Help weed in Bermuda lawn

MarioTxApril 11, 2013

Hi everyone I've been reading these forums for quite a while hoping to have a great healthy lawn. Ive read the bermuda bible and just started following it.
about my lawn, it is bermuda sod that was laid about a year ago when we purchased our home. I laid some pre m last fall and again i beleive around early feb. I started seeing this weed n figured id just spray it with some post emergent. I put down some lesco 15-5-10 on March 15 but since then this weed has been taking over my lawn. Thanks in advance for any help. By the way I live about 20 min south of Dallas Texas. I will upload some more pictures as well

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MarioTx

picture of the yard around noon

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:41PM
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MarioTx

The weeds dont produce any seed heads. I pulled it out and it left about a 2 inch deep crater. I have so many my lawn mower practically jumps when im mowing it

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:48PM
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rager_w

I have the same looking weeds in my back lawn. Someone else said it was "rescue grass." never heard of that. I think it's too early to be POA. Anyway, I hit it with Celsius this week. We'll see how effective that is in the next 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:13PM
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MarioTx

Alright keep me posted on your results. Where did u purchase the Celsius? I've been told Bahia grass or dallisgrass. Hoping someone knows exactly what it is.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:45PM
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rager_w

It does look like dallisgrass too. I think the treatment is the same for all of them. 2,4,D will work-Bayer or Weed-B-Gone.

I got the Celsius from Ebay. It's very expensive.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:34AM
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ogrose_tx

That does look like Dallisgrass - I have found the most effective way to deal with it is to just bite the bullet, dig it out,preferably when the ground is damp, then fill in the hole with soil or even potting soil. It doesn't take long for the Bermuda to grow in.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 2:28PM
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MarioTx

I was afraid it would be dallisgrass as I've heard digging it out was really the only way to get rid of it. Weed b gone had no effect on it . I might have to much in my lawn that digging my just leave it pretty bare.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 3:49PM
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goren

Not having any experience with Bermuda Grass I am aware though that common broadleaf weed killer should not be given to Bermuda --it'll kill the grass as well.
Look on your nursery shelves for a herbicide expressly for use on this type of grass.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 5:16PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Not having any experience with Bermuda Grass I am aware though that common broadleaf weed killer should not be given to Bermuda --

Beg your pardon but what did you say? Just about any post-emergent broad leaf herbicide can be used on Bermuda except Atrazine.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:26PM
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MarioTx

TW is there any possible chance the Bermuda could crowd it out ?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:15PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

There is no chance of bermuda crowding it out. If you could spot spray atrazine you might have a chance. Be sure you don't get over spray onto the bermuda. You could shield the surrounding grass with cardboard and spray each clump of the weed.

Looking back at your picture, it looks like you have more weed that bermuda. You might consider a redo of the bermuda in June or July. I'm serious. Bermuda is easy to get started if you start in the summer. You could kill everything with RoundUp, kill everything else again a week later, and seed or sod with bermuda. Bermuda sod is much nicer than any seeded bermuda. There's a little more to a redo than that but not much.

If you take any more pictures of the lawn, they come out much better on cloudy days or taken in full shade. The high contrast from bright sun makes it harder to see. Also it looks like your camera lens had fingerprints on it for the lawn shot. Cell phone camera??

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:09PM
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texas-weed(7A)

TW is there any possible chance the Bermuda could crowd it out ?

Dallisgrass, it is a tuff job requiring a lo tof elbow grease, but can be done if your will is stronger than the Dallisgrass.
As you noted Dallisgrass is extremely difficult to manage. It takes several control methods. Problem I see though it does not appear you have cared for your Bermuda properly, and unless that changes, the problem will come back.

The problem is Dallisgrass is a lot like common Bermuda where it has shallow Rhizomes which travel outward from each plant to form new plants, and it goes to seed very quickly. If you see two clumps of it, 99% chance they are connected via a Rhizome.

Best control is to dig the young plants out before they send out Rhizomes. Mature plants should also be dug out but likely to return if any of the Rhizome is left in the soil.

So as you can tell from above it is very hard to get at as the rhizomes grow beneath the surface of the soil. Leave a piece of Rhizome in the soil, and you got a new plant.

1. First line of defense is consistent use of pre-emergence year round.

2. Second line of defense is to dig new plants up before the mature and send out Rhyzomes.

3. When digging them out becomes impractical last line of defense is a post emergence selective herbicide. Bu ti warn you it will take several applications. Use a herbicide with MSMA or CMA. Turfgrass managers even use Glyphosphate aka Round Up to spot treat the clumps and that can even take up to two applications. Any over spray will kill the surrounding grass. Once dead plug a plug of Bermuda down in its place if it is a big clump. Otherwise just allow the Bermuda to fill it in.

Hope that helps, but to be honest with you, it will take a lot of work and commitment on your part. You have a decision to make. Good luck

TW

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:52PM
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MarioTx

We just had the house built a year ago w new sod so redo is definitely out of the picture for some time. The Bermuda just started to green up about a week after the picture was taken. Here's another picture of the really bad spot. Yep camera phone.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:53PM
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MarioTx

Thank you all for the info and help. I am more than willing to put in the effort to try n revive my lawn so I will be preparing to pull as many as possible as they come out pretty easy. I'll be spot spraying what ever I don't pull. Would round up be the best option to spot spray with. I'll fill in the holes w Bermuda plugs. Being a first time home owner with three kids and working nights I started neglecting it during the summer last year.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:05PM
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MarioTx

Heres the picture

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:08PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Round up might be the best if you can control the overspray. Since you have a sod type of bermuda, you MUST NEVER try to hasten greening or filling by using bermuda seed. The only way to fill is with a plug from somewhere else on your lawn or new sod. The two types of bermuda (seeded and sodded) have become two different species of plant. The sod is much higher quality. Once you get common seeded bermuda in there, it's all over. Then you'll be pulling that stuff out by hand.

Make it simple. Start in one corner and move out. Next time you come back, start in that same corner and comb through looking for the dallisgrass. You WILL see some but it will go much faster in the areas where you have already been. Then the next time you come back to weed, start in that same corner again and move out. When you think you have finished, start in that same corner again and walk it all. Do that for several weeks until you are sure you have it all out. It can be done but you have to stick to a plan. It is like combing lice out of your hair. You can do it in 22 days if you follow the plan.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:23PM
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MarioTx

Sounds like a good plan dchall. Should I be mowing and fertilizing while doing this to encourage the Bermuda or will it just encourage the dallisgrass. I know Lowes and home depot sell Bermuda 419, is that fine to use for plugs?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:36PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

419 is what you have, so yes.

Mow and fertilize. Bermuda needs it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:44PM
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texas-weed(7A)

I have a suggestion, it is tuff love, but will work if you are willing to do the work, Go to Home Depot and buy a bag of Lesco 15-5-10 Fertilizer and RU. Put the fertilizer down and water it in by noon and let it dry. When the grass dries later in the afternoon hit all the DG with RU. Try not to overs pray as best you can

Wait 24 hours to resume normal mowing. You do want the DG a bit high to maximize leaf area for application of RU, but do not let it go to seed. On Wednesday or Thursday hit the DG again with RU.

RU is systemic and you need to give it time for the plant to pull it down to the Rhizomes before plucking it. Give the RU a week to work and wait until you see the DG wilting and desiccated. You will have some dead Bermuda as collateral damage. Take the medicine of tuff love.

Go back to HD, Lowes or a Nursery and buy some Bermuda sod and potting soil. All of it is 419, be sure to ask. Not a pallet but a couple of square yards to cut up and make plugs with. Take it home, then get a shovel out and dig the dead DG out. Fill the holes up with potting soil and plugs.

Keep it lightly watered until the plugs set roots. Mow as needed twice a week and in about 30 days start your nitrogen Fertilizer maintenance. By June you should be good to go.

Any DG that pops up from seed or surviving Rhizomes, dig them up at first site. If your kids are old enough, put a 25-cent bounty on each clump they see dig up. Just be sure to check where they say they dug it up at. Otherwise all you neighbors yard will be DG free at your expense.

This post was edited by texas-weed on Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 23:49

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:41PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yes. DO THAT!

Anything you do will involve a process. TW's process looks like it will work and not be as much work as my suggestion. Pulling the dead dallis grass has to be easier than the living stuff.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 10:47PM
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MarioTx

I will have to wait to get a little bit more leaf coverage as a mowed it that day. It shouldn't be to long, I already see it outgrowing the Bermuda. So do I put another application of the lesco as I already fertilized it on March 15.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:24PM
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whitecap

You sure that's Bermuda? I see a St. Augustine runner in one of the pics. Looks like your neighbor has St. Augustine.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 7:31AM
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MarioTx

Yep 100% sure its Bermuda, if you're talking about the strip where the neighbors yard looks like st.a that's actually where the builder didn't lay a piece of sod.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:15PM
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rager_w

Heres a picture of the d-grass 10 days after spraying Celsius. I will hit it again this weekend.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:31PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Rager it looks like it is working OK. Did you miss a couple of clumps, or just needs another app?

Keep on it, I know you worked hard to get it where you are at. Good job!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:34PM
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rager_w

Thanks TW, always my inspiration. I no doubt missed some spots. Is there a dye I can add to highlight the applied areas?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:46PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

What an improvement!! Way to go!!!

I would think food coloring would work. Then you can have spotted grass again ;-)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:32PM
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MarioTx

Nice Rager definitely looks like its working. Do you have a before picture? I went the round up route. Pulled quite a few already but I'm going to pull the dead ones. I'm going to let it grow out and see what I missed and get the pulling and spraying for round 2. Here's an after picture not the best ahot .

Here is a link that might be useful: lawn after

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:43PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Is there a dye I can add to highlight the applied areas?

Yes there is, but it is very expensive and I suggest you pass. Get on Google and search for Lawn Paint. Lowes sells some called COLORBACK. 32 oz for $27 to cover 300/ft2

FWIW we use Blue for spot treating weeds so we can see what we sprayed to prevent duplication. We use Green on our sand pits for members to fill up their sand bottles before play to fill divots.

This post was edited by texas-weed on Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 23:08

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:03PM
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MarioTx

After doing some more research and getting the same answer from two local nurseries I believe this is some sort of fescue growing in my lawn. This weed hasn't produced any seed heads and doesn't seem to be spreading just what sprouted in spring. Thinking back to when the sod was laid I think this is what the majority of my lawn was. I know my sod is Bermuda I just don't know how the fescue was so dominant in it last year.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 11:49AM
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rager_w

Hmmm....fescue is not a clump forming grass. Anyway, low cutting and high heat should take care of fescue. We're just now getting into consistent 80/60 here in ATL. Thank god!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:09AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Hmmmm. Looking back at the original picture, it kinda does look like Marathon dwarf fescue. Wish you had seed heads to look at.

Fescue is a bunch grass like dallis grass. Dallis grass usually spreads out to form a huge bunch while the fescues contain themselves. Check out Google Images for more pictures of dallis grass.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:29AM
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MarioTx

Looking at those pictures none really seem to match as this weed seems as it could possibly be used as a lawn. My neighbor just had his sod laid about 2 months ago and his lawn looks like it is covered in this. It doesn't look bad because his clumps are pretty close and tight. They are not as clumpy height wise either. And I believe that's how mine was last year.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:34PM
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NWGADawg

I have a similar problem, but confused if its fescue/dallisgrass. I think it's dallisgrass though. Does anyone have a recommendation for a fall/spring pre-emergent? I know amaze/dimension, but which in fall and which in spring? I'm new to this and have lurked here for a month or so and I am learning a lot. I can post pics if that helps.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:07PM
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MarioTx

Here's an update of the progress so far, still got a ways to go but so far its looking good.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:18PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

DUDE! That's amazing!! Hard to believe what it looked like earlier. Can you summarize what you did?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:33AM
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MarioTx

I pretty much did like you dchall and TW suggested. I pulled as many as I was able to. Having so many was over whelming when I was hand pulling because it seemed like I had too many. I spot treated every clump of weed with round up using the wand applicator, which made it pretty easy to only apply it to the weeds. The next day I laid the fertilizer. After about a week I started seeing the weeds die so I scalped the yard on the lowest setting on my rotary.

From there i just kept pulling what ever I missed. Mowing 2-3 times a week on the second lowest setting. In the middle of may I put down some Scotts turf builder southern lawns. A week after I did lay some malgronite just to get some extra nitrogen in there. I recently purchased a manual reel mower and I'm going on my third cut with it. So far I like the cut the reel mower leaves.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:35AM
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MarioTx

I forgot to add that after the weeds started dieng I did buy about 10 pieces of sod and plugged the spots where I pulled the weed out, which had left pretty good size holes. I used the Scotts lawn soil with the plugs. I was not impressed with the quality of the "soil". I think once I get my lawn leveled it should look a whole lot better. But that's a ways from now.

I really want to say thanks to all who helped me so far. I really appreciate all the good advice. Still not 100% sure what the weed is but at least I got a way to repair my lawn and eradicate it

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:48AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Aaahhh. So you plugged new sod back in. That explains the almost immediate recovery. Great idea! I hope I remember that. Thank you for sharing the experience. Your before and after pix are amazing.

The more organic fertilizer you use, the better the soil gets. I recommend going to a full organic regimen. Bermuda can use much more nitrogen than most organic fertilizers provide, but I still like it. I know a guy in Phoenix who is 100% organic with his common bermuda. He mows 2x per week with a reel mower, waters 2x per week (against my enlightened suggestions for once per week ;-)), and has the best lawn on the block. It depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend on this hobby.

Do you mind if I use you as the poster child for tough love on bermuda?

This post was edited by dchall_san_antonio on Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 12:22

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 12:19PM
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MarioTx

Yeah the pluggs did grow in well but it was the existing Bermuda that grew laterally that covered and filled in really good. Just a quick question I did notice that the plugs are a slight lighter green than the existing Bermuda andÃÂ seemÃÂ to grow vertically. Is this just temporary? Will it start to spread later?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 2:12PM
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MarioTx

I don't mind go right right ahead. I have thought a little about organics just haven't really done enough research to try it. It does seem a bit pricey and more time consuming. My wife already thinks I spend to much on just a lawn.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 6:02PM
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diveguy(WashDC)

Those clumps look like tall fescue. Getting fescue out of warm season grasses is not easy. Celsius "may" work. It can do a number on fescue in really warm weather but it will also pretty much stunt the Bermuda. There's a product called Revolver which will work nicely. It's ppricey for a whole yard $245/qt. Once the warm season grass is very well established it will psh out some of the fescue if you can keep it mowed low enough.

Bob

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:05AM
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MarioTx

Any idea how the fescue could have mixed in withe the Bermuda sod? I believe my yard was actually covered in it when it came out of being dormant after it was laid. Here's a picture of what it look like after it came out of dormancy. I know now I was letting it grow to tall and it is a completely different looking lawn now.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 12:22PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

No thoughts on that from me.

If you think organics is pricy and time consuming, then you are reading the wrong guidance. I do it because I am cheap and lazy. Oh and it works great!! You may have seen my favorite alfalfa picture but here it is again...

Most people seem to think organic fertilizer costs 10x more than chemical fertilizer. The cost for Scott's fertilizer is about $2.50 per 1,000 square feet. For alfalfa pellets, at an application rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet and a cost of $12.50 per bag, that comes to $5.00 per 1,000 square feet. So the cost is really in the same ballpark either way. With chemicals many people make mistakes which kills all or parts of the lawn. You almost can't make a mistake like that with bermuda, but it happens with other lawns. People always wonder if they fertilize one day and it rains heavily the next, do they need to fertilize again?? With organic the answer is always, "no." With chemicals, who knows? You probably do, but do you want to risk overdosing? With a chemical only approach, eventually you will exhaust the microbes in the soil and you will get on what we call a see-saw. You will add more and more fertilizer trying to get results and the grass will actually perform worse. ...aaaaaannnnd then it finally greens and thickens up. That never happens with organics. If you are not willing to go all the way into an organic program, I would highly recommend at least one dose a year of at least 1/2 rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. That is the same cost as the chemical. You can apply at the same time as the chemical if you like. The reason would be to keep your soil microbes from becoming exhausted. They need food. How often they need the food and under what circumstances we don't really know, but once a year is a good start.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:01PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Just curious. Did you build the house and have sod laid, or bought an existing home.

If you bought existing home you can pretty much the previous over seeded with the Fescue in an attempt to have a green lawn in winter.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:33PM
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MarioTx

Had it built and had the sod laid.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:17AM
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MarioTx

I will definetly look into atleast trying to get one app of alfalfa pellets in a year. What would be the best time to get it in? The only problem I see is it would attract all the rabbits, and we see a lot in our neighborhood.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:25AM
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