Getting your lawn ready for winter is a very simple process that will ensure that you have a great looking lawn all year long. In Arizona, we have to take care of our lawns year round, and treating them in the winter is different than what we do in the summer to keep them looking great.
Here are some step by step instructions for winterizing your lawn:
- In order to grow a successful lawn, it’s important to begin preparation for overseeding in mid-September to mid-October. Bermuda grass must be dormant (brown in color) before seeding new Rye grass. As the night time temperature begins to cool down (mid –September to mid-October) cut back on watering to push Bermuda grass into dormancy.
- Gradually lower mowing heights over successive mowing cycles until reaching 3/4” with a rotary mower or 1/2” with a reel mower. When the grass is dry use a thatch rake or power rake to remove thatch thus allowing the rye seed to reach the soil, also consider aerating the soil if it is compacted. They are available for rent at your Phoenix Ace Hardware stores.
- There are many kinds of grass seeds on the market, and choosing the right ones depends on how you want your grass to look. For example, a good all-around seed is the Winter Wonder Lawn seed. Apply Rye grass seed at a rate of 10 pounds per 1000 SF using a mechanical spreader for even coverage.
- After you’ve got the seed down, it’s time to add some starter fertilizer. **If the Bermuda grass has been fertilized within 3-4 weeks before new seed is to be put down consider not using a starter fertilizer and wait to fertilize the lawn after the first mowing.
- You want that top coat on there to keep the birds away and also retain the moisture against the seeds so they will germinate.
- For watering set sprinklers to water 3 to 4 times a day four to six minutes per session. After the seed has sprouted adjust the watering based on temperature and wind conditions. This will vary depending on temperatures and natural precipitation. *Do not allow water to puddle. The key is to keep it moist so that the seeds will germinate and begin to grow.
- About 28 days later it will be fully established, it’s safe to mow the lawn. Then decrease watering to every 3 to 5 days for 25 minutes.
Winterizing your lawn should begin in September and go through late October. Eagle Ace Hardware offers everything you need to winterize your lawn properly and make sure that you have a brilliant, green lawn every month of the year.