Turf Transitioning - brought to you by Southwest Sod

Want to learn a thing or two about growing grass that might be helpful to you?

Let’s start with some watering wisdom for your turf.  Always water established turf in the early morning to prevent excessive evaporation.  Next, if footprints stay in your grass for more than 5 minutes, it's time turn on the sprinklers.  A bluish gray tint also indicates stress and lack of water.  If the dry area is not getting the same amount of water as the green area, adjust the sprinkler heads accordingly.

Grass needs water, but it loves fertilizer.  A properly fertilized lawn has good density and deep color.  Fertilizing not only strengthens the plant, it also protects your lawn from drought, disease, and weeds.  Because of the increased daylight hours during the summer growing season, an application of something similar to 21-0-0 analysis once a month works great.  Nitrogen is one of the necessary ingredients for the long summer months because the blades of turf absorb a substantial amount of sunlight.  A good nitrogen based fertilizer will help your lawn maintain its deep green color.

For winter months it is best to use a 16-20-0 analysis or something similar.  The shorter daylight hours mean the turf needs an additional nutrient source, namely phosphorus.  Southwest Sod recommends an application every 4 to 6 weeks for a healthy winter lawn and to keep the ryegrass growing.

Since summer is just around the corner, here is how to transition your lawn.  Be on the lookout for an increase in temperature, because once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees, you may want to consider preparing the lawn for the summer season.

For grass that has been overseeded, keep the grass mowed short, leaving only about 50% of the leaf blade.  Then you can reduce watering for 5-7 days to 70-80% of your normal use.  This stresses the ryegrass and allows the hybrid bermudagrass to flourish.  Next, fertilize with 21-0-0 analysis or a fertilizer with a similar rate of ammonium sulfate and return to a regular watering and mowing schedule. Be sure to rake the ryegrass off as it dies out so the underlying hybrid bermudagrass gets plenty of sunshine and watering. What's normal?  Well, you usually should be watering 10-15 minutes every day and mow once a week. 

For those lawns that have not been overseeded, mow your lawn, but be sure to remove only about 1/3 of the leaf blade.  Next, carefully rake the yard to remove cuttings and any dead grass that has accumulated over the winter.  Fertilize monthly with a 21-0-0 or similar analysis and water twice a week for 15 to 20 minutes.  As your grass comes out of dormancy, be sure to increase your watering schedule to every day for 10-15 minutes.

If you follow those steps, you can bet that your lawn will look great.