Information courtesy of Southwest Sod
Southwest Sod was founded in 1985 by 2nd generation agriculturalists, and they have been producing premium turf since 1985. Their hybrid bermuda turf is ideally suited for Arizona's dry, western climate and is perfect for professional and home applications.
Spring Transitions: April-May
It is time to start transitioning your lawn when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees.
The first step is to mow your grass short, leaving only about 50% of the leaf blade. Next, reduce watering significantly for 5 days. This stresses the ryegrass and allows the hybrid to flourish. Finally, fertilize with 21-0-0 analysis or a fertilizer with a similar rate of ammonium sulfate and return to a regular watering and mowing schedule. Be sure to rake the ryegrass off as it dies out so that the underlying hybrid Bermuda gets plenty of sunshine and water.
Fall Transition: September-October
Regular evening temperatures below 65 degrees mean it's time to overseed your lawn with perennial ryegrass to keep your lawn green through the winter months.
In order for the ryegrass to take root the hybrid must be scalped or verticut, leaving about a 1/2 of leaf blade. Going over the yard twice with the mower may be necessary to collect all the loose grass debris. When you're finished, the yard may look like a yellow, buzz haircut with some soil showing through the blades. You are now ready to overseed.
Perennial rye is ryegrass specifically bred for Arizona's dry desert climate and is Southwest Sod's recommended overseed for all applications. High quality perennial rye is available at your local lawn and garden store. Spread the seed according to the directions printed on the back of the seed bag.
Next, be sure to fertilize with a 16-20-0 or similar analysis.
If you would like to take an extra precaution, cover the overseed with about a 1/4 inch of mulch or manure. The mulch acts as an insulator to the newly laid seed and will protect it from under watering and freezing temperatures.
Finally, be sure to water your new winter lawn. Water for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day. Once the ryegrass begins to grow you can return to your regular watering and mowing schedule.