Bermuda has Taken a Turn for the Worst

Hicks72004(8)May 6, 2014

I re did my Lawn last Fall and seeded Majestic Bermuda Grass. It has done well until about the past two weeks. It has been really hot lately so I don't know if that has played a factor. I have been following the Bermuda Bible to the best of my knowledge. I put in a sprinkler system before I renovated the lawn and have been watering once a week and mowing twice a week. 2 weeks ago it was doing really good. I mowed on a Saturday and watered Sunday night/Monday morning like I always do and the grass grew real fast and was green and I had to Mow it Tuesday. Ever since then it has done awful. Any thoughts?

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Here is another Pic. I am in zone 8 in Jourdanton, TX.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:25PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

And for those of you wondering how to pronounce his location, pronounce it like this - JERD n-tn. Not many vowel sounds.

The normal reason for failure of bermuda is shade. Your pictures show your shadow which is likely pointing north. If you were back up against a building, then the north shadow on the bermuda will keep it thin forever. After that there might be a watering problem. Did you check your sprinkler output with empty cat food or tuna cans? Water for as long as it takes to fill them. Do you get even sprinkler coverage in that area? Do you have any runoff issues?

Your soil looks dry, but it should after several days. If you have a water runoff issue, then you should try spraying it with baby shampoo at a rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Follow that up with an inch of water, so you would spray the shampoo and then do your normal watering. The shampoo will be carried down into the soil and allow much better water penetration. The following week you can water again normally but the week after that, repeat the shampoo. To test whether the shampoo worked, stick a screwdriver down into the soil now and then after you water. Then do it after the second shampoo treatment. If you don't see improvement, repeat. If you do see improvement but not like you'd like to see, repeat. I shampooed my San Antonio lawn back in 2012 and it's still soft when moist and firm when dry.

Shampoo works by allowing water to penetrate much deeper which keeps the soil temperature cooler and more moist to greater depths. That is the perfect environment for the beneficial fungi which soften soil in nature. You're just repopulating the soil when you do that.

Also you can help yourself by using an organic fertilizer at least once per year. Years upon years of chemical fertilizer only, along with the occasional app of insecticide, can deplete the populations of the beneficial microbes. The best way to keep the population going is with continual organic ferts, but if "daddy didn't do it that way," then at least hit it with something like alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow) once per year. App rate is 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet the first time you apply. If you continue with it you can double that rate. 20 pounds is normal but if you pour that onto soil which is low in biological activity, it can get a bit, "whiffy." It smells slightly sour like decaying protein. It is much nicer than manure smell, and doesn't last nearly as long as manure, but still, you'll notice it. Or if you want a commercially bagged fertilizer, you can't do any better than Medina Growin' Green. It is chicken based and simply excellent. It covers all the bases with a complete organic material. That's a lot more expensive than alfalfa pellets, though. You could apply the Medina at 1/2 rate and still get the benefit of it. It's that good. Do that and then hit it with alfalfa at the full 20 pounds about 3 weeks later. The Medina will prep the soil with biology. Alfalfa will feed it. Just do this in addition to your Bermuda Bible regimen.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:16PM
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