Help with bermuda!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pilotcoplawnboy, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. pilotcoplawnboy

    pilotcoplawnboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I have a client who insist on having the bermuda grass in her yard removed. I told her that we should have killed the grass in the fall and reseeded it with the type of grass she wanted. The only thing I can think of now is to aerate and put out lots of seed to try and grow in with it. Of course then we run in to the problem of probably killing it this fall and starting over. Shouldn't she just live with the bermuda this year and start over in the fall?
     
  2. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    What type of grass does she want?
     
  3. pilotcoplawnboy

    pilotcoplawnboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

  4. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    How are you going to kill the Bermuda now??? Even if you spray it late summer early spring. You are going to have to make multiple apps. Bermuda is notorious for coming back.

    My suggestion would be to renovate it. Scrape the bermuda, final grade and sod (fescue). How many sq ft.????

    What is the condition of the existing turf??
     
  5. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    I am with IPM here. It will take a non-selective herbicide to kill the Bermuda (maybe). It may well affect your seeding in the fall.
    Your best bet is to remove the bermuda and sod.
     
  6. One Degree

    One Degree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Bermuda is very hard to completly kill. Tall Fescue is going to be green nearly year round(Depending on area) which makes roundup virtually imposible unless you wait to reseed the lawn in the fall after spraying the bermuda in late summer. My suggestion would be to look at a chemical called Fusilade. It is supposed to supress Bermuda grass in Tall Fescue. It may not totally kill the bermuda but should keep it from overcomming the Fescue. Do some research on this chemical before applying. Always read the label first!! Let us know what you find out.
     
  7. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    I've had "modest" success killing bermuda in the fall while it was still active. If you try to kill it in the spring, you have to wait until it comes out of winter dormancy. Otherwise, you're just wasting material and killing the fescue. Also, by the time the fescue germinates and gets fairly established, the hot summer has arrived and the fescue doesn't have deep enough roots to survive well.

    However, in the fall, you can kill the bermuda and, if using Round-up, you can reseed within a few hours. I use a tracker dye to see where I've been applying the Round-up. Then your fescue has all winter to sink down roots.

    Notice in the first paragraph I said MODEST success. Arguably, the only way to rid the yard of bermuda, is to do a total kill and start over. Fall is the only time you can do this and still expect to have the desired results. There have been those on this forum who have said that this is NOT the way to do it, but it is the only way I've found to get what I wanted.

    One problem I've run into is that even after the bermuda has been killed, it's many times so thick that the fescue can't reach soil to germinate. Aeration isn't always enough. In cases like this I've resorted to tilling the yard, but then I've been criticised by so-called experts that talk about how tilling opens the yard up for weed infestation. My rebuttal to that is that you can't have it all. In the interest of ridding myself of the bermuda, I'll glady deal with weeds at a later date. At least many of the weeds are green in the winter and not so invasive as bermuda. Also, I explain to my customer that if we are to completely rid the yard of bermuda, it will take patience and perserverance. It's definately NOT a one shot deal.
     
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    A couple years after buying my house I tilled my front lawn (mostly bermuda and weeds) about 4-5 times until I was 4-5 inches deep. The following spring planted tall fescue. Came up nice and still looks fairly nice. But now after 3 years the bermuda is coming back in some areas. I will try to supress/kill with selective herbicide this summer. The product I am going to use is "Turlon *Ester". It was was recommended by my local pesticide dealer. It is considerably less expensive than Fusilade. I never used a non-selective herbicide before I tilled, but I wish I would of.

    MATT
     
  9. One Degree

    One Degree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Usually Bermuda loves cultivation and will thrive in lose moist soil. I figured by tilling the bermuda (if it is actively growing) would only worsen the problem and cause it to fill in quicker. Sounds like it worked for a while.
     
  10. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    That's why I shoot it with the Round-up first. Give it about 2 hours to soak in enough to kill all the root and then till away.
     

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