Bermudagrass novice

Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Paspalum, etc
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Posts: 7
Joined: April 9th, 2020, 1:13 pm
Location: Dacula, Georgia
Grass Type: Bermudagrass
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Experienced

Bermudagrass novice

Post by rraymond1130 » September 23rd, 2020, 2:22 pm

Relocated from NJ to Ga. Miss my Tall Fescue KBG lawn. Ok got a bermuda lawn.. Follow some youtube video's on how to care for lawn. I have a Toro Timemaster mower. Lowest I can cut with my mower without scalping is 2". I had let the lawn grow to 3" this summer because of the heat and no irrigation system. About 2 weeks ago I brought the height in the backyard down to 2" from 3" in 2 mowings. Applied some fertilizer and looks like the lawn is greening up slightly but the growth seems stunted. I left the front lawn at 3" but looks like its browning every time I cut it. In July it was beautiful now its hard on the eyes. So question, Should I leave the front at 3" until it goes dormant? Judging by the backyard I'm thinking yes... Will try a manual reel mower next year to see if it makes a difference.... Boy do I miss my Jersey lawn. Even did a reno on it following the directions of this site....

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Posts: 3199
Joined: December 17th, 2008, 1:53 am
Location: Bandera, Texas
Grass Type: St Augustine
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Advanced

Re: Bermudagrass novice

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » October 22nd, 2020, 1:16 pm

Hope you're still watching for replies here. I have a couple questions.
You can use a manual reel mower, but scalping will continue. When you say it is scalping under 2 inches, is the entire yard scalping or is it just in a few spots? If it is just in a few spots, then you need to level the surface to stop the scalping. Search this forum for several posts about leveling. Basically it involves fertilizing and watering, scalping as low as possible, filling low spots with sand, and sit back in amazement. There's more in the details, and it is a multi-man-day job, but the results are well worth it.
If the entire lawn scalps evenly, then try mowing all the way down to the lowest deck height. Mow 3x per week to keep it low. What happens is that the bermuda will switch from growing vertically to growing horizontally. All those vertical stems become abandoned by the plant, because you keep mowing the green off, but the stems that were growing horizontally continue to put on green growth. At this point in the year it's probably not worth it to try to make this switch.
Some (many??) of the YouTube lawn experts are mostly experts in their own mind. The YouTube format does not encourage critical thinking or discourse about the methods, materials, and approaches. To me it seems like they are highly product sales driven especially when they include affiliate links to Amazon to buy the products they talk about. There are people on this forum who have been very successful growing bermuda using only alfalfa pellets as fertilizer and little else in the way of chemicals. You have probably figured out that bermuda likes all the nitrogen fertilizer it can get, and monthly feedings are not unheard of.
If you are new to bermuda, please do not be tempted to overseed it with rye to maintain a green lawn all winter. The biggest problem with that is the ryegrass likes being tall, and the tall grass in the winter provides too much shade over the bermuda. Awakening of the bermuda in the spring is delayed and can be delayed to a point where it does not fully return at all for the season. One of my neighbors had that experience.
Otherwise, mulch mow it low on a weekly basis when it is growing slowly and 2x or 3x per week when it is growing fast.

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