Texas Weed Bermuda Bible

texas_weed(7A)August 15, 2008

What follows is a generic calendar of recommended lawn care practices designed to help you care for Bermuda grass lawn. Please understand this is generic and time tables may have to be adjusted for you geographical location.

March through May

Mow when it first turns green in the spring with a reel mower if possible set at 3/4 to 1 inch, or with a rotary mower set as low as possible without scalping. You should mow before grass gets taller than 1 1/2 to 2 inches.

Practice mulch mowing, aka grass cycling, which means simply leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings decompose quickly and can provide up to 25 percent of tire lawn's fertilizer needs. If prolonged rain or other factors prevent frequent mowing and clippings are too plentiful to leave on the lawn, they can be collected and used as mulch. Whatever you do, don't bag them! Grass clippings do not belong in landfills.


Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet when the grass is about 50 to 75% greened up. If possible and motivated submit a soil sample to determine nutrient and lime requirements for exact requirements. Otherwise in lieu of soil test use a complete nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-l-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (for example, 15-5-10 or 20-5-10). Consult your county Cooperative Extension center for details.) Apply lime if suggested.

To determine the amount of product needed to apply 1 pound of' nitrogen per thousand square feet, divide 100 by the first number in the fertilizer ratio. For example, for a 20-5-10 product, divide 100 by 20. The result is 5.0 pounds of product per thousand square feet.


Water to a soil depth of 4 to 6 inches. Probe with a screwdriver to determine moisture depth. Bermuda grass needs a weekly application of about 1 to 1 1/4 inches of water. On sandy soils it often requires more frequent watering, for example, 1/2 inch of water every third day. It may be necessary to irrigate an area for 3 to 5 hours to apply 1 inch of water. (It requires 640 gallons of water to deliver 1 inch of water per thousand square feet.) Because clay soils accept water slowly, irrigate just until runoff occurs, wait 1/2 hour until the water has been absorbed, and then continue irrigating until the desired depth or amount is obtained. Best watering frequency for conservation is determined by looking for dark bluish gray color, foot printing, wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water. Proper irrigation may prevent can reduce pest problems and environmental stress later in the summer.

Weed Control

Apply pre-emergence herbicides to control crabgrass, goose grass, foxtail, etc by the time the dogwoods or forsythia are in full bloom.

Apply post-emergence herbicides in May as needed to control summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and lespedeza. Products containing two or three broadleaf herbicides usually control several different broadleaf weeds in a lawn more effectively. Be sure the product is labeled for use on Bermuda grass.

Apply post emergence herbicides only when weeds are present, and wait until three weeks after the lawn becomes green. Be sure to follow label instructions and note temperature limitations of product if used.

Insect Control

Bermuda grass is virtually immune to insect damage except white grubs. Check for white grubs and control them if necessary.

Thatch Removal

If proper water, mowing, and fertilizing techniques are followed thatch should not normally be a problem. If needed vertically mow in May to remove the thatch (layer of un-decayed grass) after the lawn becomes green if the thatch is more than inch thick.

June through August


Lower mower height to desired mowing height and in accordance with the variety of Bermuda grass you have. As a general rule the hybrids should be maintained between ½ to 1 inch, and common varieties between 1-1/2 and 2 inches. Mow frequently as not to remove more than 1/3 of leaf material while maintaining desired height. This may require mowing two to three time per week.


Apply 1 pound of nitrogen only product per thousand square feet every 4 to 6 weeks using a slow release urea product. Something like either 34-0-0 or 39-0-0.


Follow the March through May irrigation guidelines.

Weed Control

Apply post-emergence herbicides as needed to control summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and lespedeza. Crabgrass, goose grass, dallisgrass, nutsedge, annual sedges, and sandbur can be controlled with post-emergence grass control herbicides. Two or three applications 7 to 10 days apart are required for effective control. Apply herbicides only when weeds are present and the weeds are actively growing, and when the lawn is not suffering from drought stress. Follow label directions and watch for the temperatures.

Insect Control

Follow the March through May insect control guidelines. August is the best time to control white grubs because they are small and close to the soil surface.

September through November

4 to 6 weeks before the first expected frost. Raise the mowing height 1 inch as winter approaches. This will add insulation and some freeze protection in transitional areas or areas where freezing temps are encountered during the winter.


Apply last application for the season of no more than 1/2 pound of nitrogen only per thousand square feet in September or four to six weeks before the first expected frost. Use can use a low-nitrogen, high-potassium fertilizer such as a 5-10-30, to supplement nitrogen if a balanced fertilizer was not used as the first application in the spring or a soil test indicates a deficiency.

In addition you can apply lime or sulfur if earlier soil test indicated a deficiency from earlier soil test and it was not practical to add the required amounts in spring.


Follow the March through May irrigation guidelines. Dormant Bermuda grass may need to be watered periodically when warm, windy weather prevails.

Weed Control

Apply pre-emergence in September or October, or post-emergence herbicides as needed to control winter annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as chickweed and henbit. Pre-emergence herbicides do not control existing perennial weeds. Apply post-emergence herbicides only when weeds are present.

December through February


Dormant Bermuda grass may have to be watered periodically to prevent desiccation, especially when warm, windy weather prevails.

Weed Control

Apply broadleaf herbicides as needed to control weeds such as chickweed, henbit, and hop clover.

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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Thank you, Texas Weed. I made many notes. Could this Bible be used for my front yard zoysia as well?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:47PM
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Texas you call your self a texas weed. I call you a texas cowboy,that is so very sweet and kind and helpful and I thank you so kindly for the information you have posted. This will help me alot while I am looking around.

Some of the tttf has came back well not came back but looks better and some is just dead. Most people around here in this area Joplin Mo have what I call wild bermuda it just grows every where. Only a few have the turf bermuda. Either way though it looks great this time of year.

I have been reading through the old posts to get information as well. And I will try to find the Yukon..

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:12AM
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Yes but you would need to cut back to only two fertlizer applications per year, one in the spring and again 8 weeks later. Mowing height would have to be adjusted depending on which variety of Zoysia you have.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:13AM
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T-W, if you wouldn't mind answering a q for me.... I have a common variety of bermuda in my yard, but i am very interested in Princess 77. Do i need to kill the common first, or can i overseed with P77? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 5:44PM
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You would be better off spraying the other first. But allow me to make two comment or maybe a ? and comments.

Where do you live?

Before you go and Plant P-77 be aware it is not a very cold tolerant Bermuda. From your username I assume Oklahoma? P-tt is best suited to the gulf coast region where it does not freeze in the winter.

My other comment is it is more than likely way too late in the season to plant Bermuda seed, unles you live in someplace like Southern California or Pheonix.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 10:32PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

TW, Happy New Year!

And could you please write to me through my member page about your bermuda bible?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:51PM
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David, check your messages.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 8:50PM
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TW - thanks for the easy to follow guide!
I found your post a couple of months ago and have been trying it out. I used to mow tall (I thought it was better) but I just ended up with a bunch of thatch. My yard was thick before because it was tall but now is thin and sparse. I have dethatched most of it and am using a product called liquid rake to reduce thatch. Any suggestions on what to do next to get the grass full and thick?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:11AM
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TW - thanks for the easy to follow guide!

You are welcome.

PDF Pintable Bermuda Bible

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:32AM
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Tex, I am curious if I am headed for difficulties up the road? I've heard your advice of slow release urea however I am unable to locate any within 40 miles, with that said I am able to buy straight AN 39-0-0, 50 lb bags for $12 a pop ($13 and change w/tax) at literally walking distance from home. This is tough to turn down based on price and ease unless there are significant gains I can achieve with the urea. I am applying the AN at a rate of one bag every 14-16 days on 22K square feet. Why? It seems to work. Am I asking for problems?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 12:55PM
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No you can use ammonia nitrate, my only issue with it is fast release.

However, you are sligtly over applying it, might cut back to every 3 weeks or whenever you color fade.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:18AM
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texas-weed (or anyone else kind enough to offer help),

Thanks for your informative post. I intend to follow it to a "T". I'm convinced I live in the worst place possible to grow grass. Nothing has worked, but I'm not giving up. I live in San Antonio, TX on a huge rock...literally. The only dirt in my yard was hauled in during construction and it's only about 6 inches deep. Also, my yard is sloped. Bermuda was originally planted, but it's about 75% weeds right now. I'm seeding this summer and I'm curious what type of seed you recommend for my area? I appreciate your time.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Just wanted to say thank you. I found this gem in December of 2012 and lived by it last year to turn around my dried out, weed infested front yard. I now have the best looking bermuda in the neighborhood. It wasn't just a great calendar for maintenance, but really helped me understand the concept of properly taking care of bermuda. Mow it and water it the way it's supposed to be mowed and watered, and most of the big problems are choked away.
I started again this weekend with my one inch shave to get going for 2014, and the lush light gold rug looks better on April 1 than it did in the mid-summer 2 years ago.
Been reading and following a lot of the advice you and others have shared on this site for a long time, and when I came across this post again, just felt like I should give credit where credit is due.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:46AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Excellent testimonial GAyarddog. For some reason I want to make your name gaydardog, which has completely different meaning.

Kevin I replied to your seed question on your specific post.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 1:43PM
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I put down the recommended 15-5-10 the first weekend in March. Is a second application recommended mid-April? I see the June-August recommendation specifies every 4 to 6 weeks. Just curious if I should reapply another application. Thanks for all the help!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:02PM
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The question is will the bare spots be covered by the already growing grass?

Okay So after a lot of research, and finally deciding to fill my back yard with lush grass. and went with the most expensive seed I could afford to cover a 100sqft area and got 4lbs (I used about 3.5lbs first after seeing I had many bare spots after 3 weeks I use the rest on the middle area) I am having problems with huge bare spots. It has been well over a month since getting the ground ready, pretty much leveled slightly tilled in products suggested after getting soil tested, and sewing the seed mix. Not very satisfied with the results with big patches I though buying high grade seeds would yield better results. the first 2 weeks I watered for about 10-13 minutes in the morning and about 7 minutes around 1pm to keep the ground moist. after 3 weeks I cut back to a 6 min in the morning and 6 in the afternoon. I mowed at week 4 (gas was about 3 inches) the highest setting on my mower (it took about half a inch or less) , then dropped it and mowed again 6 days later.

I first used roundup to kill weeds, and some basil and bok choy (dropped seeds from garden). Two weeks later I added Tiger sulfur, Urea (as per soil test)
I tilled in bagged Cow manure, chicken manure, bagged compost and also my own compost.

Nitrogen - Low (recommended application blood meal, urea, compost)
Phosphorus - Medium
potassium - Medium

pH - 7.2 (recommended application 1 lb. garden sulfur per 100 Sq. Feet)

Soil composition:
Sand -15%
Silt - 25%
Clay - 64%
Organic matter - >1%

Recommendations: LOTS of compost & organic matter and water retention, sand for drainage, blood meal OR urea for nitrogen , and sulfur to lower pH.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:30AM
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Bermuda wizards will be along directly, but well-fed Bermuda spreads like mad. It does require some time to establish before beginning to grow runners to spread, but they'll be along.

Your pH is entirely tolerable, actually, and I grew a gorgeous lawn at 7.2. Surface-applied sulfur isn't as helpful as one might hope (actually, it's practically useless as most of it outgasses as sulfur dioxide).

On the up side, urea's initial reaction is alkaline, but it's final reaction is strongly acidic. Just feeding consistently with a urea-form of nitrogen will lower your pH.

Blood meal's reaction is ultimately close to neutral, but if you want to use it, go right ahead. It's good stuff--I use it to repel rabbits in the garden.

You have a dense clay soil (rare, actually). Clay soils can produce incredible lawns and gardens if properly managed; see the soap and baby shampoo threads for some recommendations to begin flocculating that, and consider adding organic matter along with your regular feeding. That's less to feed the Bermuda (although it'll help) and more to raise your OM percentage over time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:26PM
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I accidently put the wrong weed and feed on my lawn today. It was meant for st. Augustine nor Bermuda. It contain 1.38% Atriazine. Also it was 29-0-4 on the bag.

I have attached a picture taken today of what the lawn looks like today. Did I hurt my lawn with the above application? I surely hope not. I look forward to your feedback.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:03PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

dodgeball123, cap8e8, and Bermudairmo: y'all need to start three new topics. You have three totally different issues. This forum software does not lend itself to following topics within topics.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:05AM
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I just purchased a new home in Prosper texas (north of Dallas). They sodded it with Tif 419 (i'm pretty sure). The sod went down the first week of July. It is being watered daily for about 20 minutes a day (in the evening). I read through the bible but I want to know specifically what I need to do for this new lawn for the remainder of the year. I have a lot of flexibility on my watering scheduling until the end of August as a new resident. I just purchased a reel mower. I also noticed the lawn is quit "lumpy" - not sure if this is normal for newly sodded lawn. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:22PM
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