Any Homeowners in Florida growing Bermuda?

HerzogMarch 2, 2011

Hello - I am seriously considering seeding my Central Florida lawn with Bermuda Triangle this spring due to cost and its ability to germinate and establish quickly. Do any Floridians here (especially central FL) have any feedback on growing Bermuda?

I would appreciate any and all feedback.

Thanks!

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texas-weed(7A)

Well I do not live in Florida, but can assist you and answer your question.

Even though Saint Augustine is the most popular choice in Florida, Bermuda is an excellent choice as conditions in Florida are perfect for Bermuda. In addition Bermuda does not have all the disease and insect problems SA has.

As long as you do not have shade issues, Bermuda will work excellent for you. Just be aware it has higher input levels than SA and by that I mean more fertilizer and mowing requirements. You will need to fertilize every month and mow twice a week. On the flip side it does not need as much water as SA does.

Look at any golf course in your area or heck anywhere in your part of the country and Bermuda is all you will see on both fairways and greens. As long as it is not shaded it will grow in Central FL.

Only caution I can give you is not to pull the trigger to early if seeding. Ground temps need to be consistently at 70 or more, so that means day time air temps need to be in the high 80's, and at night in the high 60's for a period of time to get the ground that warm.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Herzog

Texas-weed,

Thanks for the information - I really appreciate it. I don't mind the extra work Bermuda demands. In fact, I kind of enjoy working in the yard.

I don't have any shade in my yard, so looks like I am okay there. There are 2 very young Live Oaks in the backyard, but for now the whole yard is full sun.

I guess I was just curious since all I see in FL is SA and Bahia. I just love the look any feel (and COST) of Bermuda though.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:26AM
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texas-weed(7A)

You are welcome.

You should not have any problems growing Bermuda in Florida in full sun. They are made for each other.

Never quite understood why SA is so popular in Florida as most consider it a broad leaf weed. Couple that with SAD and Cinch bug problems and I just don't get it.

Do you have irrigation?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Herzog

I do have irrigation. Just moved in a new house and got the irrigation back up to speed. The house had been sitting a while and the lawn is nothing but weeds now.

Everyone else in my development has SA, Bahia, or Zoysia. The Zoysia is the nicest looking so far, but I'm hoping to change that here soon.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:55PM
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texas-weed(7A)

OK great, you are set. As soon as you see the SA fully greened up and growing good, nuke it with Round Up, wait a week and scrape the sod off, or better yet box blade.

Can you afford to have a landscaper come to the house and have them grade the yard with a box blade? Not sure of the cost in your area, but in Dallas it cost about $150 per hour 2 hour minimum. Average sized yard takes about an hour and a half.

Box blade is the best way to go. As soon as he pulls the tractor off the yard you are ready to seed.

The irrigation will be a must if seeding Bermuda. Just be sure to get a good improved seeded variety. I suggest a blend rather than a single variety. There are some good blends out there. If you need help selecting one reply back or look at:

http://www.hancockseed.com/

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Herzog

Glad you brought that up. I was wondering what my best option is for removing the old dead stuff. I was considering renting a power rake. Would that not work? I'd like to do the work myself, if possible. BUT, since you recommend a box blade I will call some landscapers and price that out.

As far as the Bermuda goes, I'm looking hard at Bermuda Triangle. Any feedback on that particular blend? Thanks again.

http://www.seedland.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Seedland&Product_Code=BER-TRIANGLE-25&Category_Code=BER

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 4:07PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Yeah a power rake will work for you. Since you have SA a good dose of RU will do it in with one application. The challenge is removing the dead SA and getting a really flat smooth level seed bed.

Bermuda requires really close low mowing, thus a really flat smooth mowing surface. So using a power rake, removing the debris, and leveling the surface is a lot of work, like a few days for mediocre job.

With a box blade, you spray with RU, wait a week, have the tractor come in and grade which will take him an hour or two, and you are ready to plant. Pretty darn easy, great results, and cost are reasonable IMHO for the results.

Triangle blend is good and will cost you more than the box blade.

Good Luck

TW

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:52AM
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Herzog

Texas-weed - Another question if you will oblige. My father-in-law has a disc harrow for his tractor. Do you think that would serve the purpose? Only thing I worried about with the harrow is tearing up the irrigation.

Thank you

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 8:58AM
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texas-weed(7A)

No disc, you could never level it out. See if your dad can barrow a box blade or rent one for a day. Even a box blade can tear up an irrigation system if it is not marked or you use scafers (tines)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:09PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

If you;re the only one with bermuda and everybody else with different grass, your neighbors will hate you for it...

Floratam st augustine is almost as hardy as bermuda with less work. Seems that Empire zoysia is getting popular from what I can tell. Of all the grasses, I liked coarse bladed zoysia.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 7:20PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Of all the grasses, I liked coarse bladed zoysia.

I always knew there was something wrong with you. :>)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:41PM
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Herzog

lou - Yeah I like Zoysia, don't get me wrong. Sod is just out of reach with my current budget. I am worried about the Bermuda invading my neighbor's lawns, but hopefully I can work something out.

Thanks for the reply--

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 9:53AM
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texas-weed(7A)

I am worried about the Bermuda invading my neighbor's lawns, but hopefully I can work something out.

Not your problem to worry about.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:35AM
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pkapeckopickldpepprz(z9 a/b FL)

I thought Dshalls had a thread 2 years ago where he self levelled his lawn using sand and a push broom no need for renting a box blade.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 3:33PM
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texas-weed(7A)

I thought Dshalls had a thread 2 years ago where he self levelled his lawn using sand and a push broom no need for renting a box blade.

Yes he was talking about a very small area where he removed some concrete, not a yard.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 8:07PM
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pkapeckopickldpepprz(z9 a/b FL)

What you define as a very small area I may call my entire back yard. Perspective is everything.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:40AM
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texas-weed(7A)

Well only Dave can say for sure, but I think an area where you removed concrete from either a patio or drive. If I recall he planted the area with Shadow Turf because it was in shade and it all died.

Hopefully Dave will see this and reply back.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 3:41PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Memory is a funny thing. The area I worked on was about 200 square feet. It was the remnants of a construction project where we added a room to the back of the house. We also had to remove some structure and that's the area. No concrete, though it was part of my crushed rock driveway.

Anyway, the area was filling in with bermuda. I used sand to bring the area up to level so that it would drain away from the house. Sand was from 2-9 inches deep. Then I covered the sand with 2-3 inches of shredded cedar (really juniper) mulch. This area had been in full shade before the construction but we had that tree removed. Still I thought it had more shade than it has. I wanted to test some shade tolerant zoysia and this "shady" area seemed perfect.

The problems I have with that grass are with watering and mowing. The total area under grass out of that 200 square feet is only 20 square feet. I consider that a small area. It is surrounded by bricks and rocks and I can't get a mower in there. My only recourse is a string trimmer. Watering is a problem because it is only 20 square feet. It waters so fast that I tend to overdo it. Then I let it go too long before watering again. The problem there is that this variety of zoysia gives absolutely no visible warning before going dormant from drought. Once that happens, the adjacent bermuda sweeps in to take over. Once the zoysia is dormant, it is out of commission for weeks. When it comes back, the old grass is still dormant and new grass comes from the underground rhizomes. So my zoysia has not died but it is more of a PITA than I originally hoped. I am a no-hassle kind of lawn care guy. This zoysia is for those who want to hassle with it.

I leveled the 200 square feet using a piece of chain link fence as a drag. Dragging chain link over sand is easy. The push broom is good for final tuning.

If you have a real yard, the best way to do this is all at once with the box blade. Here's a picture of what it looks like.

It comes out putting green smooth. The very last thing you want to do is rototill it. You will hate yourself over the years as the fluffy tilled soil settles back and leaves you with a bumpy surface.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 9:55PM
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dbmy(9b)

Any update on how the Bermuda turned out?

We're also in Central Florida --- trying to find something for the huge backyard in house we just bought - unfortunately, its all weeds right now and has lots of shade. Any recommendations?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 4:50PM
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grasshole

No Bermuda for you with lots of shade.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 5:10PM
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