This is when you need to dethatch Bermuda

BermudaTamer(7)May 17, 2013

There have been discussions here one why dead brown grass won't go away. So I thought during my dethatch I would take a few photos to show even a well cared for lawn needs to be dethatched. If you notice the brown blades mixed in with the green then you know there isn't much you can do but dethatch.

The Bermuda is Yukon Sahara and Tiffway 419 mowed at 1" I use a Bluebird dethatcher rake and lightly overseed bare areas and fertilize.

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Does that power rake have delta blades? Does it thin the canopy much?

This post was edited by grasshole on Fri, May 17, 13 at 22:37

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:35PM
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One more photo note the brown mixed in this will not go away don't expect it to green up its dead and will only create issues for your lawn such as poor absorption of fertilizer and water plus a great place for grubs to live.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Yes they use a Delta Reel as for the canopy maybe 15-20 percent of the clippings are canopy but those were likely to die anyway as they were never established well to begin with.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Why on earth would you mix common and hybrid Bermuda? 419, if treated correctly (Bermuda bible) will never need over seeding as it repairs so fast. That's the whole reason to cut at an inch, train it grow laterally. Mine will grow over the concrete side walks. Do you think the sod farms over seed after they cut?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Do you think the sod farms over seed after they cut?

I can answer that and Ido not have to think about it because I am one. No

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 1:04PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Posts like this make me shudder. My fear is that noobs will come here, read about the mix of seeded and sodded bemuda, and believe it to be a good idea. Please, if you are looking into a bermuda lawn, NEVER MIX A SEEDED VARIETY INTO A SODDED VARIETY. Sodded bermuda is a very fine textured grass that looks like this when it is properly cared for...

Seeded bermuda is also fine textured, but nothing like the fine texture of sodded bermudas. You have to see the two of them in the same picture to understand. Once you mix them you have a weedy mix. This explains why BermudaTamer mentioned on another thread that he reseeds every time he aerates. That is the only way to keep it from looking weedy (by overpowering the ultrafine bladed grass with so much regular bermuda that you can't see the good stuff).

We should ask weed: As a sod farmer and golf course greens keeper, how often should bermuda be dethatched? How often do you do it on your farm and how often on the golf course?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Guys it's suggested if you plan to overseed Tiffway 419 use either Yukon, princess 77 sure there are others but these match the closest to Tiff 419 in color etc. Also 75% of golf courses overseed tiffway not that I am telling anyone to overseed but in a few weeks I will post the follow up photos and if a newbie decided to follow my schedule to get those results then that's the whole purpose of the forum. Second there's no way 419 will look like that photo have to use a Dwarf variety to get even close or bentgrass.

Regarding the Bermuda Bible its something I recommend to all of my neighbors but there are tons of extension turf grass specialist that have great studies and articles online that go a little more in depth than the Bermuda Bible. But to say I'm giving bad advise isn't correct it may not be the best system for you nor is TW system always the best but I trying to show what I'm doing and the end result so feel free to blast me next month if my lawn doesn't look great.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Regrading it looking weedy that's never been the case I overseed in bare ares like I mentioned. Most of these are along the shady right side and back where the dog spends a lot of time. This photo shows a better side by side of my neighbors non over seeded and non dethatched Tiffway 419 and mine. Also regarding thatch the following comes from Gil Landry extension turf specialist at Georgia Turf

"On high maintenance lawns that are fertilized monthly during the growing season excess thatch accumulation will become a problem (exceed 1/2 inch in depth). The most practical means of removing excess thatch is by vertical mowing or dethatching. The vertical blades lift the thatch to the surface where it can be removed. Since bermudagrasses have underground rhizomes this grass can be vertical mowed down to the soil in several directions. However, the less damage to the turf, the faster it will recover. Vertical mowing is most effective and least damaging if it is done in early summer when the grass is actively growing. However, it is common to vertical mow bermuda lawns before they greenup in late winter."

This post was edited by BermudaTamer on Sun, May 19, 13 at 0:15

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:00AM
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(Two week follow up photo)
After two weeks 50% of the thinned out areas have recovered given the cooler start to spring. I have mowed every 3 days the first week and now i'm mowing every two days as the growth very rapid. I applied fertilizer after dethatching and will re apply again in two more weeks. I expect everything should be back to normal in 2 more weeks.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 10:28PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Hmmm. I'm wondering if the entire reason you need to dethatch is that you are mixing common bermuda in with your 419 variety???

Where did you find a recommendation to overseed sodded bermuda with Yukon? That just seems to fly in the face of the advice we've seen on this (and other) forums.

I will say that it looks pretty good especially looking at the amount of shade it gets. Is the pic taken in the early morning or afternoon? Or is that the north side of your neighbor's house? In any case I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it is doing.

If you get on your hands and knees can you see any 419 anymore? Can you see both types of grass blades?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Mixing the two isn't the reason to dethatch as golf courses do it and if you allow all of the winter dead grass to stay there during the entire growing cycle next year it can only make it harder in the long run to achieve a great looking lawn. If you scalp in the fall and bag it then you would be in better shape but verticutting still helpful as Bermuda grass grows from the ends of the stem so cutting the stem with the Verticutter/dethatcher is the only way to start new growth points.

Overseeding Bermuda with Yukon is something I do just in bare or thin places. I came to the conclusion to use Yukon because the 2007 Bermuda grass test data showed that the density of Tiffway and Yukon had a total score of 5.5 so they are about the same when it comes to thickness.

I wouldn't overseed if you have a nice thick turf but if you have tried and can't seem to get your grass to thicken up either sprig the thin areas which good luck finding sprigs or creat small plugs from sod. I just don't have the patience so I seeded those areas. Again introducing seed into the sod is a choice that you should research as I did second the quality of sod I have was in question. I felt my yard got much better after overseeding as the sod was crap even though they said it was Tiffway it could have been anything they told me or you it is.

I took the photo around 5:30 pm and I can't say I see any difference in the leaves when I'm up close. I had a patch about 3'x4' seeded with Yukon few years ago and I can even tell the difference, but everyone's grass is different and to say the Tiffway isn't the dominate variety in my yard would be a lie.

This post was edited by BermudaTamer on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 19:16

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Thanks for the post as this clarifies a question i had, Couldnt you just scalp your bermuda to the ground instead of detaching?...

By detaching you break up the stems and promote new growth right? I personally scalped an area i sodded with "celebration" (I doubt it is celebration as it is very thick, think the sod farmer had celebration but it was overtaken by some sort of common) about a week and half ago. i have not seen much greenining but after reading this post, i will attemp to detach (break up the stems) and will report with results.

Like you,i might have a mix of tif 419 and yukon in the future (4/5ths of my lawn and a section with the celebration). My reason for this was that i tried seeding my new lawn with yukon but then decided to sod the area. Im curious to see on how these 2 match overall.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Close up, sorry i dont know how to post 2 pics on the same message.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:21AM
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iriasj2009, you don't need to dethatch or overseed.

You need to raise the mowing height and give that sod some water.

Worry about cutting low next year.

Is the brown sod rooted at all? You need to back up on your watering schedule and give it some light, frequent watering. Enough to keep the ground moist under the sod so the roots can penetrate and grow deeper. Gradually move to heavier less frequent waterings.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:56AM
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grasshole thanks for the reply

i have no intention of overseeding at all. the main reason i scalped was because when i received the sod, it was about 2 inches thick and had lots of thatch. i had personally visited the grass farm and noticed the farmer kept his grass high (2 inches). a week after installation and after verifying that it made root, i decided to mow it with my rotary mower at its lowest setting, a bit under 1 inch.(Again i am talking about the the section with celebration). i am planning on mowing at 1 1/8" until i level it out.

i use sprinkers to water the area and hand water sections that the sprinklers miss every morning but just enough to to keep it from drying out, but i must say it has rooted pretty well since i instaled it 5/25. i will start backing off on watering and will start on watering deeper.

I will break up some stalons in an area just to experiment a see if it makes any difference.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:06PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Back to BermudaTamer...the reason your grass is thin between the houses is due to the shade there. You have a neighbor house on the west and yours on the east. One blocks the morning sun and the other blocks the afternoon.

There is a variety of zoysia called Shadow Turf that will grow in there easily. Here is a picture of it growing underneath a very dense English walnut tree.

The thin area between the driveway and the tree ring is on the north side and gets virtually no direct sunlight all day. It started out as 1-inch plugs about 18 months earlier and has expanded about 6 inches in the deepest shade. The rest is fully involved and very dense. Shadow Turf is very fine bladed and very dense if it gets any light at all. That house faces west. I took the picture at high noon, so that strip of sunlight you can see is all the yard really gets. Across the street to the west the trees are very tall and block the afternoon sun.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:06PM
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When was that photo taken, also you just scalped that section?
I never dethatched fresh sod as its undergrowth IMO is so close and hasn't transitioned to the existing ground. That's just my thoughts haven't read anything about dethatching sod that was just laid.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Yes the shade is the issue I've got a good hold on it but that is pretty amazing it grows that well in the shade.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:06PM
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Let me clarify my dates,

Photo taken same day i scalped.
Planted the whole yard 5/17 (not 5/25)
Scalped the one portion 5/25.

Dont recommend this after just one week of it being laid, but i was a bit carefull. If anything i am experimenting,
I do see a lot of very long stolons (runners), and they have started showing green growth.
I will break some of these up in some sections to see if it helps with the greening (again experimenting).

Tomorrow 6/8 will be 2 weeks. It is greening up and i will post pictures for anyone curious.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I would like to see them also you could use a thatching rake but they are pricey.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:15PM
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After detaching, do you rake up the thatch? Or should you rake up the thatch?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:57PM
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I took this picture sat morning 6/8. The area receives 5 1/2 hrs of sun but once i limb up the tree i should be getting 6 1/2 hrs of sun.

I might buy one this week, and yes a bit $$$.

Bag it. I used my honda mower with a bag to bag up all the debris (thatch).

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Certainly you need to bag the thatch that's the most time consuming part of the whole process.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:14AM
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