How to Care for Your Lawn in the Winter When You Are Not Overseeding

When researching winter lawn care, you’ll likely discover countless suggestions for overseeding your lawn with a perennial species like ryegrass.

But overseeding requires watering—in Arizona, residents, business owners, and landscapers should be mindful of local water supplies and use restrictions in place. To conserve water, reduce your utility bill, or simply take a more sustainable approach to lawn management this winter, you might choose to skip overseeding.

If you’re not going to overseed, what should your winter lawn maintenance plan look like? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of cool-weather lawn care.

#1 Research Your Grass Type

If you’ve recently moved into a new home, you might not know where to start when it comes to making a winter lawn care plan.

The first step—finding out what kind of grasses make up your lawn and researching how to care for each species.

And, if you’re thinking about replacing your lawn before the cool weather kicks in, remember that not all grasses are created equal when it comes to weather resistance and damage recovery. Here are a few of the most common Arizona grasses and their general response to damage (like cold weather):

  • Midiron – Excellent damage recovery
  • Tifway 419 – Very good recovery
  • Tifgreen 328 – Fair recovery
  • TifGrand – Fair recovery
  • Palmetto St. Augustine – Fair recovery

After you determine your grass type, research how it responds to cooler weather and what you’ll need to do to help it survive the winter.

#2 Allow Grass to Go Dormant

Some grasses—like Bermuda grass, a common Arizona species—go dormant during prolonged cold weather. Dormant grasses can:

  • Become less vibrant or even appear dead
  • Grow slowly (or not at all)
  • Appear and feel dehydrated, dry, or crunchy

But dormant grass isn’t dead grass—dormancy is like hibernation for plants, and dormant grass should spring back up to its former green glory once the weather warms up.

If your grass appears to be going dormant for the winter, it’s best to let nature take its course.

#3 Monitor Rainfall and Supplement with Watering

Just because your lawn might be going dormant, you shouldn’t expect it to survive without any water during the winter months.

Each grass species has specific needs for staying alive (or having a healthy dormancy) in winter, and you should expect your lawn to need at least some watering. Bermuda grass, for instance, needs to be watered in the winter to maintain soil moisture—which will keep the grass alive even once it starts to wilt.

Winter rains may provide all the water your lawn needs as the weather cools down. But, if your area doesn’t receive any rain for more than two weeks, you should consider lightly watering it (while taking care not to overwater).

#4 Adjust Fertilization Schedule

During the warmer months, you may be watering and fertilizing your lawn often to help keep weeds out, encourage thickening, and maintain that vibrant green.

However, if you don’t plan to overseed this winter, you can cut back on your fertilizing efforts once the weather cools down.

Different grasses have different fertilization needs, even during the winter. If you’re not sure how to fertilize your lawn, you can:

  • Consult a turf expert for advice
  • Test fertilizer frequency and formula in a small patch of your yard
  • Reach out to your local extension office for more information

Evergreen Turf: Your #1 Source for Quality Sod in Arizona

Arizona winter grass doesn’t have to be overseeded during the colder months. Still, you should ensure you’re providing the specific care your grass species needs to stay alive this winter, whether or not it goes dormant.

If you’re looking for turf tips before the cooler weather sets in, Evergreen Turf is your number-one source for helpful information, high-quality sod, and so much more. You can browse our wealth of lawn care knowledge online, give us a call, or drop by our Chandler location—when you need expertise, we’ve got you covered.

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