re-do bermuda lawn? - plan review - with pics

ryandale56March 15, 2014

Looking to fix my lawn, not sure of the best way...I want a pure bermuda hybrid lawn (if i re-do I'm thinking princess 77).

Here are some pics of the lawn and some close ups: http://imgur.com/a/3tMXL

The problems:
- Different types of grass throughout (I think its mostly bermuda and rye, with st augustine around and some others).
- Weeds spread throughout (see the last image http://imgur.com/a/3tMXL)

Option 1) Attempt to overseed current lawn with princess 77 bermuda seed. I'm not sure this is even an option? I'm guessing I would just mow down to 1/2inch, overseed, dress with thin layer of topsoil. This approach just worries me that the weeds will still be there. I was thinking if I take this approach I would have to manually remove other grass strains, but there is one large patch of rye grass (about 10x10) that has no bermuda so I'd have to kill off that whole area first probably.

Option 2) 'Re-do' . This is what I'm planning to do, and looking for someone to review the plan and answer some confusion I have.
Step 1: Roundup entire lawn
Step 2: Wait 5 days, scalp lawn and roundup again
Step 3: Wait 5 days, scalp anything growing and RU again
Step 4: Wait 5 days then lay topsoil over remaining scalped dead grass (how thick soil layer should I do?)
Step 5: After topsoil should I use a roller and flatten out the topsoil before laying out the seed?
Step 6: Spread seed
Step 7: 1/8 inch layer of topsoil over seed
Step 8: Roller over the soil again
Step 9: Spread starter fertilizer
Step 10: Water 3-4 times daily for a few weeks

Here is a link that might be useful: More Pictures

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

When bermuda is mowed down as low as it should be, there is not much you can do to stop the weeds from looking weedy. If you don't get rid of all of them with RoundUp, you'll have them back.

It is unlikely you need topsoil for any part of this renovation. Unless you have low spots where there is standing water for days after a long rainstorm, then you don't need more topsoil.

Here are my suggestion for a tune up.

Step 0: On April 15th, fertilize with alfalfa pellets
Step 1: On May 15th, Roundup entire lawn
Step 2: Water briefly, 3x per day for 5 days and roundup again
Step 3: Water briefly 3x per day and RU again
Step 4: Wait 5 days then scalp and remove the clippings.
Step 5: There is no step 5 in this new context.
Step 6: Spread seed
Step 7: If you feel a strong need to cover the seed, use compost
Step 8: Roller over the seed and/or compost
Step 9: Fertilizers only work on roots. You don't have any yet. By the time you get some, the started will be somewhat depleted. The reason for the alfalfa up front was so you would not need starter fert.
Step 10: Water 3-4 times daily for a few weeks

Notes:
If you start this process now, you will waste all that time, effort, and money because bermuda seed needs hot soil to germinate. The approach I outlined will get your seed on the ground in June. That is perfect timing.

Alfalfa pellets are an organic fertilizer. Organics are a biological process whereby the microbes in the soil convert the pellets into plant food. The process takes 3 weeks and does not deplete like chemical fertilizers.

If you scalp off the tops before spraying with round up, then there is nothing for the round up to attach to. It needs to land on the blades of grass and weeds to take up the round up into the plant. Don't scalp.

Definitely roll the new seed to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

Topsoil is unnecessary for any of this. Mother Nature seeds by knocking seeds on the ground followed by herbivores stepping on the seed. Your soil will be very moist with the weeks of watering.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:42PM
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chaoticut

@dchall_san_antonio Do you have any tips for fertilizing with the alfalfa pellets?

I put some down last year, watered them, they would expand and "explode" but they just seemed to sit on top of the grass. Is there a more effective way to ensure they reach the soil?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:43PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

After the pellets explode, drag your hose across the grass to knock the pellet worms off the top and down into the grass. You can drag anything but the hose gets it all in one pass.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:57PM
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