Arizona Gardening: Oxygen, more water can rejuvenate sparse lawn - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Arizona Gardening: Oxygen, more water can rejuvenate sparse lawn

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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 2:55 pm | Updated: 9:31 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q: My Bermuda lawn is sparse, thin and looks terrible. I water about once a week for about 45 minutes. Does it harm the lawn for my children to play in the water during the irrigation?

A: It sounds like there are several keys to good lawn maintenance that can be improved.

• Have you noticed on some lawns that have had some digging in them that the grass is greener where the digging took place? Loosening the soil allows oxygen to get to the roots, and the grass greened up and started growing.

Walking or running around on soggy soil compacts it and squeezes out the oxygen.

The solution: Rent a core aerator, which takes up plugs of soil to allow air to the roots. Aerating the soil of lawns is one of the greatest techniques you can do to rejuvenate old Bermuda or compacted lawns.

• Water more often. Bermuda lawns should be watered two to three times a week, and the water should penetrate at least 6 inches each time.

• After at least two weeks of good watering, fertilize with 21-7-14, 21-0-0 or any fertilizer high in nitrogen (which is the first number in the fertilizer ratio). Be sure to water the fertilizer in long and deep, so it won’t burn the lawn.

• If you mow your grass high, the grass canopy will shade the soil and retain the moisture longer. If you mow it short, it can almost look like a putting green, but you will have to water more often because the soil will dry out sooner.

Oxygen to the roots, deep watering and fertilizing about once a month during the summer will encourage a thick, deep green lawn to enjoy.

Click here for more tips on lawn care from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

CONTACT WRITER: john@johnchapman.com

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