Starting your Winter Lawn

Starting your Winter Lawn

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HOW TO PLANT A WINTER LAWN OVER a summer lawn

WAIT UNTIL THE PROPER TIME

  • Perennial rye grass seed germinates best when the nights are a maximum of 60 degrees and daytime temperatures are 90 degrees or less.
  • On the average, a favorable time to start rye grass is October 10 – 15.

SLOW DOWN THE GROWTH OF BERMUDA

  • This is necessary to keep your summer lawn from competing too strongly with your new winter lawn.
  • Discontinue watering your summer lawn, preferably 3-4 weeks before you want to seed your winter lawn.

PREPARE AREA FOR SEEDING

  • Mow your summer lawn as low as possible (1/2 inch).
  • Rake the area with a hard steel rake to remove grass clippings and old thatch.
  • Rake hard enough to scrape the ground and rough up the soil.
  • Mow the grass a second time to remove any runners that have been loosened and to remove additional thatch.

APPLY  NEW LAWN STARTER, SEED, AND TOP DRESSING

  • Apply New Lawn Starter over the area at the rate of 1 lb/100 sq. ft. (New Lawn Starter comes in 5 lb. bags).
  • Sow Southwest Select Perennial Rye Grass seed evenly over area at rate of 1.5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.
  • Sow ½ of seed in one direction and ½ in another direction. This will better insure uniform coverage.
  • An excellent way to apply your grass seed and New Lawn Starter is the hand-held Ortho Whirlybird Spreader, available atHarlow’s.
  • “Top dress” (cover) the seed with Omni at the rate of 1.5 cu. ft. (1 bag) to 100 sq. ft. The purpose of the “top dressing” is to (1) keep the seed in place, (2) reduce the number of seeds carried away by birds, and (3) help retain the moisture needed to germinate the seed. When finished, seed should have about a ¼” cover.
  • Fertilize 4 weeks after first mowing (1st mowing when grass is 3” tall)(mow grass to 2” during season) and continue every 4 weeks during the growing season.

 WATERING SCHEDULE

  • Day 1 – 8:00AM, 11:30AM, 1:00PM, and 3:30PM – Water just long enough to keep the top dressing moist down to the seed.
  • Day 2 and 3 – Water same times as first day, but water a little longer to get upper soil moist.
  • Day 4 – 8:00AM, 11:00AM, and 3:30PM – Water long enough to wet soil to depth of 2-3 inches
  • Day 5 and 6 – Water same as 4th day.  With favorable temperature after seeding, grass should be ‘showing germination’ by this day.
  • Day 7 – Anytime between 8:00AM and 11:00AM – Begin to soak soil to 3-4 inches deep.
  • Day 8 – Skip
  • Day 9 – Water same as 7th day.
  • Day 10 – Skip
  • Day 11 – Once only – Preferably in the morning – long enough to soak sail to 5-6 inches
  • After day 11, increase the interval between waterings to once every 7 days.  Water long enough to soak soil to a 12inch depth, if not restricted by shallow caliche.  If you have shallow caliche, water only to depth of caliche, but water more frequently.

MOWING SCHEDULE

Cut lawn, when 2 ½ inches high, with a sharp reel-type mower. Set mower at 1 ½ inches high.  Mow weekly.

 FERTILIZING SCHEDULE

Fertilize your lawn regularly every 6 – 8 weeks with BANDINI SUPER GREEN for the greenest lawn in town.  A 20 lb. bag covers 4800 sq. ft.

2 Comments
  • Is too late to start my winter lawn here in Tucson. Thanks B.

  • The end of November is a fine time to plant a winter lawn. If we get a cold spell, the seed may take longer to germinate, but other than that you are good to go. Unfortunately, we are out of rye seed for the season.

    Thank you,
    Cara Bohardt
    Assistant Administrator

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