Prepare Your Winter Lawn this September

Getting Ready for Your Winter Lawn

Here in Arizona, we know that the desert sun is a force to be reckoned with!  After toiling in the summer heat all season, you are ready to enjoy being outside.  If you are looking forward to beautiful winter grass, now is the time to prepare.

During the summer months, Bermudagrass is what flourishes in most lawns; it is hearty enough to survive the excessive heat and goes dormant in the cooler winter months.  Ryegrass is the answer for your winter lawn and can be planted right on top of your Bermudagrass.  Here are a few steps to take now to ensure that your lawn is pristine this winter:


Scalping your lawn is a vital step in preparing to plant winter grass.  It simply means that you set your lawn mower blade to the lowest or near the lowest setting and cut the grass very short.  This helps free up some space and allows light to penetrate the soil, getting it warm enough for your new seeds to germinate.


Thatch is the build-up of lawn debris, including dead grass and intermingling shoots.  This creates a barrier between the soil and the top of the grass.  While this is innocuous in the summer, you want to remove it before planting new seeds.  This helps ensure that the winter seeds get down to the soil and that light and water get down to your seedlings.  A garden rake is usually sufficient to dethatch a lawn.


The time to plant winter rye seeds is late September or during October; when it is not hot enough for the Bermudagrass to thrive but still warm enough for your winter grass to germinate.  After you have scalped and dethatched your yard, it is time to plant winter seeds.  This is best done by simply overseeding your existing Bermudagrass.  You can use a drop spreader to make sure that you get adequate seed coverage.  You can also cover the seeds with a thin layer of fertilizer if you see fit.  This will help nurture the seeds and keep birds from eating them.

Green winter ryegrass is beautiful and adds so much to the appeal of your home.  Taking a few steps now will help you be the envy of the neighborhood this winter!  Your beautiful, green lawn will add to the appeal of your home and your enjoyment of the outdoors.  And, if you need any help or advice, Green Keeper is here.

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