncertain as to the next step in your lawn-enhancing process, it might behoove you to seek the assistance of a soil test to determine whether your property is iron deficient or not. With that knowledge in hand, you can seek the most viable routes to help you make the most of your lawn and home landscape, one blade at a time.

Check out our lawn nutrition and fertilization page for more information on how to achieve a healthy lawn in Arizona.

At Evergreen Turf, green lawns are our business! If you’re struggling to get your grass green, consult with our team of lawncare experts. Reach out to us today to if you’re in need of fresh sod in Arizona.

Winter Weeds to Know + Weed Control Tips

October 24th, 2017

During winter in Arizona, your lawn undergoes a number of changes. If you do not overseed your lawn, it turns brown as it goes dormant, and those pesky weeds pop up throughout your backyard. If you have an overseeded lawn, the weeds still come through, turning your luscious green winter lawn into an eyesore.

How did the weeds get there? Most of them started germinating during fall, turn brown in winter, and continue to blossom. The presence of the pesky and ugly winter weeds also means the health of your lawn is wanting as the weak turf allows the weeds to flourish.

Winter weeds are an eyesore and ruin the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

Winter Weed Control Tips

The best time to control the weeds is in the end of summer or beginning of fall. Follow the winter weed control tips below, depending on whether your lawn is overseeded or not.

Non-overseeded Lawns

If you have a non-overseeded lawn, the recommended approach is using pre-emergent herbicides. For best results spray the herbicides mid-September and it stops all weeds from even germinating.

Overseeded Lawns

First, about three weeks before overseeding your lawn, you want to kill any existing weeds. You can spray herbicides or pull them out. Once you have overseeded your lawn, DO NOT spray any herbicides for at least six weeks. The herbicide will damage the new rye grass that is growing in for the winter.

The use of pre-emergent sprays is recommended while the weeds are small. It’s important to identify the kinds of weeds plaguing your lawn, as different weeds require different approaches.

  • Grass weeds- They resemble grass, and they branch out than grow up through the soil.
  • Broadleaf weeds-they have broad leaves, flowers, are small and have tap roots.
  • Sedges-They come from tubers, roots, and seeds that branch out. They grower higher than the normal grass

After identifying the weeds, you can decide on the right approach which includes:

  • Using post and pre-emergent herbicides
  • Hand-pulling the weed

When dealing with herbicides, consider the following:

  • Recommended air temperature is between 66-85 degrees F. Using it a higher temperature damages the turf too.
  • Ensure the soil is moist so that the herbicide seeps into the root system
  • Do not mow before or after the treatment
  • Do not spray during the rainy or windy days, and on newly planted lawns

Common Winter Weeds

Poa annua is one of the common winter weeds in Arizona that appears in January and February. Poa annua germinates together with the ryegrass and only becomes visible in January when its seed heads start showing.

It ruins the aesthetic appeal of your lawn and you cannot spray it since it damages the ryegrass too.

Strategies to control the weed include:

  • Controlling it during germination by using pre-emergence herbicides or wait for it emerge and use post-emergence herbicides
  • Control its growth in non-overseeded sods using pre or post-emergence herbicides

We all want a lush, beautiful and a healthy lawn. Winter weeds are an eyesore and ruin the aesthetic appeal of your yard. It is important to understand the different kinds of weeds, when they emerge and, how to control them.

If you need sod in Arizona, contact Evergreen Turf today. We are Arizona’s premier sod supplier. We serve the following areas: Phoenix, Tucson, Chandler, Mesa, Yuma, Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe, Buckeye, Gilbert, Surprise, Sierra Vista, Apache Junction, Glendale, and Peoria.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency and Nitrogen Deficiency

August 21st, 2017

Caring for a nutrient-deficient yard can be difficult if you don’t know the source of the problem. Nitrogen and iron, specifically, can show similar symptoms when deficient thus complicating the matter even further. Know the difference between the two and how to properly care for your lawn with our handy guide.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency - When it comes to leaves, you can detect iron deficiencies in a yellowish exterior with a green center.

Signs of Lawn Iron Deficiency

As you might suspect, lawn care is a scientific process. Photosynthesis occurs with sufficient chlorophyll which is made from iron in the grass. When chlorophyll is unable to properly develop, the result is a yellow or white lawn – the latter of which stems from severe iron chlorosis. Iron deficiencies can be the result excessive fertilization (resulting in high phosphorus) or alkaline soil. Chilly weather along with extra wet or dry soil can also be the culprit. Yards that are particularly shady can succumb to iron deficiencies. When it comes to leaves, you can detect iron deficiencies in a yellowish exterior with a green center.

Signs of Lawn Nitrogen Deficiency

Yellow grass is one sign of a nitrogen imbalance, though poor and patchy growth will often manifest as well. If the lawn appears to be ‘bleached,’ there’s a good chance your lawn is suffering from both iron and nitrogen deficiencies. Other symptoms include:

  • Slow growth
  • Slow recovery from foot traffic, environmental changes, and other stressors
  • Recurring disease

Other Causes of Yellow Grass

Pinpointing the cause of the discoloration is often the hardest part. Once you identify the problem, you can work toward a solution. Other causes of yellow grass include:

    • Overwatering. Too much water robs the plant of oxygen that’s necessary for growth. When the porous spaces within soil are constantly drowned in water, root systems die and grass appears weed-ridden, spongey to the touch, and yellow in color.
    • Insects. Cinch bugs can be detrimental to a healthy lawn as they feed on the sap of the blades. Reducing nitrogen and adhering to a strict watering schedule may help.
    • Fungal diseases. The chances of fungal disease increase with mismanaged temperature, thatch, and moisture levels.
    • Dog urine. Yes, pets are often overlooked as a reason for yellow spots on the lawn. Before you jump to conclusions about nutrient deficiencies, make sure to keep your animals off the grass. Then water thoroughly and wait to see if the color changes to green again.

How to Fix Your Nutrient-Deficient Lawn

Sprays are an effortless way to add iron to your yard; however, they’re merely a Band-Aid on a much larger problem. Once the grass is mowed, iron will be quickly removed and absorbed. Nitrogen deficiencies can be corrected organically with composted manure or coffee grounds mixed into the soil. Chemical fertilizers are also an option – just be sure the first number on the label (the NPK ratio) is appropriate for your grass type and issue. Like sprays, nitrogen fertilizers are a ‘quick fix.’

Often, your yellow yard is a combination of nitrogen and iron deficiencies – especially in Arizona. Test your soil using a kit or send it to a lab for a professional analysis. Getting to the root of the issue is paramount to a healthy yard. Know the triggers and how to correct discoloration and you’ll be well on your way to semi-pro landscaper in no time.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more answers!

Soil Amendments for Your Arizona Lawn

July 20th, 2017

Struggling to keep your Arizona lawn looking healthy and green? You’re not alone. Desert soil can be tricky when it comes to maintaining a beautiful yard year-round. Learn when and why you should consider a fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Struggling to keep your Arizona lawn looking healthy and green? Desert soil can be tricky when it comes to maintaining a beautiful yard. Learn when and why you should use fertilizer

Signs you should fertilize your lawn

  1. You live in Arizona! The truth is, certain regions in the southwest are problematic due to harsh weather and a lack of abundant nutrients in the soil.
  2. Your backyard contains high levels of clay. Clay soil can be rock hard to the touch as you might imagine, making it difficult for new vegetation to penetrate through caliche, its upper layer. When clay contracts and expands between extremely dry heat and moisture from monsoon rains, respectively, it can be difficult to maintain the kind of consistency needed for seasonal growth. Further, the alkaline in clay is largely responsible for iron deficiencies that lead to discolored lawns.
  3. The weather is colder or wetter than usual. Always follow the instructions for your specific fertilizer type, but know that certain factors such as heavy rainfall can affect the timing of your application. Save money by fertilizing just before a light rain (as it saves on your water bill) and not fertilizing before heavy rains as the fertilizer will just run off the yard.

Types of fertilizer

The three main types of fertilizer are:

  • Organic
  • Water-soluble
  • Synthetic

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the main nutrients found in fertilizers and marked by their percentage to the overall composition. Nitrogen is what gives the grass its vibrant green color while phosphorous and potassium are responsible for early establishment and growth and the ability to use nitrogen, respectively.

Check out our Nutrition page for more information on fertilization.

Alternative Soil Amendments

Consider organic fertilizer such as composted turkey litter, chicken litter, or steer manure as all provide a great source of organic nitrogen, phosphorus, and microbial stimulants. These can be found in most garden stores as well as local chicken and egg family farms that sell organic litter products.

When to fertilize

Generally, complete fertilizers are best any time of year; however, you should consult a professional landscaper for an analysis if there’s any doubt as to what materials are required for your lawn. You can also conduct a personal pH test of the soil to determine what nutrients are needed.

When transitioning your lawn from winter into a spring or summer yard, apply fertilizer at a half-rate around the first part of May. Less is often more so as not to burn your lawn. If you apply full-rate fertilizer, the rye grass will grow too much causing an unhealthy and unsightly yard. Use full-rate fertilizer in June when Bermuda grass is really growing strong.

For more information on how to properly care for your Arizona sod, contact Evergreen Turf today at 480.456.1199.