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Proper pH for Bermuda?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by T56 Impala, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. T56 Impala

    T56 Impala LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I posted some other threads, but I guess I put them in the wrong place. I'm a noob, what can I say?

    What is the proper pH for Bermuda? Mine is currently 5.2 (I grow roses and have a tester). My front yard is sad. VERY sad. I recently fired my mower guy and Weed Man service. They both had a hand in killing my front yard. Weed Man more than anyone, but that's another story.

    So, any clues? Oh, and what should I use to bring it to the proper pH if needed?
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    As compared to roses, soil pH is only a small part of the equation when it comes to growing turf.
    What type of soil is this bermuda growing in? clayey? sandy?
    Does it get annual core aeration? (thatch buildup?)
    How often has it been fertilized?
    Can you maybe post a couple digital pics of the lawn on this thread, for us to see? :)

    Being here in s. Ohio I'm no southern grass expert, but from my limited experiences with it over the last 30 years I've watched bermudagrass grow & thrive in some awfully crummy, heavy clay, rocky alkaline soils.

    You were right to fire any lawn care company that couldn't get to the bottom of a problem, so long as you were adhering to any/ all cultural maintenance recommendations & advice they may have been giving you.
    If they weren't giving you advice while the lawn was going to hell....shame on them because they got exactly what they deserved.

    Yes...even mowing contractors can be to blame, if they'd been scalping it for too long, resulting in thatch problems.
  3. T56 Impala

    T56 Impala LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    North Georgia is dense red clay. (Georgia Red Clay) It has been aerated two years straight and the plugs raked up. Weed man was doing something to my lawn every 3 months. They called it fertilization and pest control. Not real sure what I call it other than killing my grass.

    The guy who cut my grass scalped it too many times and he got a little carried away with his turns on his mower. Even after repeated requests to change the cut height and for him to change his cutting technique, he never did as requested. Granted, my lawn is very bumpy, but hitting dirt with a blade is unacceptable.
  4. benjammin

    benjammin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    From what I've read, Bermuda wants a pH of at no lower than 5.5 and 6.5 to 7, no higher than 8 is preferred.
    Lime will raise your pH, there are different kinds, I'd go to you local Ag Ext office and get a soil sample kit: http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/soiltest123/Georgia.htm
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Benjamin's right.
    A soil sample is the only way to know what your specific soil needs.

    If Weed Man or whoever went through the trouble of collecting plugs after core aeration, it's a cryin' shame they didn't have the sense to put anything down such as COURSE SAND to help fill in the voids created by the aerator in order to help develop a better vertical drainage profile, and an overall better soil for turf roots to have better 'leverage'.

    I don't know how I was right about your mowing contractor scalping, but I was.
    I'll bet you that in sunny areas that weren't scalped to the dirt, there's probably a decent accumulation of thatch developed from over-accumulation of bermudagrass stolons that may be there as a result of the o-so common practice of over-fertilization by less than 100% trained technicians at Weed Man franchises, etc.

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