Yukon Bermuda Problem

donniemooreAugust 14, 2013

So I completely scrapped our fescue lawn for Yukon Bermuda. I killed off everything late spring and regraded a few areas and Harley Raked the whole yard. I also added a top quality topsoil. So 32 days ago I was able to get the back yard completed and the following weekend (25 days ago) I was able to get the front yard finished . Just shy of 3/4 acre. Not 2 hours of completing the front yard we got a torrential downpour that lasted less than 30 minutes. So here is my dilema. I waited to see what completely washed away and what didn't. So I have decent coverage in the back yard as it was showing small signs of germination. There still are some large bare spots. My front yard is a different story as I have very little coverage. What coverage I do have is at the bottom of the yard where it all was washed to. My yard is slightly sloped. My plan is to throw seed in all of the bare areas and cover the whole yard with a thin layer of sand. This would help the new seed germinate and fill in the erosion ruts were the loosened soil and new topsoil was washed away. I also hope this will help the already established Yukon to spread. My questions are that should I apply a fertilizer now for the established portions? Would that affect the new seed? Does my plan listed above sound like the proper plan? Do remember that I only have 8 to 10 weeks left before I am in danger of the first frost if that matters. I also have your normal weeds growing that my guess is that I am going to have to deal with them if I am going to reseed. I welcome any and all advice as time is of the essence.

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You are 2 months too late to seed bermuda, whatever germinates in the next few weeks will be killed in the Fall and whatever survives (if) the Fall will be killed in the Winter.

Best is to sod warm season grasss in NC, and Bermuda is not the best chioce for home lawns either.

I've already seen trucks with aerators in the back in the Raleigh area so seding of cool season grasses is underway.

Better off seeding with Perennial Ryegrass and waiting until late Spring next year before seeding Bermuda.

Zenith Zoysia is a much better choice than Bermuda and it can be seeded as well (with great dificulty just like Bermuda).

Where in NC are you located?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 3:37PM
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I live in Charlotte. I didn't get the feeling that seeding bermuda in a lawn was not a good idea. Is it the maintenance that is the problem or just the wrong climate? I choose Yukon because of its hardiness and strong test results. Would it hurt to spread a thin layer of sand or topsoil over the yard to fill in the washouts? Or should I focus on killing the weeds that have sprouted up that may be working against the bermuda?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:52PM
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When did you seed the first time? Exact day.

If you haven't mowed your Yukon at least twice by now, is probably not going to make it thru the Winter.

The problem with the Bermuda is the amount of maintenance involve in order to make it look like turfgrass. It needs twice per week mowing on a nearly perfect leveled area, very short mowing height (usually under 2 inches) frequent watering, weed control during the Winter months is a nightmare for most people, can't handle shade, fertilize every 30 days, and brown to pale green most of the year.

Yukon is the best variety to plant this far north when seeding, but still a Bermuda.

If you are really set on this grass, be patient and wait until next Spring and start seeding as soon as soil temperatures are at 70 or above.

If you're not set on Bermuda, then you can do the following:

Kill the existing Bermuda with Roundup (it will be easy to kill because it's still young) till the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, mix some compost with it, level the yard, seed with Fescue and Bluegrass, water every day and by Thanksgiving Day you will have a beautiful sod-looking turf.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:16AM
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I seeded the front yard on July 13th and the back on July 20th. Fescue is not an option as my daughter is allergic to it. I am committed to bermuda. I purchased a used Toro Reelmaster mower. I had the whole yard tilled to a depth of 6 inches. I have a lake fed sprinkler system and very little shade.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Sounds like you have the perfect site except for the weather. This was a bad year for seeding Bermuda in NC, I don't think the seedlings are going to make it, but it's worth a try.

Upper 50's this morning here in Raleigh, don't bother seeding anymore this year and don't overseed with Ryegrass either. You can fertilize one more time (do it now) this year, get some 28-0-3 with slow release, Iron, and bio-solids and apply it at the 1 lb rate (per label). Keep watering in absence of rainfall and mow as short and frequent as possible.

I believe you can use XLR8 on young Bermuda grass to control crabgrass and a handful of broadleaf weeds (check the label)

Google Drive XLR8.

Can you post some pictures of your progress?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 1:08PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Uh oh. You made a crucial error in prepping for a bermuda lawn. You rototilled it to 6 inches. Rototilling is the first step in obtaining a seriously bumpy lawn. Why? Because it is not humanly possible to hold the rototiller to 6 inches. In some places it is 5 inches. In other places it might be 8 inches. In all cases the depth of the fluffy soil is not going to be just 6 inches. In three years, when all that fluffy soil settles, you will be left with bumps reflecting the different depths that the rototiller reached. Then you will have to level the soil. You can level it along the way but that will just raise your soil level each time. If you can stand to mow the grass taller than a scalping level (maybe 2-3 inches) for three years, then you can come in and do a one-time leveling and make it right.

For your current ruts, fill them with sand. Do not cover the entire lawn with sand - just do the ruts and holes. The bermuda will fill over them.

When Auteck says to wait until the soil temps are above 70 degrees, that does not happen until the night time low temps are in the 70s. He's talking about late May at the earliest. Bermuda is best seeded when it is blisteringly hot outside. Please don't be 'that guy' next April who seeded in March and is wondering why all he sees is crabgrass and no bermuda.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Right on, DC Hall!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:16PM
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