Bermuda advice - Just got a reel mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by riseabove23, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. riseabove23

    riseabove23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I just came across this site and I'm pretty excited about it. I've always taken pride in my lawn and done the best a "do it yourselfer" can do with it.
    The front yard (Bermuda) always been maintained with a trusty Honda self propelled bagger and the back with a John Deere L120 (Sometimes a bagger, sometimes not). If I don’t use a bagger, I usually blow all the clippings into my neighbor’s yard, cuz that's the kinda guy I am.(and I throw an occasional dead bird over there).

    Well, here's what I've come across recently; I bought my step brothers 50" Cub Cadet ZTR for $250. Super cheap but here's the catch, The mower is in great shape and cosmetically looks new but a while ago, he was cutting and heard a back fire, sputter and the mower shut off. He couldn't get it started so he packed it up in the garage. I bought it and am beginning to trouble shoot it. For starters, the flywheel is getting buffed out because it was caked with rust and the starter was bad. Once the starter gets here I'll put it all back together and see if that helps at all. At the very least, I feel like that was a good deal.

    Also, I just won an auction containing a New Holland tractor/loader and 12 ton equipment trailer, which I plan to sell right away. I also won a McLane Reel mower. I've wanted a Reel mower for a long time so I'm excited about that one for sure. And I won a Ryan Core Aerator. All of the equipment is in great shape, no work needed.

    Now, I want to begin transforming my front yard into the beautiful Bermuda scapes I've seen on here. So I need some help. I currently keep the front yard at about 2.5 inches with the rotary Honda. I want to safely bring it down to around 3/4 if possible.

    I was thinking about running the aerator over it, throwing down a top coat of river sand or something to help level some low spots (their not too bad), and begin knocking it down.

    Is this the right process or how should I go about it? I'm depending on the experts from this forum to help me. In the "sac" (my cul-de-sac), we are pretty competitive with the front yards, I usually do pretty good but now I think I have the tools to crush the neighbors!

    I need to make the front yard:
    -Putting quality, or close to it
    -Comfortable to consume beers and fall down
    -Plush enough to stand long hours while playing corn hole

    Thanks in advance for reading over this long drawn out post and for your patience, don't flame me too bad.
  2. riseabove23

    riseabove23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    The first picture is some sort of sprig with very small purple spurs or something

    Second is some sort of seedling looking sprig. Is this possibly Bermuda when it getting way too tall?

    Third is random small brown spots

    Fourth is a patch of thick bladed grass/weed? Not sure

    Fifth is just a picture of what the grass starts looking like when it gets taller. I usually cut it once a week with the Honda but this week we received a good bit of rain so it really jumped up.
  3. wrager

    wrager LawnSite Member
    from ATL
    Messages: 164

    Was your turf from sod. The Atlanta area usualy is and it is Tif 419. So much of this is grown in the area. It is very plentiful. Anyway, if it is 419, I don't think it will produce seed heads (mine never has). They would be sterile anyway. Looks like crab grass and maybe POA.

    If you look at the various leveling services, they will aerate, fertilize (39-0-0) and then top dress with sand. Once flat, it will be a breeze to use your reel mower. You will need to cut 2-3 times per week though.

    Make sure to use 39-0-0 (Lesco #0777) every 30-45 days and water 1" per week, all at one time. If it isn't responding, get a soil test and adjust your pH accordingly.
  4. riseabove23

    riseabove23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure if it was sodded or not, the house is about 18 years old or so. Yeah, I was wondering if that was crabgrass. Earlier this spring, I applied several applications of crabgrass killer. It did make a difference, I just wasn't sure what that stuff popping up was.
    I have fertilized twice this year with 10-10-10, so I'll give the other you suggested a shot.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Shoot me an email lawncare(at)
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Those are bermuda seed heads and annual bluegrass POA. The wide blades are crabgrass.
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Take it down to 1/2" with the McClane, aerate, topdress, cut once more with McClane after topdressing. Sell the McClane and the Cub and get a TruCut or a Locke reel mower.:laugh:

    Don't use 10-10-10 fertilizer, its for shrubs, its not slow release, costs more per pound than quality fertilizer with a good analysis.

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