Thin Bermuda

Thin Bermuda

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Richman – posted 25 August 2007 15:12

I live in the Dallas suburbs and have an established Bermuda grass lawn. I have some thin areas of Bermuda and would like to thicken my lawn up with some more Bermuda. Some areas do get some shade from trees and my fence… but not all day.

When and what is the best technique for thickening up my lawn? It’s August 25th. Do I wait til next season? Do I just throw down seed and water?I am also fighting off some crabgrass and what seems to be nutsedge. Should I kill these first and wait to seed bermuda. Or get the bermuda going first?

Any suggestions would be great.


tommy – posted 27 August 2007 18:47

Bermuda can usually be thickened up quickly by fertilizing and watering heavily….and also mowing short enough to force lateral spread. The above would also be compatible with spraying chemicals for nutsedge/crabgrass. You don’t need to buy two chemical’s either, as the product for nutsedge will usually take out crabgrass also. Make a second application-2 or 3 weeks after the first. New seed and chemical herbicides are not a good combo, so forget about seeding if you plan on spraying the weeds.

Richman – posted 28 August 2007 15:36

Thanks for the reply. I’ll try starting with some more water and fertilizer. What is considered “short enough” so that lateral growth is achieved? I’m not exactly sure how low I go but the grass probably stands 2 inches. Hows that? If i need to go lower do I need to get lower and lower in stages or can I just go for it?

I tried to kill the nutsedge with the MSMA but it only kinda killed it. I’ll try a re-application.

When in the best time of the year to put down burmuda seed on an established bermuda lawn? I won’t do it this year because of my chemical attack. I’ve heard that re-seeding isn’t very effective… especially if you plan on mowing your lawn at regular intervals. Does the mower disrupt the seedling and rooting process? Is re-seeding effective?

Thanks, Rich

saltcedar – posted 02 October 2007 11:59

MSMA is only a grassy/broadleaf weed killer.Nutsedge being a Sedge won’t be killed. Instead useManage or Image herbicide for Nutsedge and Lily (onion) control.HTH

seed – posted 02 October 2007 22:11

Also, if available and permitted, Certainty, Sedgehammer, and Dismiss have activity against sedges.


tak2w – posted 10 October 2007 13:17

Do you know what kind of bermuda you have? If it is a hybrid variety(Tif 419, etc.), then you do not want to overseed it. Hybrid varieties are far superior to the seeded (common) varieties, and must be installed as sod, plugs, or sprigs.

I agree with the poster who said to fertilize and water. Bermuda spreads like crazy and should not need to be overseeded. If it doesn’t get almost full sun it will get thin, and there is nothing you can really do except plant a different type of grass or remove some trees.

Also, hybrid bermuda should be mowed around 1″ (or less if you have a reel mower). Around here, it is too late in the season to scalp it. It wouldn’t green back up before it went dormant, but if your growing season is much longer, you could probably go ahead and cut it low, fertilize and water. Cut it a little lower when you cut it down (3/4″) and then move back up to 1″ for subsequent cuts. That way you are not cutting all the green off each time. You will need to cut at least 2x a week to avoid cutting off more than 1/3 of the blade at a time to avoid scalping.

Richman – posted 10 October 2007 16:48

I’m not sure what type of Bermuda I have. I am not the original home owner. How can I identify hybrid vs common? My guess is that it is just a common bermuda because the previous owner (the original home owner) did NOT take care of the lawn. It’s been a challenge to recover the lawn.The thin areas are shaded by a beautiful oak tree and my home. I don’t want to remove the tree but also want the nice thick grass. I guess I can’t have it all then.

You mentioned “Around here, it is too late in the season to scalp it”. Are you in the Dallas area? I probably have another 4-6 weeks of mowing before my lawn goes dormant. Is that enough time to scalp?


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