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Should I continue trying to get my Bermuda lawn the correct height?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by NEwhere1, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,956

    If you continue mowing it short, how will the burnt-out areas recover? I suggest getting a used 21" push mower from a pawn shop or Craigslist.com. It'll run you $25 - $50. This will let you mow tall for the time being. Grub control can be had at your local garden center. Forget the soap/water thing. Also, do a split-app of the pre-emergent. One in late September and one in late winter.
  2. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I'll research "split-app" here, as i don't understand exactly what you mean, is it just applying half the recommended dosage?

    I think i was alluding to this on the first page, but nobody answered my question. I've been reading a couple different sites to try and understand how bermuda grass grows.

    Here for example

    All these articles seem to be copies of one another to some extent.

    Basically what i need to know is exactly where on the grass does new growth occur? :confused:

    From what i've read it is not at the end of the brown stems all over my yard. It's will occur at the crown (which should be near/at the dirt which was not removed) or it will occur from stolons (the runners i can see growing across the yard near the dirt) or new plants from rhizomes similar to stolons but underground.

    IF i am understanding correctly what i am reading, then my lawn should recover if i continue to mow it at current height. IF i understand what i'm reading correctly I would gain no advantage by letting it grow higher. It's at 2" now, shouldn't that be tall enough for winter time?

    Of course those are to big IF's....:dizzy:

    Now if green grass blades are to sprout from the very tips of the brown stems then I can see where raising the height would allow for a faster green up. It's been almost a week so I need to get down on my hands and knees and look to see if that is occurring or not.
  3. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    I would just lower the reel mower 1/2"-3/4" for a cut (reset) then raise it to max until the beginning of next season. That way you'll have 1/2 -3/4" of leaf. Then do the full scalp, top dress etc etc.

    That said, I dont know where you are in the season. If it will go dormant in the next 4 to 6 weeks, forget the above.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  4. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Close inspection reveals new grass growing from the dirt, nodes on the stalks and runners. I'll make sure to take pics this weekend and document weekly recovery. The area that was mowed 3 days ago again has green blades rising over the tops of the brown stalks. Brown stalks are showing new growth at various intervals towards the dirt.

    And yes in my area I've read/been told it goes dormant in late sept/ early oct. so this is as low as I will go. Buy I think I'll keep cutting it at current setting on my reel.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    FYI......I have common seeded bermuda and my last cut of the year is the first of November. I may only cut 2-3 times in October.
  6. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Im sure you'll be fine (bermuda is pretty tough) but the reason I say cut it a little lower once is so your not cutting the green off every time after. You'll have a better looking lawn quicker I expect.
    If you have shoots and runners now, I see no reason not to cut it a little shorter. Youve already done most of the damage so to speak.

    Others may disagree but I use hedging as an example. If you have an over grown hedge, you dont cut it back to where you want it, you cut it back lower so it can "grow back" to where you want to keep it.
    I think of grass the same way.
    Like I said, others may disagree but it works for me.

    Anyway, keep the pics coming. Id be interested to see how it goes!
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I do tend to agree. If you need to correct the height then just do it once.
    Cutting off 40 to 50 % over and over again trying to slowly lower the grass is worst than hacking it down then maintaining.

    Not sure mid-summer is the best time to do it however.
  8. peachtree landscapes

    peachtree landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    You have Bermuda. You can't kill it! However, I wouldn't try anything the rest of this season. I'd manage what you have and wait until early next season. That's when you should work on scalping and heavy topdressing. I'd keep repeating that process all of next summer and after topdressing, fertilize with Ammonium Sulfate (careful, it WILL burn) and irrigate heavily. This will give you quick green-up after the scalping and should help "train" your turf to have greener shoots and a lower height. It will also help grow your turf through the topdressing process quickly so that you will be able to do it over and over again.

    The topdressing will level out the yard and you should be able to get a tight, dense yard. The following year, you could try spraying growth regulators for lateral growth if you desired.
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,760

    If a bermuda lawn is going to be mowed at the correct height, it should be done as it is going from spring to summer and it should be done all at once. Doing it very gradually applies to cool season grasses that do not have the facility of regenerating from underground rhizomes. It is also not a good idea when the temperatures and day length are on the decline. Bermuda is a long day and warm night kind of grass. However, I do rethink ever doing something like this to a lawn when conditions are such that it is difficult to keep enough water in the lawn until it regrows.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    If the OP is in GA it's too late...we've have nights in the 50's and 60's and daytime highs of 85 for a few weeks which is not normal this time of year here.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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