In Arizona we have both a winter and a summer lawn.
The summer lawn, a Bermuda grass, is the base for the lawn. Bermuda is resistant to heat, grows well with lodes of sunshine.
Croquet players and lawn bowlers prefer a well manicured, fast playing and level lawn. The grass is dense, cut short and resembles a large putting green. The largest lawn I have seen is at the Merion Cricket Club outside Philadelphia; it is large enough to place four football fields side-by-side. I've seen 18 croquet courts setup at Merion during a national croquet championship.
The croquet playing surface is 85' x 105', slightly larger than a tennis court. One should usually plan on an additional 10' per boundary to allow the court to be setup in different locations as the playing surface around the hoops may get worn. This also allows one to split the court into two half size lawns.
The winter lawn is overseeded with a perennial rye grass around late September or early October when the Bermuda grass begins to go dormant (not enough sunshine due to the tilt of the earth) and the temperatures no longer exceed 100 degrees. The optimal temperature for germination of the rye grass is around 80 degrees. Check with your local golf course as to the best time to overseed. To ensure a dense lawn, we typically overseed with 4-6 times the recommended amount of rye seed.
Once every decade or so, the health of the lawn must be restored by more aggressive measures. In our case, we are going through a rebuilding project (click here to learn more).
Some new information from Harvard on how to produce an organic fertilizer ...
link to Harvard Organic Method for Lawn Care.
Harvard: How to do organic landscaping ...
A quality turf lawn requires good maintenance of the equipment, proper feeding and pest and fungus control.
The lawn mower should be of greensward quality, with a sharp blade to ensure good cuts that don't damage the grass.
Good fertilization, insecticides and fungus control are important for a quality lawn.
Water is the key to growth.
Rory applying fungicide to the lawn to stop the brown patch.
Ren adjusts the sprinklers.
Portable sprinklers are indispensible to putting water down where the lawn needs it most. A handy hose can do the job but requires more fussing around.
Recently we found evidence of mycellium. Look early in the morning for what looks like little spider webs.
Classis picture of mycellium; a cob-web appearance which goes away after the sun burns off the moisture.
If you see them, you will probably start seeing the after effects, called 'brown patch'.
Applying a good fungicide, de-thatching the lawn, sharpening the mower blades, and improving aeration will help improve the lawn and get it back under control.
It is important to watch the nitrogen, too much is not a good thing in this case.
For a good writeup of 'brown patch', check out the Nebraska website (click here), or use the keyword "brown patch" in your favorite search engine.
Here are a few more pictures.
A dark spot is the center of something happening.
The spot gets bigger and hopefully the grass survives in the middle.
Brown patch can take over significant areas of the lawn quickly.