New Home Last Summer, Now I Need Lawn Help.

cowboytruckn(6)March 30, 2012

Hey ya'll,

I am new to this site but a fan of lawn care. To start off let me say we built a house last year. I have always been pretty good at lawn maintenance but this has me stumped.

At my old house when we moved in the front lawn was perfect except for a few areas of weeds and a couple bare spots in the front. The back lawn was trashed. Apparently the owner before had dogs like we do so they just never put the time into it. I continued the trend and just let the back go with nothing more than a spray weed killer and mowing. The front I fertilized, watered, and overseeded regularly and by the next summer there were no weeds, no bare spots, and a lush green bermuda lawn.

Move ahead a couple years and my wife and I decided to build a new house. We found a builder that actually goes to church with us and built in a neighborhood that is a little different. No one builder has built here so there are 30 year old houses all the way to new houses which is nice to keep the cookie cutter look to a minimal. We have a large lot, a lot bigger than our old lot, that is probably around a 1/2 acre. Sorry for the long intro but I hate hearing stories with no reference.

To get to the problem when we built since our lot was so much bigger than the rest the builder presented us with some options.

Option 1 Sod the whole lot for an upgrade charge (should have)

Option 2 Sod the normal size area he normally does and grade and seed the rest. (still a slight upcharge)

Option 3 Sod the normal size area and grade and seed the back yard, and just let the side yard go and let me handle it for no charge.

I chose option three to save money and give me a project to work on. I really wish I would have paid him for option 1.

Anyway I will split my yard into three parts... The front/dog run, back yard, and side yard. Each are is really unique and now I want them uniform.

The front/dog run were sodded. I wanted sod for the dog run so I wouldn't have to worry about the dogs messing with the seeds and to make the front look nice from the beginning.

The back yard was seeded with bermuda seed.

The side yard was left alone.

Now to really begin. The sodded front/dog run and seeded back even though they are both bermuda don't match. The back and front look differently, cut differently, and grow differently. The seed bag said bermuda, I read it. The front is definately bermuda because it is what I have grown up with. However the back is thinner blades, grows taller, grows faster, and mows like (insert four letter word). I found the same bag at Lowes today and read and it says Pennington SAHARA BERMUDA. At my old house I seeded with Scott's brand bermuda and I never noticed it not matching. I don't know what kind of bermuda the sod company laid but is there a difference between bermuda?

Now my side yard is a different story. It has some bermuda in it but it is ran over with weeds. I have already applied Scotts fertilizer with weed killer and it killed all of the broadleaf weeds or at least sent them on their way to dying. I have a lot of grassy weeds that I don't know how to kill. The only grassy weeds I can positively identify is what my grandpa always called wild onion. He said you can eat them and they smell just like cutting onions when mowing. There is also some crab grass and other stuff that looked like a prairie grass, and probably some other species of grasses. Tomorrow I was going to spray the whole area with Weed B Gone and see what happens. If that doesn't work my next option is to kill it with round up and plant new seed.

Any help here will be appreciated. I know this is a lot of info but if you have questions just ask I will be checking back.

Basically I want to seed the back more to get the correct bermuda but don't know what the front is. I also want to correct the side yard by removing weeds, and seeding to build a nice full lawn. I know I need to wait a month after Weed B Gone to seed so right now I am just sitting for a month waiting for some help. Thanks everybody.

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He he he... Now you know why they tell you never to seed into a sodded Bermuda....

It's like Dogs... Tell your buddy you want a Dog - and he shows up with something that looks NOTHING like the dog you already have.... Yes... It's true that it's a dog - just not the same kind...

Same for Bermuda... Most of the cheap, box store varieties are what I like to call "Cow field" Bermuda.. That stuff is only a step away from the wild Bermuda they call "Wire grass"... The Turfgrass supply companies sell different varieties that are improved, darker green, lower growing, green up earlier and go dormant later... You will probably see names like Yukon, Princess77, and LaPrima.... but there are others too...

Bermuda spreads like mad... If you want a consistent yard - and you already have *Some* bermuda... all you gotta do is fertilize the stuffing out of it all summer long starting after your 2nd mow. Check out the Garden guide on caring for Bermuda grass... It's incredibly simple... It's commonly referred to as "The Bermuda Bible"... This season - err on the side of More fertilizer rather than less and you will do better... (2+ lbs N/month won't hurt anything)

You could also ask Mr. Builder what actual type of Bermuda he used and where he bought it... Buy some sod and lay it out in strips - 1 full strip, 1 blank strip, etc... With proper care - it will easily fill in by the end of the season... thus saving you a pile 'O money...


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:56AM
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As you found out seeded and sodded Bermuda are not alike. For a seeded type that will be "close" to sod you will want to look for Yukon or Riviera. It may already be to late to get one of these seeds for this year.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:00AM
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well.. but again - it depends on what type of Sod Mr. Builder bought.... If you told him to go cheap - you most likely got "Common Bermuda" ... which tends to run more coarse and a taller canopy...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:39AM
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