Each spring and fall, the Avondale Water Conservation office offers free workshops designed to help residents learn how to use water more efficiently in their yards. All workshops are free of charge, but advanced registration is required as space is limited. Register by calling (623) 333-4400 or by emailing

While it can be difficult to know when to plant, what to plant, and how to care for your plants, the city offers these classes to save both water and money while keeping your landscapes healthy. A few topics to be covered are:

} landscape watering } basic pruning practices } plant selection 101 } irrigation repair

For a complete list go to or sign up for the "Water Conservation News" email newsletter for upcoming schedules and monthly conservation tips.


Cooler temperatures are just around the corner and many communities and residents are mak- ing decisions about planting rye grass for winter. The process of planting a winter lawn, known as over-seeding, is usually planted solely for aesthetics and not for function. Keep in mind that there are no city or state laws that require planting a green winter lawn, although there may be a few homeowner associations that mandate this. Check with your HOA about their specific CCR requirements.

Before making your decision, consider the following reasons for NOT over-seeding:

SAVE MONEY - Consider the cost of seed, water and labor and that turf uses 60% more water per square foot than a low-water-use landscape. Winter grass can also have an impact on your sewer bill.

PREVENT DIFFICULTIES - The over-seeding process (scalping, verticutting or power raking) can be every stressful on a Bermuda lawn. Most turf experts recommend allowing your lawn areas to "rest" every three years. This allows the Bermuda to regain its vigor.

SAVE WATER - Ryegrass seed needs copious amounts of water to germinate. Once established, ryegrass needs water every three to five days, whereas dormant Bermuda grass needs water only once a month. Over the four to five month winter lawn season, 1,000 square feet of rye uses 19,000 gallons more than dormant Bermuda!

AVOID FRUSTRATION - Seed germination failure, fertilizer issues, disease and irrigation problems are all opportunities for frustrating issues to arise.

SET AN EXAMPLE - We live in a desert and water is our most precious resource. Use it wisely!


While Bermuda grass typically goes dormant in the cold months, it is possible to extend the length of its growing season and lush green appearance well into the winter. The University of Arizona turf specialists recommend multiple applications of iron (2 - 4 oz. of actual iron per 1,000 square feet). Apply the first application about October 1, then follow up with two more applications at 10-day intervals. Do NOT apply nitrogen fertilizers. Remember that even dormant Bermuda needs a ½ inch of water per month during the winter.

RAVE September - December 2019 • 31

and more!

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