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  #1  
Old 04-18-2013, 05:14 PM
IM_Kona_Brian IM_Kona_Brian is offline
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What does my bermuda need?

Hey gang......I am trying to figure out what my lawn needs....it's not in terrible shape but it is in worse shape than just a couple years ago for sure. Have bermuda.

Here it was just two summers ago:





I have irrigation but use a rotary mower. I did somewhat of a self-top dressing a couple years ago also as the main company in the area (Atlanta) wanted $1200 for my small front yard which is only about 1000-1200 sq ft. Seemed really high. I researched it and just did it myself and it turned out ok I suppose but my goal every since we moved in a few years ago was to have a nice compact and very short lawn...there are many houses in our neighborhood that have these terrific looking lawns that look so short and tight. Everytime I tried to cut mine tighter or shorter it just cut down to the yellow or discolored part of the grass blade and looked awful I had to raise the mower blades and cut higher. Looked good but still not the look I was looking for.


My neighbor and I burn our bermuda every year and it does seem to help but it just looks like it is off to a rough start this year. I know it's early but what can I do to get it thicker and more compact and able to cut it short? I also have weeds in the yard and have not had those before. I am not sure if I need to spot treat them or how to address.

I talked to the lady at Pikes who seemed fairly knowledgeable and she recommended Lime, a starter fertilizer and Ironite. Then water and once it dries then spot treat the weeds with the spray solution they had. Then aerate.

My neighbor is a pretty savvy lawn guy and wants to try and overseed with Princess 77 into our existing lawns...perhaps after aerating. Any thought on what effect that would have? I only have a small yard so it's not super expensive for the seed for me and my area.

The last question I had is how do you get the bermuda to grow on a small little slope or hill? He has an area on the side of his his with a 3-4' slope and it stays pretty bare but it gets good sunlight and water. Any options with that?


Here is my lawn now with a few closeups of the weeds.


Thanks a bunch -

Brian








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  #2  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:41 PM
RAlmaroad RAlmaroad is online now
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What type of fertilize have you used? How much per season? Any pre-em applied back in February? I'd get a soil test and go from there. Soil tests are made through you local County Extension Agent for a supporting University. Or you could do one through John Deere Landscape. Anyway, the soil test will tell you what you dirt needs to grow Bermuda. You'll have to fill out that you are testing for Bermuda. Let's get that done. You will probably also need some micronutrients--make sure that the soil test will supply those also.
If you've not put down any pre emergent such as Dimension or Gallery, let's get that done now. However, you've probably missed the window for a lot of weeds and will have to use some herbicides now to rid of all of those weeds.
Do you have any way of applying wet materials?
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:44 PM
wrager wrager is offline
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Wow, looks just like my front yard. It's funny that you said you got a quote for leveling a couple years ago and it was $1200. Me too (I'm in Acworth)! But this year, that same company (LL) did it for just under $800. A result of the poor economy no doubt.

You lawn looks pretty typical for just coming out of dormancy. Have you ever read the Bermuda Bible...you should. Did you use any Pre-M?

Get a soil test before adding lime, need to know the pH (www.loganlabs.com)

Did you burn it this year? I didn't realize that was legal anymore. I scalp it and bag the clippings (2 weeks ago). That's the only time I bag, always mulch. You can hit it with 2,4,d (weed-b-gone max) now to kill the broad leaf weeds. The grassy weeds may need to be pulled or something stronger like Celsius. Both houses on each side are vacant, so I have a bad bought of Dallisgrass I'm dealing with despite using Pre-M (Amaze).

For the slope I have, I end up patching it every year with sod. Bermuda is cheap!

DO NOT over-seed hybrid Bermuda with common Bermuda (Princes 77). Once you start using the right cultural practices ( Lesco 39-0-0 every 30 days), mulch cutting 2-3 times a week (as low as you can w/o scalping) water 1 "/week (roughly speaking) it will look like it did before.

I tried to upload some pics, but the site just gives me an error message.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2013, 08:05 PM
wrager wrager is offline
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I'll try photobucket...

This is after they applied sand in July 2012





This is 6 weeks later





I now have a Trimmer 25" reel mower to use. That and Primo should really take it to the next level.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2013, 08:18 PM
wrager wrager is offline
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:31 PM
antv20 antv20 is offline
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What height are you mowing at?
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2013, 12:58 AM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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You cut down and sanded your bermuda last year, right? I really prefer a reel mower on bermuda. What I am seeing is what happens when a rotary blade lifts up and cuts off stolons. The only time I do not object to a rotary on bermuda is when it is being used to scalp and thin bermuda because it does a good job of vacuuming up the debris. Otherwise, I like a 7 blade reel with the blades set for slight contact, a relief ground into the blades and a height of cut between 3/4-1". Low mowing with a reel tends to take care of a lot of weeds on account of the low cut and how the bermuda grows more dense. Likewise, for general trimming and mowing of places too steep for a reel, I prefer a trimming head that uses counter rotating blades rather than string. Same reason, string tears out the bermuda stolons. The local lawn guys use string trimmers to scalp down overgrown lawns. It is hard to say what kind of and quantity of fertilizer without a soil test indicating pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, salinity, and micronutrient levels.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:00 AM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrager View Post
Nice mower and nice lawn That is what I like to see.
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:35 AM
RAlmaroad RAlmaroad is online now
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Wager:
Good looking lawn. Now get busy on those myrtles. Pull away the mulch, soil and leaves-then tear off those water sprouts. Cutting them will enhance the growth while tearing them causes the plant to heal over the scar and prevents more growth. After doing that replace with compost and not mulching too close to tree. I too like that 5 blade reel mower. I wish more people would use these on their bermuda as I think rotary mowers have been death on lots of centipede lawns and even St. Augustine to a degree.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2013, 02:54 PM
IM_Kona_Brian IM_Kona_Brian is offline
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Thanks for all the input. I cancelled my lawn treatment service last fall at the behest of my wife...ugghh. Clearly should not have done that. Thinking of putting the house on the market soon so I really wish the bermuda was in good shape. I reached out to a good lawn treatment company that my friend uses and they were able to come out and apply a fertilizer w/pre-emergent last Friday. They also applied weed control to the lawn but said it might take a few rounds to get them under control. I used this week Ortho Weed B Gone Max to spot treat the broadleafs and some of the grassy weeds.

I am going to rent an aerator with my neighbor this weekend and also thinking of renting a power rake / dethatcher to do at the same time. Should I put anything down after aeration / dethatching...fertilizer, iron, lime, etc?


Thanks again -
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