8 Steps for over-seeding your Arizona Bermuda grass with Rye Grass. Bermuda Grass will stay green usually into November but as soon as the frost hits, Bermuda will go dormant until Spring. Many Arizonan residents plant Winter Rye grass over their Bermuda lawn. Rye grass looks and feels very different from Bermuda Grass and will give your yard year round enjoyment, in addition to keeping the weeds at bay in your lawn. We usually over-seed in early October.
1. The first thing to do is not fertilize your Bermuda Grass 4-6 weeks before over seeding. You do not want it to be actively growing when it is scalped.
2. Plan to over seed in late September through early November when night time temperatures are below 60 degrees but not much cooler. Do not wait until the frost hits.
3. Cut your watering schedule down by half a few weeks before over-seeding to allow the Bermuda grass to go dormant.
4. Stop mowing your lawn one week before scalping it.
5. The day of overseeding you will scalp your lawn to about 1/2″ high and remove all clippings. You ay want to go over it a couple of time to get all of the dead grass out of it. For lawns that have been in a long time, you might want to consider mulching it.
6. Spread the Rye seed according to package directions.
7. Cover seed with mulch, composted manure, or grass clipping to aid in moisture and keep the birds away.
8. Water 3-4 time daily for 5-10 min. until the seeds germinate in 5-7 days. After the third or fourth week, you can gradually reduce your watering to every 3 to 7 days in Nov. and Dec. and every 14 days for the rest of the season, depending on rainfal, etc. You may mow your ryegrass after is has grown 2″ tall but only mow to 1.5″. Do not fertilize until after the first mowing.
For assistance on your fall ryegrass overseeding call a licensed landscape contractor. Arizona Living Landscapes operates in the east valley: Queen Creek, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler Arizona. 480-390-4477