Conflicting advice on Celebration Bermuda

Conflicting advice on Celebration Bermuda

Maureen W – posted 02 November 2005 07:49

So after going out and spending a ton of money on a reel mower, come to find out that information is wrong. On top of that the required fertilizer isn’t available in my area(Central Florida). So now what–start using a standard mower and use what fertilizer? On small patches in my lawn are truly green like they should be. As for infrequent and deep irrigation???Could they be a little more specific for a homeowner. I have a great sprinkler system on timer but have no idea what to set it for. Anybody, help? http://www.sodsolutions.com/maintenance/maint_celebration.shtml

BuckinNC – posted 02 November 2005 09:20

I find nothing on the site you include as a link to sugget that a reel mower is not appropriate for your turf. In fact, as I read it, such a mower is recommended and if you want to maintain your turf at the recommended heigth 0.5-1.0 inches I think you absolutely need one. Not aware of any rotary mower that will go that low and produce satisfactory results. Been there.

Nutrition – bermuda generally prefers a ratio of 5-1-2 or so. Scotts offers Southern Turf Builder 26-2-13 Fertilizer that is an acceptable alternative and can be delivered with a drop spreader. LESCO has a 25-5-10, but it must be applied with a rotary spreader.

Water – Figure out how long you need to run your system to have it moist to a depth of three inches. Run it for an hour, drill a test sink hole, if not there go for another 30 minutes and repeat. There is no set formula for irrigation systems. They vary widely in terms of number of heads, gallons per minute per head, absorption rate of the soil, etc. Have to figure out your best practice.

Maureen W – posted 02 November 2005 12:05

From the maintainence sheet—

Maintain Celebration at 0.5-2″ (1″ is optimal) Heights above 2″ will reduce quality Rotary mowers are preferred for heights 1″ or higher

Since this is a house lawn, it will indeed be kept at a minimum of 1″–thus the rotary mower is preferred.

As for the sprinklers—I know how long it takes to get 3″ deep, I just don’t know what they mean when they say infrequently? Every other day, every 3 days–4 days?

[This message has been edited by Maureen W (edited 02 November 2005).]

BuckinNC – posted 03 November 2005 08:47

Not sure what a “house lawn” has to do with the height you wish to maintain. I have 2 “house lawns” and neither ever gets as high as 1 inch. Down to 5/16 in the spring and fall when the sun is lower in the sky and fewer hours and up to a max of 13/16ths in the middle of the summer. I assume you intend to change heights to acknowledge the varying amount of sun available for the turf. And there must be a reason why every golf course, football/baseball/soccer field is mowed with a reel mower, some higher than one inch. Perhaps if you closely examined the technology differences between a reel mower (cuts much like a pair of shears with opposing blades) rotary (cuts by whacking the turf with a single blade) you’d come to realize that there are few reasons to prefer the latter. About the only reason I can think of is that if you really need/want to remove a lot of turf a rotary will likely get it down whereas a reel mower will not mow when the height of the turf extends above the axis of the cutting reel. But such a significant drop is not very health for the turf anyway so is certainly not something I think you will encounter.

I’m frankly surprised that a couple of others have not weighed-in about the merits of mowers. Everyone I know with classic hybrid bermuda turf uses a reel mower. Since you already have one of those why not make a few passes with it, then borrow a rotary from a neighbor and do the same with that. Compare and decide.

Watering interval is a function of so many variables that you cannot just say do it every week. Rain, heat, humidity, wind, etc. all come into play. If you are really serious about this, and I think you are, get a short (6 inches) piece of 3/4 inch pvc pipe, mark it 3 inches from the end. Pick a representative spot in your turf and drive it down to the mark with a hammer. If the dirt/soil falls out, it is time to hit the sprinklers. By the way, just put it all back in the hole, kind of like moving a golf hole around the green. You’ll never see the spot. I do this myself and have seen some significant differences in watering intervals.

Pretty sure that no one has ever recommended bermuda because it is easy to care for. But if you want the best looking turf in the neighborhood you have to expect to put a little extra in to it. Few things as gratifing as finishing mowing and seeing that deep, lush green, standing proud, and if you use a brush with your reel mower, alternatly striped.

tommy – posted 03 November 2005 09:23

The growth habit of any type of bermuda (low growing with lateral spread),is such that a reel mower is the ideal choice. Homeowners who are looking for a higher cut and lower maint. however, can use a rotary mower with good results……provided the lawn is de-thatched once a year. An overly thatched bermuda lawn will have a scalped look when cut with a rotary.

Maureen W – posted 12 November 2005 08:16

Nutrition – bermuda generally prefers a ratio of 5-1-2 or so. Scotts offers Southern Turf Builder 26-2-13 Fertilizer that is an acceptable alternative and can be delivered with a drop spreader. LESCO has a 25-5-10, but it must be applied with a rotary spreader

See, this is what I mean. I do appreciate the information but when I went to buy this fertilizer, I was told that this is just the opposite of what I need. They said that Celebration requires LOW in Nitrogen—these are high in Nitrogen?

BuckinNC – posted 14 November 2005 07:55

Just because the first number is high does not mean that the amount of nitrogen applied is as well. Hybrid bermuda requires 1# of N per 1,000 sq. ft. Do the math and figure out how many pounds of your blend of fertilizer you will apply to have 1# of N per 1,000 sq ft. If you use the Lesco with 28% N you will want about 3.5 pounds of product per 1,000 feet. Both the Scotts and Lesco can deliver as much, or as little, N as you want. Those products have the correct ratio of NPK, its up to you to control the flow/application rate to achieve the correct amount.

bermudakid – posted 21 January 2006 23:25

Apply a Scotts Turfbuilder on March 1st. Then once a month starting in May apply the recommended rate of ammonium sulfate for 1 lb per 1000 square feet. Water for 20 minutes immediately after applying any fertilzer.

Now for the DEEP AND INFREQUENT WATERING. You say you have a in ground sprinkler system. I will assume it is a pop-up spray type. Have the timer come on once a week, early in the morning, twice for ten minutes each time. That is a total of 20 minutes per station but breaking it up to allow water to soak in and reduce run-off. Mow with the front-throw reel mower every 4th or fifth day during the summer months.

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