In the Know: April 2015
Four Steps to a Smooth Lawn Transition
As temperatures continue to rise, you may begin to notice your lawn changing color as the winter ryegrass begins wilting. Many times people will see this change as a sign of water distress, thus increasing watering time or frequency, attempting to prolong the rye turf. Please keep in mind, the more you nurture your ryegrass at this time, the more difficult and lengthy the transition back to your hybrid bermudagrass will be. AME Landscape Companies follows these steps in order to transition your lawn smoothly and more effectively.
- We begin by lowering your mowing height to gradually remove approximately 50% of the leaf blade. This will create a more open canopy for heat to reach the soil surface and “wake up” the hybrid root system.
You also have the option to aerate your lawn. With the use of an aeration machine, small plugs of soil are pulled from the ground which reduces the ryegrass density, reduces soil compaction, promotes water infiltration and allows light to the bermudagrass plus gives a boost to soil temperatures at the root zone. All of these encourage bermudagrass to come out of dormancy.
- We reduce irrigation for five days but don’t stop watering completely as the bermudagrass root system still needs the water. We want to discourage the ryegrass and encourage the bermuda. By cutting back on water, the ryegrass will begin to show signs of stress, this is good.
- We use a fertilizer high in ammonium sulfate. This will weaken the ryegrass even further, but will supply the bermuda with the nutrients it needs to come out of dormancy more quickly.
- We rake all of the remaining ryegrass as it dies out. If it remains on the surface of the lawn, it will shade the Bermuda and take longer to green up.