Help me get rid of bermuda PLEASE

rosiewSeptember 19, 2013

I'm wondering if I could kill the bermuda in my lawn now, what would I have to do to get fescue to replace it. Would be seeding it, I'm north of Atlanta. Hate bermuda for a number of reasons. Have approximately half and half fescue and bermuda.

Won't add to this, awaiting your comments.

Much appreciated,
Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

About the only way to get rid of it would be glyphosate (Roundup) but it's almost too late for that IMO. You would need to spray the entire lawn, wait 1 to 2 weeks until it's completely dead, mow as short as the mower will go, then water a few days and respray anything that turns green. From there you should be able to seed with anything you want. For tall fescue in your area you should have seed in the ground now.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

...and you may end up doing the same thing again next August to get the last stragglers of bermuda out. If you start in August, that gives you time to spray, water, spray, water, and spray again if needed; and still have time to seed in September.

Bermuda will be an extremely easy weed to get in fescue, simply because fescue typically has plenty of room between plants. Fescue does not provide enough shade to shade out bermuda, so that's another issue. St Augustine, on the other hand, has a coarse texture and shades out bermuda easily when mowed at 4 inches.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:34PM
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It is way too late and you are stuck with for another year.

In your area, the climate is perfect for Bermuda grass. So good most of the best Bermuda grass varieties were developed in Georgia at UG Tifton research center.

Fescue is also popular in Atlanta, but that has to do with so many dang trees in residential area which provide quite a bit of shade which Bermuda cannot tolerate. So if you have Bermuda tells me your yard gets a lot of direct sun light.

So it will be a very difficult job to eradicate the Bermuda. Eradicate is really the wrong word to use because you will never get rid of it completely and will be a life long battle to keep it under control.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:45PM
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I've read and tried to digest what y'all have said.

I don't have one of the 'good' Bermudas in my back - just the common, spreads like hell one. That being said, have a further question. Could I kill the bermuda soon and after it's dead, mulch mow leaves over it so it's not a mud bath area during the winter......then sow fescue in the spring? Have lots of sun, do not irrigate. The fescue thrives. Also haven't been fertilizing because I want to extend times between mowing, which is difficult for me. Sigh.

I know it will be a life long battle. Maybe it's good that I'm old so won't have to battle all that long.

Would love to have St. Augustine. Grew up with that in Dallas. May me a tad too far north for it to succeed. Also couldn't afford to sod, but could probably plant clumps.

Hope y'all can help me figure this out definitively. Tons of rain coming my way today which would provide the plant moisture levels needed for glysophate to work well.

Thanks, everyone.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:12AM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

Sowing fescue in the spring is a bad idea. It will come up fine but most of it will die in the summer heat. By late August you will have a lawn full of weeds, bermuda, and not much fescue. As others have said, you would be much better off to wait and start this project in early August of next year.

Unfortunately even fescue is going to require mowing twice per week in the early spring when it's really growing regardless if you fertilize or not. I would strongly suggest spending the next several months doing research on the different grass varieties that will do well in your area and make a decision based on that. I'm no pro so hopefully others here can give you more advice but there's really nothing you can do now other than artificial turf that will succeed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Visit your local full-service nursery and eqnire about the different weed killers for common grasses native to your area.
Its my thinking that you don't need a glyphosate (RoundUp), which would kill everything green; a common weed killer that kills just weeds....not the natural grass...might be applied to kill the BERMUDA. also.
Then you can decide which type of grass you wish to replace it.

I'm not a fan of 'one type' northern cooler grass types I think using a combo mix works well.
Now in the south, maybe there's a mix for experience with southern grasses is strictly St Augustine.
But that's not to everybody's liking. Bermuda is welcomed in many areas of the south albeit it does go brown in summer and fall and returns to its green in winter.
Get local help before you jump in the may not have water in nit.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:47PM
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I'm going to follow your excellent suggestions. Had forgotten that fall sowing of fescue is the way to go.

We have a good locally owned chain of nurseries here, Pike's. Will go see them next week for advice.

One further thought - could I overseed the Bermuda with fescue this fall. Or with a combo mix as suggested by goren?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I don't have one of the 'good' Bermudas in my back - just the common,

If that is true you have even a bigger problem on your hands. Hybrids produce sterile seed. Common produces very fertile seed and their are billions of seeds in your yard just waiting to germinate.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:04PM
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texas-weed, does this mean I have an unsolvable situation?

One good thing is that I don't have Johnson grass - ugh - hated that, with it's roots down to China.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:56AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

There is a new herbicide called "Pylex" out there that claims to have the ability to remove Bermuda from cool-season grasses, which includes TTTF. There isn't a whole lot of information yet on how well it does, when applied by homeowners.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the herbicide costs $450.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:46AM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

On August 17th I sprayed my entire yard with glyphosate. I had a mixture of fescue, common bermuda, dallisgrass, crabgrass, and a few wild violets. We've had plenty of rain all summer and had a good rain the day before I sprayed. Ended up with a 100% kill. Two weeks after spraying I cut and bagged everything down to 1.5 inches. I watered for the next week and only had a few small sprigs of stuff that came back. On September 14th I filled in sink holes from where the original builder buried stumps, back filled my concrete driveway, and leveled out a few low spots in the yard trying to get it as smooth as possible. Then on September 16th I put down tall fescue seed from Hogans and put down a thin layer of straw. Began watering it 3 times per day and yesterday I did find about 6 sprigs of bermuda which was easily pulled up. Maybe I've just been lucky or possibly the bermuda will take over next summer. Guess I'll have to wait and see. I woke up this morning and found the new fescue has begun to germinate!

I do plan to use a pre emergent in the spring mainly due to the crabgrass and dallisgrass. My biggest concern it the neighbors yard. It is a mix of fescue, bermuda, and weeds that I hope to keep from migrating into my lawn. I have found that triclopyr is really hard on bermuda but doesn't hurt tall fescue. Might have to give that a try at the property line. I think if I can make it through the next year I should be fine.

In your case, if you get started on it early enough next year you should be able to get rid of the bermuda but it will take time and persistence.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:57AM
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