Adding organic matter to bermuda

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,540

    Have a Bermuda lawn that isn't as thick or green as it should be. I've been treating it for the last year or two. We have aerated once a year, fertilized heavy and done a few lime applications. I'm thinking the organic matter is low. I'm gonna aerate it this week and thought about top dressing it with some peat or something.

    Any ideas?
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  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    I have had good results applying a soluble humate concentrate with some N, K and micronutrients on thin lawns. A soil test to check pH and P levels is also a good idea. Peat and solid organic matter can form a hydrophobic layer on top of the soil, especially if it allowed to dry.
     
  3. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542




    can also increase the chance of fairy ring in bermuda lawns, Be carefull the compost is fully composted, decomposing organic matter is considered a major contributor to fairy ring development.
     
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,540

    thanks guys. what would you add? Just topdress with sand? Its the front of a house that was built 5 or so years ago. I figured they striped a lot of topsoil off when grading and compaction is causing this. Its about 2-3k in front of the house. sides and back are pretty nice.
     
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Washed sand is always good for bermuda grass, especially if the lawn needs leveling so it can be cut with the proper mower. I do not like to see rotary mowers on bermuda. Then you fertilize. I like 1 lb N per month of growing season and additional P, K, micronutrients as indicated by soil testing/tissue testing.
     
  6. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    Yup! Too often we just pound bermuda with N and forget about the K and micros needed, and bermuda really benefits from high K apps. It will luxury feed on K, and high K apps promote disease resistance in bermuda. Try a 1-0-1 ratio fert.
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    You know, I feed all lawns every 30-45 days, including centipede grass. Not once have I seen or had to deal with problems associated with too much fertilizer. 1--0-1 is what I mix for centipede, 2-0-1 is usual for bermuda, st augustine and zoysia, with adjustments in total rate for each grass. My sign that I am not keeping up or putting down enough fertilizer is the appearance of dollar spot and leaf spot. One more thing, no coated urea.
     
  8. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    My sign is helminthosporium. And I avoid any urea like the plague.
     
  9. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    Please educate me. Why no coated urea? I like the sulfur coated urea especially in SA to help keep the soil PH down. Is this a bad thing? I treat lawns on a six week schedule.
     
  10. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    The amount of sulfur in SCU is inconsequential. Plus that coating is easily cracked, releasing all the urea at once. In fact, I recall our LS friend Tremor remarking that typically 35-50% of the sulfur coating is cracked during transport.

    If you want sulfur - and sulfur is ALWAYS beneficial in our high pH soils, use ammonium sulfate as your N source. Better color, longer lasting, and less disease pressure than urea.

    I used a 50/50 mix of AS and Houactinite (biosolids) for round 3 last week.
     

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