Connecting Greater Phoenix gardeners with information that helps put xeriscape principles into action.

Overseeding for Winter Lawns in Phoenix

Well, here it is, October in the desert, and all I can think about is how freakin’ thrilled I am for “turf break”!  No more fertilizing, mulching, mowing and–say it isn’t so!–NO MORE WATERING the weeds that we call grass!

Now, I can pretend that I’m on a one-woman mission to save the Earth from our thirsty ways by having a completely natural desert landscape.  But I’m not.  No, I’m out to save the greenbacks!  The fewer of those that I have to send to the City of Phoenix for water, the happier I am.  That’s why I love turf break!

BUT…some of you like to overseed for winter and don’t mind all the maintenance and money it takes to get there.  I salute you for that.  Just don’t do it while it’s hot.  Wait until nighttime temps drop to 65 or below for 3-7 consecutive days, and then start overseeding.

By the way, the very nature of overseeding forces Bermuda grass into dormancy so another grass can grow over it–which shocks the system.  So lay off the overseeding every couple of years…and enjoy a turf break!

 

Growing Green Grass in Phoenix

So if you’ve been reading this blog, you know how much I despise Bermuda Grass…and how I’ve rejoiced in my success at killing it off!

But I have a husband who insisted on keeping SOME grass, so I kept these two squares of turf in our backyard.  Turf’s not always a bad thing, especially if you have kids or pets (or turf-loving spouses)!

So I figure if we’re going to have grass, we might as well do it up right…and I finally learned how!  Starting about April 15, and on the 15th of every month through September, I fertilize with a good blend and cover it with compost. The compost keeps the fertilizer from burning the grass.  Then I water as scheduled.

We can now walk barefoot on our grass!  Yes, we mow and trim more often (and, you may be cringing right now, but those weed whackers can really do a  number on trees and plants, so I hand trim everything!) so I can’t imagine doing this for our entire yard.  But once it’s done in September, you can just let it go dormant until the spring!

By the way, I use SmartBlend 21-7-14 from Fertizona.  It’s a balanced blend that delivers a good dose of nitrogen and smaller amounts of potassium and phosphorous.  And Ferizona is a family-owned business from Casa Grande, so they really know our challenging soils.  I get my fertilizer from Baker’s Nursery on 40th St & Osborn.  They can also help if you’re trying to address specific turf problems.

 

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