don't laugh (bermuda grass again)

sorie6(6b ok.)March 20, 2014

I know you all hate Bermuda grass but I'd like to seed some of my lawn and want to know is there different kinds of Bermuda grass or not? Also when is the best time to seed it.
On the east side of my house the weeds are really bad so need the grass to thicken up.
As most of you know we've only been in the house 9 mo. So haven't used weed and feed or fertilizer. I'm trying not to
to use a lot of chemicals because I want the bees and butterflies. Thanks for your help.

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soonergrandmom

NO, NO, NO! It is evil!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:30PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Haha. Sooner is right about that. However if you must. LoL. Yes there are several different varieties. Most of the sod farms out here in bixby have little patches you can see and touch the grass. From seed isn't really ideal. What I would and have done is to buy a few pieces of sod and cut it up into plugs. Plant the plugs around the area and once the temps get hot it will fill in fast. Bermuda can beat out the weeds but if you can treat for the weeds first it will fill in a lot faster.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:11AM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

To late sooner you know my whole yard is Bermuda!!! Sure can't afford to replace it and I'd rather have it than WEEDS!!!
grandmomsooner can you recommend another grass to add to the Bermuda ??? Some one on here earlier suggested some I I can't find the post and can't remember what it was ( I plead senility)

Thanks mksmth.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:54AM
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Lisa_H(7)

LOL...once you have bermuda grass, you will never get rid of it! It has its place...if it would only stay there!

What kind of weeds? Blooming right now, spring type weeds? You can mow them and take care of a lot of them now. You can also pull weeds :) I try to make myself pull a few every time I go outside. I never get all of them, but I tell myself it makes a difference!

I frequently overseed my bemuda with fescue. It greens up really early and has a nice texture. If you can get your weeds out right now, that might be an option until the heat really kicks in and the bermuda starts growing.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:01AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Is the area where the Bermuda is thin shady?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:48AM
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chickencoupe

I wonder if the pH is different in those areas. I notice where Bermuda is prolific in my yard/garden is where it has been tested as sweet. Other areas where it is thin either has Juglone from black walnut trees or a heavily eroded area with rocks and moss grows possibly indicating acidic. I don't know, just an observation.

Lisa, the previous owner, here, planted fescue in the Juglone infested areas. I really like the fescue.

As we ready to expand an addition 5,000 sq ft of garden area I notice the bermuda has been playing a very important role of stemming soil erosion on the slope. Not looking forward to losing its protective cover. Not looking forward to fighting it on that scale, either.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 3:36PM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

lisa_h it is henbit which I pull out everyday It is blooming. I to always take a bag out with me and pull weeds!!! Also the bittercress weed had little flowers on it too. Dandelions haven't started yet but neighbor across the street said his lawn is nothing but Dandelions in the spring. Seemed real proud of it. :)
fescue that's it. You are the one that told me about it before!! So it's an early grass?

helenh it is on the east side of the house and yes it is thin over there. The mole has made lots of hills over there! But it is also in the middle or the yard too.
I have to remember that the people on both sides of me have weed yards instead of grass!! "(
Chicken coup I haven't had the soil tested.
When we have rain we end up with quite a bit of standing water for a while. Builders in this area didn't do very good landscaping.
thanks everyone.
If I have the yard aerated could I spread some fescue on it?
I'm still learning about gardening here. Lots of different weeds here.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:08PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think the spring weeds are pretty but a nice lawn is something many people enjoy. It sounds like your neighbors don't care about the weeds but you are more particular. My friend used to be in competition with his neighbor on the lawn. It had to be thick and green, no weeds and I was not allowed to mow it because he mowed it diagonally and I mow figure 8's and then mow out the middles. Back and forth is so boring. Fescue is good in shade. There are some nicer fescues and blends of fescue. The pasture kind makes course clumps but if kept mowed looks OK. Bermuda rules in the sun but fescue is greener in winter and early spring and will grow in shade. Some of the grass blends are more expensive. Maybe the extension service has recommended kinds for your area.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:29PM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

Thank you. I'm not that picky but do like it to look nice. Guesswen everything greens up weeds won,t be to noticable.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:51PM
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Lisa_H(7)

I always pick out a fine blade fescue. It is meant for partial shade areas, but I spread everywhere because my lawn gets well watered usually because I'm watering my flower beds.

Mow those henbit weeds...and they will die :0) I know it feels weird to get the mower out quite yet...but it is a lot quicker than weeding!

(I confess...I also use weed killer :) usually a spot spray for the yard!)

Helen...figure 8s? That is hilarious!! I have an odd shaped front yard and I end up with a figure D smack in the middle of my yard every time I mow. I can't imagine having the patience to mow diagonal stripes in the lawn...

Here is a link that might be useful: Bittercress

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:24PM
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OklaMoni

Good for you Helen! I hate back and forth too. I don't quite do figure 8's, but close... cause of all the circles I do around trees and flower areas. :)

Moni

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:03PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

This link down at the end mentions overseeding rye in the fall so that you have a winter lawn. If your area of weeds bothers you, you might sprinkle in some rye and water it. The annual rye is cheap but not permanent. It comes up quickly and looks like grass not weeds. Perennial rye might grow where the Bermuda is shaded. The fescue blends for lawns should work in Grove in shade and where the Bermuda is thin. I can not imagine Bermuda being thin unless you have shade. In my yard where I have grass not weeds the grass already needs to be mowed. I think it may be some kind of rye. It grew under the walnut tree before I had it removed in a formerly shady yard. It is green and growing. The Bermuda is still dormant here. All my Bermuda came from hay I fed years ago and I am kicking myself for that.

Here is a link that might be useful: OK lawn grass info

This post was edited by helenh on Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 11:49

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

We overseed with rye most winters and I love it but you'll have bunnies and deer eating it all winter long. We didn't plant any rye last fall and I wish we had because I missed its lovely green-ness all winter long.

Sorie, Here is how I plant bermuda grass: Select a site for a vegetable garden. Till up the existing grass and weeds. Rake out all the roots. Improve the soil by adding organic matter to it. Plant veggies. Water. In two months, you'll have a solid lawn of bermuda grass where you thought you were going to grow vegetables.

We had beautiful mixed prairie grasses/wildflowers on our property until we mowed the site where the house was to be built. To my horror, after the builder started construction of the house, all that mowed area filled in very quickly with bermuda grass. I've been trying to get rid of it ever since. The best way to get rid of it is to plant lots of trees and shrubs that will shade it out, but then you have to plant shade-tolerant ground covers where the bermuda grass used to be. I can't wait until the bermuda grass is entirely gone---if we live that long

Dawn

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 8:40AM
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OklaMoni

Dawn, such a good description on why most people give up on their gardens.... the darn grass takes over, even so you thought you got it all out.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Moni, Yep. I watch some of the same people in our county every year rototill that soil, plant that garden and then, by about late June, you cannot tell there is a garden because all you see is bermuda grass and Johnson grass.

Sometimes I feel like I spend all of April through June digging out bermuda and Johnson grass and hand-pulling broadleaf weeds, but I refuse to let them take back the veggie garden area, though they always try. In July and August, how successful I am in keeping out invasive weeds depends on how many venomous snakes I encounter. Some years, there are fewer snakes and the garden stays tidier. Last year I kept having problems with timber rattlers who really were strongly drawn to the veggie garden, so after mid-July I gave up on the weeding. That left me with a lot more to clean out before planting time this year.

Another reason (as I am sure you have noticed as well) that new gardeners get discouraged and give up is that they start out too big. A couple of years ago, someone here in our area rototilled an acre or two and planted a garden. It must have been in 2010, which I remember as a rainy year. Once the rain started falling in April or May, the weeds took over. By the end of June, you couldn't see the garden.

At least I had the sense to start my garden here small, and then enlarge it every year until I got it as big as I wanted it. I still haven't completely won the war on bermuda, but there's less and less of it creeping into the garden every year, so I feel like I still am making progress.

When friends ask me how to plant a new bermuda lawn, I tell them to start a veggie garden....or I tell them they can come dig up the bermuda that is invading my garden and take those sprigs home and plant them in the ground. I know people go to a lot of trouble seeding improved forms of bermuda, or even laying sod, but sprigs of common bermuda placed every few feet will fill in a yard in no time at all.

I spent time this week digging out bermuda that has crept into the edges of my big compost pile, which is roughly 6-8' wide and 20' long. The last thing I need is bermuda on growth hormones from the compost pile.

Dawn

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:52AM
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chickencoupe

I now have 5,000 sq ft of, mostly, bermuda to contend with. LOL

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Bon, The best thing to do is to pack up and move to a state where there is no Bermuda grass. Second best? I always hand-dig it and remove it, but the smarter way to kill it is to set aside your organic principles for a day and spray it with Round-up once temperatures are in the right range. You'll still have to fight its effort to regrow and to creep in from elsewhere, but each year, if you stay on top of it, you'll find yourself fighting its re growth less and less.

I'll never be Bermuda free because neighboring horse ranches grow Bermuda in their pastures for hay and for forage, and seed blows in on the wind and washes downhill in free heavy rainfall. I'll probably be fighting Bermuda grass here for as long as I live. But, everyone who gardens faces local challenges unique to their region. It just so happens that Bermuda grass is one of the biggest challenges we face here.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 8:03AM
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chickencoupe

We all came in for a break. There is dormant Bermuda stolons in my kitchen floor. LOL

With exception to the Bermuda, this soil is marvelous. It's even better than I imagined. Believe it or not, it's ready to plant even as heavy as it is. We're digging out bermuda and shaping up potato patches now.

I can add that the soil around the Bermuda stolons is very humus rich. It truly has a good purpose; especially erosion control. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to plant it since it's so care-free but detrimental to gardening, for sure.

I definitely will encourage its growth on the berms we intend to build and keep it growing at the bottom section (at the point) where the soil wants to wash off.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Don't let those Bermuda stolons sit in your kitchen long or they'll start rooting into the floor and growing. : )

Your soil does look great in that photo---so rich and brown and earthy! I'm glad it is going to be growing plants that will produce an edible crop instead of only growing grass. Grass clippings alone will enrich soil a lot as they decompose over the years and the Bermuda grass does get the credit for your soil beneath it being so rich in humus.

I've used nothing but grass clippings and chopped/shredded leaves to fix the soil in our lawn, which was Oklahoma red clay when we bought this place, and now all you see on the surface in most spots is a brown clayey loam. Just dig down an inch or two beneath the lawn grass and the red clay is still there, but over the years I expect it will continue to improve even more. We probably don't give lawn grass enough credit for improving the soil and all we have to do is mow often and leave the grass clippings on the ground to decompose. I try to find the right balance between leaving some clippings on the ground to decompose and feed the grass/fix the soil while collecting others to use as mulch in the garden.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 7:30AM
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chickencoupe

Dawn, I take your advise seriously and after reading that first sentence I had to laugh. Ya got me! LOL

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:21AM
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soonergrandmom

I think Mike has the secret, if you really must plant the evil stuff. Put in plugs and water the bare ground around it and it will send out runners to reach the water. It is some bad stuff.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 7:32PM
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jlhart76(6)

Funny, I've always heard the easiest way to grow bermuda is to plant a tomato. The bermuda will head right for it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I agree. All I have to do is look at a spot of ground and think "I am going to plant a (insert name of plant here) there" and bermuda grass mysteriously pops up out of the ground where it never has grown before.

I hate bermuda grass with a passion.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:22AM
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