With California in the middle of another significant drought, water conservation is key. 

One way to help save water is to skip overseeding and let your grass “go gold” – or dormant – for the winter. This helps conserve water and save money on seed and extra lawn maintenance.

For those unfamiliar with the details, overseeding is the practice of adding cool-weather grass seeds (traditionally rye in our area) over the dormant warm-weather Bermuda grass and implementing a heavy-handed watering schedule to get the seeds to grow.

This water-intensive process is pervasive in the Coachella Valley – but should it be?

Instead of overseeding and watering every few hours to get the seeds to germinate – water grass weekly once it goes dormant, around January. Come spring, the grass should begin to green up again.

If you’re not quite ready to “go gold”  and choose to overseed, make sure it is efficient:

  • Check your sprinklers: fix any pressure problems, make sure sprinklers are aimed in the right direction and repair any leaks.
  • Start later: overseed in late October or November, you will need less water to germinate the seeds.
  • Cover seeds with grass clippings to prevent evaporation and give them shade. 
  • Water less: keep your seeds moist but not soaked, water a little and often (e.g. five times a day for 1-2 minutes each time). After seeds germinate, reduce the number of times you water each day.

You can find these tips in a print-out available at www.dwa.org/overseeding.

You can view more water conservation tips here.