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Old 01-10-2009, 09:34 PM
 
156 posts, read 407,920 times
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I am planning on putting grass in my backyard at some point. But I have no idea how it works out here in the desert. I've heard if you want to keep it green year round, you need to plant a winter grass and a summer grass? And you do this every year? Or is there one type of grass that lasts year round? I don't have any idea what I need to do. Could someone give me a little how-to?
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Red Rock, Arizona
683 posts, read 2,459,100 times
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Just wait until summer and put some bermuda grass in. You can do sod and it's ready to walk on within a week. Or you can have the stolons spread with a hydromulch, it takes a little longer for it to grow in, but it's a lot cheaper than sod. You can use seed if you get common bermuda, but you're much better off selecting one of the hybrids. Most of the names of hybrid grasses start with "tif", such as Tifway 419.

Bermuda grass goes dormant when the weather gets cold. It turns brown after the first frost of the winter. If you want your lawn to be green all year, you have to overseed it with rye grass every year in the fall. The rye will die off during the summer when it gets hot. If you are going to overseed, it's best to not do it the first winter after you put the bermuda in. Give the bermuda a couple growing seasons before you start doing that.

If you don't mind brown grass for a few months every year, don't overseed at all. The bermuda comes back every year as soon as the weather turns warm. The key isn't how hot it gets during the day, but rather how warm it is at night. It grows best when the night time temperature doesn't dip below 55*.

If you don't overseed, you'll save a lot of water, time, and money.

Here's a good website for you...........

Welcome to Western Sod!
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:28 AM
 
156 posts, read 407,920 times
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Awesome, thanks. So its burmuda for the summer, which goes dormant and brown in winter. Does that still require watering at all in the winter?

Then if I want green all year, overseed rye after a season or so after the burmuda. And would I have to reseed the rye every year to keep it up or does rye go dormant and return in the opposite cycle of bermuda?
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:34 AM
 
1,170 posts, read 4,822,786 times
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The winter rye is an annual and lives only one year.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Red Rock, Arizona
683 posts, read 2,459,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripper76 View Post
Does that still require watering at all in the winter?
You can get by with watering the bermuda once a month. If we have a rainy winter, you might not have to water at all.

Another advantage of not overseeding in the winter is being better able to get control of weeds while the bermuda is dormant.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Willo Historic District, Phoenix, AZ
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It does not take frost for bermuda to go dormant, it happens whether or not there is frost.

Rye is available in both annual and perennial varieties.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Red Rock, Arizona
683 posts, read 2,459,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbenjamin View Post
It does not take frost for bermuda to go dormant, it happens whether or not there is frost.
That's correct. That's why I said, "Bermuda grass goes dormant when the weather gets cold."
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:06 AM
 
Location: galaxy far far away
3,111 posts, read 4,791,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripper76 View Post
. Could someone give me a little how-to?
Pink rock is the best. Shows off green cactus nicely. Apache red is my second favorite. In other words, GRASS? Did I mention we are in the desert? First year looks ok. Second year starts to get a little better. Third year, crab grass starts to take over. Fourth year, "dang, do I have to mow 12 months out of the year! It's half dead, but I'm still mowing!" Fifth year, "D'ya suppose anyone would notice if i just let it die and painted it green?" Sixth year, "What color rock did that cowgirl say looked best?"
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:14 AM
 
599 posts, read 2,132,666 times
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Another very important thing to know is that you can't plant grass and expect God to water it for you in AZ or expect to water it with movable sprinkler devices and above ground hoses. A good underground automatic water irrigation system is important with enough sprinklers throughout the grass area. (Some may think that's funny, but we had a neighbor who planted grass without putting auto underground sprinkers in. Needless to say, the grass didn't last long. ) The sprinkler heads should be large enough to get the water well over the height of the grass in case you need more time between mowings and low enough for mowing the grass when they are not in use. If the sprinklers aren't high enough, then as the grass gets taller it can block some of the water spray causing some grass areas to get brown due to lack of enough water. Most likely your home has an auto unit already for a drip system for the plants and trees. Additional valve(s) will need to be added to that unit for the grass water lines because grass needs to be on a different watering schedule than plants and trees. If you haven't installed an underground sprinkler system before, I recommend getting a professional to do it. We did that, and then planted the sod ourselves. Most people in AZ put a decorative cement curbing around their grass areas, so you may want to do that too. I also recommend looking at AZ landscaping pictures on the internet for additional ideas. Grass can definitely look nice year after year, just ask a local plant nursery business for additional info about different types of grasses, fertilizers, etc. Many (all?) share that info for free. Best wishes!
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