Converting common bermuda to centipede

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ArTurf, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    I am toying with the thought of converting my bermuda to centipede. Don't want to kill it out and start over but am thinking of a slow conversion, maybe plugging here and there and trying to manage the lawn in a way that would favor the centipede. There are some that think centipede will force out bermuda over time but I don't see that since bermuda grows so much more aggressively, maybe if enviroment favors centipede. Any thoughts or experiences?
     
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,948

    This will only work if the soil is acid enough and the phosphorus levels are low enough to favor the centipede. I am actually caring for a property that a centipede conversion is in the plan. Acid soil with scrubby looking bermuda and zoysia the majority of the recognizable turf. It the soil is good, you are better off doing what needs to be done to make the bermuda look good. My reason for converting that area to centipede is the lawn is 75 ft up the side of a mountain and there is no way to get a reel mower up there. 21" rotary yes, but not my greensmower.
     
  3. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    How are you going to convert this lawn to centipede? Chemically kill out the bermuda & zoysia and start from scratch?

    On my original question, my soil is acid enough to favor cenitpede. If I were to attempt to convert the way I explained how would "you" go about? Keep in mind I am not in a rush and I can control all aspects unlike a customers lawn.
     
  4. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    I think it would take to long. The only reason I see to do it this way would be money constraints.
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  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,948

    Plug in centipede, stop fertilizing, stop liming and let it go. As for the one on my plate, I will need to RoundUp, verticut, seed, topdress, then Tenacity.
     
  6. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    Yes money is a factor, I've been told I'm "Ultra Conservative".
     
  7. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Well if that's the case, then that's your only option. I'm not the most experienced person in this area, but is it even possible? I feel like the Bermuda is so much more aggressive. How big of an area are you dealing with?
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  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,948

    If the soil is acid enough for centipede grass to grow well without special fertilization and soil treatment, bermuda is not that aggressive. Under those conditions, bermuda is weak and stringy. On the other hand, fertilize the area with a high nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer, and correct the soil pH to between 6.5-7.0, then the bermuda will become very aggressive. Centipede is a niche grass that thrives in soils that are too toxic and deficient for other grasses to grow. Many weed problems, including bermuda invasion are caused by materials applied without knowledge of what centipede needs and does not need.
     
  9. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    Around 30,000 SF
     
  10. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,205

    This is just a thought and probably not realistic but, could you use some growth regulator on the bermuda and then plug with centipede? I think even very low rates of RU could be used as the growth regulator.
    Like I said, just a thought!
     

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