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NEwhere1
08-09-2012, 11:13 AM
Hi Everyone!

First of all thanks for having a Homeowner forum!

Secondly i didn't do my due diligence prior to choosing Bermuda grass. I'm fine with the choice now, and am up to the task of maintaining it.

Background info: I had my backyard redone and a pool installed feb-april of this year, and it was sodded with Bermuda. It appeared to be doing fine except for a few places where it gets too much shade. I had been mowing it with my riding lawn mower 36" non-floating deck and to avoid scalping I had to mow it between 3-4" tall. Install was not done perfectly, there are bumps and dips, and a few of the irrigation lines are showing due to wet clay when they back filled the ditches. After doing some research online I decided to buy a new mower. I bought a used 20" Tru-cut reel mower, and got it tuned up at a local shop.

PRE-SOD pictures:

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Pool%20Build/IMG_2180.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Pool%20Build/IMG_2153.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Pool%20Build/IMG_1968.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Pool%20Build/IMG_1947.jpg

Have you ever seen such beautiful Georgia Red Clay? :dizzy:

I started trying to reduce watering frequency, but over did it and caused two large patches to brown out/die. They grass turned dry and took on a silvery color in those patches right before i watered again. I tried to go 4-5 days without watering. So at least I learned first hand what grass that needs to be watered looks like. I pulled some of the dead grass up to make sure it wasn't grubs, it still has roots so i don't think it was grubs, just burned up.

So the Reel mower can only mow so high, and when I mowed a portion of my lawn it cut all the green off in many places. I used the grass catcher and also blew off any remaining cuttings when i finished.

I'm told here in Atlanta that the Bermuda will grow into September and keep it's color into October.

I have two dogs, some of the small dead circles are from dog pee, but not all off them.

Here are some pictures!

You can see previous scalping from riding mower
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5259.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5258.jpg

You can see thin grass due to shade (working on trimming Jap maple and redtips)
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5255.jpg
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5254.jpg

and finally you can see the area i cut with the reel, and the results

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5253.jpg
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5251.jpg
Picture of scalped area
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5263.jpg
closer
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5264.jpg
Close up of reel cut where it didn't scalp
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5261.jpg
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5262.jpg
Mower seems to be cutting vs. tearing, no grass juice on bedknife, cuts of grass appear scissor like.

My question is, is it too late in the season to be adjusting lawn height this much? Should I just wait until next spring and scalp and top dress then (yard is lumpy)? Some of the previous scalpings from the riding lawn mower are still visible, and it seems to take 3-4 weeks to recover.

Keep in mind this is the highest setting on the reel, so really i probably need to go lower than what is pictured.

Duekster
08-09-2012, 11:41 AM
Provided you do not remove more than 1/3 of the blade then the sod will continue to develop strong roots with proper water and fertilizer.

To avoid damage to the mower or the grass however you may want to wait until the lawn is leveled to use the tru cut.

NEwhere1
08-09-2012, 12:18 PM
If i go about cutting 1/3 of the green portion of the grass, will i ever be able to reduce the overall height of the grass? Meaning, will the green portion get lower to the ground?

If what i've done is way too much and will damage the grass then i can't continue until i can scalp it all down next spring in prep for leveling. Is angular sharp sand the recommended method for leveling vs. sand/topsoil mix or some of my native red clay? I've been told soil filled into holes will smoother the bermunda where sand won't. I've also read where too much sand to level in one spot will create future watering issues ...


http://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/lawn-leveling/
"NOT PURE SAND It is easy for a homeowner to level a lawn. The first task, however, is to unlearn what you see at a golf course. There, sand is commonly used to fill divots made by golf clubs. Since the soil beneath has a high percentage of sand, adding sand to the damaged spot doesnít change the structural characteristics of the soil.

Normals lawns, though, are not built with a soil mix approved by United States Golf Association. We typically have soil that contains lots of clay. If you add pure sand on top of clay the drainage and growth characteristics of the soil are disjointed. Grass growing in the sand is more susceptible to drought and cold injury. Internal soil drainage is worsened.

HALF AND HALF You can easily make your own lawn patching soil by mixing sand and planting soil in a 1:1 proportion in your wheelbarrow. Some of the retail soil companies have gone so far as to package and sell such a mixture specifically labeled for lawn leveling."

I can continue cutting the lawn at 3-4" for the rest of this season and it sounds like that's the best thing for it.

Duekster
08-09-2012, 03:43 PM
If i go about cutting 1/3 of the green portion of the grass, will i ever be able to reduce the overall height of the grass? Meaning, will the green portion get lower to the ground?

If what i've done is way too much and will damage the grass then i can't continue until i can scalp it all down next spring in prep for leveling. Is angular sharp sand the recommended method for leveling vs. sand/topsoil mix or some of my native red clay? I've been told soil filled into holes will smoother the bermunda where sand won't. I've also read where too much sand to level in one spot will create future watering issues ...


http://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/lawn-leveling/
"NOT PURE SAND It is easy for a homeowner to level a lawn. The first task, however, is to unlearn what you see at a golf course. There, sand is commonly used to fill divots made by golf clubs. Since the soil beneath has a high percentage of sand, adding sand to the damaged spot doesn’t change the structural characteristics of the soil.

Normals lawns, though, are not built with a soil mix approved by United States Golf Association. We typically have soil that contains lots of clay. If you add pure sand on top of clay the drainage and growth characteristics of the soil are disjointed. Grass growing in the sand is more susceptible to drought and cold injury. Internal soil drainage is worsened.

HALF AND HALF You can easily make your own lawn patching soil by mixing sand and planting soil in a 1:1 proportion in your wheelbarrow. Some of the retail soil companies have gone so far as to package and sell such a mixture specifically labeled for lawn leveling."

I can continue cutting the lawn at 3-4" for the rest of this season and it sounds like that's the best thing for it.

Some on this thread from GA will say they have used sand but I think what Walter is saying is conventional wisdom around the country where the soil is clay. I like compost and try to keep it to 1/4' in depth for the most part when dressing the lawn. If you have some areas that are relatively small but deeper the bermuda will recover pretty quick.

What you could do is buy some quality top dress compost and fill in the worst low spots only. Let the grass come up there. Then later aerate and top dress/level the whole lawn at a later date.

What height are you wanting to maintain on your lawn?

Following the 1/3 rule, the mowing frequency is as such.

(mowing height/2) / growth rate. You can assume a well watered and fertilized bermuda will grow close to 1/4" a day.

So for example you want to keep the turf at 1.5"

1.5/2 = 0.75 ( so you would cut the grass before it reaches 2.25" so you only remove 0.75" when you mow @ 1.5.

.75 / 0.25 = 3

If the grass grows 1/4 ( 0.25) then you need to mow every 3 days to keep the grass at 1.5 inches.

You are better off biting the bullet and taking the grass down one time then maintain it than you are removing 40 to 50% of the blade each week all summer long.

NEwhere1
08-09-2012, 04:23 PM
What height are you wanting to maintain on your lawn?



I am not sure about final mowing height. I eventually want the nice thick green lawns i see (only one in my neighborhood) in really nice neighborhoods, or like on a golf course. Everything i've read said I'm currently mowing too high for bermuda. I have read i need to be below 2.5" with Bermuda to accomplish my goal. Of course i've read all kinds of suggestions 1-1.5", 1-2" etc. Until my lawn is more level, i either have to use the tru-cut at highest setting or mow at like 3-4" with my rider.


Following the 1/3 rule, the mowing frequency is as such.

(mowing height/2) / growth rate. You can assume a well watered and fertilized bermuda will grow close to 1/4" a day.

So for example you want to keep the turf at 1.5"

1.5/2 = 0.75 ( so you would cut the grass before it reaches 2.25" so you only remove 0.75" when you mow @ 1.5.

.75 / 0.25 = 3

If the grass grows 1/4 ( 0.25) then you need to mow every 3 days to keep the grass at 1.5 inches.

You are better off biting the bullet and taking the grass down one time then maintain it than you are removing 40 to 50% of the blade each week all summer long.

I'm okay with mowing every 3rd or 4th day.

I can currently accomplish the 1/3 cut of green only with my riding mower, but obviously would have to hack it back to be able to do that with the tru cut.

Do you think the part of the lawn i hacked down to ~2" from 4" as shown above will recover before it stops growing this year? Would my lawn be ultimately healthier if i just kept it high until next spring, i guess that is what i'm trying to figure out.

We're you suggesting that i start working on filling in some of the worst spots with good compost now?:drinkup:

Duekster
08-09-2012, 04:31 PM
I am suggesting you fill in your worst spots now but again try to only add 1/4 to 1/2 inch at a time, let the bermuda recover then repeat. I would rather see you fill up a hole than scalp the area because of the low spot.

If you treat the majority of the lawn well, it will recover. Bermuda is tough as nails in the turf world.

I am not sure mowing higher is better for the lawn. I know removing more than 1/3 of the blade harms it. If you can not do this with the true cut, then use the rider at it's lowerst setting and mow so you do not remove more than 1/3 of the blade.

NEwhere1
08-14-2012, 03:52 PM
I finished "adjusting" the rest of my lawn this past Saturday afternoon and Sunday. We've had good rainfall every day and i've been checking the lawn all over with a screwdriver ensuring it's wet down to 6 inches.

I'll continue to update this thread as the lawn greens back up (assuming it does).

This scalping enabled me to easily find all of the crabgrass and pull it out as well as some other broad-leaf weeds, so i'm currently weed free.

cgaengineer
08-14-2012, 05:12 PM
Subscribed...will post my suggestions in a bit.
Posted via Mobile Device

NEwhere1
08-14-2012, 05:37 PM
I'll take some new pics in a bit and post them. Approx 8000 sq ft or 16 pallets.

NEwhere1
08-14-2012, 08:02 PM
Updated pictures
http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5309.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5310.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5311.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5312.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5313.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5314.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5315.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5316.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5317.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5318.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/IMG_5308.jpg

inzane
08-14-2012, 10:45 PM
i'm in paulding county myself, i have the same issues in my front yard. thankfully we have had alot of rain here this week! when i tried to scalp mine down it kinda decided not to rain for a while, mine bounced back pretty good in a month, but much thinner (i had tried to go low in july). I think your lawn may green up again, bermuda starts to go dormant around october here, make sure it gets water if it doesnt rain. who does your lawn apps? i know a good guy that works in that area.. if you want PM me

NEwhere1
08-15-2012, 09:43 AM
i'm in paulding county myself, i have the same issues in my front yard. thankfully we have had alot of rain here this week! when i tried to scalp mine down it kinda decided not to rain for a while, mine bounced back pretty good in a month, but much thinner (i had tried to go low in july). I think your lawn may green up again, bermuda starts to go dormant around october here, make sure it gets water if it doesnt rain. who does your lawn apps? i know a good guy that works in that area.. if you want PM me

I have had Lawn Dr. come out once. But i'm thinking I'm going to just do it myself. I'm already spending so much time mowing, weedeating edging, spreading pine straw and blowing, what's a little fert. spreading and chem spraying?

OF COURSE, one might say "clearly you need a professionals help" after looking at my lawn, but all of the calenders I've seen for Bermuda lawn care lay it out pretty clearly as to what needs to be done.

inzane
08-15-2012, 12:01 PM
what do they charge for a lawn that size? a guy i know used them one time too because they had a $29.00 first app. nothing wrong with doing it yourself, its interesting stuff, not that hard. i like the walter reeves calanders myself. also, there is alot of good info on here if you ever need it, i know i've learned alot here myself.

weekly mowing is just not cutting it the past few weeks. i mowed my bermuda saturday, and i'm about to get out there now and mow it again. my lawn is pretty un-even as well, much worse than yours probally. i gave up trying to keep it shorter, gonna spend more time working on others lawns rather than my own. i got some pictures on another thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=377024&highlight=pics+practice+lawn

your back yard looks awesome, can't wait to see the pictures when you get everything sorted out with the cutting height, if it was me i'd take it back to where you had it and wait to spring to try to get it lower.. august usually gets pretty hot and dry here, i remember my lawn was toast by end of august last year. but thank god we've had alot of rain latley.. frequent mowings is the best way to keep bermuda looking good, like duekster was saying.

NEwhere1
08-15-2012, 12:25 PM
what do they charge for a lawn that size? a guy i know used them one time too because they had a $29.00 first app. nothing wrong with doing it yourself, its interesting stuff, not that hard. i like the walter reeves calanders myself. also, there is alot of good info on here if you ever need it, i know i've learned alot here myself.

weekly mowing is just not cutting it the past few weeks. i mowed my bermuda saturday, and i'm about to get out there now and mow it again. my lawn is pretty un-even as well, much worse than yours probally. i gave up trying to keep it shorter, gonna spend more time working on others lawns rather than my own. i got some pictures on another thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=377024&highlight=pics+practice+lawn

your back yard looks awesome, can't wait to see the pictures when you get everything sorted out with the cutting height, if it was me i'd take it back to where you had it and wait to spring to try to get it lower.. august usually gets pretty hot and dry here, i remember my lawn was toast by end of august last year. but thank god we've had alot of rain latley.. frequent mowings is the best way to keep bermuda looking good, like duekster was saying.

I think the charge was $55 ish, not exactly sure wife paid that bill. I think the plan is they come out 8 times a year. Thanks for the compliments, we've been saving for YEARS to finally get everything done. Other than upkeep my only contribution to the backyard has been planting all the plants, still have 1 more palm to go but i'm so sick of digging 3' wide by 2' deep :dizzy: Next spring i want to do some more palms i just want to see how these handle the winter, they are supposed to be good down to -5 F depending on which person/website/book you believe.

I agree i should probably have waited till spring to lower the lawn, but I am impatient and wanted to start using the new to me reel mower. Side benefit is i can now see the dog crap and pick it up.....

According to the calenders I need to fertilize, little concerned that since i've stressed the lawn i should skip it.

Peachtree mowers also has this calendar http://www.reelmowers.net/downloads/TurfManagementPlan.pdf

inzane
08-15-2012, 12:30 PM
the fertilizer will help it recover, as long as its well irrigated.

According to the calenders I need to fertilize, little concerned that since i've stressed the lawn i should skip it.

Peachtree mowers also has this calendar http://www.reelmowers.net/downloads/TurfManagementPlan.pdf

NEwhere1
08-16-2012, 10:29 AM
the fertilizer will help it recover, as long as its well irrigated.

Okay, so I picked up Scott's summerguard yesterday day and applied it last night, then I turned on the irrigation to water it in.

I got a new spreader, Scott's with a side discharge preventer. It also keeps it from spreading back on my feet. This thing is great! My old one i putt a piece of cardboard on the back but this is soooo much nicer. The side preventer works great too so i didn't have to go back and blow all the fert. off the patio or driveway....

inzane
08-16-2012, 12:15 PM
i wouldn't water at night though, if you can help it. early morning only. to avoid any fungus problems.

congrats on the new spreader.

Okay, so I picked up Scott's summerguard yesterday day and applied it last night, then I turned on the irrigation to water it in.

I got a new spreader, Scott's with a side discharge preventer. It also keeps it from spreading back on my feet. This thing is great! My old one i putt a piece of cardboard on the back but this is soooo much nicer. The side preventer works great too so i didn't have to go back and blow all the fert. off the patio or driveway....

Chilehead
08-16-2012, 12:20 PM
Following the one-third rule is only part of the mowing equation--mowing frequency is the other. The shorter you want to keep your grass, the more frequent you'll need to mow. If I were you, I would fertilize with a 24-2-6 fertilizer at half the recommended application rate now, and again in four weeks. Irrigate the lawn with 1.5" - 2" of water per week until you see even the low burnt-out spots recover to a height of 3". Keep the lawn at 3" for the remainder of the year, mowing weekly. I understand the limitations of the reel mower, so you may have to use a rotary one, but the key goal for now is lawn HEALTH and STRENGTH gains. A taller bermuda lawn through the winter will also provide better weed resistance. If you are going to keep it shorter next year, don't scalp it until it is fully dormant--late January. I personally don't scalp until late February/early March. By April it will be greening up, and you'll have a "clean slate" to work with. Make sure you apply a chemical for grub prevention in the spring in addition to fertilizer and lawn weed control. Best wishes.

NEwhere1
08-16-2012, 12:32 PM
Following the one-third rule is only part of the mowing equation--mowing frequency is the other. The shorter you want to keep your grass, the more frequent you'll need to mow. If I were you, I would fertilize with a 24-2-6 fertilizer at half the recommended application rate now, and again in four weeks. Irrigate the lawn with 1.5" - 2" of water per week until you see even the low burnt-out spots recover to a height of 3". Keep the lawn at 3" for the remainder of the year, mowing weekly. I understand the limitations of the reel mower, so you may have to use a rotary one, but the key goal for now is lawn HEALTH and STRENGTH gains. A taller bermuda lawn through the winter will also provide better weed resistance. If you are going to keep it shorter next year, don't scalp it until it is fully dormant--late January. I personally don't scalp until late February/early March. By April it will be greening up, and you'll have a "clean slate" to work with. Make sure you apply a chemical for grub prevention in the spring in addition to fertilizer and lawn weed control. Best wishes.

The fertilizer is done, at recommend rate on package. I only watered last night per package directions, i normally irrigate right before dawn.

So if i'm to get it back up to 3" you are of the opinion that i never should have shortened it to begin with at this time of the year i'm guessing.

I have been mowing every 3 days, just mowed it last night. What is green is continuing to mow. If i get down to lawn level and look out across it i can see all the green grass sticking out higher than the brown. If i want to let it grow to 3" i'll have to go back to the rider, which is/was causing scalping issues at 4" due to it's width and yard uneveness (but i can do it if it's best for health of lawn). Was hoping it would recover/be healthy if i just maintained it at current height.

My plan is/has been to scalp and level right before green up in early March, thanks for the validating suggestion.

Do you all think i should do the grub test i've read about, create box with 2x4, place on ground, fill with soap water, then watch grubs climb out of ground and count them?

Should I apply a Halt's type product, crabgrass preventer soon?

inzane
08-16-2012, 12:45 PM
as far as the grub test.. yes, because there is no need applying an insecticide if there is not a problem. (but, thats just me!)

mid september or october for winter pre-emergent.



Do you all think i should do the grub test i've read about, create box with 2x4, place on ground, fill with soap water, then watch grubs climb out of ground and count them?

Should I apply a Halt's type product, crabgrass preventer soon?

Chilehead
08-16-2012, 12:50 PM
If you continue mowing it short, how will the burnt-out areas recover? I suggest getting a used 21" push mower from a pawn shop or Craigslist.com. It'll run you $25 - $50. This will let you mow tall for the time being. Grub control can be had at your local garden center. Forget the soap/water thing. Also, do a split-app of the pre-emergent. One in late September and one in late winter.

NEwhere1
08-16-2012, 02:21 PM
If you continue mowing it short, how will the burnt-out areas recover? I suggest getting a used 21" push mower from a pawn shop or Craigslist.com. It'll run you $25 - $50. This will let you mow tall for the time being. Grub control can be had at your local garden center. Forget the soap/water thing. Also, do a split-app of the pre-emergent. One in late September and one in late winter.

I'll research "split-app" here, as i don't understand exactly what you mean, is it just applying half the recommended dosage?


If you continue mowing it short, how will the burnt-out areas recover?


I think i was alluding to this on the first page, but nobody answered my question. I've been reading a couple different sites to try and understand how bermuda grass grows.

Here for example
http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/plant-structure.html
http://turfid.ncsu.edu/csPagedPdField.aspx?PlantID=CYNDA
http://www.commodities.caes.uga.edu/turfgrass/georgiaturf/Articles/BermudaManagement.htm

All these articles seem to be copies of one another to some extent.

Basically what i need to know is exactly where on the grass does new growth occur? :confused:

From what i've read it is not at the end of the brown stems all over my yard. It's will occur at the crown (which should be near/at the dirt which was not removed) or it will occur from stolons (the runners i can see growing across the yard near the dirt) or new plants from rhizomes similar to stolons but underground.

IF i am understanding correctly what i am reading, then my lawn should recover if i continue to mow it at current height. IF i understand what i'm reading correctly I would gain no advantage by letting it grow higher. It's at 2" now, shouldn't that be tall enough for winter time?

Of course those are to big IF's....:dizzy:

Now if green grass blades are to sprout from the very tips of the brown stems then I can see where raising the height would allow for a faster green up. It's been almost a week so I need to get down on my hands and knees and look to see if that is occurring or not.

Mickhippy
08-16-2012, 07:45 PM
I would just lower the reel mower 1/2"-3/4" for a cut (reset) then raise it to max until the beginning of next season. That way you'll have 1/2 -3/4" of leaf. Then do the full scalp, top dress etc etc.

That said, I dont know where you are in the season. If it will go dormant in the next 4 to 6 weeks, forget the above.

NEwhere1
08-16-2012, 08:44 PM
Close inspection reveals new grass growing from the dirt, nodes on the stalks and runners. I'll make sure to take pics this weekend and document weekly recovery. The area that was mowed 3 days ago again has green blades rising over the tops of the brown stalks. Brown stalks are showing new growth at various intervals towards the dirt.

And yes in my area I've read/been told it goes dormant in late sept/ early oct. so this is as low as I will go. Buy I think I'll keep cutting it at current setting on my reel.
Posted via Mobile Device

avguy
08-16-2012, 09:48 PM
FYI......I have common seeded bermuda and my last cut of the year is the first of November. I may only cut 2-3 times in October.

Mickhippy
08-16-2012, 11:49 PM
Close inspection reveals new grass growing from the dirt, nodes on the stalks and runners. I'll make sure to take pics this weekend and document weekly recovery. The area that was mowed 3 days ago again has green blades rising over the tops of the brown stalks. Brown stalks are showing new growth at various intervals towards the dirt.

And yes in my area I've read/been told it goes dormant in late sept/ early oct. so this is as low as I will go. Buy I think I'll keep cutting it at current setting on my reel.
Posted via Mobile Device

Im sure you'll be fine (bermuda is pretty tough) but the reason I say cut it a little lower once is so your not cutting the green off every time after. You'll have a better looking lawn quicker I expect.
If you have shoots and runners now, I see no reason not to cut it a little shorter. Youve already done most of the damage so to speak.

Others may disagree but I use hedging as an example. If you have an over grown hedge, you dont cut it back to where you want it, you cut it back lower so it can "grow back" to where you want to keep it.
I think of grass the same way.
Like I said, others may disagree but it works for me.

Anyway, keep the pics coming. Id be interested to see how it goes!

Duekster
08-18-2012, 09:17 AM
Im sure you'll be fine (bermuda is pretty tough) but the reason I say cut it a little lower once is so your not cutting the green off every time after. You'll have a better looking lawn quicker I expect.
If you have shoots and runners now, I see no reason not to cut it a little shorter. Youve already done most of the damage so to speak.

Others may disagree but I use hedging as an example. If you have an over grown hedge, you dont cut it back to where you want it, you cut it back lower so it can "grow back" to where you want to keep it.
I think of grass the same way.
Like I said, others may disagree but it works for me.

Anyway, keep the pics coming. Id be interested to see how it goes!

I do tend to agree. If you need to correct the height then just do it once.
Cutting off 40 to 50 % over and over again trying to slowly lower the grass is worst than hacking it down then maintaining.

Not sure mid-summer is the best time to do it however.

peachtree landscapes
08-20-2012, 12:26 AM
You have Bermuda. You can't kill it! However, I wouldn't try anything the rest of this season. I'd manage what you have and wait until early next season. That's when you should work on scalping and heavy topdressing. I'd keep repeating that process all of next summer and after topdressing, fertilize with Ammonium Sulfate (careful, it WILL burn) and irrigate heavily. This will give you quick green-up after the scalping and should help "train" your turf to have greener shoots and a lower height. It will also help grow your turf through the topdressing process quickly so that you will be able to do it over and over again.

The topdressing will level out the yard and you should be able to get a tight, dense yard. The following year, you could try spraying growth regulators for lateral growth if you desired.

greendoctor
08-20-2012, 05:09 AM
I do tend to agree. If you need to correct the height then just do it once.
Cutting off 40 to 50 % over and over again trying to slowly lower the grass is worst than hacking it down then maintaining.

Not sure mid-summer is the best time to do it however.

If a bermuda lawn is going to be mowed at the correct height, it should be done as it is going from spring to summer and it should be done all at once. Doing it very gradually applies to cool season grasses that do not have the facility of regenerating from underground rhizomes. It is also not a good idea when the temperatures and day length are on the decline. Bermuda is a long day and warm night kind of grass. However, I do rethink ever doing something like this to a lawn when conditions are such that it is difficult to keep enough water in the lawn until it regrows.

cgaengineer
08-20-2012, 07:25 AM
If a bermuda lawn is going to be mowed at the correct height, it should be done as it is going from spring to summer and it should be done all at once. Doing it very gradually applies to cool season grasses that do not have the facility of regenerating from underground rhizomes. It is also not a good idea when the temperatures and day length are on the decline. Bermuda is a long day and warm night kind of grass. However, I do rethink ever doing something like this to a lawn when conditions are such that it is difficult to keep enough water in the lawn until it regrows.

If the OP is in GA it's too late...we've have nights in the 50's and 60's and daytime highs of 85 for a few weeks which is not normal this time of year here.
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Duekster
08-20-2012, 09:41 AM
Scalping is never ideal. I am just saying that doing it once and getting it over with is better than removing more than 1/3 of the blade over and over again.

The Bermuda will survive... we often scalp it at the worst possible time, early fall when it is trying to put up energy stores for the winter.... for over seeding with winter rye.

I think if you look at my earlier post, I said to live with it this year, fill in some of the worst low spots with 1/4 to 1/2" compost. Scalp and level in the spring. That would be ideal.

It is very cool here too for the time of year but I doubt it will be cool enough to send bermuda into early dormancy. I may shift my last N app up a couple of weeks however.

Duekster
08-20-2012, 09:53 AM
I reviewed, I did not specifically mention spring but we were also talking about a link which recommended May. I was talking about managing until that time.

How old is this thread anyway?

NEwhere1
08-20-2012, 10:18 AM
Thread is a new one, I scalped it like 14 days ago, starting to green up. Hasn't reached into the 50's at my house yet, more like 65-67 at night.
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Duekster
08-20-2012, 10:25 AM
You are pretty far north so I would do a 1/2 app of N now. I would do another app with some N &K in it around Sept 15th. Have you pulled a soil test?

You have time to pull one, get the results and do what they say on or around Sept 15th based on a frost Nov 1.

NEwhere1
08-20-2012, 10:35 AM
You are pretty far north so I would do a 1/2 app of N now. I would do another app with some N &K in it around Sept 15th. Have you pulled a soil test?

You have time to pull one, get the results and do what they say on or around Sept 15th based on a frost Nov 1.

I did a full application of Scott's w/ Summerguard Last Thursday I believe.

I plan to send soil into Logan's. I have a pile of dirt obtained from me digging plant holes all around the yard sitting outside the fence, it has not been fertilized, and should yield non tampered results.

Duekster
08-20-2012, 10:44 AM
I did a full application of Scott's w/ Summerguard Last Thursday I believe.

I plan to send soil into Logan's. I have a pile of dirt obtained from me digging plant holes all around the yard sitting outside the fence, it has not been fertilized, and should yield non tampered results.
Provided that is a representive sample of what the lawn is on it should work.

IIRCC you had top soil brought in or the builder did.

NEwhere1
08-20-2012, 10:50 AM
It will be representative of what is there. We didn't have any soil brought in.

My soil is Georgia red clay, the only "topsoil" on the lawn is what came with the sod. Even the areas that were undisturbed and then sodded were the very same red clay, with not topsoil.

The contractors comments were "the is the best construction soil I've seen in years". The concrete guy's comment "nah you don't need piers under this patio, this soil is hard as a rock".

It was pretty crazy, the areas where they moved dirt around and filled up 3 feet or so, that soil is hard as a rock.

I think a lot or aeration is in my future.

The whole yard (front) is the same as well.

Florida Gardener
08-20-2012, 01:32 PM
Too bad you guys don't live in Florida. Our lows are at 77-79. This will last till end of October or so.
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NEwhere1
08-20-2012, 02:07 PM
If the OP is in GA it's too late...we've have nights in the 50's and 60's and daytime highs of 85 for a few weeks which is not normal this time of year here.
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So I did some checking, and the closest weather station to me is a couple of miles (don't know if this is close to you or not http://www.pwsweather.com/obs/archive/2012/08/KGAWINDE1.html) it has reported two nights below 60, Aug. 12 and 13th at 58 and 59. The rest of the nights since i scalped the grass have been 67-69. Forecast is for low to middle 60's next 10 days.

None of this matters as I've already done what I did. I was interested in hearing what you would do (per your first post in this thread).

I need to research at what temps Bermuda starts to go dormant, so i can try and figure out my last fertilizer timing.

kawasaki guy
08-21-2012, 09:08 AM
it prob needs to get more water!

Duekster
08-21-2012, 10:42 AM
So I did some checking, and the closest weather station to me is a couple of miles (don't know if this is close to you or not http://www.pwsweather.com/obs/archive/2012/08/KGAWINDE1.html) it has reported two nights below 60, Aug. 12 and 13th at 58 and 59. The rest of the nights since i scalped the grass have been 67-69. Forecast is for low to middle 60's next 10 days.

None of this matters as I've already done what I did. I was interested in hearing what you would do (per your first post in this thread).

I need to research at what temps Bermuda starts to go dormant, so i can try and figure out my last fertilizer timing.

I checked for you. Typical First Frost is Nov 1 so 6 weeks prior is Sept 15th.

cgaengineer
08-21-2012, 04:23 PM
Bermuda like 70's at night and 90's during the day...it's recovers quickest at these temps. As for the last fert, min 30 days before first frost. As soon as we have a week of temps in the 50s at night I wouldn't apply fert...don't think it will do much good.
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Duekster
08-21-2012, 04:46 PM
Bermuda like 70's at night and 90's during the day...it's recovers quickest at these temps. As for the last fert, min 30 days before first frost. As soon as we have a week of temps in the 50s at night I wouldn't apply fert...don't think it will do much good.
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To be clear his is talking about N... You can still Feed some K in October.

NEwhere1
09-06-2012, 11:47 AM
Okay here are some updated pics, taken over the past few days. Starting to look nice again.

These were taken at various stages of mowing (if you notice any difference between them that is the reason)

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5445.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5444.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5442.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5412.jpg

http://i1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff373/NEwhere1/Lawn%20Care/IMG_5447.jpg

macgyver_GA
09-06-2012, 12:10 PM
It's looking good. We're suppose to get a cold front this weekend so it'll start to slow the growth. The rain we've had the last few days has made the lawns grow like crazy. Also, bc I put my last high N app down the 3rd week of August. My Next app is a high K w/ pre-m for winter weeds in about 4 weeks. Then Lime in Dec.

I was mowing mine every 3 days for most of them summer but I've kinda slowed up on that at this point since the growth has slowed down for the most part. Also, the week long beach vacation in August kinda stopped that too since I went about 8 days w/o mowing.

I'm gonna do the same thing as you've done to mine next spring. I plan on buying a reel over the winter and I'll train it short next season starting in the spring. I'll need to topdress it in order to get it short though. I started out this year at 1.5" with a rotary and I'm at 1.75" now.

NEwhere1
09-06-2012, 12:16 PM
It's looking good. We're suppose to get a cold front this weekend so it'll start to slow the growth. The rain we've had the last few days has made the lawns grow like crazy. Also, bc I put my last high N app down the 3rd week of August. My Next app is a high K w/ pre-m for winter weeds in about 4 weeks. Then Lime in Dec.

I was mowing mine every 3 days for most of them summer but I've kinda slowed up on that at this point since the growth has slowed down for the most part. Also, the week long beach vacation in August kinda stopped that too since I went about 8 days w/o mowing.

I'm gonna do the same thing as you've done to mine next spring. I plan on buying a reel over the winter and I'll train it short next season starting in the spring. I'll need to topdress it in order to get it short though. I started out this year at 1.5" with a rotary and I'm at 1.75" now.

I don't know how much lawn you have to mow, i have around 8000-9000 sq ft. and my 20" reel is too small really. I haven't timed it, but it takes me probably an hour to mow it all, then add in trimming the areas i can't mow, edging, blowing i'm looking at 1.75 hours.

I bought this reel used from Craigslist for $5XX (forgot) and then paid to get it backlapped, found a better place to take it now. Will have new chains put on next season and bed knife resurfaced.

I looked for a used one for a couple reasons, but mainly just to find out if I liked using it, how well it worked, and if I could handle mowing every 3-4 days.

At some point in the future, not next year, after lawn has been leveled, i'm going to have to step it up to 25 or 27" and get a commercial version with drive wheel in the rear center, probably go used on that if i can find a fair deal.

macgyver_GA
09-06-2012, 02:08 PM
I don't know how much lawn you have to mow, i have around 8000-9000 sq ft. and my 20" reel is too small really. I haven't timed it, but it takes me probably an hour to mow it all, then add in trimming the areas i can't mow, edging, blowing i'm looking at 1.75 hours.

I bought this reel used from Craigslist for $5XX (forgot) and then paid to get it backlapped, found a better place to take it now. Will have new chains put on next season and bed knife resurfaced.

I looked for a used one for a couple reasons, but mainly just to find out if I liked using it, how well it worked, and if I could handle mowing every 3-4 days.

At some point in the future, not next year, after lawn has been leveled, i'm going to have to step it up to 25 or 27" and get a commercial version with drive wheel in the rear center, probably go used on that if i can find a fair deal.

My lawn is about 2500-3000 sq ft total. I can mow (w/ my 36" WB), trim, edge, blow in about 20 minutes. Mowing w/ 21"er takes me about 20-30 minutes double cutting. Then add another 10-15 for trimming, edging, and blowing. I've designed the landscape to be very efficient with very little space missed by my 36" WB which requires less trimming.

I'll probably end up getting a used 20" Tru-cut like you have. I almost bought one off craigslist a couple weeks ago because it was a steal but I had to tell myself no haha. Maybe I can buy a 25"er and we can trade. You're just down the road from me.

NEwhere1
09-06-2012, 02:16 PM
My lawn is about 2500-3000 sq ft total. I can mow (w/ my 36" WB), trim, edge, blow in about 20 minutes. Mowing w/ 21"er takes me about 20-30 minutes double cutting. Then add another 10-15 for trimming, edging, and blowing. I've designed the landscape to be very efficient with very little space missed by my 36" WB which requires less trimming.

I'll probably end up getting a used 20" Tru-cut like you have. I almost bought one off craigslist a couple weeks ago because it was a steal but I had to tell myself no haha. Maybe I can buy a 25"er and we can trade. You're just down the road from me.

When trying to find a shop to take mine too, I asked a driving range near me (http://www.georgiagolfcenter.com/)what they do about their reels....they said they go to this guy for service http://www.turfequipmentused.com/ I called him up, he seemed like he knew what he was talking about, better than the place I originally took it. I ended up taking it to my local Ace Hardware (Morgan's) but i'm thinking next time i'm going to Franklin (able turf and tractor). I also asked a few landscape companies who they use and they told me this guy (https://plus.google.com/109406700512372954555/about?gl=us&hl=en) who doesn't have a real website, I took it there and he checked it out and back lapped it. He did an okay job for cheap, but didn't strike me as very professional or up-to-date, however my reel is sharp, and makes nice contact/cuts paper etc.

It might be worth stopping buy Abel turf and tractor and talking to him about what to look for in a used mower, or telling him to keep an eye out for one for you in the future.

macgyver_GA
09-06-2012, 02:26 PM
When trying to find a shop to take mine too, I asked a driving range near me (http://www.georgiagolfcenter.com/)what they do about their reels....they said they go to this guy for service http://www.turfequipmentused.com/ I called him up, he seemed like he knew what he was talking about, better than the place I originally took it. I ended up taking it to my local Ace Hardware (Morgan's) but i'm thinking next time i'm going to Franklin (able turf and tractor). I also asked a few landscape companies who they use and they told me this guy (https://plus.google.com/109406700512372954555/about?gl=us&hl=en) who doesn't have a real website, I took it there and he checked it out and back lapped it. He did an okay job for cheap, but didn't strike me as very professional or up-to-date, however my reel is sharp, and makes nice contact/cuts paper etc.

It might be worth stopping buy Abel turf and tractor and talking to him about what to look for in a used mower, or telling him to keep an eye out for one for you in the future.

Oh cool, I didn't know about that place. Looks like they're down off exit 14. I'll go check his place out.

My neighbor used to be the super over at Crooked Creek in Alpharetta so he told me he knows some mechanics that do reel sharpening on the side. Nice to know that Morgan's does it too. I usually park in their parking lot when I go down to downtown Woodstock on the weekends for dinner/drinks.