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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:35 am 
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Location: Whitney,TEXAS
Looking for tips on restarting a yard. We have had to move in with my 98 year old mom. She had a man mowing and just letting the burr clover and grass burrs fall back in the yard for about 15 years. When we moved in last year I decided to dive in and try to do something. I have tilled the yard and then drug out all I can drag out of the weeds and etc. There really was not a lot of grass mostly every kind of weed possible plus the sticker and burrs.
I wanted to try to plan bermuda seeds. One part of the yard that I tilled in the fall I planted rye grass and it has done fine and I see little weeds right now and the grass is still green. I just tilled another two thirds of the yard. And have planed on putting in seed.
Can dry molasses go in at any time and is that good to do.
As far as corn glutenmeal I should not apply it until June or July if I plant seeds since it will cause problems with the seeding? What about the dried molasses can I put it in with or before seeding.

Thanks for all the help. I will try to check back soon.
AL IN WHITNEY, TX


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:24 pm 
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I like a lawn with a mix of things, and clover is a perfectly normal thing to have in your lawn (this was the case before pesticides were invented that would kill clover, and then the companies promoted the mono-culture that is today's lawn in order to sell their products). I would never intentionally plant Bermuda grass, and I fight a continual battle with it. If you ever plan to have a garden, don't plant Bermuda.

Why don't you look into planting Buffalo grass? It is native, requires less water, and will probably enjoy the company of some good clover.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:37 pm 
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I don't know what clover is perhaps but what I am calling clover here in TEXAS is what most here call burr clover. This stuff has burrs that are a pain. We had a long hair dog, a Chow and they were in his hair and made a mess. Maybe there are different types of clover or perhaps this is not even clover. For me I do not desire it around. What garden we are trying is above ground so the grass has not been a problem. The problem mainly is the burr clover and the grass burrs or what we called STICKERS when I was a kid. They are too a pain. But in this yard of my mom if there was a weed it is here. There was some Johnson grass but not much.
I walcome your comments and other's comments.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:52 pm 
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I didn't mean that kind of clover--I was thinking of the true clover that is a nitrogen fixer in the yard, in the legume family. I have a grass burr in one area of my front lawn that is hard to distinguish from the rest of the grass much of the year--but it hurts like the dickens when you get it embedded in your skin.

Still, look at Buffalo grass for the turf instead of Bermuda, once you solve the burr problem. It's a better grass all round for this area.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:41 pm 
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I'm really sorry to say this but maybe it will help someone else. You've made all the mistakes you could in preparation for bermuda. The biggest mistake was tilling. However, you might have time to fix that.

The problem with tilling is that it leaves you with the appearance of a smooth surface; however, the subsurface is lumpy where the tiller scraped away the soil. When you level the surface and leave the subsurface lumpy, the surface will settle back to the match the contour of the lumpy subsurface. What you can do is water it and roll it down in an attempt to get it to settle. Normally it takes three full years (like the end of 2012) before settling finally slows down. I would try watering it for an hour or so and let it dry for one day. The use a water fillable roller to roll it down. Go back and forth in all directions. Wait a week and repeat. The soil has to be moderately moist but not wet so it will move.

Bermuda seed will not germinate in your area until June at the very earliest. Thus you have until then to get that soil settled back down. If you try to seed bermuda before then I promise you it will not come in. We go through this same conversation in the forums with someone every year. Just sit back and enjoy the spring until Memorial Day and then think about seeding.

I've never had any luck with wet or dry molasses. If you want to get more molasses down for less money, find a feed store or COOP that sells it by the pound. Bring a container and buy 10 pounds for a dollar. That's about a gallon and will last forever. Dry molasses is made by taking 15 pounds of wet molasses and pouring it over 35 pounds of worthless seed hulls.

Search the Internet for the Bermuda Bible. It was written by a guy from Dallas who goes by the handle of Texas Weed. He grows bermuda commercially and really knows his stuff. Follow his advice to the letter.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Location: Whitney,TEXAS
HI,
Guess we all learn the hard way. I shall ask a few more questions. First of all the reason for tilling was to loosen the soil to remover all the MESS! If there is a weed, burr clover, grass burr and 1000 other varieties then it is in my 98 year old mom's yard. As I stated in previous post she had it mowed for years by a man that just mowed and it seems all the stuff just grew more and more. I tilled so I could run through the loosened weeds get them out and bag them and try to start the yard over with half a fighting chance.
You have suggestions of other than burmuda seeding. At the poin that I am at?
Now last spring she had to have a septic system in and all was a mess. Seems there where there was some bermuda and the mess it did grow back with all the other weeds.
THANKS
for your advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:38 am 
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Keep in mind that I've been reading forums for as long as there have been forums and keeping lawns for decades before that. Based mostly on what I have read in the forums, I would have started by removing the thistles and thorns. One relatively easy way to do that is with a fabric of some kind. It acts like Velcro. All you do is drag it across the stickers and suddenly they are gone from the soil.

Then I would attack the problem. The problem and the reason you have so many stickers is the soil is infertile. Start watering and fertilizing and the stickers will not be able to survive the onslaught of great grass. I used to have stickers under my daughter's swing set. I never sprayed anything on them or did anything but water and fertilize and they simply disappeared.

If you are willing to water weekly during the hottest part of summer, then St Augustine is an option for you. It only comes as sod and would be much more expensive than bermuda. But again, if you want to go with bermuda, you must endure all of spring with nothing going on to put the seed down in late May or June. Sod can go down any time. I put some dormant St Aug sod down a month ago.

You could apply corn gluten meal now while nothing else is going on. Other alternative grasses are buffalo grass and blue grama. Buffalo comes as a seed but that is not the best variety. Blue grama is one I've only heard of and not seen as a turf, but I have a good friend who tells me it looks very good. All these require FULL sun but have the advantage that you don't have to water them if you don't want to. They will go dormant instead of dead. If you have any shade, then other options are St Augustine and some rare (expensive) varieties of zoysia.

With all that in mind, what are you thinking?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:14 pm 
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HI,
Naturally since I tilled it rained again. I had planned and guess I will run the dethacher through the area. Drag out all the weeds that I tilled and bag that stuff. Then do as you said water, try to level with roller or what ever I can. One time I man gave me a picec of rail road rail and he cut holes in it. I guess I could drag the ground back and forth some with it to break and level some. Then maybe get a roller to flatten. Guess I will work on it till warmer and then put in the bermuda seed. I already bought some seed.
You mentioned the corn glutenmeal. It is ok to put it down now before the seeds. I was thinking I read something about not putting it down with the seeds. If I put it in now and do watering for a while that will be ok? I have bought some corn glutenmeal and it is in the spare garage.
Thanks for all the vibes it is helping. I was aware of the draging out the stickers but boy it was a mess with the grassburr and the burr clover. I did get some up last summer and then got off track and didn't back to it.
Again Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:11 am 
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One thing you can do earlier if you want - you can get Bermuda sod going in some areas, Bermuda will spread like crazy in good soil once it warms up a bit. What I've done in the past was to get plugs, plant them level with the soil in a checkerboard pattern and then if it is a little lumpy later I'll rake some finely screened compost and sand to level it out a bit but I'm ....fastidious :-)

When things warm up enough for seed germination you can put more seed down to thicken it but with that loose soil, some good fertilizer and a little compost you might find that it spreads pretty darned well in the next two months.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Check out www.seedsource com they have some nice grass seed mixtures you might want to try instead of bermuda.Also the easiest way to get rid of grass burrs or what we call here in Texas -STICKERS, is to mow your yard with a mower that has a bag,bag it up and get rid of it(I don't even compost mine)2nd find vineager from a nursery and not from a grocery store,spray that clump with vineager maybe 2 times a week,this should kill it,also helps to get a shovel and dig out the dead clump and throw it away,and then in the fall use corn gluten on your yard.
One other way I saw is to use a propane torch and burn it down.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I do have some vinegar that I picked up at Marshall Grain in Ft. Worth. Yep, STICKERS is what we called them many years ago when us kids ran about bare footed. I was planning on the corn gluten meal. Can I put it down also in the summer? I was considering that propane torch thing too. In fact I bought a torch with a hose thinking I would burn out some weeds that had gotten in the gravel in the drive. I then discovered the torch would need a big bottle it has the big fitting not one for the small bottles. Guess I may get a big bottle for that .
We moved in with my 98 year old mom and what had happened over a 15 year period a man had mowed and let it fall not bagged and it just grew and grew with the stickers and burr clover. I realize good grass should just stay on the ground but feel all this mowing and returning to the yard all the bad stuff just made it increase.
AGAIN THANKS,
AL in Whitney, TX


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:41 am 
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You can spend a lot of time dealing with stickers or you can water and fertilize. They go away all by themselves once the soil improves.

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