Friday, October 09, 2009

Overseeding 2009

One of the tasks I have to do because I live in the desert is prepare the lawn for winter. We use Bermuda grass here in the summer because not many other grasses can handle the extreme heat with 4 months above 100 degrees, and as many as 15 days over 110 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Unfortunately, the Bermuda grass goes dormant when it gets (relatively) cold and it stays brown all winter. HOA obligates me to over-seed with rye grass every October. There is roughly a two week window to get the seeds planted after the last 100 degree day and have new grass by Halloween.

The first step is to scalp the lawn, meaning to mow it as close to the ground as possible. It helps if you stop watering the Bermuda grass a week or two ahead of time.

This year I ran over a sprinkler head and ruined it. That isn't normally one of the steps in over-seeding. In fact, when I mowed the first loop around the edge of the lawn I was wise enough to go around it. When I came back for the rest of the lawn, I was not. Thus, I have an additional job this year--replace sprinkler head.

This is what the lawn looks like scalped.

The old sprinkler head has to come out. Fortunately, I happened to have a replacement in the shed. Unfortunately, it did not have a nozzle and I am sans vehicle because it is in the shop for a brake job. Details.

Sprinkler head replaced, it's time to finish the over-seeding job. There are four items I put on the lawn this year. First, I sprinkled some Bermuda grass seeds where I had some troublesome bald patches this past summer. From past seeding jobs, I am confident it will germinate in the spring. Next, I sprinkle Ammonium Sulfate fertilizer (21-0-0) on the lawn. Finally, the rye grass seed goes down. All my seed this year is leftovers from previous years. The Home Depot and Lowes have guys from the seed companies come in to advise you. They'll tell you the seed from last year is not good. Horse-hockey. The newest bag of seed I'm using this year is a year old. Others are even older.

The green stuff is Bermuda seed. It's about the size of a poppy seed. Tiny. The white stuff is the fertilizer. You can't see the rye grass seed, it looks like you would expect grass seed to look like.

Finally, the entire lawn must be covered in steer manure. It helps to fertilize the lawn. It helps to keep the seeds wet. Most importantly, it covers the seeds so small aviators do not eat them. It also stinks when wet, which amuses the neighbors. But it's under a buck a bag. I have 14 cubic feet for my lawn.

Once the BS is spread around the lawn, you are ready for water.

And we're watering...we're watering. This is what my sprinkler head spray pattern looks like without a nozzle. But, the lawn has to be wet. I'll have a nozzle on by this evening. Once I have my truck back and can get to the store.

In two weeks I should have a lot of little tiny grass sprouts.

1 comment:

Rick Novy said...

Update. The sprinkler head now has a nozzle. Hurray.