I'm blowing up my yard!!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by SensiStar, Feb 15, 2011.

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What grass should be used in Southern Maryland

  1. Kentucky Bluegrass

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. Ryegrass

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Tall Fescue

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  4. Bluegrass, ryegrass, fescue mix

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. Zoysia Grass

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  6. Combination of all of the above

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. SensiStar

    SensiStar LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 8

    Ok, so I'm blowing up my yard and starting out fresh and need some advice.
    Bermuda grass was heavily established in my yard when I bought my house 4 years ago and regardless of what I try to to I just can't get rid of it. So I wanna destroy every bit of grass and start over.

    My plan is:
    1. Apply multiple applications of roundup as soon as I can before the last frost (I'm in zone 7, Southern Maryland). My question about this is should I apply the roundup now or wait til after the last frost. Second, I live on the water and I am afraid that using too much roundup before a rain could drain the roundup into the river and cause some ecological problems. If I shouldn't use roundup what organic product will kill every bit of grass or what technique can I use to ensure it doesn't drain into the river.

    2. Use a tractor and till the entire yard for two reason. First to help break up the deep bermuda roots and second to allow the new grass to seed easier.

    3. Lay down grass seed. Multiple questions here. When should I plant the grass seed? I would assume the timing would be dependent on the last frost of the year but where in relation to that. Second. What is the best type of grass to use for a zone 7 area? I have kids and would like something that is soft to the feet but also somewhat drought tolerant? Any suggestions? Should I apply multiple applications of the seeding to ensure full coverage or just follow the instructions on the seed bag?

    4. Lay down some hay?? I don't know if this will help at all but you always see this in yards after new construction and it seems to work out well.

    Any advice you can give me is much appreciated. I'm pretty good at growing vegetables and flowers but I'm a little new to the grass renovation.
     
  2. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    Round-up before the turf comes out of dormancy will not work. Golf courses and others often carpet bermuda with roundup for weeds before its active without killing the bermuda. Once the bermuda starts to green at the stolen I would start. Then I would till and rake removing the grass. What kind of turf are you replacing with? And why get rid of bermuda? The purpose of the hay is to prevent erosion of seed mainly.
     
  3. SensiStar

    SensiStar LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 8

    I don't like the bermuda because it looks patchy, does not feel good on the bare feet and browns up at the first sign of heat/drought combination. It also never looks like a full yard of grass, just don't like it.
    Not sure what I'll replace it with, probably a bluegrass/ryegrass/fescue mix
     
  4. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    If your regions climate permits, which I think it will. I would suggest zoysia: slower growing, soft, and best of all its used to keep bermuda out. Once its well established it will combat the rest of the bermuda. Your very best chances for success would be burn the bermuda out then sod
     
  5. SensiStar

    SensiStar LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 8

    haha, can't afford the price of sodding my entire yard. Also, when it comes to the roundup I should wait until the grass starts to grow before I kill it with roundup. My question is how many treatments of roundup do I need, how long do I wait between treatments and how long after the last treatment should I wait to till/rake and plant new seed?
     
  6. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    I would wait about 7-12 days imo. And if you treat it right maybe two our three during the growing period. After the last treatment you can seed almost immediately. One thing I want to add but not offend, bermuda is across the board the easiest to grow due to all of its tolerances, I would take some time to consider this before seeding a more "needy" turf.
     
  7. SensiStar

    SensiStar LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 8

    My main reasons for getting rid of the bermuda grass is its feel on bare feet is not pleasant and I have two young children. Also it seems to be the first thing to brown up during slight droughts or excessive heat. It also invades all of my garden beds making it a pest and the scraggly little runners look horrible when there is no green.
     
  8. sodfather24D

    sodfather24D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    Imo only, I would overseed it this year with bermuda and work to make it more dense. Watering frequently about one inch to one and a half a week during the hot months will help tons with hot spots, bermuda is the most heat and drought tolerant on the market. The healthier that bermuda becomes the softer and more dense it will become. Maybe try implementing a good fert program. Is it a full sun area? I'm assuming so. That's just my two cents. Renovation I A LOT more work sometime than improving what you have. Do you have some pics? What is your cut height?
     
  9. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 552

    Have you had a soil test done? Bermuda will just about grow on a rock. I've seeded about 1.5 acres of the stuff over the past 2 years & find it very pleasant to walk on. I would send a soil sample off to your extension office & then follow their recommendation on a fertilizing program. I fertilize my bermuda in March, May, June, July, August & September. When it is actively growing I'm mowing just about every other day.
     
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    The reason why bermuda took over is because whatever cool season grass might have been there could not take the heat, drought and neglect. Bermuda is used on golf courses and sports fields, so it is not exactly a rubbish grass. I agree with watering and fertilizing it during the growing season. If you have the means to water and fertilize it, mowing it at less than an inch with a reel mower will give you the golf fairway look. Cool season grasses are toast in hot weather. Bermuda can deal just fine if it is getting about an inch of water per week. Well maintained bermuda is one of the softer grasses on the feet.
     

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