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Over-seeding Fescue in heavy grass ...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bluesteel, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. I’ve been able to over-seed in thin grass, but what do you do when the existing grass is thick and about 70% Bermuda and other grasses?
  2. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 300

    Good luck getting fescue to grow up through the Bermuda. I am wrestling with that problem right now. A couple people have told me to try Ornamec or Fusilade II to get rid of the Bermuda.

    Don't know what your goals are but good luck....
  3. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    Bermuda grass is a hard one to get rid of. Best of luck....
  4. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    In Okla. wait until mid September and scalp the bermuda as short as possible, and bag it. Overseed with fescue on the scalped lawn, water daily during the germination proces. Repeat seeding in 4 to 6 weeks if needed.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Why fescue...is there a lot of shade?
  6. This customer has a large plot of Fescue (creeping red I think) that was under a large tree. But the tree is gone now, and the Fescue is being watered and is looking really good in the full sun. It’s just got a bluer color and the customer was wondering if it’s possible to over-seed the Bermuda when it starts going dormant. But the existing grass is so thick, I can’t see the seed getting down to the soil.

    I tried something like this last fall, and blew it in with the blower. But the customer didn’t water as he should have and blew the experiment.
  7. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 340

    I'm dealing with a similar situation. I'm trying to convince them that now that the tree is gone, bermuda is the more appropriate grass and we just need to let it go ahead and take over instead of trying to grow fescue in the sun. Even with a sprinkler system, it is not so easy to keep fescue going in full sun in the summer when we have 100 degree days for 2 months with almost no rain. Always best to just use the proper turfgrass instead of trying to work against nature.
  8. I agree that Bermuda fits this climate better than Fescue, but that’s what the customer wants. Norman would be tough, especially this year, but I’m up in Northeast Oklahoma so it wouldn’t as bad.

    Most people this far south make the mistake of cutting the Fescue down to the same height as the Bermuda. But I’ve got some lawns that are 100% Fescue, which I cut 3.5” long or longer, and the customers water well throughout the summer. As long as it gets plenty of water, full sun is better. But you have to over-seed every fall because this is transitional zone where Fescue survives but doesn’t reproduce too well.

    Soil prep, scalp, let it dry, heavy seeding, blow it in, then water like crazy seems the best way so far. Anyone else?
  9. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 340

    It might be helpful to top-dress with some topsoil or topsoil and compost. I'm not into using lots of chemicals myself, but it could also be useful to zap the bermuda with Roundup while its still green to get it out of the way. Otherwise you can scalp it to get the fescue seed onto the soil, but the bermuda will be back in the spring and there will always be the competition between them.

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