The temperatures are climbing and the phones are ringing with people seeking advice on how to properly transition winter ryegrass back to summer bermuda grass.
Follow these 7 steps to an effective spring transition:
1. Monitor your local temperatures. Once nighttime temperatures start exceeding 65 degrees on a consistent basis (typically late April/early May), it’s time to start the spring transition.
2. Reduce your watering to 70-80% of your normal usage. This will start stressing out the rye grass but will continue to support the bermudagrass.
3. Lightly verticut your grass to open up its canopy. This allows more sunshine to reach the bermudagrass below.
4. Aerify your ground. This increases water penetration and nutrient uptake, breaks up soil compaction, and allows more oxygen to reach the root zone. Most home supply stores rent verticutting and aerifying equipment.
5. Gradually lower your mower settings and increase your mowing intervals to twice a week so that the grass height does not exceed 1/2″ to 3/4.” Make sure to bag all clippings. If they remain on the ground, they’ll create a mat layer that will inhibit the growth of the bermudagrass. Use a rake to collect clippings if needed.
6. Beware of shady areas in your lawn. The ryegrass will grow aggressively in these area so you must maintain a low mowing height to allow the bermuda grass to get its needed sunlight.
7. Fertilize and increase your watering schedule. After about 2 weeks, you should notice that the bermudagrass is overcoming the ryegrass. Broadcast a balanced fertilizer (i.e. 16-20-0) at a rate of 9 pounds per 1000 square feet and increase watering back to a normal summer watering schedule.
If you allow the ryegrass to grow unchecked, it will out compete the bermudagrass. When June comes with its Arizona heat, the ryegrass will finally die and you’ll be left with nothing but bare spots. To avoid that, follow the 7 steps listed above: you’ll have a summer lawn the whole neighborhood will envy!
If you have any questions, please contact us at 602-271-4266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.