When to cut newly seeded bermuda grass?

DaphneJuly 30, 2011

I planted bermuda seed the second week of June. Have reseeded about twice since then on bare patches that didn't seem to "take" the first time.

Some of the grass as already reached 5-6 inches. Others are still germinating, others are in between and yet there are also still some bald spots.

I was told by my uncle and by a neighbor that I shouldn't cut it until next spring/summer. That it will seed itself and get thicker and thicker and I shouldn't have to reseed again (there are still a few bald spots and the grass that has grown is thin when you look up close although it looks great from the street).

The confusion is that I have read online to cut it when it reaches 4-5 inches and only cut about 1-1 1/2 inches off the top.

Which is it? Do I just let it grow? Or do I cut it?

I realize in the fall it may stop growing and won't look too bad or get too out of control, but right now the grass is all different heights and is not looking like the "immaculate" lawn I dreamed of. Can't imagine going like this for another year.

Also, I plan to have someone stay in the house starting in September for about a year and need to know what to tell them about caring for it. Also, not sure if they will be too particular about a wild grown lawn wild bald patches, even if it is beautiful bermuda.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I think it is safe to mow down to 1.5 inches high and mow it twice a week at that height for the rest of the summer. When the weather cools off you can drop it to 1 inch.

Search the Internet for The Bermuda Bible. All your continuing maintenance questions will be answered in that. I believe it is also time to start fertilizing.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 4:04PM
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5 to 6 inches? You have waited way too long. You mow Bermuda sod or seeded Bermuda as soon as it needs it. If you intend to maintain at 1.5 inches, you mow it when it hits 1.75 to 2 inches. If you have 5 to 6 inch Bermuda and mow it to 2 inches all you will have left is stubble.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Okay. Well what will happen to the stubble? Have I ruined it? What if I cut it to 3 inches?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:46PM
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No you have not ruined it, but certainly have not it much good either. I suspect whoever told you that might of been referencing pasture Bermuda used for hay.

Start taking it down incrementally down tile you get about 1/2 below the desired cutting height. Start by taking it down 1 inch, wait one day, take it down another inch. If you notice it getting brown and stubbly give it a day or two to green up.

Do you live in an area where you get freezing weather in winter? By that I mean snow, an dice for periods of a week? Better yet what city/state are you in?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 9:36PM
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    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:13PM
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If you are experiencing heat like we are in southwest AR and lots of Texas then you better not go below 3 inches right now. Keep it watered. Bald spots will fill in eventually. Maybe next year when it comes back the spots will fill in. Also next year expect some winter kill of your first year Bermuda and plan to fight the invasion of weeds. Creating a perfect lawn takes continuous work, patience, and good weather, among other things. The quick solution would have been solid sod with an irrigation system but that is expensive. I'm a fanatic and have a 3 acre Bermuda lawn that is 5 years old. As much as I love the lawn I can't compete with 2 or 3 months of 100 degree heat everyday and virtually no rain. Forget the "beautiful" lawn for now. I'm just trying to keep it alive and I'm slowly losing ground. Hopefully rain will come and the temps will drop.......patience my friend, patience.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:16AM
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lawnchair(Zone 9)

How do keep the Bermuda at 3" ? Not with a reel mower I assume ...... I was looking for a way to keep my Bermuda at about 2" this summer, but can't get my Tru Cut to cut that high.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:53PM
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The optimal height is not three inches for Bermuda. I was responding to the above message to help the guy recover from letting his grass grow way too tall. Cutting it all the way down in this heat would be hard on the grass. Use a rotary mower to get it to the height you want and continue with the reel mower if that's what you want to do. If your grass gets stressed from the 100 degree plus heat give it lots of extra water.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 2:43AM
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lawnchair(Zone 9)

Yes, I know ... I had a service cutting mine with a rotary for around a year or so and it looked lush and green at 2" or so. Unfortunately, the lawn was not growing uniformly and I went back to my reel mower, finally resigning myself to the fact I would have to cut my Bermuda at least twice a week to avoid lopping too much blade from the top of the grass.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:02PM
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