Ryegrass brown out in late spring

The Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association has developed HOA lawn and landscape maintenance tips and welcomes you to share them with your HOA Boards and Community Managers. We hope you find the information they provide us each month helpful for spring and summer turf transition.

One hundred degrees is right around the corner and when that temperature arrives, our beautiful green, winter ryegrass lawn says, “wow, I don’t like this,” and begins to brown out. But it is actually a good thing since we want our summer turf grass, bermuda grass, to have a full 100 days of non-competing days to grow. In cooler springs, ryegrass can linger, not allowing bermuda grass access to light and resources like water and nutrients necessary to push out of winter dormancy. Here are a few tricks to either keeping your ryegrass green a bit longer, perhaps in shaded areas, or how to encourage it to spontaneously combust, like it might do at 105 degrees.

Hold on to ryegrass a bit longer…

  • Raise mowing height in shaded areas, which reduces stress
  • Water more frequently, not the most sustainable practice, but it may help for a few weeks
  • Turf paint- your neighbors will never know

Come on bermuda grass…

  • Reduce irrigation, causing ryegrass to burn out faster
  • Drop mowing height, stressing ryegrass once again
  • Fertilize with a quick release nitrogen
  • Use chemical burn-down products (applied by a licensed pesticide applicator) to chemically remove the ryegrass

Remember, if you want to maintain healthy bermuda grass, it is important to have 100 days of bermuda grass growth in the absence of perennial ryegrass competition. If you look at when the overseeding process begins in the fall (i.e. irrigation reduction and final drop of mow height prior to overseeding,) count back 100 days and that is the time you want to make sure to have the ryegrass out of the picture. Wishing you happy and successful turf transitioning over the next month!

We hope you find these lawn care and landscaping tips helpful.  For additional information about spring and summer turf transition in Phoenix, AZ, please call AMS Landscaping at (602) 944-0421.

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