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Need some help for a renovation project. Bermuda to fescue.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by f50lvr2, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. f50lvr2

    f50lvr2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277


    I received an inquiry from a customer that is interested in killing off their Bermuda yard and re seeding with a fescue blend (the most common in our area). Not really sure why, as their bermuda yard looks pretty decent but it's their wish.

    I've done plenty of overseeding in the past but have never done a complete renovation like this and was just wondering what steps would produce the best results and what I should expect. I'm keen to do the job so I could expand my knowledge in this industry.

    I saw a video on youtube of a soil cultivator attachment for a mini skid steer that basically advertised a one step seed bed prep : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0lK1UuYJ6k

    This looked interesting as they have a few uneven spots as well that need leveled out.

    Any input would be appreciated, and please be respectful, everybody has to learn these things at some time. Thanks :drinkup:
  2. wrager

    wrager LawnSite Member
    from ATL
    Messages: 164

    It is extremely difficult to erradicate bermuda. The roots can go down 6-8 feet. Sod farms get four cuttings in a typical season. It simply grows back, and fast. You can try solarization, where you cover the area in a tarp for a week, but even that won't kill it all. They will be fighting bermuda forever.
  3. f50lvr2

    f50lvr2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    That was an initial concern of mine, seeing how hearty it is once it takes hold. But the initial thought was to roundup the yard this fall and try to renovate the yard early next spring with the fescue blend before the bermuda starts coming in, in the hopes that the new stuff will come in thick enough and "choke" out the bermuda.
  4. Premier landscaping south

    Premier landscaping south LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Just my 2 cents.

    One app of round up Now. Another in two weeks and mow short. Last app of round up 2 weeks later (total of 3 apps). This will kill the bermuda and then seed fescue 2 weeks after last app of round up. I have done this with success. I have power raked the dead bermuda before seeding the fescue and have had good results doing this. also core aerated at same time. Hope this helps. You have to hit the bermuda a few times to kill it off!
  5. arbor pro

    arbor pro LawnSite Senior Member
    from SD
    Messages: 500

    roundup in two stages or a third if needed. Mix heavy.

    for soil renovation to reseed, a soil conditioner attachment on a mini skid works great once the grass is thoroughly dead. You could also till first to get the roots and then come over it with the conditioner to break up the tilled clumps and level for seed installation. that would be my recommendation.

    this is the machine and attachments I've been using for seed bed preparation and other landscaping jobs. Now selling as I'm getting out of landscaping. Looking at $27,500 for entire setup including MT52 with only 97hrs, two buckets, forks, leveler, soil conditioner, tiller, adapter plate, power broom, auger with 3 bits and prohauler trailer to haul mini skid and several attachments to the jobsite. It's about a $44k package and everything is in very good to like-new condition.

    scott 605-228-9350

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  6. lawnpropm

    lawnpropm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593

    Isn't there a chemical out there that's supposedly removes Bermuda or other warm season grasses from cool season grasses? Saw it in a magazine earlier this year can't remember the name of it tho..........
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    Ornamec, this will help, but you're fighting an uphill battle.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    Careful with the ornamec on fescue.
  9. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    If I were you I wouldn't take the job in general. You may be able to get it to grow just fescue for a year, but the bermuda WILL come back. Maybe not this year, maybe not even next year, but eventually it WILL come back.

    There are only two sure fire ways to make sure it doesn't come back. (and even then you can only guarantee this for a few of years)

    1. Use a bobcat or ditch witch with a bucket to scrap off 10 inches of soil. Spray. Then install new soil. Add seed or sod.

    2. spray the area OVER AND OVER AND OVER again for one whole year. Then seed in your fescue or sod over the top.

    If any of their neighbors have bermuda this is all just a completely fruitless endeavor. Even if there are concrete barriers in between it will eventually make it over them by way of seed or underneath by way of rhizomes. I've seen it make it underneath a 10ft driveway. Also, the thought that fescue will choke out bermuda is a falsehood. Doesn't matter which one is more established. Bermuda wins out every time.

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