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jdg9861
03-12-2010, 03:04 PM
I am seeding 7500 sq feet of a lawn with centipede in a few weeks. I have lived at the residence for 5 months and when I moved in it didn't have grass. I put some rye down for the winter and it came up fine. Now I have some pretty thick weeds that have grown and I'm trying to decide what my best course of action will be to grow my centipede this spring.

Should I till? Should I use round up to kill everything before I till? What about a grass like bermuda to seed with the centipede to get things moving?

My plan was to put a weed killer on the lawn (which I did a week ago), till the whole thing, rake in centipede with possibly bermuda and compact the soil with a roller.

Some guidance would be awesome.

RAlmaroad
03-12-2010, 03:33 PM
Centipede will not germinate until about June in SC. By then the temps are very hot, possibly 85-90 during the day. How are the temps down there? Have you killed out the old lawn? Read Greendoctors post about Bermuda in St. Augustine. I'm afraid that the bermuda will take over the centipede because of the full sun. Centipede is full of problems like chlorine in the potash will cause it to decline and it hates traffic. You may be better off to just use the bermuda. Tilling and a touch of starter fertile in the soil a couple of weeks before seeding will help as well as compost in the soil and the biggest single element for seed is to have a constant irrigation source where you can keep your soil moist for two weeks while the seed germinates. If it ever drys out during that time the seedlings will die. That annual rye will shade the ground while it germinates and help retain moisture. The key will be when the night temps of the soil do no drop too low.

jdg9861
03-12-2010, 03:49 PM
Centipede will not germinate until about June in SC. By then the temps are very hot, possibly 85-90 during the day. How are the temps down there? Have you killed out the old lawn? Read Greendoctors post about Bermuda in St. Augustine. I'm afraid that the bermuda will take over the centipede because of the full sun. Centipede is full of problems like chlorine in the potash will cause it to decline and it hates traffic. You may be better off to just use the bermuda. Tilling and a touch of starter fertile in the soil a couple of weeks before seeding will help as well as compost in the soil and the biggest single element for seed is to have a constant irrigation source where you can keep your soil moist for two weeks while the seed germinates. If it ever drys out during that time the seedlings will die. That annual rye will shade the ground while it germinates and help retain moisture. The key will be when the night temps of the soil do no drop too low.

It has heated up to about 70 during the day here. It was a brand new house so the rye is the only grass I had. Fortunately Lafayette LA is one of the top ten rainy places in the US so moist soil is not a problem. Wouldn't the tilling break up all of the rye or would it continue to grow? Bermuda definitely would be the cheaper and easier grass to start, but would the maintenance issues with mowing be too much?

RAlmaroad
03-13-2010, 10:43 AM
My great friend (Greendoctor) in Hawaii says that Bermuda must be mowed with a reel mower to about 1/2" for it to look great. Now I do not know if it is the same strain of Bermuda that we have here but I believe so. Bermuda is more drought tolerant than almost any grass and does spread well. It is not susceptible to many of the weed killers like centipede. Centipede hates itself and almost anything that you do for it like fertilize and care for it--it returns the effort by dying. I personally think it has a vendetta against me in SC. However I'm Italian and we don't know the meaning of the word, so I persist and generally get the better up on it and it does well. Given the opportunity to sow seed, I'd go with the Bermuda. Do your research on what herbicides does well with it or what it won't tolerate before you jump. On that rye, generally heat will knock it out in a few weeks, so I'd not be concerned this late with it doing any more for you. Maybe someone with more experience with Bermuda will chime it for you. If they don't I'll write Greendoctor for you and he'll give you the truth and fact so what he recommends--do. I'll check this thread for any response from him. In the meantime, call a Sod farm and ask them a few questions on maintenance. There's a great one in Rembert, SC; Google them and check out their website: Modern Turf.com
How long have you been in Louisiana? Isn't is remarkable how Southerners help one another. Did y'all get hit hard with the hurricane--I personally will never forget how Bush and his DC thieves just did nothing and afterwards try to make even more money with those who would profit from those appointments.

greendoctor
03-13-2010, 01:08 PM
7,500 of grass and a chance to start over. My suggestion would be do a very good preparation process, including amending the soil for drainage and structure, then grading it properly. Then, I want you to look at the new, fine bladed bermuda grasses available by seed. Centipede grass is actually not a low maintenance grass. It requires all kinds of special treatment that RAImaroad is familiar with. Of course you can plan not to do any of that and settle for a lawn that does not look very good. Bermuda is much more forgiving. It does need to be cut with a reel mower, however I like to think that a reel mower is more simple than needing an advanced education in agronomy to make it look good. Hope this helps.

jdg9861
03-17-2010, 03:47 PM
7,500 of grass and a chance to start over. My suggestion would be do a very good preparation process, including amending the soil for drainage and structure, then grading it properly. Then, I want you to look at the new, fine bladed bermuda grasses available by seed. Centipede grass is actually not a low maintenance grass. It requires all kinds of special treatment that RAImaroad is familiar with. Of course you can plan not to do any of that and settle for a lawn that does not look very good. Bermuda is much more forgiving. It does need to be cut with a reel mower, however I like to think that a reel mower is more simple than needing an advanced education in agronomy to make it look good. Hope this helps.

That did help. And I have decided to go with bermuda. I appreciate all your help.

ddishman
03-17-2010, 09:29 PM
I have lots of experience with seeding bermudagrass. Princess 77 is the closest to sod quality, but like all seeded bermudas, you'll have to tolerate the high number of seedheads it produces. It's expensive, but you can get away with one pound be 1000 square feet on the rate. Keep in mind that when the seed germinates, you'll also get lots of crabgrass or even worse, dallisgrass. Start using Drive on the crabgrass or MSMA on the dallisgrass after the bermuda reaches about 2 inches in height. I suggest you prepare the seed bed either by core aerating or tilling and raking, apply water and wait about two weeks. Spray it with Roundup, then seed right afterward. I did this to a horse pasture and it turned out great. This will keep the weed competition to a minimum.

ArTurf
03-17-2010, 10:15 PM
One thing, just make sure you have enough sunlight for bermuda to thrive. If not might consider zoysia.

greendoctor
03-18-2010, 02:43 AM
I saw a lawn the other day that was established from Zenith zoysia seed. Cut with a reel mower, well fertilized(by me) and it was a dead ringer for El Toro zoysia sod. Zoysia seed is about as much as fine bermuda seed, however it is nothing like the $3000+ per 1000 sq ft of El Toro sod. My experience with zoysia has been positive maintenance wise. Less diseases, insects, keeps out weeds better compared to bermuda. But, you will need a very good reel mower to mow it.

ddishman
03-18-2010, 09:52 PM
I actually have Zenith Zoysia in my yard mixed with Princess 77 and I highly recommend it. I just mow it with a Craftsman 20 hp 42 " cut rider using a bagger and it looks great. It does great in total sun and partial shade. One caution is that Zoysia is not nearly as drought tolerant as the bermuda and it takes much longer to germinate and fill in when establishing. That's why I'm in the process of putting in an irrigation system this spring, the moist areas like over my septic lines are total zoysia and the dry areas are total bermuda. I'm hoping to convert it all to zoysia this summer.

greendoctor
03-19-2010, 01:25 AM
I noticed that same thing about zoysia as well. Bermuda holds together much better when it is hot and dry appearance wise. But push it past a certain point and it is the zoysia that survives a lack of water better.