QUESTION: Will you go look at the park near Sunflower Elementary School? The park is a joint project between the city of El Centro and the El Centro Elementary School District. After installing an expensive sprinkler system, they finally planted grass last fall. Now the grass is mostly dead or dying. What happened? — Gardener, El Centro
The grass is fine. What you are seeing dying off, according to Kim Dessert, director of facilities for the school district, is the winter rye grass planted in the 17-acre park last fall. The newly planted Bermuda grass is doing fine.
By the time the sprinkler system was installed it was too late to plant Bermuda grass, a warm weather grass. In cold weather, Bermuda goes dormant and doesn't grow.
Winter rye is a great grass but it doesn't like hot weather, so when the hot weather hit, it wilted.
The rye that survived needs mowing but the yard maintenance workers can't mow because the immature Bermuda planted this spring is not high enough to mow, she said.