Help Identifying this grass in my Bermuda

Brandon0413June 19, 2012

Hi, I moved into a new house at the beginning of May this year. They put in Bermuda sod and I'm not sure exactly when, but I think maybe a couple months before I moved in. I'm also not sure what they did as far as weed control and fertilizer.

I have been watering(trying to give it an inch per week), mowing about 2.5-3 inches with my gas mower once a week and pulling weeds by hand as I see them. I have not put down any fertilizer or weed killer.

The weeds aren't bad except two kinds of grass that I am unsure of. They both look a lot like my bermuda, and may actually be.

This one is coming from my neighbors lawn. If I pull it up it is all attached (If I can get all the roots) and usually growing between the pieces of sod. What do you think?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a closeup. It is thicker than my bermuda and grows taller and like I said above is usually all attached.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This one is usually growing along the side of the house in this picture, but also pops up in the middle my other side yard. It grows taller and thicker than my lawn. They are usually single and pop up randomly. Is this my bermuda grass just growing faster and thicker than the rest?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Your bermuda sod is the Tiff 419 variety. It does not take a mind reader to know that. All sodded bermuda is Tiff 419 because it is easy to grow and looks fantastic when given proper care.

The bermuda sneaking in is common bermuda. Now you can see why they like the Tiff variety.

You need to find the Bermuda Bible online, download it, and memorize it. Then follow it. Yours looks a little poorly there. From here it looks like it needs deep watering once a week and monthly fertilizer with a high nitrogen value. It's all in the bible. How often are you watering now and for how long?

Also drop your mowing height all the way to the bottom setting. The Tiff 419 can look really great when mowed at 1/2 your lowest setting, so get going.

I can tell you exactly what they did about herbicide and fertilizer. Nothing. They probably didn't water it either. And now that I think about it, since this is new sod, why don't you wait until later in the summer to fertilize it. Unless you want to try organic fertilizer, a chemical fert might not be the best for the tender roots in the new soil.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Is it worth the time and effort trying to pull up this common bermuda to keep it out of my lawn?

Most of my lawn does look better than the pictures I posted above. I know they watered at least a little as I have a sprinkler and hose they left.

I have seen the bermuda bible but haven't jumped into it yet. I wasn't sure where to start.

But, I have been trying to water all of the lawn with an inch of water. I have a few sprinklers and have been using sprinkler/soaker hoses for the side yards as they are only 5 feet wide but over 50 feet long. I have been measuring the water with a couple of home made rain gauges I put out. Not sure how accurate they are.

The front lawn I may let it water along with part of each of the sides for 2.5 - 3 hours. The back takes less time to get to an inch, at about 1.5 hours.

I have my mower on the second to lowest setting, I'll put it down to the lowest. I wasn't sure if mowing it that low would be good since it hasn't been down long.

I also have a few bushes in the front of the house surrounded by mulch and also a red oak and a live oak (which is dying). I have read that the trees need an inch a week so I figured just watering the entire front yard all an inch should be good for the trees and grass, and hopefully the bushes too?

Here's a better pic of the back yard. I know it's getting a little tall:

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mowing about 2.5-3 inches with my gas mower once a week

Well there is your problem, and I will also guess you are not using fertilizer.

You need to be mowing down at 1-inch 3 times a week.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I wasn't planning on going all out to try and get my lawn perfect. But, your disapproval of my half-hearted attempt has made me think twice.

I'm not sure my rotary mower will go to 1 inch, but I will move it to the lowest setting.

Will buying a reel mower to mow at a lower height help with keeping the weeds and this common bermuda away from my lawn? Or should I be able to make due with my rotary and add some fertilizer into the equation? What about herbicide? Will that help with the common bermuda? Its the only weed or grass getting on my nerves at the moment.

I guess my confusion about starting the Bermuda Bible is that I missed March through May. Also, my sod is fairly new and I have heard I should let it's roots grow well before beginning fertilizer etc. Should I just start right in with the June through August steps?

Thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david_tx(7a North Texas)

There is no herbicide that will distinguish between common and Tif419 Bermuda. You're stuck with it forever. All of us are. Even if you could completely eradicate it in your lawn, someone somewhere is going to let his common Bermuda go to see and some of it will find its way to your lawn.

The best we can do is to use cultural practices to encourage the Tif and discourage the common. The Tif thrives with lower cutting. You've already discovered that the common likes to grow taller. Hence, the reason for low mowing. When mowed low, the Tif gets very dense and thick. The common Bermuda is still there somewhere but it kind of gets lost in the thick Tif.

A reel mower will allow you to mow down to a half inch or less. Yes, this is better but it would require you to mow every other day. I get the feeling that you wouldn't be too thrilled about the mowing frequency.

Mowed at 1", the reel will give a superior cut and it will look better. As far as making the common Bermuda disappear, it's no better than cutting with your rotary.

I think your main problem is the once a week cutting. As you've noticed, common Bermuda grows a lot more in a week's time than Tif. Double the mowing frequency and see what you think.

I don't know exactly how old that sod is but I don't see the seams. If it were mine, I'd fertilize, water, and follow the Bermuda Bible. It's Bermuda and once established, you can't kill it, as you've discovered with the common Bermuda. Short of spraying RoundUp, you can't do anything to harm it that can't be fixed in a week or two. Feel free to experiment. That's half the fun of growing and maintaining a lawn.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you. That helps a lot.

I will try your suggestion of mowing twice a week at the lower setting and stop worrying about the common bermuda. I have started a new thread to ask further questions and share my experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Thread

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:58PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Lawn after so much snow…what do I need to know?
A newbie here so I haven't maintained a lawn for a...
Problem with St. Augustine grass
Hi! I live in the north of Portugal (Hardiness Zone...
Poa Annua already making it's jump!
PA typically comes up here in April, we're mid Feb...
Artificial Grass Maintenance?
I'm newbie in gardening. I want to know what kind of...
poor top soil
I had what I thought was top soil brought in to fix...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™