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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:10 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:47 am
Posts: 1
...what does that indicate about the condition of the soil?

I've been trying to grow a lawn without appeal to chemicals since we've moved into this home. It has been a losing battle ever since. Even after aeration, topdressing the lawn, regular applications of mychorrizal fungi, and mowing high I'm still overrun with what looks like wild aster. What bermudagrass I can see has greenness at the tips of the stolons but yellow down to the soil.

Would you have any suggestions? Dare I try to overseed now as it begins to cool down in North Texas? :x

(moved from the landscape forum to here)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1915
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
This is a good time of year to grow grass, but Bermuda goes dormant with the cold, so the survival of seedlings might be in question. Why don't you instead focus on removing the weeds during the grass' dormant season?

There are a couple of products to try (in addition to the old-fashioned mechanical method of pulling the weeds): Agralawn Crabgrass killer seems to take out more than just crabgrass. The featured herbicide in this is cinnamon. Vinegar products have gained a lot of traction in the weed-killer marketplace and are combined with other things (like d-limonene or orange oil) to pack a punch. Here is a more comprehensive newsletter with information about several of these.

Weeds typically grow during the cool season also, so if you can 1) knock out the existing plants and the 2) prevent the seeds in the soil from sprouting using something like corn gluten meal (after the existing weeds or gone or it will simply act to fertilize them - timing is everything with CGM. Think right around New Years, before you see new weeds sprouting in the lawn).

I'm sure the regular moderator of this thread will drop by at some point and offer targeted information about how to green up your Bermuda, soil and fertilizer treatments, etc. For now, though, you can plan your attack on the weeds as soon as the Bermuda turns brown for the winter.

Good luck!


PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:52 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:02 am
Posts: 10
Yeah besides being late to the party, with changes to the website I ended up getting locked out. But I'm the "regular moderator." Northwestern does a great job answering questions, though!! I'm trying to get my Dchall_San_Antonio user name back, too.

Aerating usually doesn't help (with anything).
Top dressing with soil can usually cause more problems than it ever solves. IMO the only reason to top dress is to fill low spots.
The only place I've seen mychorrizal fungi do anything is on golf courses in pure white sugar sand.
Mowing high is what is allowing the weeds into your turf. It seems counter intuitive, but for bermuda, the taller it gets the thinner it gets. It's like it shades itself out. Mow it at the lowest setting, twice a week, fertilize monthly with soybean meal, corn gluten meal, or alfalfa pellets at 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, and it will become much more dense.

The crabgrass killer that Northwestern mentioned used to be produced without cinnamon. At that time the active ingredient was baking soda. As far as I know baking soda is still the active ingredient and cinnamon is a red herring that helps keep people from simply using baking soda to kill plants. Baking soda will kill living bermuda, but not dormant bermuda. The trick to baking soda is to get it to stick to the plant's leaves. I spray with water that has a few drops of shampoo and maybe some molasses. Both molasses and shampoo are considered to be "stickers," that cause water to stick and not roll off the leaves. Then you can dust the plant with baking soda filtered through a sock or stocking. Don't breath the dust or get it in your eyes. It's very irritating. Then let it sit and dry out on the leaves. Some plants die in a few minutes and some take a day or two.

David Hall
Lawn Care Forum Moderator

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