Sep 15

Grayhawk Landscaping Update: September 2021

Posted on September 15, 2021 at 10:01 AM by Jennifer Sheets

We're almost at the end of a very active summer monsoon season, and DLC crews have continued fostering Bermuda turf growth through these warmer months. Very soon, we will begin to prepare turf areas for fall, overseeding with winter Ryegrass as Bermuda fades into dormancy. Crews will lower mow heights and adjust irrigation to ready the turf for this transition. 

The turf will be aerated and overseeded in late September. Avoiding foot traffic in these areas for 3-4 weeks following seeding helps the winter lawn to get established. Grayhawk follows a 4-year turf rotation for overseeding; therefore, six to eight acres will not be overseeded. Allowing the turf to lay dormant, rather than putting Rye seed out, helps Bermuda come back faster and stronger the following spring. It also saves money on seed and extra watering costs. Read more about the overseed process below. 

The monsoon has been unusually intense this year! Several strong windstorms have blown through the Valley this summer, breaking numerous tree branches in your Community. Our Arbor dept. has sent crews to help your onsite team trim the affected trees as needed and clean up the area. We have worked weekends to make sure the Community is looking its best. In August, approximately 40 trees and 3 cacti were lost to storm damage. We updated our GIS arbor inventory to provide vital information for future stump removals and replanting.  

Our Water Department and local irrigation specialists carefully observe monsoon rainfall and on-the-ground conditions to deliver the right amount of water for your landscape. Thankfully, recent rains have allowed us to turn off the irrigation system for numerous cycles this summer, saving water and reducing your Community's costs. Year to date, Grayhawk has saved over $32,000 in irrigation costs so far in 2021! 

Your Community is still experiencing high levels of tree and plant growth due to the rain and humidity. We continue to prune shrubs and trim trees to maintain sightlines. Plant debris and spent blooms and are removed as we work in a cycle around the Community. Weeds, which also benefit from the rain, have popped up particularly in granite that borders turf. We treat two to three times weekly and remove weeds manually as we work.

The monument enhancements to Crown Point Norte, Halcon and Volare are complete. Colorful new plants, cacti, boulders and rip-rap (large stones to direct water and reduce erosion) are giving a fresh look to these Community entrances. Enhancements to the Los Vientos and Firenze monuments will begin soon. 

Sightlines will be inspected in September. Crews review each intersection in your Community to help keep plant material from creating visual obstructions. We work to mitigate sightline issues year-round, but these special inspections happen twice yearly to thoroughly review the Community. Please alert Community Management if you see a problem with sightlines.

A Green Winter

Overseeding is the process of transitioning summer Bermuda grass out and bringing in winter Ryegrass. We overseed because Bermuda grass grows well in the summer but goes dormant during the winter months. Dormant Bermuda grass has a brown/blonde, straw-like appearance and will remain that way until spring. Ryegrass, however, stays green and vibrant through the cooler months, then dies out with the summer heat.

When DLC starts to overseed, typically, the irrigation in the turf areas is reduced by half and mow heights are lowered to suppress the growth of the Bermuda and open up the soil for the Ryegrass. In addition, the turf is aerated to help the ground receive additional water and nutrients. After that, the Ryegrass seed is laid down. As the grass germinates, we will frequently water to keep the delicate seedbed moist. We encourage you not to walk or play on these areas as the grass germinates and until the new grass receives its first mow, typically in 3-4 weeks. 

To learn more about overseeding, check out our Learning Center at dlcresources.com/learning-center. You will find plenty of in-depth articles under the "Turf" heading.