Archive for the ‘Lawn Maintenance’ Category

FAQ: How Often Should I Fertilize Bermuda Grass?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

A question we get asked frequently around here is…

“How often should I fertilize Bermuda grass?”

how often to fertilize your Bermuda sod lawn

It’s a great question and knowing the answer will help ensure that you have the healthiest lawn possible; one that thrives through the warm months of the year.

So here is your answer:

You should fertilize your Bermuda grass about once a month in the spring using a quick-release, complete fertilizer Once your lawn is fully green and dense, you can switch to a slow-release fertilizer. This will slow the growth of your lawn, so it doesn’t become overgrown.

It’s important to switch to a slow-release fertilizer once your lawn is dense, so that you won’t get a lot of growth. This ensures you’re caring for your lawn in the most efficient manner.

We have several other articles related to the topic of Bermuda grass, including midiron, and fertilizer on our site. Here’s a round-up of those articles, in case you’re still curious or have some other questions.

Other Helpful Articles

How To Get Rid of Weeds – This article describes the most common weeds in Arizona and how to eliminate them from your lawn.

Effects of Over-fertilizing – This article explains how you can accidentally over-fertilize your lawn. It also tells you how to repair an over fertilized lawn.

Can I Fertilize My Lawn in the Summer – This article answers that question and gives additional fertilization tips.

Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass – This article goes into detail on which fertilizer is best to use on your Bermuda sod, depending on the time of year and the maturity stage of your lawn.

Common Lawncare Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – This article helps you avoid the most common lawn care mistakes that homeowners make.

Best Time of Year to Aerate Your Bermuda Grass Lawn – This article explains the process of aerating your lawn, why it is important, and when is the best time of year to do so.

About Evergreen Turf

Here at Evergreen Turf, we pride ourselves on being your go-to source for sod in Arizona. Whether you just need tips on how to keep your lawn healthy year-round or you need to purchase sod from us, we have you covered. We even offer installation of our sod products, so you don’t have to worry about installing it yourself.

Not sure which type of sod is right for your lawn? Take our quiz to help you select which variety of sod is suited for your unique conditions. For all things related to lawn care, be sure to check out our lawn care section on our website, which covers everything from irrigation and mowing to nutrition, insect control and fall over-seeding.

If you have any other questions about Arizona sod, whether it has to do with fertilizing your Bermuda sod or anything else, contact our team today and let us know how we can help you. You can also ask us questions or just say hi on our Facebook page!

Top 10 Tips for Arizona Sod

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Here at Evergreen Turf, we talk about sod a lot! In fact, we’ve been writing blog posts and articles on how best to care for your sod lawn in Arizona for over a decade. People from Phoenix to Tucson and the cities in between turn to us, not just for sod installations, but for lawn care tips. Why? Because they know they can trust us to provide accurate information on creating healthy lawns in Arizona. Here is a collection of our top 10 tips for Arizona sod, from our article archive. Enjoy!

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

Best Fertilizer for St Augustine Grass

The best fertilizer for St Augustine grass will vary, but the rule of thumb is one pound of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet. Fertilizing every two months is ideal unless you apply slow-release nitrogen that can be spread every 10 weeks. There are numerous fertilizers marketed for St. Augustine specifically such as Lesco St. Augustine Lawn Fertilizer, Dr. Earth Organic Super Natural Lawn Fertilizer and Pennington’s Weed and Feed product.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/best-fertilizer-for-st-augustine-grass.php

How Long Does It Take For Sod To Take Root

The process takes about two weeks for shallow roots and up to six weeks to establish deep root growth.

Be sure to read the full article for tips on how to encourage deep root growth, as well as how to best prepare your soil for sod. Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/How-Long-Does-It-Take-for-Sod-to-Take-Root.php

The Best Grass For Arizona Lawns

For the warm seasons, the best types of grass for Arizona lawns are Bermuda grasses, such as Tifway, Midiron and others. Palmetto St. Augustine is also a great choice for warm seasons, as it is the most heat-tolerant of all St. Augustine cultivars. For winter grass, the best option is perennial ryegrass. You want to over-seed your summer lawn with perennial ryegrass in the fall when the temperatures outside start to drop to ensure a lush, green winter lawn.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/best-grass-arizona-lawns.php

How To Make St. Augustine Grass Thicker

In a nutshell, you want to follow these five steps to make St. Augustine grass thicker:

  1. Properly prepare the soil.
  2. Water sufficiently – the watering schedule varies based on whether you’re working with a freshly installed lawn or a mature lawn, as well as time of year.
  3. Mow the lawn to the proper height, make sure your mower has sharp blades, and don’t bag the trimmings.
  4. Fertilize with one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn space. Fertilize during periods of active growth only.
  5. Hand pull weeds whenever possible, and be very careful if you choose to use chemical herbicides.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/how-to-make-st-augustine-grass-thicker.php

How To Keep Grass Green in Five Steps

  1. Choose a type of sod that will work best in your yard.
  2. Test your soil.
  3. Water thoroughly but do not over-water.
  4. Don’t mow too short.
  5. Aerate your lawn once in spring and once in fall.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/How-to-Keep-Grass-Green-in-5-Easy-Steps.php

How To Have Year-Round Grass in Arizona

Bermuda grass is used most often for Arizona lawns during the warm months. It will stay green and continue to grow as long as it has enough water. It is a perennial grass, meaning it comes back year after year. Its active season is usually from May to September.

In September or October, when the temperatures start to get cooler, Bermuda grasses will begin to turn yellow. While your lawn may look dead, it actually is not, this just means the grass has gone dormant.

If you want to ensure that your lawn is green from October through May until the Bermuda grass becomes active again, you will want to overseed your lawn with Rye grass. This grass is suited to cooler temperatures and will begin to die off in May once the afternoons start to become hotter.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/how-to-have-year-round-grass-arizona.php

Why and When To Fertilize Your Lawn

Why should you fertilize your lawn? Because fertilizers help to build a better root system, which in turn helps protect your lawn from extreme heat, cold, drought, foot traffic, and other stress factors.

When should you fertilize your lawn? You should fertilize several times throughout the year:

  • February – April – Strengthens the roots and helps to set it up for success during the heavy growing season.
  • April – June – Gives your lawn the energy it needs to stay healthy during the summer and fall.
  • June – August – Encourage continued growth so that you still have a lawn in the fall.
  • September – November – Your lawn is ready for another growth period, and will need nutrients in order to thrive. Apply your fertilizer just before the winter chill hits in order to increase nitrogen storage.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/Why-and-When-to-Fertilize-Your-Lawn.php

The Best Time To Install Your Arizona Sod Lawn

Sod can be installed year round as long as the soil is properly prepared beforehand.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/Best-Time-Install-Arizona-Sod-Lawn.php

A Guide To 15-15-15 Fertilizer

5-15-15 fertilizer is a fertilizer that contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. It is the best option when you’re installing new sod in Arizona because the soil in Arizona naturally has little to no phosphorous content.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/15-15-15-fertilizer-guide-arizona.php

Best Watering Practices for Arizona Sod

  • When to water freshly installed sod: For the first two weeks after you install your new sod, you should water it four to eight times per day in short intervals of five to ten minutes to keep the sod evenly moist.
  • Water an established lawn two to three times per week for ten to 25 minutes. Try to water early in the morning or in the evening.
  • Rainwater and recycled household water can supplement your traditional water supply. Check your local laws to ensure it is legal to do so.
  • Sprinklers and timers can help make watering sod in Arizona more efficient.

Learn more here: https://www.evergreenturf.com/best-watering-practices-arizona-sod.php

How to Maintain Grass in Extreme Heat

Monday, 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!

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

Saturday, 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!

Signs You Have Overwatered or Underwatered Your Lawn

Wednesday, 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!

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

Wednesday, 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.

Winter Weeds to Know + Weed Control Tips

Tuesday, 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 Iron and Nitrogen Deficiency in your Home Lawn

Monday, 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

Thursday, 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.

Working With Arizona Soil For A Healthy Lawn

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Clay is common in Arizona and has high alkaline levels which cause iron deficiency in home lawns.

Clay Soil 101

If you’re trying to build a landscape of beautiful grass, you must first know the foundation that will support it. Clay is common in Arizona and not particularly easy to work with as high alkaline levels create an iron deficiency. Battling discoloration without knowing the cause will lead to continuous cycles of yellow grass and a lot of frustration that can be easily avoided. On top of that, the density of the soil leads to a soggy lawn during the monsoon season and rock hard dirt in the dry summer sun. This environment leads to stressed grass conducive to weeds and disease. To prepare the soil for optimal grass growth, implement the following practice:

  • Use compost, lawn clippings, and organic fertilizer as a top dressing. Over time, it will decompose and change the natural composition of the soil, improving upon the troublesome qualities of clay. Understand this is not a quick fix and can take multiple seasons—even years.

Five Tips for Fertilizing an Arizona Lawn

  1. Because Arizona soil tends to have a high pH and calcium level, there are certain nutrients that will always carry a deficiency. Iron and phosphorous will need to be supplemented through the application of organic or synthetic fertilizer.
  2. Try adding sulfur to stimulate the activation of amino acids. Spreading sulfur twice a year (using five pounds per one thousand square feet) can lower the pH level of your soil and foster faster, healthier growth.
  3. Know that yellowing is typically a lack of nitrogen or other nutrients. Balancing your soil with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer can turn things around quickly.
  4. Fertilizing doesn’t have to equate to hours of meticulous care. Offset nutrient deficiencies with a lawn spray—just make sure you test your soil and follow instructions to the letter as you would any other soil amendment.
  5. Try Ironite (the brand) to return your lawn to a healthy hue while controlling growth. It contains iron, sulfur, and other micronutrients needed for a strong bed of grass.

Still at a loss for how to work with your Arizona soil in a fool-proof way? The only substitute for hard work and experience is professional help! First, check out our frequently asked questions page for all the common questions we get from Arizona homeowners regarding their lawn.

Contact Evergreen Turf for Arizona sod installation quotes or for questions on various treatment options. Call 480.456.1199 for an estimate.