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California, Bermuda Grass out of Control

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by blakesgst, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. blakesgst

    blakesgst LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi Everyone,

    This forum seemed to be the most active by far, hopefully it is ok that i'm posting here and am not in the landscape business.

    I have moved back into the house i grew up in and like others have mentioned, when i was younger i never gave a second thought to how the lawn looked until now! I have a large front and back yard and remember about 30 years ago planting nice grass here with my parents. Over the years that nice grass was taken over by what i was told is bermuda/crabgrass. This stuff is crazy! I really don't know how to describe it but its about 8 inches thick and very spongy. The only way i can cut it is with the mower on max height and it is still a chore. Is there a method to get this type of lawn under control or is it to late?

    Thanks for your time,

  2. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Im sure others will chime in but for me...
    I would basically scalp it removing all clippings. Its a hard, dirty job and you will need somewhere to dump the HEAPS of clippings!
    You may want to do it over several days depending on how keen you are.
    ie, First cut at max height, 2nd cut drop deck half way and mow next day, then take it right down to an inch or less the 3rd day. Its probably best to do it all in one day but it will really tax your mower, and you Im sure! Its amazing how many clippings you can get from just a small lawn!

    Once its all cleaned up, apply fert and water well. Others will tell you what type of fert! I would probably go for a high N to get it to bounce back quickly. You may want to aerate while your at it.
    Not sure about weeds???

    Anyway, there are much smarter guys on here than me but thats basically what Ive done in the past with good results.

    Some pics would be good! Before and after!
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    If this is indeed bermuda and that is the grass you want to keep, there is a way. However, as Mickhippy warned, be prepared for the mountain of garbage that will come out of that lawn. The way it is done here is to scalp or shave the lawn with a brush blade on a trimmer. Then the lawn should have a vertical mower or dethatching machine run over it. Thereafter, that lawn is to be maintained by mowing it every 3-7 days with a reel mower set to cut at or below 3/4". If this is too hard or too much maintenance for you to do, kill the whole thing and reseed it with cool season grass. I just checked where Grover Beach is. It gets too cold in the winter for warm season grass to stay healthy. If it is possible for the lawn to be irrigated in the summer, fescue is probably the best bet.
  4. blakesgst

    blakesgst LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the responses guys. Of course it started raining today and i had planned on working on that lawn tomorrow! I have 4 large sections of grass around my patio so my plan is to take one of them, which is about 15x25, and give your suggestions a try. I'll take some before and after photos and post em up when i get rolling.

    Thanks again,

  5. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Good luck and Im looking forward to the pics! Its going to look pretty bad until it comes back. Just keep the water up to it and dont forget the fert!

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