Winter Rye *only* in desert?

I live in Phoenix, Arizona and was wondering if anyone has any experience with *only* maintaining a winter Rye lawn and not sowing Bermuda. I have no desire to be outside mowing in the 110 degree summers and the kids don't go outside much then either. We hated the bermuda in our old house constantly encroaching on the garden. Furthermore, I am not deaf to the cries to minimize water use; seems like only watering in the cooler months and not at all in the summer is an optimal compromise between total xeriscaping and providing a nice play area for the kids. Logically it seems like a winter-only lawn makes a lot more sense then the summer-only lawns most people have. However, I have seen no documentation anywhere of anyone doing this. None. So I naturally can't help but wonder what I am over-looking. Why doesn't everyone do this?
When we first moved into our home we had freshly graded dirt. It was fall so I planted a winter lawn. Watered it using irrigation. It was a wonderful, soft, dark green lawn. Come Spring, I let it grow high before the Rye died. This worked pretty well as a weed block throughout the summer as I hoped. Some of the Rye actually came back in the fall (but only in spots). I was just preparing to seed again when we had a contractor completely tear up the yard (driving trucks through the freshly irrigated yard). I gave up for that year but now I am ready to reclaim the back yard. I plan to attempt a Rye/winter-only from now on unless someone can tell me why it won't work.
Thanks in advance for any experiences anyone has to share.
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As k John Smoltz. Home Depot considers him a master.

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Winter rye is an annual grass. You have to replant each year. Naturally, it makes plenty of seed. But, that seed doesn't always make it back to the soil in a consistent manner and gestate. Thus the spotting you saw.
Its primary use is ground cover during the winter, then plowed under in early spring by farmers. Can be left the following spring/summer/fall to hold the soil and prevent other foliage from grabbing hold. Good for a dormant cycle to let the soil recover or until planting another crop.
--
Jonny



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