Ultimate Guide: Best Time & Tips to Plant Summer Grass in Arizona

Ultimate Guide: Best Time & Tips to Plant Summer Grass in Arizona

As a resident of Arizona, you’re no stranger to the scorching summer heat. But did you know that this extreme weather can also affect your lawn? If you’re looking to maintain a lush, green yard all year round, timing is everything.

In this article, we’ll delve into the best time to plant summer grass in AZ. We’ll explore how the state’s unique climate influences your gardening decisions and provide tips to help you achieve a vibrant lawn despite the challenging conditions. So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, stay tuned for some insightful advice.

Key Takeaways

  • Arizona’s unique desert ecosystem, marked by intense summer heat and minimal rainfall, impacts the natural rhythm of lawn care. Understanding this unique climate is crucial for successfully maintaining a lush summer lawn.
  • The optimal time to plant summer grass in Arizona is during the warmer months, specifically from late May to early June, as ground temperatures typically range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grass varieties suitable for Arizona’s intense summer heat include Bermuda grass, known for its outstanding heat tolerance and drought resistance, and Zoysia grass, lauded for its vibrant green color and resistance to high temperatures.
  • Preparing the soil is a crucial step that involves testing soil quality and nutrients, and introducing soil amendments, like compost, peat moss, and lime to ensure optimal grass growth.
  • The right time of day for sowing summer grass seeds in Arizona is early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Maintaining consistent moisture in the top 1 to 2 inches of soil until seedlings are well established is crucial in supporting their development.
  • A proper mowing schedule, and regular provisioning of nutrients through fertilization, as well as effective weed control, are critical for maintaining a robust summer lawn.
  • Successfully growing summer grass in Arizona involves overcoming challenges posed by the extreme heat and drought, as well as pests and diseases that compromise the health of your summer grass.

Understanding Arizona’s Climate for Summer Grass

Arizona’s unique desert ecosystem has a profound impact on the natural rhythm of lawn care. Take note, knowing this ecosystem equips you with the advantage in maintaining a healthy summer lawn in Arizona.

The state’s climate, marked by its scorching summer heat and minimal rainfall, tends to be tough for non-native plants and grasses. That given constraint, you benefit from understanding the optimal grass types and timing for planting to maintain a vibrant and lush yard.

The Best Time to Plant Summer Grass in AZ

Deciding on the best time to plant grass in Arizona requires a keen understanding of how different grass varieties cope with climate changes. The warmer months, specifically from late May to early June, present the perfect window for introducing summer grass varieties. During this time, ground temperatures typically range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a conducive environment for summer grass — making it flourish and thrive, ensuring a green summer lawn.

Types of Grass Suitable for Arizona Summers

Opting for grass varieties resistant to Arizona’s intense summer heat bolsters lawn health. Bermuda grass stands out for its outstanding heat tolerance and ability to withstand drought, making it a top choice for summer lawns. Zoysia grass is another robust species, lauded for its deep green color and resistance to high summer temperatures. Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that selection should not only be based on the toughness of the grass species, but factors such as maintenance, water requirement, growth pattern amongst others hold importance too. By choosing these well-suited grass types, you’ll boost the likelihood of a productive planting and a lush lawn throughout the scorching Arizona summer.

Preparing Your Soil for Summer Grass

Preparing Your Soil for Summer Grass

In continuation from our previous discussions, preparing the soil is the crucial next step after selecting the right kind of grass and understanding the ideal planting time for your lawn in Arizona.

Testing Soil Quality and Nutrients

Start by evaluating your soil quality. Proper soil testing provides a comprehensive view of the soil’s nutrient levels and pH value. For instance, a pH level below 7 signifies acidic soil, while a figure over 7 indicates an alkaline nature. Grass prefers slightly acidic to neutral ground, generally in the 6 to 7 pH range. Cooperative Extension Offices across Arizona offer soil-testing services, a practical choice to discern whether your ground falls within the ideal pH range for summer grass.

Next, identify the nutrient content. Testing reveals deficiencies, if any, of critical nutrients like Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Varying concentrations of these nutrients can significantly impact grass growth and health. For example, Nitrogen promotes lush, green leaf development, while Phosphorus supports robust root growth, and Potassium promotes plant hardiness and disease resistance.

Soil Amendments for Optimal Growth

Having understood your soil’s current status, you can take steps to enhance it, aiming for optimal grass growth. Soil amendments, such as compost, peat moss, and lime, can help alter soil structure and fertility.

For instance, organic compost increases the nutrient content, particularly Nitrogen, which supports vigorous grass blade growth. Peat moss aids in improving moisture retention in sandy soils commonly found in Arizona. This moisture-holding capacity might help your summer grass withstand the parched Arizona summer. Furthermore, for soils with a pH below the ideal range, applying lime can help elevate the pH, making it more hospitable for summer grass growth.

Remember, soil preparation might seem like a daunting task, but it’s a critical process that paves the way for a healthy, resilient summer lawn in Arizona. As always, consult with local gardening centers or Cooperative Extension Offices for tailored advice.

Sowing Your Summer Grass Seeds

Sowing Your Summer Grass Seeds

Following the thorough soil preparation processes, this section relates explicitly to sowing your summer grass seeds in the Arizona desert climate, focusing on the right time and watering guidelines.

Selecting the Right Time of Day

It’s apparent that the right time of day matters when sowing your summer grass seeds. In Arizona’s sweltering heat, the optimal time to plant is either early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Planting grass seeds during these times allows them to absorb moisture and begin the germination process without the intense midday heat interfering. Take, for example, Bermuda grass seeds which perform best when temperate conditions allow for modest watering and less evaporation.

Watering Guidelines for New Grass

Irrigation of your newly sown grass seeds plays a crucial role in their development and adaptation. In the initial days, aim to keep the top 1 to 2 inches of soil consistently moist but not waterlogged until seedlings are well established. Watering at least twice a day is recommended, however, it’s necessary to adjust based on weather conditions. For instance, during scorching days, additional watering might be required to prevent drying out, while on rainy days, scaling back aids in preventing overwatering and seed displacement. Remember, understanding the unique watering needs of your grass, such as Bermuda or Zoysia grass, can make a real difference in achieving that lush, green summer lawn in Arizona.

Maintenance and Care for Summer Grass in AZ

With the proper grass selection and soil preparation already in place, it’s time for the next crucial steps: maintaining and caring for your summer lawn in Arizona. Let’s delve into the practices that could help your Bermuda or Zoinsia grass flourish even under Arizona’s scorching heat.

Mowing Tips and Schedules

Setting a proper mowing schedule plays an immense role in managing a robust summer lawn. Aim for a mowing height of 1 to 1.5 inches for Bermuda grass, and around 2 inches for Zoysia during the summer season.

  1. Be consistent with the mowing schedule. Bermuda grass, for instance, fares well with weekly mowing.
  2. Sharpen mower blades regularly. Dull blades can harm your grass, leaving it susceptible to diseases.
  3. Follow the “One-Third Rule,” cutting only the top third of grass blades at a time. It aids in maintaining the health and color of the grass.

Fertilization and Weed Control

Nutrient provisioning through regular fertilization constitutes the critical part of summer grass care in Arizona. However, effective weed control also serves as an essential counterpart to the fertilization process.

  1. Fertilize your Bermuda or Zoysia grass every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  2. Use a slow-release, granular fertilizer. Look for N-P-K ratios of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2, comprising Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. Example ratios can be 12-4-8 or 16-4-8.
  3. Implement pre-emergent herbicide application in early spring. Active ingredients like prodiamine or dithiopyr are efficient for weed control.
  4. Post-emergent herbicides can handle weeds that escape the pre-emergent application. Look for products containing quinclorac, 2,4-D, or sulfentrazone.

By adhering to these practices and maintaining consistency, you’re sure to cultivate a healthy summer grass lawn that can withstand Arizona’s unique climate.

Overcoming Challenges in Growing Summer Grass in Arizona

As you march towards securing your lush green summer lawn in Arizona, you’ll encounter a set of specific challenges. This section unveils strategies to overcome these issues, ensuring your summer grass thrives despite Arizona’s uniquely taxing conditions.

Dealing with Extreme Heat and Drought

Extreme heat and drought pose a common problem in the Arizona summer, putting undue stress on your lawn. However, several strategies allow you to combat these conditions. Firstly, consider more frequent watering. Don’t saturate the soil, but maintain a steady moisture level. This frequency gets dictated by the sweltering Arizona summer, with need-based adjustments.

Moreover, mulching acts as your grass’s first line of defense against heat. It acts as a protective layer, retaining soil moisture and reducing the lawn’s exposure to the scorching sun. Apply organic mulch like straw or grass clippings around the yard, providing it with additional nourishment.

Lastly, aerating your lawn improves water penetration, proving vital during drought conditions. You’ll improve the lawn’s resilience through aeration, assisting water to reach the grass roots and improving soil health.

Pests and Diseases to Watch For

Pests and diseases can compromise the health of your summer grass in Arizona. Thus, vigilance remains key in identifying and mitigating them.

Common pests include grubs, sod webworms, and chinch bugs. Regular inspections can help identify pest infestations early, and using the right insecticides offers effective control options.

Among diseases, watch out for Rhizoctonia or Brown Patch and Summer Patch. They typically show as irregular patches of brown or yellow grass. Apply fungicides at the first signs of these diseases, but remember, prevention is better than cure. Maintain a balanced fertilization regimen, avoid excessive watering, and ensure proper aeration for disease prevention.

Through understanding these challenges and initiating preventive steps, you’ll be capable of ensuring your summer lawn in Arizona remains lush and healthy during the toughest conditions.


You’ve got the knowledge to conquer Arizona’s challenging climate and cultivate a lush summer lawn. Remember, your grass type choice is crucial. Opt for heat-tolerant varieties like Bermuda or Zoysia. Your soil needs careful preparation and amendments to enhance fertility. When it comes to sowing, timing matters. Avoid the scorching midday heat and keep your soil moist, not waterlogged. Your lawn’s health is a testament to your watering and maintenance practices. Adhere to mowing schedules, sharpen those blades, and don’t forget the “One-Third Rule”. Regular fertilization and effective weed control will keep your lawn thriving. Despite the heat and drought, you can overcome these challenges with frequent watering, mulching, and aeration. Stay vigilant against pests and diseases to ensure your lawn remains a verdant oasis. Now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned and create your perfect summer lawn in Arizona.

LawnStarter states that Bermuda grass is highly recommended for its excellent heat tolerance and rapid growth, making it ideal for Arizona’s intense summer heat. Additionally, preparing the soil with compost and ensuring proper irrigation will help establish a robust, drought-tolerant lawn, according to Mid South Irrigation & Landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What grass types are ideal for a summer lawn in Arizona?

The ideal grass types for a summer lawn in Arizona are heat-tolerant varieties such as Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass. They are well-suited for Arizona’s desert climate and can withstand the extreme summer heat.

How should soil be prepared for summer grass in Arizona?

Preparing the soil for summer grass involves testing soil quality, evaluating nutrient levels, and using soil amendments such as compost, peat moss, and lime. These measures enhance soil fertility and provide optimal conditions for grass growth.

When is the best time to sow summer grass seeds in Arizona?

The best time to sow summer grass seeds in Arizona is during the early morning or late evening to avoid the strong midday heat. This timing helps ensure germination and successful grass establishment.

What are the watering guidelines for summer grass in Arizona?

Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Adjust watering frequency based on weather conditions and understand the particular watering needs of grass types like Bermuda and Zoysia. This helps maintain a vibrant summer lawn in Arizona.

What are some maintenance and care tips for summer grass in Arizona?

Maintenance tips include establishing mowing schedules, ensuring proper mowing heights for Bermuda and Zoysia grass, sharpening mower blades, following the “One-Third Rule” for cutting grass, and implementing an appropriate fertilization schedule. Weed control strategies should also incorporate the use of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

How can one address the challenges of growing summer grass in Arizona?

Address the challenges of extreme heat and drought by ensuring frequent watering, mulching, and aeration. Pest and disease management also need regular payroll, early detection, and preventive measures for a lush summer lawn in Arizona.