Benefits of Sod

August 3rd, 2018

To sod, or not to sod? In Arizona’s dry desert climate, this is a major question for homeowners who want to enjoy a lush green lawn, despite the blistery hot temperatures that can be incurred this time of year. Fortunately, there are actually many benefits of sod. With a bevy of reasons under its belt, sod can easily become your lawn’s best friend. The key is finding the right type of sod that works for your climate, as well as the unique elements specific to your own individual space.

What are the major benefits of sod lawns?

Here’s a look at a few of our favorite benefits of sod:

Benefit #1: Sod Reduces Heat

Asphalt, concrete, bare soil, and artificial turf have a tendency to emanate heat. Conversely, sod absorbs heat, creating cooling properties that can bring the temperature over the sod down 10 to 30 degrees cooler than other landscaping material.

According to Turfgrass Producers International, “The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity. The cooling effect of irrigated turf reduces the amount of fuel that must be burned to provide the electricity which powers the air conditioners.”

Those numbers are huge in a high desert region such as Arizona, where heat can easily overtake comfortable outside living spaces. With sod on your side, you’ll enjoy a built in natural balance against the sizzling sun.

Benefit #2: Sod Adds Value to Your Home

People say kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, but remember, buyers have to get past your front yard long before they walk through your front door. A well-landscaped home can increase the overall property value by 15 to 20 percent. Clean, soft grass is particularly appealing to perspective homeowners who have small children or pets who will likely romp around in the yard during playtime.

Benefit #3: Sod Controls Erosion

Sod is fully matured from the moment it’s installed, meaning it’s immediately ready to go to work, controlling erosion and rooting itself deep within the dirt beneath it. If you have steep hills on your property, sod can easily be installed on the slopes to perpetuate stabilization. If you have a dirt-covered lawn that’s prone to get muddy on the few occasions we get big rains in this part of the country, sod can eliminate the muck and mire and give you a lawn you’ll truly desire.

Benefit #4: Sod Absorbs Carbon Dioxide & Releases Oxygen

By default, plants are humans’ best friends. They take the carbon dioxide we release into the air, process it, and send back fresh, clean oxygen for us all to breathe. Lawns are special carbon dioxide filters, given the sheer size they take up at any given time.

Grass also absorbs harmful agents that find their way into the air we breathe, such as hydrogen fluoride and peroxyacetyl nitrates.

Beyond this, the lovely blades on lawns also act as a natural dust and dirt filter, helping to keep an estimated 12 million tons of particles from floating around in the air by capturing it and making it part of its own ecosystem.

Benefit #5: Sod Reduces Noise from Traffic

Have you ever been inside a home that has no carpet or furniture? If so, you realize just how loud everyday sounds can be. A simple footstep echoes on the walls and makes a sound last much longer than it would if there was something around to absorb the sound.

That’s what sod does for the exterior of your home. The impact of noise pollution—even by simple things like cars passing by—is greatly reduced when you have sod acting as a sound barrier. The thick layer of leaves and dirt are apt to absorb sound before it begins bouncing off area structures. Of course, no sod can combat the annoying noise of your neighbor’s unnecessary car alarm, but you’ll certainly hear a difference if you go from a dirt landscape to a lawn that’s covered in sound-absorbing sod.

If you’re trying to figure out if sod would be a good solution for your lawn, we invite you to stop by our location at 11407 E. Germann Road in Chandler, Arizona. You can also learn about the sod varieties we offer here at Evergreen Turf, and if you already know what you want, go ahead and order online!

How to Spare Your Lawn During Summer Outdoor Parties

July 20th, 2018

Summer is a time to spend outside with friends. It means big BBQs, lawn games, and probably a few four-legged furry friends who want to get in on some of the action. Unfortunately, heavy foot traffic is not ideal for a healthy sod lawn. If you plan to throw outdoor parties this summer, here are some tips on how to keep your lawn beautiful while avoiding damage to your sod.

how to prevent damage to your sod lawn during outdoor parties

Make Friends with Mulch

Mulch is a great space filler when summer fun ensues. It’s decorative, easy to buy in large batches, and can be spread across large areas. It’s also multi-useful, acting as a beautifier, boundary space, and safety element.

Put mulch or small gravel under jungle gyms and swing sets so you don’t have to worry about bare spots forming in your lawn.

Move Large Items That Rest on your Sod Lawn

If you keep large items in one place for too long, the grass underneath will become deprived of oxygen and nutrients, causing it to turn sickly yellow or brown in the shape of the object that was over it. When your lawn has large, heavy items on it, be sure to move them to a new location every other day to keep the grass beneath it from suffering.

Example item might include:

  • Corn hole game and other lawn games
  • Kiddie pools
  • Slip ‘N Slides
  • Bounce castles
  • Jungle gyms (if they’re light enough to move)
  • Trampolines

Create a Safe Space for Your Flower Beds

When the good times get going, your guests can easily overlook the stunning flowers you’ve spent so much time working to procure into perfect petals. It would be a shame to see someone trample on them because they didn’t realize there was a don’t-walk space directly beneath their feet.

To prevent this mishap, add a decorative fence around your flower bed. This is an awesome opportunity to take your gardening creativity to a new level. This might be the perfect time to install a river rock dry creek, adding an aesthetic element to your outside space.

Place Your Paths Strategically

You can influence the routes your guests take when they walk on the lawn by carefully placing your patio furniture, grill, and games in a manner that necessitates minimal foot traffic on your lawn. If you have a gazebo or meeting space that’s a bit further away from your house, install stepping stones to add an appealing path that will guide your guests from here to there, while protecting the surrounding grass from incurring foot traffic.

If you need extra sod to fix damaged areas on your lawn, or are looking for a brand new sod lawn, stop by Evergreen Turf and let us get you ready for your next outdoor party today!

How to Maintain Grass in Extreme Heat

July 2nd, 2018

Newsflash! It gets pretty toasty in Arizona in the summer!

Phoenix is always making national headlines around this time of year due to its extreme summer heat. This can be problematic for your sod lawn if you don’t know how to maintain your grass when temperatures soar.

Lucky for you, Evergreen Turf is here to help! Here are our top tips for maintaining grass through the hot Arizona summer heat:

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

1. Don’t Mow too Low

Mowing your grass too short reduces the plant’s ability to produce energy for growth. Remember, different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights. Optimal mower heights vary, depending on whether you’re mowing cool-season or warm-season grass, but generally speaking, you never want to remove more than one-third of the grass blade at a time.

2. Water Deeply, Not Daily

Water is a scarce resource when things heat up in the desert, but you don’t want to drown your grass and waste the resource on a lawn that won’t be able to soak it all in. The goal is to water deeply so the water reaches the entire root zone. Then, don’t water again until it starts to dry out. Normally, you’ll be able to simply look at your lawn to see if it’s dry. If you’re not sure, use a soil probe or long screwdriver to test the moisture level beneath the surface. If you can’t push your tool down about ten inches, it’s time for a watering session.

3. Keep Mower Blades Sharp

Your grass will heal faster when you use a sharp blade. Dull blades tend to inhibit growth and may negate the beautiful look you’re going for. When the mower blade is dull, it rips the grass, rather than cutting it. This can lead to a brown appearance, as the tearing tends to deaden the tips of the leaves.

It’s important to keep your lawn healthy all year round to prevent headaches and costly mistakes that can be detrimental to the look of your yard.

Evergreen Turf is Arizona’s go-to place for beautiful lawns. If you follow these tips to maintain your healthy lawn during extreme summer heat in Phoenix and Tucson, you’ll enjoy a stunning lawn all summer long. Do you need a little help getting started? Touch base with our Evergreen Turf team today!

How to Work with Native Desert Soil and a Sod Lawn

July 2nd, 2018

Arizona is known for its native desert soil. If you’ve ever tried to grow a lush, green lawn in Phoenix or Tucson, there are certain challenges that are quite unique to the climate and soil in the Southwest.

Native desert soil doesn't store water very well, which can cause the sod to dry out very easily.

What’s the issue with soil in Arizona?

Native desert soil doesn’t store water very well, which can cause the sod to dry out very easily. Naturally, we don’t see a lot of rainfall in this part of the country, which means you have to be diligent about adhering to a watering schedule that’s right for your chosen type of grass during each phase of its growth, paying attention to the temperatures and time of year as each season progresses. Native desert soil is also comprised of few nutrients and can’t accumulate the nutrients it does receive very well.

Another difficulty with Arizona soil is the fact that it lacks the microorganisms that live in good soil. Microorganisms are essential for a healthy lawn, as they help feed the grass’s roots and keep everything beneath the surface alive and well.

How to Improve Native Soil so You Can Plant a Healthy Sod Lawn

Fortunately, the difficulties that come with native Arizona soil can easily be overcome with a little bit of lawn care due diligence.

  1. Till your soil. To begin, till your soil down to a depth of about six to eight inches. During this time, you can work in some compost as you go, helping to replace vital nutrients the soil will need to sustain your sod.
  1. Remove weeds. As everyone knows, weeds are a problem. They take the vitamins, mineral, and water away from your lawn’s roots and keep it for themselves. If you can remove weeds as you’re prepping your soil, you’ll set yourself up for greater success in the long run.
  1. Mix in top soil. Top soil, or soil amendment, is formulated with special ingredients to help your lawn grow. This step will provide your grass the opportunity to form a deep root system. In other words, your lawn will be stronger because the foundation will be firmly in the ground and fit to create a green landscape.

Now your soil is ready for sod! Of course, you don’t want to pick just any sod. It’s important to look for a grass that will grow well in the conditions your property provides, taking into account how much shade the sod will receive, how much care you’ll be able to provide, and which type of equipment you’ll be using to keep it trimmed. Not sure which type of sod is best for you? Use our Lawn Selector tool to drill down on blades of grass that’ll give you the optimal outcome.

Evergreen Turf is Arizona’s place for beautiful lawns. If you’re in need of sod, contact our team. We’ll deliver your sod right to your home. We also offer installation, or you can choose to install it yourself.

Common Lawncare Mistakes in Arizona (and How to Avoid Them)

May 26th, 2018

You want the best for your lawn. You’ve chosen the grass you think will work best for our specific area; you’ve done your research regarding fertilizer; and you’ve got your sprinkler system set and ready to go. What could you possibly be missing?

If we’re to be honest, there are quite a few things you could be overlooking. Allow us to explain some of the common lawncare mistakes in Arizona, along with a few things you can do to avoid them.

Smiling Professional Gardener handles the most common lawncare mistakes in Arizona

Mistake #1: Not Understanding What Your Lawn Needs

Life would be so simple if everything had a one-size-fits-all solution. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case, and if you approach lawncare with this mentality, you may find yourself with wilted yellow leaves or an overabundance of thatch that needs constant attention.

Solution: Educate yourself on home lawncare.

Every region, grass, and environment are a little bit different. Before you begin anything, study up on the type of grass you’ve chosen so you can be sure you’re feeding it the appropriate amount of fertilizer in a timeframe that works best for its growth. Understanding the type of grass that’s best for your lawn is the foundation for a lush, green landscape you can enjoy throughout the year.

Mistake #2: Over- or Under-Watering

Watering Arizona sod can be tricky. In this region, many people are inclined to give their grass as much water as they possibly can, but over-watering can lead to problematic pests and oversaturated roots that aren’t able to grow. On the other hand, if you don’t water your lawn enough, it can easily start to turn yellow and become fragile, unable to bounce back from normal wear.

Solution: Follow Evergreen Turf’s watering guidelines. With a few simple rules of thumb, you’ll be able to combat the excessive heat of our region without oversaturating your lawn. If you have an established lawn, water two to three times per day for 10 to 25 minutes each time. If you’ve recently sodded your lawn and you’re going into the summer months, water it four to eight times for the first two weeks for five to 10 minutes each time. Once you reach the third week, you can decrease the number of times you water to once per day but increase the watering time to 15 to 45 minutes.

Mistake #3: Confusing Dormant Grass for Dead Grass

In Arizona, it’s quite common for people to seed winter and summer grasses. Our climate enables homeowners to enjoy lush, green lawns all year long. Grass goes dormant when it’s trying to preserve nutrients and conserve water, so it can stay alive. If you’re noticing brownish grass in the spring, and you have summer grass, chances are, your grass is just in dormancy and waiting to be revived. The same goes for the change of seasons as you head into winter.

Solution: Learn the beautiful process of overseeding so you can transition your lawn thoughtfully through every season.

Mistake #4: Trying to Force Grass Types to Grow

People often think they can pick the type of grass they like the most, plant it, and watch it grow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Different regions of the country provide optimal climates for certain grasses, while simultaneously refusing to allow others to grow.

In Arizona’s high desert region, you need to choose a type of grass that’s compatible with our soil and climate. If you choose a grass that isn’t bred to withstand the heat and dry environment of this Southwest region, your efforts will likely be in vain.

Solution: Choose grass types that are best suited for the Arizona climate. Use our Lawn Selector Tool to get started.

Mistake #5: Planting in Too Much Shade or Sun

It’s tough to feel like you have control over how much sun or shade your grass is getting, but these elements will often determine the ultimate outcome of your lawn’s look. Some sods do better when they’re exposed to a lot of sun, while others can tolerate shade quite nicely.

Solution: Choose a location and type of sod that will suit each other. It’s important to note that no sod grass can tolerate 100% shade, so if you have areas that don’t receive any sun, it’s best to prune trees or bushes so they let light in. If that isn’t a possibility, you might want to modify your landscape plans to include decorative rocks in places that don’t receive sunlight.

At Evergreen Turf, Arizona lawncare is what we do. We’re superheroes of high desert landscapes, nurturers of needy grasses, and experts in this outdoor industry. If your lawn isn’t performing as you expect it to, reach out to our team of professionals. Together, we’ll troubleshoot your problems and find solutions that work well for your wallet and your lawn. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Can I Fertilize My Lawn in the Summer?

May 23rd, 2018

A common question asked among homeowners who have lawns is, “Can I fertilize my lawn in the summer?” The answer is yes you can and should fertilize your lawn in the summer. It’s important to keep your lawn fed throughout the year and that includes in the summer time.

Just like people need a balanced diet to be at their best, your lawn needs a balanced diet to grow green and strong.

So, how do you know which fertilizer to choose and how much fertilizer to give your lawn during the summer months?

The Fertilizer Balancing Act

Can I Fertilize My Lawn in the Summer? - Evergreen Turf, Arizona's Sod Farm
Your lawn needs nutrients to grow. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong.

Over-fertilizing can cause it to grow too quickly. If that happens, you may find yourself with an excessive thatch buildup, which will ultimately produce extra work for you, as you’ll need to remove the thatch in order to allow nutrients to reach the roots. On the other hand, if you don’t fertilize enough, you could wind up with a yellow patch of lawn that’s thin and slow to recover from everyday wear.

As a general rule, lawns should be fertilized monthly. If you have Palmetto St. Augustine grass, it does not require a lot of nitrogen. If you’re using Palmetto, it should be fed with a fertilizer that’s high in potassium and magnesium.

Related: Summer Health for Arizona Sod

Of course, if you’re not sure which fertilizer is best for your lawn, it’s always a good idea to talk to lawncare experts. An incorrect guess can be a costly decision if you wind up killing your grass or creating a problem of over-thatching.

If you’re lucky enough to have achieved a thick, dense, dark green lawn, you probably only need to fertilize every six to eight weeks. In this case, consider using a slow-release fertilizer. These products provide a constant stream of nutrients while reducing the likelihood of over-thatching and speedy growth that can result in the need to mow frequently.

Bermuda Grass Fertilization Tips

Bermuda grass lawns require regular feeding for healthy growth. If you’re in Arizona or another high desert region, we recommend fertilizing at least once per month during the summer. Use complete fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen but offers a medium amount of phosphorous. The following formulas usually work well for Bermuda grass:

  • 21-7-14
  • 16-8-4
  • 20-5-5

Once your lawn is 100% filled in, you can switch over to a slow-release or organic fertilizer to help slow the growth but maintain healthy vigor and color.

Evergreen Turf is Arizona’s one-stop shop for sod lawns. We offer an assortment of residential and commercial sod products, and our experienced staff can even install your lawn for you. Stop by our Chandler, Arizona location, and let us know what we can do to help you improve your lawn!

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!