If you’re looking to plant grass in Arizona, timing and preparation are key. Knowing when to plant and what type of grass to plant can make all the difference in achieving a beautiful and healthy lawn.
In this article, we’ll provide you with all the practical details you need for a successful lawn in the Grand Canyon State.
Mid-April through May is the ideal time to plant Bermuda and other summer grasses, while early to mid-October is the recommended time to seed winter grasses.
However, planting grass in Arizona requires more than just timing.
We’ll also cover the best types of grass to plant and provide you with tips on how to grow and care for your lawn in this unique location with its specific climate and conditions.
Two Growing Seasons for Arizona Lawns
If you live in Arizona, you have the unique opportunity to grow both summer and winter grasses due to the state’s climate. In this guide, we will provide you with tips and tricks to help you care for both types of grasses.
Summer grasses, also known as warm-season grasses, thrive in the summer heat and intense sunlight that Arizona provides. They start to green up in late spring and early summer, making it the perfect time to seed or install sod, plugs, or sprigs for these grasses. The most popular summer grass in Arizona is Bermudagrass, but there are other options such as St. Augustinegrass, Buffalograss, Blue Grama grass, Zoysiagrass, and Bahiagrass.
Most summer grasses thrive in the low southern deserts around Phoenix, Casa Grande, Yuma, and Tucson. When choosing the best grass for your Arizona lawn, consider soil pH, drought tolerance, and maintenance level. Cold is summer grass’s weak point. By the end of October, most summer turf varieties go dormant, and when temperatures go below 75°F, they stop growing and turn a brownish color.
Here are some tips to care for your summer grass:
- Water your grass deeply and infrequently to encourage deep roots.
- Fertilize your grass in the spring and summer months.
- Mow your grass to a height of 1 to 2 inches.
Winter grasses, also known as cool-season grasses, love the cool Arizona winters and its northern mountainous climate. They start growing in late fall and stay green and tall until late spring when the sun becomes too hot for them. Among the cool-season grasses you can grow in Arizona are Perennial ryegrass, Annual ryegrass, Tall fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass.
Homeowners in the low desert area overseed warm-season turf with winter grasses in fall to keep their lawn green all year round. Overseeding limits foot traffic damage and is a practical weed control measure during winter dormancy.
Here are some tips to care for your winter grass:
- Water your grass deeply and infrequently to encourage deep roots.
- Fertilize your grass in the fall and winter months.
- Mow your grass to a height of 2 to 3 inches.
By following these tips, you can have a beautiful and healthy lawn all year round in Arizona.
When To Plant Bermudagrass in Arizona
Bermudagrass is a popular choice for lawns in Arizona due to its exceptional drought, heat, and traffic tolerance. The best time to plant bermudagrass in Arizona is in late spring to early summer.
If you are planting grass seeds, it is recommended to do so mid to late April when soil temperatures are over 70°F, which is warm enough to promote seed germination. It takes about one month for bermuda seed to establish, so planting in April allows enough time for it to develop a robust root system before summer. By June, when high temperatures hit the ground, you’ll have a hardy, drought-tolerant lawn.
On the other hand, if you are installing sod, the best time to do so is early to mid-May. During this time, air temperatures help the new lawn grow and develop healthy, deep roots. Sod is already grown grass and needs 2 to 3 weeks to establish.
In summary, the best time to plant bermudagrass in Arizona is from mid to late April for grass seeds and early to mid-May for sod. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a healthy and robust lawn.
When and How Much to Water a New Bermuda Lawn
To ensure the best growth for your new Bermuda lawn, it is important to water it properly. This section will cover when and how to water a seeded lawn and when and how to water installed sod.
When and How to Water a Seeded Lawn
After spreading the grass seed, keep the soil moist by starting the sprinkler system 4 to 5 times daily until germination. Water in short sessions of 5 to 10 minutes to avoid runoff. Once the grass reaches about one inch tall, reduce watering to 2 to 3 times a day for about two weeks. Then, water once a day until the grass is fully established. An established lawn in Arizona needs water every three days.
When and How to Water Installed Sod
For newly planted Bermuda sod, water 4 to 5 times daily for 5 to 10 minutes in the first two weeks. After that, reduce watering to once a day for the following week, extending the sessions to 15-20 minutes. The root system should establish in three weeks, and you can start watering 2 or 3 times a week.
It is important to note that the amount of water needed may vary depending on factors such as weather, soil type, and irrigation system. To determine the ideal watering schedule, consider installing a timer on your irrigation system and adjusting it as needed based on the appearance of your lawn. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to shallow root growth and disease. With proper watering, your new Bermuda lawn will thrive and provide a beautiful addition to your landscape.
Best Month to Overseed With Ryegrass in Arizona
If you want to have a lush green lawn during the winter months in Arizona, overseeding with ryegrass is the way to go. The best month to overseed with ryegrass in Arizona is early to mid-October. Planting too early will force Bermuda out of dormancy, while planting too late can result in seedlings that are vulnerable to low temperatures and grow thinner and weaker.
Before overseeding, it’s important to prepare your lawn properly. Stop fertilizing your lawn a month before overseeding, and increase the mowing height by 30 to 40% two weeks before overseeding. Two weeks before spreading the ryegrass seeds, set your irrigation system to water about 30% less.
When it comes to selecting ryegrass seeds, Arizona nurseries sell two types: annual ryegrass and perennial ryegrass. Annual ryegrass grows light green, less uniform, and dies faster in the spring, while perennial ryegrass costs more but has a darker green color and a lush look that most homeowners prefer.
To ensure a beautiful lawn with either type of ryegrass seeds, use a seed or fertilizer spreader to distribute the seeds uniformly all over the lawn. Spread a starter fertilizer and a layer of mulch to protect the seeds, and water the lawn 3 or 4 times daily to moisten the soil and help seeds germinate. Avoid overwatering, as it exposes the sprouts to diseases and makes the grass more vulnerable to cold weather.
For every 1000 square feet of lawn, use 12 to 15 pounds of ryegrass seeds. If there are bare spots, you’ll need more. By following these steps and overseeding during the ideal month, you can have a beautiful, lush lawn throughout the winter months in Arizona.
When and How to Transition from Ryegrass to Bermudagrass
Transitioning from ryegrass to bermudagrass can be a delicate process, but with proper planning and execution, it can be done smoothly. The best time to transition is during the bermudagrass active growth period, which begins in late May or early June. Here are some steps to follow:
- Stop fertilizing the winter grass in early February to encourage the ryegrass to die off.
- Gradually reduce the height of the mower blades to bring the ryegrass down to the level of the new Bermuda sprouts.
It’s important not to scalp the lawn, but instead thin it enough to expose the soil to the warmth of the sun. The warmth will weaken the ryegrass, allowing Bermuda to grow faster. Keep in mind that the transition process may not always be perfect due to new rye cultivars and weather fluctuations, but by following these steps, you can make it as smooth as possible.
FAQ About When to Plant Grass in Arizona
If you’re planning to plant grass in Arizona, you may have some questions about the best time to do so. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you out:
- When is the best time to plant summer grass in Arizona? The ideal time to plant summer grass in Arizona is during April or May. The local temperatures and your location may affect the planting time.
- Can you grow grass in Arizona during the winter months? Yes, you can. Many homeowners overseed their lawns with ryegrass to keep a green lawn during the winter. Ryegrass is a cool-season grass that thrives in cold weather and dies in late spring or early summer.
- When should you overseed your Phoenix lawn? The best time to overseed a Phoenix lawn is when the nighttime temperatures fall below 60°F. This usually happens in October when warm-season grasses go dormant.
- What are some tips for planting grass in Arizona? Here are some tips for planting grass in Arizona:
- Prepare the soil properly by removing rocks and debris and tilling the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches.
- Fertilize your grass with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to promote healthy growth.
- Use drought-tolerant grass species that can withstand Arizona’s dry conditions.
- Plant seed or sod according to the recommended planting depth and spacing.
- Water your grass deeply and infrequently to avoid overwatering and evaporation.
- Mulch the soil with compost or other organic materials to retain moisture and prevent soil erosion.
- Monitor your grass for diseases and pests and take appropriate measures to control them.
- What plants look good in Arizona year-round? Some plants that can survive year-round in Arizona’s landscape include agave, yucca, prickly pear cactus, and desert marigold. However, it can be challenging to keep plants alive and thriving through all of Arizona’s seasons, especially summer.
Plant Your Dream Arizona Lawn Today!
If you’re looking for a lush and healthy lawn that stays green year-round, overseeding Bermuda with ryegrass is a popular choice in Arizona. However, this process requires expertise to ensure both types of grass thrive and the transition is seamless. Fortunately, finding a lawn care company near you is easy with HavasuLandscaping. Whether you reside in Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, or Phoenix, HavasuLandscaping can connect you with a skilled professional nearby who can help you achieve a successful lawn.
Looking for more tips on how to maintain a healthy lawn? Check out our related posts for expert advice on lawn care, turfgrass, mowing, and more.
Sinziana Spiridon is an experienced blogger with a passion for organic gardening and a green thumb. Her expertise in weeds, pests, soil, and growing plants makes her an excellent resource for those looking to improve their lawn. Follow her blog for more tips and tricks on how to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
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