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help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

Posted by cindy24 none (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 12:34

This grass is about 2 yrs old. The builders put the grass but didn't care for it for at least 1 yr. So we had to revive it.

It was looking good during the Spring and into the start of Summer. But now parts are looking dead and dry. We water with a sprinkler once a week. Each section gets about 8 minutes.
Then we water by hose 2-3 times a week till it's soaked.

The only thing we put on this lawn was Winterizer, Ironite and "Weed and Feed".

I'm not using the right stuff I'm assuming. And the soil underneath is pretty tough and dry. Also the way the people laid out the grass on top of lumpy rock/soil didn't help. When I mow a few days later you'll see browning in the shape of the lawn mower path! I want to get this grass low as possible too but all it does is go brown or dry.
What am I doing wrong?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

More pics..


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

More pics..


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

Sounds like you are giving enough water but you say it is dry. Water maybe running off and not getting soaked in. Try the baby shampoo trick to open up the soil. Also fertilize every 30-45 days with a high N product and get rid of the weed/feed.


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

I think that is the problem. The water isn't soaking through.

I will try the baby shampoo idea. What fertilizer do you recommend that has high N?

I also heard the "weed n feed" is junk. No more of that stuff!!

Thanks!!


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

It is dry and going dormant also in bad need of fertilizer but wait until it cools off a bit and hydrated.


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

What are you doing wrong? You're only watering for 8 minutes. Having said that if your sprinkler can fill a cat food can in 8 minutes, then you are watering just right. I doubt that is the case, though.

If you want to fertilize with something now, you can use organic fertilizer. I use alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow). That will not burn and will improve your soil while you are getting it hydrated. You can get alfalfa pellets at any feed store. Call first for prices. It should be $12 - $14. Be sure you tell them you want 1/4-inch or rabbit sized. Horse pellets are the size of your thumb and all the feed stores in town have that, too. Application rate is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

I think we're about to kick into stage 3 drought restrictions meaning you can only water every other week. That is going to wipe out a bunch of lawns.


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

Thanks dchall! I doubt I'm watering enough too. But because of the hard claylike soil underneath I'm wondering if we need to aerate the soil?
I just remembered we did lay out some type of lawn top soil I think it was. I think that's whats killing my grass too.
It seems to be suffocating!
Now you said that organic fertilizer (rabbit chow). This might be a stupid question but will rabbits be attracted to this? I ask because I have a problem with wild rabbits too! They chew up my grass and leave their poop all over! I don't need more rabbits... Can you recommend anything liquid to spray for fertilizer? And should we aerate now or wait till fall?
This drought restriction is a killer!


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

As long as you have fresh, green grass, the rabbits will go for that first. Rabbits only eat alfalfa pellets when in captivity and they don't have anything fresh to eat. But having said that, once you put the alfalfa pellets down, you should moisten them (not drench them). They will swell up like giant green worms and fall apart. Once they have swollen up, they become hard to eat for any critter except the microbes. If you want to be sure, you can drag a push broom over the swollen pellets and they will fall apart down into the turf.

Rabbit poop is an excellent fertilizer!

There are no liquid fertilizers for a lawn that are worth anything. Even Medina Hasta Gro is not good. Why? Because a lawn needs pounds and pounds of nitrogen. Liquids can apply fractions of an ounce and nothing more. Liquids are good for what we call micro nutrients. Besides, Medina Hasta Gro is not organic. If you listen to Bob Webster on weekend morning radio (550 AM), he is very organic but does not seem to understand that Hasta Gro is a chemical fertilizer.

You can soften your soil now so that it will accept the moisture. Spray 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet of baby shampoo or any clear shampoo. Spray that on your watering day right before you water. Then water a full inch all at once. Measure that inch with tuna or cat food cans. Next week water normally. The following week repeat the shampoo before watering. After the second treatment your soil should be considerably different. It should feel soft under foot right after you water and get hard again during the days before you water again. This takes the place of core aeration. This is not a trick or a gimmick. The only difference between this treatment and what the professionals use is they spend $70 per gallon for their surfactant and you will pay $1 for 15 ounces of Alberto Vo5 or generic baby shampoo at the dollar store. The shampoo will last a long time if you water weekly in the summer and monthly in the cool months. The last time I did it was 2011 and my soil still feels soft when wet.

I use an Ortho adjustable hose-end sprayer to spray shampoo. It doesn't matter what adjustment you use if you do it like this. Measure your lawn. Let's say it is 2,000 square feet. That means you'll need 6 ounces of shampoo (that's a minimum by the way). Pour 6 ounces into the sprayer bottle and fill it with water. Then you can use any setting on the sprayer as long as you spray evenly and spray it all out onto the grass. One of the gurus on another forum tried this using 50 ounces per 1,000 square feet every weekend and there were no problems. We know that 3 ounces works and we know that 50 ounces won't hurt anything, so it appears very hard to make a mistake with this.


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RE: help..bermuda grass in san antonio, tx looking bad

Thanks dchall! You have given us some priceless info!!
I think I will encourage the rabbits to poop more now!

We will get started with the baby shampoo and go find the alfalfa pellets. Anything is worth a try now.

Thank you SO much!


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