Hello all, lots of great discussions here and I'm learning a lot, just was hoping to post some pics and get some suggestions.
i recently bought a new construction house, with Bermuda that was laid in November 2015. I am located in Temple, TX about an hour north of Austin.
about two months ago it finally all grew together, but I am wondering how long it will take to get real full and deep green like all these beautiful lawns I see.
About a month ago I fertilized, and I am watering three times a week for 15 minutes per zone. The ground here is real hard.
Should I be watering more frequently, or cut down to once a week for longer to get that inch and get the water down deep?
Am i being impatient and it hasn't been developed long enough to start filling in and getting thick and deep green. It definitely is in the shady areas.
pictures attached. Any advice for this newbie would be appreciated.
Congrats on the new lawn! It's coming in pretty evenly, too. The roots are likely going to be shallow the first 2 years, especially on hard soil, so for this year try not to concentrate too much on the green top. A basic step aerator from Lowe's will help open up the base, but don't go nuts, just a few steps here & there where you need it--High spots, hard spots, etc. If I could start over, I would have sprayed monthly the first Year with baby shampoo, rooting hormone or compost tea, anything to encourage rooting because it has a direct effect on the top growth. Don't scalp it yet either, that starts after you have good solid roots across the whole yard. Be careful with mulch mowing too, the bacteria & worms are not able to break down the thatch for you yet, so it tends to build up the first 2 years & cause the turf to thin out instead of spreading horizontally. Good luck & come back often!
Here's what you can do to encourage bermuda. These are in order of importance.
Watering: Deep and infrequent is the mantra for watering. Thisis for all turf grass all over the place. Deep means 1 inch all at onetime. Put some cat food or tuna cans around the yard, and time how longit takes your sprinkler(s) to fill all the cans. Memorize that time.That will be the time you water from now on. My hose, sprinkler andwater pressure takes 8 full hours to fill the cans. Your time willlikely be less. I like gentle watering. As for watering frequency,that depends on the temperature. With temps in the 90s, deep water onceper week. With temps in the 80s, deep water once every 2 weeks. Withtemps in the 70s, deep water once every 3 weeks. With temps below 70,deep water once a month. Note that you have to keep up with quicklychanging temps in the spring and fall. This deep and infrequentschedule works in Phoenix and in Vermont, so it should work for you.The reason for deep and infrequent is to grow deeper, more droughtresistant roots and to allow the soil to dry completely at the surfacefor several days before watering again. If it rains, reset yourcalendar to account for the rainfall.
Mulch mow at the mower's lowest setting 2x per week. Relative to what reeljake said, I think the turf is mature enough to mow low now.
Fertilize monthly through the growing season with a high N (low to zero P and K) fertilizer. If you want to get your soil microbes going, fertilize with an organic fertilizer in addition to the monthly chemical ferts. I like alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow) and/or corn meal at 15-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
If you want to get a soil test, skip the TAMU test and get the $25 test from Logan Labs. Post your results here for a good analysis showing what to apply, why, when, how often, where to get the stuff.
You can soften your soil by applying any clear shampoo at a rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Try to stick a screwdriver into it and get a feel for how hard it is and how deep you can push. Do that when it is dry and when it is moist. Then 3 weeks after you sprayed the shampoo, do that screwdriver test again. If you're not happy, spray it again. Shampoo is the most effective way to soften the soil.
Is your soil surface perfectly level with no humps, bumps, or holes? If not you might want to level it this summer. We can help with that.
Caring for Bermuda Lawn
New Seashore paspallum sod lawn care
Bermuda Lawn Care FAQ
how to take care my new sod lawn?
Thanks all! I am going to try out the shampoo this weekend and will test out the watering time measurements as soon as its stopped raining for about a week. I'll keep this up to date as time progresses.
For the most part my grass is even, but there are a few low spots. I'll start reading up on the leveling for when the time comes, and request some more info.
For the monthly fertilizing throughout the growing season, when's about the time to stop that? When I moved to this area the grass wall all dormant already, and we didn't have much Bermuda that I noticed back where I was living.
Organics are a very good idea, get started on those as early as possible. I do not necessarily agree with the usual advice of 1pound per 1K sq feet monthly chemical nitrogen, especially on young Bermuda turf, as it is a recipe for thatch, shallow roots & very frequent mowing. Alfalfa pellets monthly like DC said are perfect & will pay benefits well into the future.
Stop fertilizing when you stop mowing or when the grass stops growing in the fall.
Organics always work. In fact you might try monthly alfalfa or soybean meal instead of monthly chemicals.
Hey guys, just an update. I did the baby shampoo and have been cutting the grass low and frequently. I also fertilized again and changed up my watering schedule to get the inch of water per the guidelines above.The grass is coming in nicely, but now it's getting to 100+ degrees outside on a daily basis, and I am wondering if I need to water it for quick bits in the evening or mid day to cool it down. I did start to get a couple light brown patches, and I believe I figured out one (it's been windy and the sprinklers aren't hitting that area in the wind) but was curious if I should be doing anything different with the watering since it's getting so hot out for so long during the day. I appreciate the comments. Thanks again.
No sir, the Bermuda doesn't need the extra water. If you have a brown spot, check for compaction or maybe it's a high spot taking a scalp. If it's dry, the Bermuda will turn blue instead of brown like most grass types.
We had some high spots with our Bermuda about two weeks ago that took some scalping. It didn't take but a week and everything was nice and an even green again :)