Converting bermuda/centipede to St Aug

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
Here is the situation; my mom's front lawn is about 60% St Aug, 20% Centipede & 20% bermuda. The St Aug is slowly creeping and taking over the other 2. I would like to encourage the St Aug and have the lawn mainly this 1variety. What would you do to promote the St Aug without chemically killing out the other 2. The different grasses are divided up in distinct patches, it is not mixed. Was thinking of using practices such as mowing the other 2 differently and not fertilizing them. What would you do?
 

ted putnam

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Arkansas
Here is the situation; my mom's front lawn is about 60% St Aug, 20% Centipede & 20% bermuda. The St Aug is slowly creeping and taking over the other 2. I would like to encourage the St Aug and have the lawn mainly this 1variety. What would you do to promote the St Aug without chemically killing out the other 2. The different grasses are divided up in distinct patches, it is not mixed. Was thinking of using practices such as mowing the other 2 differently and not fertilizing them. What would you do?
Triclopyr/Fusilade will severely stunt the bermuda. I would say it would kill it but after trying it myself this year I seriously doubt it. However, I realize you said you did not want to use chems. IMO, mowing St. Aug and Centipede too close is the very worst thing you can do to either. If I were you I'd skin the centipede areas to discourage them and mow the St. Aug frequently enough but at the proper height to encourage it. MSMA is another option on the centipede areas.
 

RAlmaroad

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SC
I've been in the same situation time and time again. My best effort was to buy a pallet of Raleigh St. Augustine and use one piece almost in a checkerboard fashion and withing a year the whole lawn will be covered providing you fertilize like crazy. I did this just as the turfs were going dormant. By spring the St. Augustine that really does not go dormant was spreading away from that rectangle to a muli-spidered pattern and growning towards each other. Raleigh is a little more freeze resistant than bitterblue. Palmetto is also a great variety. If you plug it then remove the bermuda or what ever you are replacing. I had a bunch of small pieces or off falling from the St. Augustine--threw them around a tree and it is solid like the others. Ever think how St. Augustine is propagated? I visit a sod-farm often and take Bill a dozen donuts and we just look out over the fields and talk. Sod farmers are a wonderful source of knowledge on caring for the grass--they have to because their lives are in it.
 

Ric

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S W Florida
..

My 2 cent is St Augustine is too susceptible to herbicides while Bermuda is very tolerant to most Herbicides. This creates a major problem if you want a Mono-stand of St Augustine. I am not familar with Centipede enough to make an informed post about it. But the bottom line IMHO is to totally kill out what you don't want and either PLUG, SOD or SPRIG what you do want as a turf.

FYI Broad leafs are easy to control in most all turfs. C-4 Grassy Weeds or turf fall into a totally different area and require a lot of knowledge and Work to control. BTW to convert to an all Bermuda lawn would be easy as for the reasons stated above.
 
I have had good luck hammering Bermudagrass with Atrazine 4L while transitioning to St. Augustine. The Fusilade didn't work for me at all.
Personally, though, I am with Ric on this one.
Bermuda is like a hood dwelling crack addict - tough to eradicate and tolerant to all sorts of abuse. Same can't be said of St Augustine.
 

ted putnam

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Arkansas
I have had good luck hammering Bermudagrass with Atrazine 4L while transitioning to St. Augustine. The Fusilade didn't work for me at all.
Personally, though, I am with Ric on this one.
Bermuda is like a hood dwelling crack addict - tough to eradicate and tolerant to all sorts of abuse. Same can't be said of St Augustine.
Hey thanks for the idea!
I am trying to get some patches of bermuda out of a zoysia lawn. I knew bermuda is susceptible to Atrazine, especially in the Spring transition but the thought never crossed my mind to spray these spots with atrazine at greenup. The Fusilade/Triclopyr spray was a disappointment for me. I'll try the Atrazine.
 

Landscape Poet

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Oviedo/Orlando
Bermuda is like a hood dwelling crack addict - tough to eradicate and tolerant to all sorts of abuse. Same can't be said of St Augustine.

This made me laugh as it is very true about the Bermuda. Often when doing sod installations down here it is common to spray the property if Bermuda has invaded the SA lawn. I have sprayed some lawns for 5 weeks in a row making sure there are no signs of life, covered with a quality Muck based sod, only to come back to the lawn to see signs of the Bermuda still popping up here and there. Mind you the lawn overall is not Bermuda but it has a way of showing itself somewhere in the lawn after all that.
 

greendoctor

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Honolulu, Hawaii
Fusilade+ Triclopyr is not a one shot kill. The advantages are gradual removal with minimal stress to the turf. On the other hand, I remember in my early days what happened when I combined an ester based Three Way with 2 lb atrazine. This was applied to a lawn that was mostly zoysia, with some common bermuda mixed in. The intent was to totally kill a rank infestation of broadleaf weeds and keep them from coming back. The bermuda was removed almost as fast as the broadleaf weeds. Zoysia was singed a little, but not nearly as bad as the bermuda. Bermuda can be very sensitive to Three Way and atrazine is a no no on growing bermuda. Especially if something in the solution has an oil base. Which magnifies the effect of atrazine.
 

Ric

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S W Florida
This made me laugh as it is very true about the Bermuda. Often when doing sod installations down here it is common to spray the property if Bermuda has invaded the SA lawn. I have sprayed some lawns for 5 weeks in a row making sure there are no signs of life, covered with a quality Muck based sod, only to come back to the lawn to see signs of the Bermuda still popping up here and there. Mind you the lawn overall is not Bermuda but it has a way of showing itself somewhere in the lawn after all that.
Mikey

I am sending ProMo my secret Bermuda In St Augustine killer which is Dry Roasted and Ground Elephant Seaman from India. You might want have Promo treat these yards if the Bermuda comes back. BTW it normally does come back.
 

ted putnam

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Arkansas
Fusilade+ Triclopyr is not a one shot kill. The advantages are gradual removal with minimal stress to the turf. On the other hand, I remember in my early days what happened when I combined an ester based Three Way with 2 lb atrazine. This was applied to a lawn that was mostly zoysia, with some common bermuda mixed in. The intent was to totally kill a rank infestation of broadleaf weeds and keep them from coming back. The bermuda was removed almost as fast as the broadleaf weeds. Zoysia was singed a little, but not nearly as bad as the bermuda. Bermuda can be very sensitive to Three Way and atrazine is a no no on growing bermuda. Especially if something in the solution has an oil base. Which magnifies the effect of atrazine.
I'll remember that as well greendoctor. I used Fusilade/Triclopyr and non-ionic surfactant. I had about 6 patches 5x8. 2 of them looked extremely stunted all year, the others almost looked untouched. Some of it is common and some of it is a hybrid that snuck in with zoysia sod laid by the city after utility work that was done. I realize Triclopyr is an oil based herbicide but this year I may use MSO in place of the non-ionic surfactant for a little extra "kick".
 

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