Replace Bermuda with Fescue

rboone7760April 25, 2014

I live accross the street to a golf course with Bermuda fairways. My lawn is Fescue however I have some small patches of Bermuda. Do I need to kill the Bermuda or could I overseed these areas with Fescue this fall or what should I do?

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You need to kill the Bermuda. If it is not to big you can dig it out. If you dig you will need to go 8-12 down to get it all. I just dug up a few areas to about six inches and the Bermuda is coming back. Very little but some. If you miss just a tiny root with a node it will come back.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:48AM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

The easiest way is Glyphosate (RoundUp). First put some fertilizer on it to get it healthy and then spray it with the Glyphosate. Once it's dead keep the area watered so that anything that wasn't completely dead will green up and spray that again. Getting it good and healthy before spraying the weed killer allows the bermuda to pull the weed killer down into the roots. The only way to get rid of bermuda is to kill the roots.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:56PM
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After I kill the Bermuda with Roundup should I remove the dead Burmuda or leave it as mulch for the new Fescue seed? What is the best time in NC to plant fall grass?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:36AM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

After the first round up treatment and the bermuda is completely dead mow it as low as the mower will go and bag if possible. Then begin watering to see if anything greens up. If it does, spray it again. I would do the first treatment a month before you reseed.

The best time to plant fescue depends on where you are in NC. Mountains would be mid August, central NC would be late August to early September and the coast is mid to late September. Once the daytime temps start cooling off is ideal.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:02PM
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Actually, you're in a no win situation. Bermuda is a stubbornly aggressive grass and will eventually take over, regardless of your efforts. Fescue doesn't stand a chance, especially with a golf course in the neighborhood.

Surrender and acceptance will save you plenty of time, money, and frustration in the end.

Or you can fight it forever...your choice.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:05PM
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As one who is "fighting it forever", look into tank-mixing tenacity and triclopyr. Has been putting the hurt on my evil bermudagrass this spring (but of course the summer is when Bermuda really turns it upâ¦)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 10:11PM
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After initial killing the Bermuda and fertilizing and watering the bare spot, how long should it take to show if any Bermuda is still alive?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:26PM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

You want to fertilize it before you spray it with weed killer. Give the fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks to really kick in and then water the bermuda really good a day or two before spraying the weed killer. If done right the bermuda should be completely dead in about a week or so. That's when you scalp it and then begin watering it often. Anything that wasn't completely dead from the first treatment should start greening up within 2 weeks.

A couple tips on the glyphosate, buy either the Eliminator brand at Walmart or the GroundWorks brand at Tractor Supply. Both of these are cheaper and IMO work better than Round Up. Round Up has something in it that kills the grass quick which you don't want. The two brands I listed don't have it which will allow the bermuda to pull it into the roots. Sure, you won't see results in a day but you will get a better kill. Also, add some dish detergent in with it to help it stick to the grass blades. This really makes a huge difference in how well it works.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:22PM
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