How To Transition Your Lawn Back To Warm Season Turfgrass

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

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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.

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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!

 

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How To Transition Your Lawn Back To Warm Season Turfgrass
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How To Transition Your Lawn Back To Warm Season Turfgrass
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Learn how to transition your winter lawn back to warm season turfgrass. Here's everything you need to know about the springtime transition, from how to mow and how much water to give your lawn, to fertilization and other maintenance tips.
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Evergreen Turf
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