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joeyboy 03-07-2008 02:54 PM

Swapping grass varieties... opinions?
I just bought a house in florida last summer, and began the lawn (uhh, weed bed technically) with a heavy roundup session, then some soil amendments, and then got my bermuda grass up and going.

Unfortunately, I didn't have as much success as I would have liked. I got the lawn to stay "ok", but it didn't have nearly the spread I wanted it to, and the bare spots drive me nuts :furious: .

The time to get the summer grasses is coming up soon (the bermuda grass goes dormant over winter, I overseeded with annual rye grass, which should be dying quasi-soon), and I'm really thinking of st augustine grass. Unfortunately, I've read that once the bermuda is established, it's extremely hard to get rid of - I'd hate to have 2 varieties competing and looking terrible, if that makes sense.

Thoughts on this? Maybe just do the augustine swap and then use a weed and feed, which should kill the bermuda grass (if my thinking's right on the pesticides used..)? Everything I read makes it seem like that bermuda grass, it just spreads like crazy - I didn't observe this at all, I had to *constantly* re-seed areas all over the lawn, and was doing proper fertilizers (starter fertilizers following instructions to the letter), and religious double-daily waterings - but it never spread that I could see, and in fact always grew bare spots that would need reseeding!!!

Robert131 03-07-2008 04:36 PM

Bermuda loves to spread when you abuse it a little, so I'd recommend a vertical cutting, or even a regular aeration once the bermuda starts actively growing. The nature of bermuda would allow you to "plant" the sprigs from the cutting or aeration into your bare spots to speed up fill in. I'd do one of these two things once a month over the summer to encourage more spread.

joeyboy 03-09-2008 02:32 PM

heh, I didn't get any of that - aerating, is that when you poke in the soil? Never heard of vertical cuts..

When you say plant the sprigs, are those intact enough in my mower bag? Or is it more for bigger chunks like plugs?

DepotDweller 03-09-2008 02:48 PM

I don't know about northern Florida, but down here in Broward County, it's all St. Augustine. You can't even get sod any other type I don't think. Aerate? not down here buddy boy, we've got sand and coral rock less than a foot below.

joeyboy 03-11-2008 07:54 PM

whoa coral rock a foot below!?! I want!!! How do I find this!! I'm not in northearnFL, I think broward's close(r) to me, I'm in pasco county /gulfcoast/ right beside the beach. My lawn's pure sand a couple inches down, but I've never seen any coral rock!!! I thought that was mostly/only down in the keys?

Robert131 03-11-2008 08:06 PM

Yes, Aeration is where you poke all those holes in the ground and pull out small plugs, that can be basically transplanted to bare spots to help fill them in. A Verticutter slices through the grass. You may pull up a few sprigs (more material than your mower picks up). Those can be planted in a bare spot where the soil is prepared.

Either machine can be rented at most rental places for decent prices, if you get right to it you'll be done with the machine in 2 hours. Don't forget to mark your sprinkler heads or you will break them.

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