Bermuda grass care questions

diddlydooOctober 3, 2006

I have been in my house for about a year now. The guy that previously lived there told me when I moved in that everyone would be so jealous of my yard in the summer. Well, I didn't understand why, because the grass never really got so green to be anything special. It was kinda blah. I've never had a yard before so am learning things I need to do to plants, etc.

Evidently I was to fertilize the grass at some point or something? lol At least I'll know for next year....lessons learned.

Is there something I should be doing now that it's turned Fall in preparation of next year or just wait until the spring?

Thanks so much for any help.

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buford(7 NE GA)

You can also fertilize now even though the grass will be going dormant soon. Also, you should put down Halts or some other pre-emergent to prevent weeds next year.

After a few years of trying to handle it ourselves, we finally got Chem Lawn to do our fertilizing and weed treatment. They are great. Depending on the size of your lawn it's really worth it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:03PM
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Weeds are the biggest problem with Bermuda grass. I live in zone 7 and find it necessary to thatch every couple of years or aerate. I would strongly suggest putting down some kind of weed and feed such as Halts or ScottÂs. I too use a professional lawn care service and am pleased with the service. They are struggling getting rid of a few spots of crabgrass in my Bermuda. They are trying a new chemical on my yard now to prevent crabgrass. Good luck and you will enjoy the lawn.
Note: Remember Bermuda grass thrives in hot sun and needs to be watered regularly.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I religously spray all bermuda grass with round up. You can do that anytime of the year here!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 7:11PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

That should take care of it :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 6:20AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I would never fertilize Bermuda in the fall. As a warm season grass, fall fertilization would stimulate growth in cooler temperatures (keeping it green longer) at the enormous sacrifice of the energy resources of the crown and root system. If these energy storage organs are used up instead of built-up, you'll have little but problems during the following growing seasons. Weak growth response equals weeds, disease and insect problems that your Bermuda would ordinarily recover from quickly.

August should probably be your last application of a nitrogen bearing fertilizer.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

Spraying with roundup seems to make mine grow faster.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:01PM
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are you supposed to aerate and dethatch bermuda in the fall or spring? I am accustomed to fescue but it won't survive in this zone without plenty of water.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:50PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

We did ours last spring right before the lawn starts to green up. Now would be OK.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Scalp and bag your bermuda lawn in February and then fertilize and put a pre-emergent weed preventer on it.

Beyond that you will need full strength Round Up and a serious list of lawn tools to keep it out of your flower beds. Noxious weed for gardeners--to be sure!!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 1:58AM
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Bermuda should get a pre-emergent in the spring to prevent crabgrass and in the fall to prevent annual blue grass.

It should be mowed quite low, especially if it is a fancy hybrid type. But grass mowed low really reveals the imperfections (bumps and depressions) in your turf. So a little work every spring filling in low spots with a dirt/sand mixture makes a huge difference in a Bermuda (or zoysia) lawn. The billiard table look can be achieved over time.

Core aeration definatly helps and should be done in the early spring just before the pre-emergent is applied. (Aerating invites weed seed germination). If your lawn is heavy clay, shortly after aerating, there is an opportunity to spread soil amendments (such as sand), that will work down into the holes.

Be careful when spraying Round Up. If you step in Round Up and then walk in your grass, you may later find dead spots that look alot like foot prints.

Crab grass is an annual so should be easily prevented by a pre-emergent. A grassy weed that persists over winter is a perenial and can be very carefully spot sprayed with Round up. Consider taking a piece of card board and making a hole in the center. Lay it on the lawn so that only the weed grass shows and then spray.

Unlike zoysia, bermuda hates shade so if you have trees planted nearby you can kiss your bermuda good bye eventually.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:59PM
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I would just add, make sure you read the weed and feed instructions and specs closely, some of these kill Bermuda. Be sure to get one that is Bermuda friendly and don't over do it, these products will burn your lawn and kill large areas if you don't apply it as directed and you put down too much. Spread evenly too, too much in one spot will burn the grass in that spot and kill it all, then you are looking at new seed or sod, alot of watering/labor and extra care to get it back from scratch.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 3:26PM
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If you aren't supposed to aerate Bermuda until it is actively greening-up and growing, but you are supposed to apply pre-emergents way before greening-up, and you are not supposed to aerate after applying pre-emergents, how do you reconcile that? Does greening-up happen late enough after applying pre-emergents (March 15 or earlier) that aerating is not a problem at that time?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:01PM
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I applied Halts in mid February. It did fairly well where I applied it. I didn't do my back yard because of my dogs. My wife and I moved into our house late last summer, so the yard was pretty far gone. You can tell, though, that it has a nice sod foundation. I just used Scotts Turf-Builder and Aerated yesterday. I figure that it's a little too early for the BEST results for aeration, but I also figure that this is better than nothing. So, I'll see what happens. Basically, just remember that grass is always growing, and if the weeds become too unbearable for you just spot-spray with Round-Up.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:52AM
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For years my tall fescue yard was the envy of the area but since there has been some dry years and water restrictions my yard suffered. I decided to try bermuda in my back yard and had a soso first year, However, this past winter, with the dead looking grass and the weeds, it has looked like crap.
I am starting today with weed and feed and tall fescue seed and will get back on my routine of my glory years. When the bermuda is no longer dormant I will douse it with a weed killer and I will continue to do so until the bermuda is under control. Wish me luck, or tell me I am crazy!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:12AM
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Going on my 3rd year with lush bermuda grass. Put down weed and feed about a month ago and it seems that it had the opposite wanted effect. The grass seems like its dying and the weeds are growing just great. I purchased bermuda grass explicit weed and feed from Lowes. I am at a loss and I do not know what to do. Help, anyone!!!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Use the weed killer you attach to your water hose. I have MUCH better luck with this than weed and feed. Fertilize with simple 10-10-10.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:01PM
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" make sure you read the weed and feed instructions and specs closely, some of these kill Bermuda"

I would LOVE to find a weed/feed that kills bermuda! Especially since multipule applications of roundup won't do it!
Whom ever invented it should be shot! It will one day take over kudzu and the world!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:20PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I always laugh when I read these bermuda threads.
I could almost tolerate it if it would stay green in winter because dormant bermuda and winter rains make for muddy yard.
Bermuda seed is forever I think, like poa annua but poa is a tiny clumping grass, easy to pull out(except it sets seed when it's barely a half inch tall..geesh)

Bermuda is like small,running bamboo. Ugly in winter and you can't control it because it grows underground.
If you have yard parties in summer and the gals wear those pointy toed shoes they can get tripped up by the bermuda cables. Seen it happen.
So, I moved from rampant bermuda to brand new house,lawn sodded with fescue (and secretly contaminated with nutsedge). Spent a small fortune on Image treatments but two years clear and third year the nutlets that survived thrived again.

I give up. Bought another house with fescue,bermuda,quackgrass,wild geranium,japanese stiltgrass approaching etc.
Flower/veg beds will be elevated!'re right that bermuda is forever.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:01PM
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