tracyballard
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: Amarillo TX

Fighting a losing battle with weeds in Buffalo/Bermuda grass

grass types: Buffalo and Bermuda with some fine fescue in the shade.

weed types: tons of spotted and prostrate spurge, dandelions, clover (maybe 2 different types at least) bitter lettuce, crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass and a few goatheads that I pull whenever I see them, plus 2 other weeds I haven't been able to identify, both have puffy white seedheads like dandelions. One has a thick blugreen stalk with a single seedhead and milky sap, the other grows from a taproot and sends out 8 or 10 of the seedheads in a radial pattern like crabgrass.


I moved into this house about 4 summers ago, and have been fighting a losing battle with weeds ever since. I have tried spraying, laying down weed killer, pulling them by the bagful, planting more bermuda seeds to try to crowd them out, and I'm not having much success. Right now, the spurge is exploding all over the place, even in thick patches of bermuda and buffalo grass. This is a pretty large front lawn, about 35 feet by 70 feet, and there are patches of nice lawn and other areas with lots of weeds. There are also large patches of grassy weeds in the lawn such as the goosegrass, and when I raked up the thatch on my island on the other side of the sidewalk to reseed bermuda, tons and tons of spurge and also lots of goosegrass sprung up immediately. I've had to pick bags full of spurge on 3 different days to try give the bermuda seedlings room to grow and there's no way to get rid of all of it. I'm at a loss at the moment.

This year I got a new mower with a bag and started bagging my clippings, as well as letting the grass grow long and cutting it about every 2 weeks down to 3 inches, but things seem worse right now than they ever were as far as weed invasion. I just put down my first pre-emergent (Avert) last october and I put down some stuff that the local greenhouse recommended in April (I forget what it was?!?!?, I'm a dummy.) and I've been picking weeds all spring and summer. What else can I do? I'm thinking of starting to spray with Weed B Gone every month or so, my local greenhouse has recommended that I go with Image. any thoughts?

I like plants
Senior Member
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 8:59 pm
Location: Canada

You might want to talk about this with your local garden centre. They can probably recommend you some good weed killer stuff.

Having weeds is normal. What you are doing by cutting it and removing the weeds is fine. Just make sure to pull out the weeds completely with a little shovel to not have any roots left in the ground so that they grow back.
I like plants

tracyballard
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: Amarillo TX

the problem with the local garder store is if you call a different one you get a different answer, and if you talk to different persons at the same store you usually get different answers. Like the Image they recommended when I just called yesterday. The guy said it would kill everything but my Bermuda and Buffalo grass, but that's not really what I find out about it when I research on the internet.

I'm wondering if my lawn has just become too infested with weed seeds and needs to be sterilized, or if I can eventually win this battle somehow.

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

You kill a lot of good soil biology when you use toxic chemicals, most importantly the fungal side. Grass likes a nearly balanced fungal to bacterial ratio, while weeds like bacterially dominated soils...

So when you kill fungi in your lawn you are favoring weeds. Chemical fertilizers kill fungi, pesticides kill fungi, and compaction kills it; it is the first biology to bite the dust in a compacted soil...

I would core aerate this fall, spreading compost immediately following that (same day). Then I would slit seed some grass that will actually get tall enough to shade weeds (I think Tall Turf Type Fescues would be perfect; low water and fertility needs). And I would cut at four inches not three (but you sure are on the right track there...)

The compost will add fertility and fungal strains to your soil, only bag your weediest times (like dandelion season) and return the clippings with a mulching mower. Adding natural fertility like fish hydrolysate would help everyone; so would overseeding with dutch clover (I do that in March as it germinates early and wet). That would add more nitrogen, favoring grass and choking out other weeds...

HG
Scott Reil

tracyballard
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: Amarillo TX

so for right now, I basically need to just pick these weeds by hand??

any watering tips? I try to water the established lawn with an all day soaking every 10 days to 2 weeks, unless it rains, but when I have bare dirt and bermuda seedlings I try to keep the ground damp until the grass it tall enough to mow. too much water?



core aeration - tines or the kind that pulls up plugs? should I just walk around with spiked shoes or hire someone or rent something?

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rainbowgardener
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Here's suggestion HG made previously about aeration:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=143631&highlight=core+aerate#143631
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

The Helpful Gardener
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Thank you RBG; I couldn't have said it better myself... :? :?:

:wink:

HG
Scott Reil

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