When many think of weather in Arizona, due to the intense heat of the summer, they don’t think of the state as having four seasons. Tucson gets snow during the winter, and since there is such a brash difference in weather changes, lawn care and protection is actually something that should be deeply considered.
Here are a few tips and perhaps maybe even a reminder about caring for your lawn this fall in Tucson.
1. Rake Your Lawn
Raking your lawn may seem like an obvious task, but if you aren’t familiar with tending to a lawn in the southwest, what you don’t know about is thatch. The thatch is excess lawn debris such as dead ends or roots that have piled onto your lawn. The main issue with thatch is that it continues to accumulate onto the lawn and will actually prevent the grass from getting any oxygen which is detrimental to any growth no matter what season.
2. Mow Your Existing Lawn
Caring for grass in the southwest is a much different task than it the rest of the country. Tucson is in the heart of the southwestern portion of the United States and between the extreme heat and the high potential for a drought, fall lawn maintenance is mandatory, not a suggestion. Before fertilizing or seeding your lawn, you must first mow your lawn down to a ½ inch in length. This might seem quite low but it is necessary to be able to rid your lawn of the damage by the intense heat and prepare it for new nutrients and growth. After cutting the lawn down to a ½ inch, rake the lawn once again to get an excess grass or leaves.
3. Create Your Winter Lawn by Overseeding
Seeing as the majority of lawns here are usually made up of warm-season grass types, due to the geographic location and extreme heat, after raking and mowing you will need to seed your lawn for a winter ryegrass. When applying the seeds, consider that it should take about fifteen pounds of seed per 1,000 square foot of grass. Using a spreader, seed your existing lawn with the heavy supply of seed, especially to spots of the lawn that are lacking grass and tend to have more dead spots. Remember that this seed will not a sufficient amount of water to be successful.
If you just added seed to your lawn, you’ll want to water about twice daily to start the germination process. Germination should take place in approximately 7-10 days. If you decide to not re-sod or re-seed your lawn, you will want to fertilize before it goes into a winter dormant stage. The fall specific fertilizer will supply your lawn with all of the necessary nutrients to sustain through a winter in Tucson while still being ready for spring and a hot dry southwest summer.
Have additional questions about lawn care? Visit our Tucson lawn care page for more information.
Feature image source: Zillow