What are my odds?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by avguy, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    We moved to our new home 2 years ago. The previous owner had pretty much let the crab grass & weeds get the better of him. Had a soil test done that came back 4.9. The last 2 years I've been amending the soil per the extension offices recommendation.
    Last July I tried to kill off the Bermuda in a 14k sqft area ( I have 2 acres) of the front yard with the intention of re-seeding with a bg/fescue mix that fall. My GF threw a fit as she liked the Bermuda even though that area was 90% weeds & 10% Bermuda. So I told her I would re-seed with bermuda this spring after I got the lawn leveled a little bit.
    It is mid June here in E. Tennessee & we are now getting married here at the house in Sept. She does not want a dead lawn.
    So I told here I'd plant this week & if it comes up it comes up but not to get her hopes up.
    So what are my chances at getting germination this late?
    Her's a pic of the area I'm talking about.
    [​IMG] Thanks........Scott
  2. doug1980

    doug1980 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    Well if you aren't watering than I say your odds are very very bad. Plus did you work up the soil at all or just throw seed on the ground? Prep work and maintenance after the seeding is the most important part. Anyone can throw seed on dirt...getting it to grow takes work.
  3. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Sorry I didn't give enough info to make it more clear. I have not seeded yet. I have 25 yards of topsoil being delivered later in the week. They guarantee a ph of at least 6.5 in their soil. The topsoil people recommend tilling the two together. It's hard to see in the pic but this area has a lot of swells, drops & high spots. Once it's leveled (hopefully this weekend) it will be seeded & covered w/straw. I have irrigation as well. Thanks
  4. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    If you want to make your wife happy sod it,probably run you in the 5k range but that is the only way you are going to guarantee results.

    It is going to take FOREVER establishing grass on that hill because all the water is just going to run right off,and you are going to be trying to do this in the dead of summer.

    Good move with the top soil and tilling it in though,that is a good start.And yes it would be good to mix it in with the existing.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    If you want to minimize your weeds, don't use straw. If you use straw, get it from an erosion supply house. Their straw usually has been sterilized.

    If I were you, I would run the irrigation twice a day for 5-10 minutes in each zone to keep the seed bed moist without over-watering and getting runoff.

    As you start to get establishment, cut back to watering once a day, then every other, etc....

    Also, I don't know too much about burmuda seed, but, if you can, I would rent a slit-seeder from a rental shop. Set it to half the rate and seed it at least 2 different directions, and then overseed.

    Don't forget to fertilize, and don't spray any herbicide until it's mowed at least 4 times.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    In my opinion, wait until the fall, kill everything, and then renovate and reseed.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ya, that's the best way to go.

    Would you like to have a lawn that looks O.K. for a Wedding, or look like crappy for a wedding.

    I would try now. If it were my wife, the last thing I would want to hear for 50 years is how great the wedding was and how bad the yard looked. You know a woman wouldn't ever let a man live that down. :laugh:
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Use a floating row cover rather than straw. Or maybe both. Your seedlings are going to bake in the sun now, no matter how much water you do. Its already started up here.
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Avguy, dont pay those northernfolks any attention, they dont know squat about growing bermuda since all they fool with are cool season grasses.

    Buy a premium hulled and coated bermuda seed such as Yukon for the cold tolerance in your area. Seed at the 4lb per 1000sqft rate. Dont use any fertilizer when you seed. Set irrigation timers to water for 5 minutes, 6 times a day in each zone, Less if you start seeing puddeling, making sure you have even coverage and you will see green in about a week. Fertilize at two weeks using about 1/4lb N per 1000sqft and adjust irrigation to longer times and less frequently, but still not to the point of puddeling. Repeat fertilization at 4 and 6 weeks and then set up a regular fertilization schedule to reflect the growing needs of the grass. Mow when grass reaches 3 inch in height to a finished cut height of about 2 inches. With proper mowing and fertilization, you will have a sod quality lawn in about 8 weeks, just in time for the wedding, but it will go dormant when the weather starts to frost.
  10. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    I agree with mud. Especially for bermuda if you meant too late because of the heat you got it backwards bermuda loves the heat....the hotter the better usually. I would only disagree with the no fert at time of seeding and would recommend a high phosphorous starter fert when you seed. Not saying I;m right he's wrong just different opinions. You will have green within a week and you'll be mowing within 3. Like he said KEEP THE SEED MOIST.

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