Bermuda Tif 419

torxxJune 19, 2007

So many questions... I'll start with asking why my grass is not very green? It looks pale yellowish and not impressive to me.

Background: sodded last year at the beginning of the season. I used 10-10-10 last year once a month or so. This year when it came out of dormancy I had winter bare spots (only in the back yard for some reason). The spots are filling in but now mid june and not completely.

This year I have been using 26-?-? (local turf supply shop recommended)twice so far. I mow with a reel mower at less than an inch twice a week. Water as needed.

Also I have noticed some budding (flowing I guess) in some areas even though I mow frequently???

I set the mower down a setting two mowings ago and scalped the crap out of the lawn. looks terrible. The flowering is still showing up???

If I only mow bermuda grass and don't have rocks and sticks around, shoudn't my mower remain sharp. Hard to find someone to sharpen it...

I am trying to get that fairway look, which will require some laborous leveling. The installers did not roll, which did not do me any favors, even though the quote stated rolled.

Please help. Thank

Here is a link that might be useful:

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torxx

I have a few pics but having trouble posting them from photobucket.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 8:05PM
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auteck

The link does not work...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 8:31PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Clear something up for me first. Where are you located? Something about Zone 8 and Virginia don't jive.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 8:36PM
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torxx

oh. I look up the zone on this site, and may have got it wrong. I'm in Hampton, VA south of Richmond and north of VA Bch.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 9:00PM
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torxx

how can I get some pics to show up?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 9:02PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Torxx, I cannot help with the pic posting. I am also perplexed about your location and turf type of Tifway-I. I am a sod farmer in Texas, and just cannot imagine Bermuda being a good selection for that far north exposure. Tifway-I biggest drawback is cold weather tolerance.

However my educated guess from your description might be related to soil PH and iron uptake by the grass. Do you happen to know the soil PH? If it is alkaline sounds like Iron ChorusÂs too me. Solution is sulfur

My other thought is you are using the wrong type of fertlizer through the year. Bermuda only needs a balanced type for the first application in the spring. All the following apps should be slow release nitrogen only like 29-0-0. How many pounds of what product are you applying to 1000/ft2 of turf? If you are using 10-10-10 you should have used 10-pounds per 1000/ft2.

Sounds like you are mowing frequently enough at the proper height, and watering correctly. I am just not sure your weather ever gets warm enough long enough to turn Bermuda on. Assuming it does get warm enough and you are applying enough fertilizer, Iron Chlorosis is my best guess.

Your seed head problem is from over use of phosphorous and potassium with the balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10. Unfortunately these two elements remain stable in the soil for quite some time as will the problem. DonÂt add anymore until a soil test indicates low levels, that may be a couple of years. When they are needed, only apply at the recommended rates.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:00PM
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torxx

I took another look at the zone, there is a link that you enter a zip code and it tells you your zone, which told me 8, after looking at the zone map it looks like zone 7.

Plenty hot here in Hampton, VA for bermuda grass (south east region of US just above NC). Common bermuda is prevelant. I have been applying nitrogen at the recomended rate of 10lbs per 1000 sqft. Basic soil test indicates ph in good range, (6.2) but have not done a complete test which is probably over my head anyway. I guess I should get one done.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:09AM
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quirkyquercus
    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:06AM
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heelsfan(8)

torxx pic 1

torxx pic 2

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:52AM
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texas-weed(7A)

torxx, well your PH is darn near perfect, and the pics that heelsfan posted for you speak a thousand words. First you grass looks pretty good. Does any pattern strike you as odd? Geometric patterns are not normal in nature.

Notice how the brown streaks are lined up in parallel with the wheel marks of you reel mower right in the middle of the blade cutting area. Then look at the seed head pinched between your fingers. Notice the stem of the seed head between your fingers is good and green up to almost the end, then it just turns brown.

All are classic signs of a dull or miss-aligned blade that is crushing, bruising, and/or tearing the grass. The stem between your fingers was crushed by the blades rather than cut, the tip died, then turned brown.

Get your blades sharpened and fertilize every 30 days with nitrogen only.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:46PM
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torxx

thanks heelsfan for the help with the pics, and texas-weed for the advice. I take that as good news to me that is not a grass problem, however, finding someone to sharpen the 7 blade reel mower is a chore (no luck yet). I'll keep trying.

How often should the blades need to sharpend, assuming no sticks or stones around to dull the blades. Can I learn to sharpen them myself??

Thanks for the help

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s185/torxx/DSCF1498.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 7:39PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Torxx, you have now discovered a problem with reel mowers, sharpening the blades. It is not a DIY project as it takes a special jig, tools, and skill to sharpen. Then after sharpend it has to be aligned properly, so when you actually find someone that knows how to do it right is expensive.

Sharpening frequency is hard to answer but at least once a year. It depends on grass, soil type, size of lawn, and mowing frequency. For Bermuda on sandy soil maintained at 1/2 an inch would probably require twice a year. Here on the farm, every month.

What I see in the pictur is scalped and bruised grass. If you got a rotary, it wouldn't hurt to use it untill you get the reel issue resolved. With it being cut higher with a shrp blade on a rotoary will bring back that emerald color. Seed heads is normal and short lived.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:03PM
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auteck

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 9:52PM
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auteck

Take your mower to your local golf course shop and have them do it. Expect to pay around $50 to $75 for the work.

If your bermuda is green for 6 months out of the year, then you should have the reel sharpen every 2 years or so.

I hope it helps.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:00PM
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quirkyquercus

yeah yeah yeah go on with that.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:01PM
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torxx

Golf course. I thought of that and I need to make some calls. Thanks

Every two years would be nice on the sharpening. I bought the mower new at the begining of last season and before the season ended I was having rough cut issues. I took it in to the dealer at the end of the season and they adjusted the mower, but did not sharpen the blades. They do not do the sharpening, but said it looked ok.

I think it was dull back then because I did'nt try it until this season with no real improvement. Hopefully the factory edge is less than re-sharpening will produce. If not, at least once a year looks likely.

I guess you need to own a truck to own a reel mower....

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 10:56AM
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torxx

I found this site, (see link) about a sharpening kit / method. Basically you turn the blade backward after applying some compound. Thy say using a grinder could do permanent damage the blade. A lawnmower repair shop that does not sharpen reel mowers (but the person I spoke with has in the past) told me about he same method the day before I read this info. He said you can buy lathe compound at the auto parts store to use.

Any thoughts on this process?

Here is a link that might be useful: sharpen

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:27AM
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auteck

Yes, my thoughts are: Unless you have the time to learn how to do it yourself, take it to a golf shop and have them do it. Let the professionals do it, you'll be happier long term.

My neighbor did it, and he thanks me all the time for referring him to the golf shop (I work there part time)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:38AM
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