nprimm – posted 17 April 2010 13:34
Each year the outer edge of my bermuda lawn recedes a foot or two leaving dry hardpan in its wake. The grass on the other side of the recession line looks healthy and free of fungi or weeds. It has receded approximately 6 feet in the last 3 years. It receives just as much sun and water as the healthy grass next to it. Help.
d.k – posted 16 May 2010 21:37
Be aware, please, that this is just a guess and a couple suggestions on my part, but the problem may have to do with your weed n’ feed.
In my experience, bermuda doesn’t do well with some types of herbicide, and with some quantities of herbicide and fertilizer together either.
What’s recommended on the bag is probably too much for most bermuda down here, especially given how dry we have been lately, in the past few years.
Personally, I try to avoid weed and feed products for the most part, but have used them a few times in the past. Each of those times I remember that the Bermuda portions of my lawn suffered for it. The first time, I treated the lawn at the recommended rate, the second time, I cut it in half, and still saw a recession in the bermuda in my lawn. Decided that going weaker than that, just to try and save the bermuda didn’t make a lot of sense for me– since I was particularly targeting crabgrass at that point, and spreading even less weed n’ feed probably wouldn’t have helped me with my target much.
If you want to save your Bermuda, I’d consider a change in weed n’ feed for a formulation that claims NOT to be harmful to bermuda IN VERY SPECIFIC TERMS, or switch to a spot treatment program instead if it weeds you are trying to get rid of– Or, if you are willing to try something new, you could try several seasons worth of very early spring (winter here in Florida) corn gluten application. Supposedly, it will eradicate most of your spring weed problems if you apply it early before the start popping up for several seasons. I have used corn gluten, but not with the kind of dedication necessary to get the best result.
To soften up the remaining hardpan, I would bust it up with a spading fork, and add A LITTLE Murphy’s oil soap or other mild soap to a hose-end sprayer, shake it well and water the busted-up hardpan. Then, spade in and mix up a large quantity of good organic material as deep as possible, level and and top it with some fresh topsoil before putting in any new bermuda.
[This message has been edited by d.k (edited 16 May 2010).]