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bermuda athletic field overseed

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by greenerpastures, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    I provide fert/chem service for a couple of school systems including their competition fields. In the past, their coaches and maintenance folks have attempted the overseed and performed poorly. The baseball fields are 419 tif and the softball is common bermuda. I hate overseeds on southern turf from the fact that it "drags" the spring green-up of the bermuda, but being that competition begins in February, overseeding is the norm. It appears that I am going to have to assume this task, so I am seeking advice on rye variety and seeding rate. I would like to find a variety that transitions out quickly in the spring and offers a good density in late winter.
  2. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    I've used Lesco double eagle blend of perennial ryegrass with good results on residential lawns. Suggested rates are 5 to 10 lbs per thousand on sidelines and outfields. Football fields are 7 to 12 lbs per thousand. You will get better results overseeding if you mow the bermuda down to 1/2 inch prior to seeding. You may or may not be able to do that depending on current use.

    I remember reading an article recently on a sports complex in the DFW area who overseeded bermuda each season. The article has some good details on the practices they used. Definately worth reading in your case.

    Lesco article
  3. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    thanks turf,

    do you find it necessary to double-seed perpandicular to first pass to achieve density? and do you use normal-type spreader? Finally, some around here like to run a drag after seeding, but my experience with ryegrass it doesn't need the extra help.
  4. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    If you can...use a drop spreader around the outside border areas to control seed distribution. Then use a broadcast spreader inside your borders. You can apply seed at the 1/2 rate and go perpendicular directions as you would stand a better chance of getting even distribution.

    I neglected to mention this...but yes I do use a drag mat immediately after seeding. This helps the seed fall down to soil level as some will get stuck in the bermuda canopy.

    Normally this is the time to apply preemergent on bermuda, but I'm sure you know that cannot be done if overseeding. The only reason I mention this is that often people will ask about overseeding in late September or early October. Unless overseeding was in the plan, the preemergent would have already been applied.

    Remember that on your baseball field, the infield should be seeded at the highest rate. You want a dense infield suface to provide consistent play. Same with between the hashes on the football field since that is the high wear area.

    Some might debate this, but I wouldn't apply any fertilizer until you've mowed the rye a few times. This is because fertilizing now will encourage bermuda growth. You want to keep the bermuda low enough to not interfere with your ryegrass height. If everything goes right, the rye will be thick enough to disguise the bermuda after dormancy.
  5. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160


    thanks again,

    ever used excella annual rye? Estes is pushing it here at about 60% of the cost of lesco perennial blend. I know perennial is superior, but athletic budget may not accept the higher cost.

    BTW, I had a chance to tour the Tifton Exp. station last year. Those guys are ahead of the pack (and have been for some time)as far as southern grasses go. I consult Dr. Murphy's data regularly. I wish my Red Raiders and Aggies would be as prolific and practical with research.
  6. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Yes, they do a fine job in the research area. On georgiaturf.com you can read Dr. Waltz' trials on overseeded bermuda. They have experimented with herbicides to aid in Spring transition. That might be of interest to you going forward.

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