Anyone know how to grow grass in the desert?


DrMike27

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I love ‘winters’ in Phoenix because my backyard turns into a deep, dark green from my winter rye, and it has survived considerably longer this year due to lower temps, but is now dying out. Any advice for seeding come fall/winter/next spring to help with the transition from rye to ? (Currently using Bermuda).
 

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I love ‘winters’ in Phoenix because my backyard turns into a deep, dark green from my winter rye, and it has survived considerably longer this year due to lower temps, but is now dying out. Any advice for seeding come fall/winter/next spring to help with the transition from rye to ? (Currently using Bermuda).
Bermuda is the main lawn grass here with St. Ausgustine a close second. It will stay green with a lot of water and turns brown with a lack of water but it won't die because of it. St. Augustine will die. My advise would be to start watering your bermuda while the rye is still green and hope for early warm weather.
 
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Try a zoysia hybrid for summer heat. Titan Rx hybrid fescue handles heat South of Atlanta but your heat may be another level.
 

DrMike27

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Try a zoysia hybrid for summer heat. Titan Rx hybrid fescue handles heat South of Atlanta but your heat may be another level.
Only problem is there is a lot of humidity in ATL, not so much in PHX.
 

DrMike27

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Bermuda is the main lawn grass here with St. Ausgustine a close second. It will stay green with a lot of water and turns brown with a lack of water but it won't die because of it. St. Augustine will die. My advise would be to start watering your bermuda while the rye is still green and hope for early warm weather.
Currently have it on a daily morning watering schedule (600-700am) of 60 minutes (30 minutes on one side, 30 on the other). Do I need to water more? Change the time? Or just submit to the heat and hope for the best?
 
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Currently have it on a daily morning watering schedule (600-700am) of 60 minutes (30 minutes on one side, 30 on the other). Do I need to water more? Change the time? Or just submit to the heat and hope for the best?
Bermuda needs at least 1 inch per week. Get some tuna fish cans and spread them around in your yard and time how long it takes to fill up the cans. Watering frequently causes a shallow root system. It is better to water deeply thus encouraging the roots to grow deeper. If you have sandy soil you will probably have to water longer and put more water down to keep the bermuda green.
 
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Good advice above but perhaps you should consider watering after sunset. Your lawns will have all night to take up the water without the sun to dry it out.
 
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Good advice above but perhaps you should consider watering after sunset. Your lawns will have all night to take up the water without the sun to dry it out.
But if you water at night you are inviting fungus problems. You want to water early in the morning before the sun gets high to avoid evaporation and to allow the grass to dry. By watering at night the grass stays wet thereby the fungus problems.
 
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That may be a bit situational, and sand may play a drainage part. We have fungus on clay because it will not drain, and have the heat and humidity. I bet AZ soil percs real well.
 
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May be it's to do with climate Chuck. It's not a problem here in Britain with all the rain we have.
I am sure it is a climate thing. Fungus in lawn grasses where it is hot is a big problem. I just checked out what type of soil is in Phoenix and it is clay, just like most of Texas, that, and the soil there is alkaline too, just like here. We have two main fungi that affect lawn grass, Takal and Brownspot but others as well such as collar rot and dollar spot. Moisture and heat just do not go together. This is why I recommended early watering.
 
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My suggestion of watering evening time may have been wrong but I've learnt something new here. Thanks Chuck. :)
 

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