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Newbie - Help with NC Drought Damage

Posted by charlotteyankee 8 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 07 at 14:39

Hello everyone. I have posted a few times, but the weather has finally cooled here in NC and I'm ready to rescue my lawn. The drought this year was the worst on record and due to the mandatory water restrictions, my lawn is horrible. I have some pictures, but I'm not sure how to post them. Basically, the lawn is brown and strawlike. There are weedy grasses (crabgrass) growing, but no broadleaf weeds. My neighbors bermuda grass has taken over 25% of my front lawn (we both want it gone). I have an irrigation system and am allowed to water 2x a week. There is some green fescue that is growing in a shady part, along with a blade or two everywhere else. I plan on aerating and slit seeding next week as a start, but I'm sure there are things I need to do before that. So, I am asking for your help and appreciate any suggestions! And if anyone can tell me how to post pictures, I will.

Thank you all so much,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Newbie - Help with NC Drought Damage

You post pictures by posting them somewhere else (photobucket and others) then linking to them here.

I'm sorry about your drought problems. I'm not sure you can live with bermuda invading an otherwise fescue lawn. You could try the following.

1. seed heavily now with a mix of fescues and bluegrasses.
2. mow at your mowers highest setting
3. at the first sign of drought, stop mowing and let the grass get tall (10 inches is not too tall)
4. water once a week for at least an hour. If your grass wilts before the next watering, water longer than an hour. I water mine from 1-3 hours per week, all at once.

By letting your grass get tall, it should shade out the bermuda. By letting it get run-away tall during a drought, you can completely shade the soil underneath as if it was mulched.

Another plant that will choke out bermuda is Dutch white clover. When you seed that for 100% coverage, it really looks plush. It doesn't need mowing, water, or fertilizer. It does attract bees, however. Clover coexists pretty well with the fescues and blues as well as other cooler climate grasses.

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