Transition Zone Newbie Needs Help

A forum to learn and discuss the importance of lawn care basics
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lcsmall
Posts: 1
Joined: February 27th, 2019, 6:29 pm
Location: Norfolk, VA
Grass Type: Tall Fescue/Bermuda
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Novice

Transition Zone Newbie Needs Help

Post by lcsmall » February 27th, 2019, 9:03 pm

Hello. My many internet searches have brought me here, and I've finally decided to swallow my pride and ask for help.

A little background. I live in Norfolk, VA so I am firmly in the middle of a grass transition zone. I've been following the 4 step program of a well known company for the last several years, and while my lawn is "okay", I would like to take it up a notch. I'm dealing with approximately 2500sf in my front and side yard.

I've been seeding with a Southern Belle transition zone fescue for awhile and no matter how hard I try, I can't get rid of the bermuda that is also in my yard. I would say my lawn is probably a 70/30 mix of fescue and bermuda grass.

My past research resulted in me trying Ornamec for several years with limited results. I always thought if I could just get a good fescue lawn going, I could crowd out the bermuda. This obviously isn't working too well.

As I get ready to buy my pre-emergent for the spring, I thought I would solicit any advice on a better plan. I am definitely a novice, but I'm not afraid to spend a little money and work hard to make my lawn look good. Am I cursed to just an "okay" yard in a transition zone? Any advice is greatly appreciated. From reading this website, I'm guessing my first step is a soil test? Thank you for any help!

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Dchall_San_Antonio
Posts: 3042
Joined: December 17th, 2008, 1:53 am
Location: Bandera, Texas
Grass Type: St Augustine
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Advanced

Re: Transition Zone Newbie Needs Help

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » March 12th, 2019, 1:32 pm

There is only one way to crowd out bermuda and that is with shade. Fescue is, by nature, a fine bladed grass that grows much more sparse than bermuda. Fescue will never produce enough shade to kill out bermuda. Fescue is a bunch grass that grows individual plants from each seed. Bermuda is a sod forming plant that spreads both above and below the ground to form a dense carpet of grass. The only grass I've seen crowd out bermuda is St Augustine. That is because St Aug is a coarse bladed grass that also grows like a carpet. The coarse blades, especially when mowed high, provide enough shade to stomp out bermuda.

Your options are few. You could kill the entire yard with RoundUp being sure to spray the bermuda several times to get it all. Or you could transition to St Augustine and let Nature take Her course.

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