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 Post subject: Bermuda watering woes
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 7:51 am 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:45 am
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
I know I'm supposed to be watering my yard as infrequently as possible, and watering to a depth of 6 inches, but the majority of my bermuda grass is doing poorly due to lack of moisture.

I bought a new house in December of '02 and they had just placed the sod on the ground. How do I (by means of watering) encourage the roots to grow deep, without having grass that looks dry for the whole year? What sort of watering schedule should I use? Should I try to keep the soil moist at a depth of 3 inches for a month, then 4 inches...?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 12:01 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Bermuda is a strange grass. I hope there is an expert who can verify this or correct it, but here's my observation.

IMO bermuda likes the same conditions as most weeds. It likes to be mowed short (1 inch) and watered every day for 10 minutes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 12:19 pm 
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At three inches, bermuda will actually shade itself out. It loves to have every single blade of grass, the entire blade, exposed to the full sun. When the grass is tall, the bottom half of the blade is in the shade of the blade next to it.

This is why it is relatively easy to eradicate bermuda from St Augustine lawns. St Augustine has a blade that is 5x wider than the bermuda blade. Tall St Aug provides copious amounts of shade to lower plants.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 12:56 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
My yard is currently not level enough for me to cut it much lower than 2 inches, but there are places where the grass hasn't really started growing this season, like it's still dormant.

On that note, should I use compost, lava sand, or a mixture of those or some other things to help level out the yard?


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 Post subject: Bermuda likes it short
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 12:21 pm
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This is one of the reasons I much prefer St Augustine.

In my front yard when I moved last year was half Bermuda and half St Augustine. I started cutting it every week and sometimes twice and it stayed pretty but half and half just doesn't look right to me. Bermuda in my opinion has a much higher maintenance requirement and I like a lush St Augustine better anyway.

Earlier this year I had read where Bermuda doesn't like being left long.
I decided I wanted to attempt to let the St Augustine take over so after mowing the first time at ~1.5" I set the mower as high as it will go (~3.5"). The St Augustine is already beginning to take over and I predict by the end of the season the Bermuda will be very limited and it will be a 90% St Augustine lawn.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:56 am 
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Another, more dangerous way, to level an uneven lawn is to RENT a mower to scalp with. I wouldn't want to do this with my own blade. Rent the mower, set it as low as it goes, and let it do the scalping and leveling for you. Wear sturdy shoes with socks and long pants because rocks, twigs, and dirt will be blowing out of that mower. Make sure there are no people or pets nearby and go very slowly. Bermuda doesn't mind being scalped and will refill if you actually chop dirt out of the uneven high spots.

Filling the low spots should be done with sand or soil. Compost will not fill but will evaporate away completely after a year leaving the same low spot as before.

Compost is a good idea for bermuda, though. Any turf for that matter. If you are having trouble getting water to penetrate, try a thin layer of compost.

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