Bermuda question....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nlminc, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    I'm new to the South (and Bermuda grass). I'm looking into buying a Walker soon. I have heard a few different theories on what and how to maintain Bermuda. Is the Walker rider the way to go....do you need a dedicated bagger for this turf? Can you get away with mulching most of the time or letting the clippings fly? How well does the Walker 42" mulching deck work?

    thanks
     
  2. The Plant Poet

    The Plant Poet LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 31

    The walker mower with it's superb deck design is definately the way to go on bermuda. It does an excellent job cleaning off the dormant grass in the spring which is very important and it reduces scalping in the summer. Letting the clippings fly will make you look like a rooky and get paid like a rooky. bermuda gets so thick the clippings will remain on top of the grass for days. I'm trying the mulching deck for the first time. I've seen them in action though. Heavy clippings have to be blown so they fall through the grass but it doesn't take long.
     
  3. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    Bermuda likes to be maintained short. I've got a Bunton with bagging sys and love it. It wont be long and bermuda is going to get crazy. This Spring is going to be wild. the turf is greening up now and be ready to hold on to your mower. the growth you will see in Bermuda this year will blow the last 3 years away.

    Zoysia will also explode with growth soon but not as big as the bermuda..

    I have mulched bermuda and if it is wet look out yoou will have clumps all over the lawn. I'm not talking about cutting in the rain, but with the humidity high you will still be cutting wet grass at 11:00 in the morning.

    I would recommend a bagging system
     
  4. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 119

    I had a call today and went to look at a yard which is bermuda. Can you use a wide mower--48-- on it and what length do you cut it. Also when do you sow seed and do you use the same fertilizers as fescue?? Any info will help. Thanks a lot.:)

    David
     
  5. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Yes, you can use a 48" deck.

    Agreeing w/ george777, its not the size, but be consistent in your cut height and I would also suggest bagging. You can buy a catcher for that 48". E-mail me and ill point you to some local dealers.

    I would not suggest overseeding a sod yard. Scalp the yard, then you may opt to aerate. If there are thin, low spots you may use sand and allow the bermuda to spread,strengthen and grow through the sand. If you are going to seed, mix the seed with pool/play sand and carefully disperse according to instructions that correspond to your spreader type. I think?
     
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well,.....What variety are we talking???

    In my neck of the woods here in NC, mostly I deal with the common variety. There's not much of the improved or hybrid stuff around. That being said, the manner in which I'd care for each type varies a LOT!!!


    As for Common Bermuda....Here is my description and care instructions...:D

    Description: Fast growing, creeping, crawling, choking, invasive, vine-like, warm weather lawn weed, the worst kind I might add, being a weed with grass-like foliage or leaves.

    Care instructions: Two separate applications of Round Up to make sure you killed everything, prepare soil and sow the best Tall Fescue suited for the environment.

    Then groom periodically with a spring tine dethatcher to reveal and break up vine-like runners making a comeback, treat with Fusillade...repeat
    :D

    As you can see, I don't care for it much personally....
    I'm a Tall Fescue kinda guy...
     
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I bagged bermuda for 10 years and hated it. I even switched to handling mostly Tall Fescue lawns I hated it so much. But if you do want to handle mostly bermuda a Walker would be a good choice. One lawn near my folks' house is mowed with one and looks great. I switched to Mulching with my exmark ztr last summer and it did pretty good. But that was w/o heavy rainfall. I did have to make two passes when it rained a lot at times. I plan on bagging a few and mulching most with a 32" deck this year, using the smaller deck when appropriate to get a little better cut quality and leave the ZTR set up for fast discharge mowing on other properties.. Just be sure to factor in hauling off clippings and bagging time in your price. It can get ridiculously slow if the growth is heavy. Bermuda is thick stuff.

    Some installs are lumpy and will look bad cut with a 48" deck, others handle it well.
     
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Use reel mowers for the best results. Either way cut it short!
     
  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    If I had it to do all over again I would not even mow any Bermuda. As far as that goes.........I might starte shedding some now and just not accept any new clients with it..........I hate it. I'll take an old bahai/centipede/weed yard any day and make more per hour on it than I can on one Bermuda. Only way to keep it short is to mow it 2 -3 times per week, or just don't fertilize it.......ever!

    Run away.....run away:blob3:
     
  10. The Plant Poet

    The Plant Poet LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 31

    Keeping bermuda short is a challenge. Growth surge is a negative. My formula is: less fertilizer more often and more water less often. It's not a cure but it helps.
     

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