coreyls87
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Location: Jarrell, TX Zone: 8A

Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

Hi, new to the forums here. Also a new home owner so new to working in my own yard. Anyway i had new sod put in my backyard about 5 months ago. I got them to put in Discovery Bermuda. It is something my boss had put in too and his yard looks amazing so just had to have it. Anyway so far it looks like crap. I wasnt sure if it just takes awhile to get going or what the issue was. I showed him pictures and he wasnt sure either. So figured id post here to see if anyone could help. Im looking for any ideas how to get this bermuda to look good.

Its odd cause along the fence and close to the house the grass is plush and looks good. But all in the center areas it hasnt really even done anything for 5 months. Just a bunch of little weeds everywhere. I have fertilized it once about 1 month and a half ago with scotts fertilizer.

Like to add. I do have 2 dogs. They are small schnauzers and indoors majority of the time. I also have a sprinkler system installed in the back. I have been running it for about 36minutes each zone once a week. But after it not looking as good this past 3 weeks I have added a 2nd day. So its been getting about 70minutes of water a week in each zone. but nothing has changed yet in the looks.
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imafan26
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

A few questions first
1. What did you do to prepare the soil before it was planted?
2. What is your mowing height
3. This is a new lawn. How much are you fertilizing and watering?
4. Have you found any army worms or sod webworms in the lawn?
5. Where do you live. It is nice to have your location and updated in your profile?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

imafan26 wrote:A few questions first
1. What did you do to prepare the soil before it was planted?
2. What is your mowing height
3. This is a new lawn. How much are you fertilizing and watering?
4. Have you found any army worms or sod webworms in the lawn?
5. Where do you live. It is nice to have your location and updated in your profile?
1. I had a people install it for me. Think they put in 14 cubic yards of sandy loam/compost mix.

2. I don't know this exact number, but my mower has 4 settings, I have it on the 2nd highest. If I go one lower then in the actual nice looking thick areas get chopped too short and have a bit of yellow.

3. I followed their watering instructions at first which was, Five to seven minutes of watering, 5 to 6 times per day for the first 2 weeks. For week 3, I moved to once every other day at about 30 minutes each zone(4 zones). For week 4, I moved to Every 3rd day for 30 minutes each zone. Then I was told this, "After four weeks your new grass should be fully rooted and established. At this point you’ll want to reverse your watering routine from frequent short waterings to infrequent but deep waterings (every 7 to 10 days). Doing so will encourage your grass to develop a deep root system, thereby increasing its drought tolerance." So that is what ive been doing. I have my irrigation system to run 1 time a week for 36minutes per zone.

4. No I havent seen any worms at all. Only insect I have seen is ants. Which was just recently prob due to the rain.

5. I live in Jarrell, TX. Which is central texas zone 8A.

A guy I work with suggested to sprinkle some compost over those bad areas and he thinks it will help it. And the grass will grow up through it. I know nothing about this stuff so beats me what to do...

imafan26
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

According to the article. Bermuda grass will go dormant and yellow at the onset of cooler temperatures if average night temperatures drop belowe 50degrees it will discolor and start to go dormant? Could this be the problem?

Bermuda will also yellow and go semidormant if it does not get enough water, but should green up again with good watering.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/arch ... rmuda.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

coreyls87
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Location: Jarrell, TX Zone: 8A

Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

imafan26 wrote:According to the article. Bermuda grass will go dormant and yellow at the onset of cooler temperatures if average night temperatures drop belowe 50degrees it will discolor and start to go dormant? Could this be the problem?

Bermuda will also yellow and go semidormant if it does not get enough water, but should green up again with good watering.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/arch ... rmuda.html
That is def not the problem. Its texas it hasnt been below 50 since like late feb/early march. Grass wasnt put in until april. Watering schedule has been followed to a T. And its just odd to me that the outside edges or it are great but its the interior of it that looks bad. Almost like the sun is messing with it. Cause the grass along the side of the house/fence look good and they get some shade. So maybe that is what is doing it, the sun. But this stuff was supposed to be able to tolerate full sun. So I assumed that wasnt the reason.

imafan26
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

I don't know what kind of soil you have. I deep water my grass for a total of one hour a week to keep it green. I divide it into two waterings every three to four days in the dry season. In the rainy season, I may not have to water at all. I have an established St Augustine lawn. It is not as drought tolerant as Bermuda but competes better with nut sedge, army worms would prefer the Bermuda, and it is the most shade tolerant. It grows much faster than I like and I actually starve my grass on purpose.

You can tell if you are watering deep enough by using an aerator to get a column of soil. A screw driver or trowel can do the same thing but the trowel will leave a bigger hole, the screwdriver should easily be pushed through wet soil but will resist if it hits drier soil. When you examine the column you will be able to tell by looking and feeling it if the soil is moist and how far down the soil moisture is reaching.

If your grass is greener by the fence, the soil there is probably drying out more slowly there. Grass actually likes the sun so it should not be a problem.

If you are watering enough the soil should be moist at least 4-6 inches down.

Test the coverage of you sprinkler by setting the tuna cans out an see how long it takes for the sprinker to fill the cans with 1 inch of water. If this is not an in ground sprinkler, the coverage may be better in some spots than others. For the most part, all sprinkler systems have more even coverage with overlap.

The easy way to tell if your grass is getting enough water is to walk on it. the blades should be plump and spring back when you walk on it. If it crunches under your feet and especially if you see footprints in the grass (it lies down when you step on it and does not quickly spring back), it is not getting enough water. Water your lawn not by time, but by need. Hot windy and rain less days of summer will require more frequent or longer watering. During the cooler months and in the rainy season, you can water much less or not at all. Grass is one of the thirstiest plants on the planet.

https://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/ho ... n-6903.ece
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

I was watering the other day just to test the sprinkler heads like I do every month or so to be sure they are stiff hitting their spots. And anyway i noticed several puddles building up over these bad spots. So I got a screwdriver and tried to put in the ground in those spots and it was about half and half. Some times I would hit rock and other times the screwdriver would go all the way in. Ive done that before and guess when I did it last time all the spots I tried there was no rock. But this time I did it about 50 times and hit rock numerous times. So that brings me to my questions...

Is that why those spots are the way they are? Because they couldnt get a deep root system?
Would I have to pull the grass up in those spots and either get rid of the rock or lay more dirt down and put seed down? Or could I just put a sand/compost mix over the spots now and would the grass grow up through it? Also is it too late in the year to even mess with it at all? if so when should I do a fix for it?

Also to add, I added some ironite to it this past weekend. Thought maybe that could help some... But with rock being underneath, maybe not..

imafan26
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

Puddles over the bad spots points to low areas in the lawn and standing water can definitely lead to grass yellowing from the roots not getting enough air. For me having rocks in the soil is an advantage as it assists with drainage unless the rock below is impervious limestone. Have you done a drainage test before?

https://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/219.html

If the soil passes the drainage test, then you can gradually fill in the low spots and let the grass grow up .

If the soil has poor drainage then a French Drain should help the problem. You can also adjust your sprinkler times and heads. If you have adjustible heads you should be able to adjust the overlap pattern and the degree of the spread to put less water on the low spots.
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coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

No I havent ever done a drain test But i know when it rains hard. I have a nice river running through my backyard that flows down the side of my house into the street. So I assume the drainage is good.

Should I try the 50/50 mix now over those low spots, or wait til the spring?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

coreyls87 wrote:No I havent ever done a drain test But i know when it rains hard. I have a nice river running through my backyard that flows down the side of my house into the street. So I assume the drainage is good.

Should I try the 50/50 mix now over those low spots, or wait til the spring?
Nope, having a river running off is a sign of BAD soil drainage (unless of course you have had so much rain that all the soil is totally saturated). Other than extreme cases, your rain should just soak in if the soil is free draining. If you have heavy clay soil that doesn't drain (i.e. let water soak in) well, then it pools and runs off before it can soak in.
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coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

rainbowgardener wrote:
coreyls87 wrote:No I havent ever done a drain test But i know when it rains hard. I have a nice river running through my backyard that flows down the side of my house into the street. So I assume the drainage is good.

Should I try the 50/50 mix now over those low spots, or wait til the spring?
Nope, having a river running off is a sign of BAD soil drainage (unless of course you have had so much rain that all the soil is totally saturated). Other than extreme cases, your rain should just soak in if the soil is free draining. If you have heavy clay soil that doesn't drain (i.e. let water soak in) well, then it pools and runs off before it can soak in.
Yeah when I can see the mini river running in my yard is only when there is heavy rain all day long, which has happened maybe twice all year long. When it just rains normally you cant see any run off. But if it rains hard for a brief time you can see small puddles in those bad places.

As for my soil, I believe its this,
"Edwards Plateau Soils

The 22.7 million acres of the Edwards Plateau are in South Central Texas east of the Trans-Pecos and west of the Blackland Prairie. Uplands are nearly level to undulating except near large stream valleys, where the landscape is hilly with deep canyons and steep slopes. There are many cedar brakes in this area. Surface drainage is rapid.

Upland soils are mostly shallow, stony, or gravelly, dark alkaline clays and clay loams underlain by limestone. Lighter-colored soils are on steep sideslopes and deep, less-stony soils are in the valleys. Bottomland soils are mostly deep, dark-gray or brown, alkaline loams and clays.

Raising beef cattle is the main enterprise in this region, but it is also the center of Texas’ and the nation’s mohair and wool production. The area is a major deer habitat, and hunting leases produce income. Cropland is mostly in the valleys on the deeper soils and is used mainly for growing forage crops and hay. The major soil-management concerns are brush control, large stones, low fertility, excess lime, and limited soil moisture."

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

Just out of curiosity, why do you want all that lawn? Scrolling down through your pictures again, it looks very blank and empty. I'm sure we aren't seeing the whole yard, so I don't know what else you have elsewhere. But wouldn't you want a patio/ seating / eating area, a pond/ fountain/ water feature, a firepit/ barbeque, a veggie garden, an herb garden, some flowers, shrubbery with berries that birds like, some bird feeders, etc? (any or all of above that pleases you) Plus working parts of the yard, compost piles, tool shed....

You have a blank canvas, just waiting for your creativity! :)
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coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

rainbowgardener wrote:Just out of curiosity, why do you want all that lawn? Scrolling down through your pictures again, it looks very blank and empty. I'm sure we aren't seeing the whole yard, so I don't know what else you have elsewhere. But wouldn't you want a patio/ seating / eating area, a pond/ fountain/ water feature, a firepit/ barbeque, a veggie garden, an herb garden, some flowers, shrubbery with berries that birds like, some bird feeders, etc? (any or all of above that pleases you) Plus working parts of the yard, compost piles, tool shed....

You have a blank canvas, just waiting for your creativity! :)
Well in Picture one you see the dog kennel I made. Picture two, eventually prob put in a 20x30(give or take) playground for the kids(First kid not due til next march, so this project will be awhile). Picture 3, in the back corner I have a shed there now. And you cant see but to the right of picture one the yard wraps around and I have a 25x25 slab over there with an NBA replica basketball goal. So I have a small basketball court in my backyard. And once my son gets a bit older Ill have a pitching mound in my backyard going longways. Also I imagine my kid and friends will play football back there alot as I did as a kid. So yard is plenty long for that. And also to add where I am taking the pictures from is a covered patio already. I believe its about 9 feet by 22 feet. With a table on it and a gas grill.

coreyls87
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

Now that you mention stuff like that you got me thinking. Ill be pitching an idea to my wife tonight about extending out our patio and turn it into a screened in patio. Just no clue how much those cost.

alexmlane
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

coreyls87 wrote:Hi, new to the forums here. Also a new home owner so new to working in my own yard. Anyway i had new sod put in my backyard about 5 months ago. I got them to put in Discovery Bermuda. It is something my boss had put in too and his yard looks amazing so just had to have it. Anyway so far it looks like crap. I wasnt sure if it just takes awhile to get going or what the issue was. I showed him pictures and he wasnt sure either. So figured id post here to see if anyone could help. Im looking for any ideas how to get this bermuda to look good.

Its odd cause along the fence and close to the house the grass is plush and looks good. But all in the center areas it hasnt really even done anything for 5 months. Just a bunch of little weeds everywhere. I have fertilized it once about 1 month and a half ago with scotts fertilizer.

Like to add. I do have 2 dogs. They are small schnauzers and indoors majority of the time. I also have a sprinkler system installed in the back. I have been running it for about 36minutes each zone once a week. But after it not looking as good this past 3 weeks I have added a 2nd day. So its been getting about 70minutes of water a week in each zone. but nothing has changed yet in the looks.
Hi, I know this thread is many years old but I was hoping you maybe had an update you could share. I have the IDENTICAL situation as you. My Discovery was installed in late April, it has been fertilized, watered, soiled prepped and here we are early September and my sod looks like crap with the exceptions of the edge of my driveway and next to my house where it's thriving.

I know I bought this grass because it didn't grow much but I have only cut it twice in 4 months and honestly that was only to cut back some of the weeds that were there. Any help or guidance would greatly be appreciated. Thanks and hopefully your sod has now taken off!

imafan26
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Re: Please Help!? Bermuda lawn(discovery)

Discovery bermuda sounds like a great southern grass good shade tolerance, drought resistence, doesn't need a lot of mowing. Only problem, is I could only find information from a site that sold it.
Bermuda grass is beautiful and it is great for golf courses that have the staff to tend it.
It is nice and green and it is soft.
For lazy homeowner or one that hates to mow, weed, or deal with armyworms and pests. Also one that has heavy clay soil but does not really have drainage issues. Not much turf and it is planted on a slope so no puddling zoysia is a better choice. It also needs a reel mower to look its' best. But, back to bermuda

Soi prep is everything
Get a soil test. You can get a publication online and sent it to the nearest land grant college which is usually the cheapest lab. Home soil tests, are not that good. Often you really are testing the water and you don't get recommendations on what to do with it.
If you have sandy soil, great, if you have clay soil do a soil percolation test.
https://pss.uvm.edu/ag_testing/How_to_Ta ... Sample.pdf
https://www.treepeople.org/sites/defaul ... ainage.pdf

In either sandy or clay soil adding 6-8 inches of good quality compost +whatever fertilizer your soil test recommends., and till it into the same volume of soil. If your percolation test was not the best. Now is the time to put in the french drains and sprinkler system.

Grading is important. Make sure you grade away from the foundations and perimeter. Try to maintain a swale for proper surface drainage out of the yard. That way water will drain properly and not puddle and pool in the yard.

After you have taken care of the weeds, and no more come up, then put in your grass. If you want bermuda, that is fine. It is a good grass for southern locations, you just have to pay attention to its needs.
Water regularly and frequently until the grass is well established. Gradually back off. Instead of backing off to two days a week for x time. Decide how many days and how long you need to water by checking the soil. Water until the soil is evenly moist 4-6 inches deep. This is where a core aerator or auger can come in handy for testing. Later, they will come in handy when you have to dethatch, aerate, and topdress the lawn. The time it takes for the soil to get to that point is how long you have to water. Test from the third or fourth day to find out when the soil is almost dry. That is how long you wait between watering. The interval will change and you will have to water more often in summer and less in the rainy season. The cheat way to do it is to walk on the grass. If you step on the grass and it bounces back, it has enough water. If it leaves a footprint or the blades start to shrivel up it is time to water, if it is crispy, you waited too long and it won't look good. If you over water it will be mushy, the grass will be yellow and if you pull at it, the roots may be rotten.

If you graded right you should not have high and low spot in the lawn. If you are scalping you have a high spot, cut it down, if the grass is taller in areas or water pools, that is a low spot fill it. Mow the grass when it needs it. Do not mow more than 1/3 of the blade at a time. If you let the grass get to tall mow it every 5-7 days and adjust the height so you only remove 1/3 of the blade until you get to the desired height. 3/4 inch in cool season and 1.5 inches in summer.
The real reason I don't like bermuda, the bugs love it. If you don't want to do weed and feed, you will have to treat the lawn for pests which you have to identify to determine the best way to manage them. You have to know the life cycle of the pest to know when it will be the best time to control them and what to do to lesson the environmental impact.
This is why I love zoysia, if it is healthy, it can choke out weeds and it is a tough grass, not nice to walk on as it can be prickly but, bugs don't care for it either.
For myself, water is expensive. I have reduced the grass a lot and I don't water or feed it as much as I should, but it survives.

https://publications.tamu.edu/TURF_LANDS ... 0Lawns.pdf
https://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/p ... c1216.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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