Erosion problem and denser coverage.

jmooney5115(7)April 14, 2012

Background Information:

1. Where you live? Birmingham, AL

1.1. Pictures: I have a Google+ album with explanations for most pictures.

2. What type of grass you have? Bermuda

3. What products you have applied to your lawn, and how much? weed killer was applied by True Green. I am taking over all of the fertilization/protection applications.

4. How often and how long you irrigate? When it rains

5. Is the lawn established, or have you recently seeded/re-seeded or added sod? If so, when?

6. At what height you mow and how often? Down to about 2.5 inches

7. Results of soil test if applicable. Plan to do this

Specifically describe the problem being as descriptive as possible

We live on a hill, maybe 15-20 degrees.

Top of lawn - has another hill that is eroding. This is a heavily shadded area that was covered mostly in rocks. Last week I raked up as many of the rocks as I could to help combat the problem. The erossion is washing mostly down the back of the front lawn and some on the front of the front lawn. I don't expect grass to grow here until trees are cut down. I want to stop the erosion.

Back of front lawn - Heavily shaded, covered in rocks and different kind of plants (very sparse). On the bottom of this area, rocks are piled up and the grass that has the ability to grow is dying if not already dead. I don't expect grass to grow in the heavily shaded area until trees are cut down.

Front of the front lawn - This is the area I want grass to grow and it also has the ability to survive here. Right now, the grass is not dense at all and is very spotty. Very few weeds. This weekend I plan on putting tembers to keep the rain water from washing the eroding top of lawn to the front of lawn. You can see in pictures it has already started. This is only a temporary solution.

In short, I want to stop the erosion at the top of the yard and have denser more this grass.

8. Entire lawn is affected or a specific area(s)? Pretty much. Different problems in different areas as stated above.

9. If it is a specific area, what is different about this area? The top and back of the lawn is shaded and rocky with the only traffic being from lawn care.

10. If your problem is with weeds, what type of weeds? No

11. How long you have noticed this problem and it is recurring? Many years


12. Do you have a preference towards a synthetic or organic solution? No

13. Past efforts to remedy the problem. None

14. Are any solutions not feasible? Daily watering

I have found the Bermuda bible which contains a great deal of information. I need a help with the erosion problem and gaining a denser coverage. It is only mid April so I'm not sure exactly how bermuda should look in my area right now. Any help is greatly appreciated. I tried to include as much information as I could. Let me know if more is needed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Picasa Web Album

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I found the latest Trugreen statement. On March 24, they applied:

-Broadleaf weed control (herbicide): Tripower (MCPA, mecoprop, dicamba)
-Preemergent weed control (herbicide): Fertilizer with dimension (dithiopyr)

They didn't check the fertilizer boxes containing N, P, and K.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:11PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

This picture tells the whole story.

Your trees have grown up to provide far more shade than bermuda can tolerate. You might consider another ground cover in there. I'm thinking of Asiatic jasmine, but if you wanted a real turf type grass, you might try St Augustine in there. That is a lot of shade, but St Aug might work. Jasmine can be mowed to 2 inches or allowed to grow up much higher. Here is what it looks like...

If you have read the Bermuda Bible then you should realize your lawn has been starved by Truegreen. Bermuda needs pounds and pounds of fertilizer every month. Truegreen sprays at the most, fractions of an ounce every few months. You should see an improvement in the sunnier parts of the yard immediately when you fertilize it as explained in the Bermuda Bible.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:35PM
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X500 DCHall
Your problem is that Bermuda doesn't like shade... At All... unless you get the new, super duper expensive stuff.... There is no way around this... Either cut down the trees, put down something else besides bermuda, or pay for Celebration or the new Tifway sod that costs a fortune...

Since you already have some Bermuda there... How do you feel about a fine blade Zoysia?

In your position... Living in Texas - I would check out "Shadow Turf" Zoysia from the "Turfalo" guys... Shadow turf is a Zoysia that came out out of the Texas A&M program... and it does real well in shade and in Texas.... AND.. Best of all - it's a dead ringer for Bermuda...

It's pretty pricey - but it will do the deed in your areas around the house.

On your hillside... What you really need is a ground cover to just hold the soil... Once again - Bermuda won't do the trick there because of the shade... You really need something deep rooted, viney, and fast spreading that will keep the soil where it needs to stay....

Another option might be a deep rooted, rhizomatous, spreading pasture grass of one sort or another... I would check with the local Highway department to see what they recommend for a drought tolerant mix for a hillside....

Either way - you will have to irrigate to get it established.. After that - it will be pretty darn tough, though...


    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 3:35PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Slight correction: Shadow Turf was developed with help from Texas Tech, not Texas A&M.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:19AM
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