Plant life: Now is the time to plant Bermuda grass - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Plant life: Now is the time to plant Bermuda grass

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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2007 11:37 am | Updated: 7:13 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q: We are ready to install a new lawn at our new home. Would you recommend a hybrid or common Bermuda?

Q: We are ready to install a new lawn at our new home. Would you recommend a hybrid or common Bermuda?

A: Hybrid Bermuda doesn’t have viable seed, so it is usually rolled out like a carpet. It definitely makes a sudden impact, but is more expensive than seeding. Though there are several hybrid varieties to choose from, the easiest to care for in a home lawn is BOB Sod (Bullseye Bermuda) or EZ Turf (Midiron). They can be mowed with a rotary mower. But if you want your lawn to look like a professional sports lawn, you will need to buy a real mower -- which cuts the grass blades like scissors instead of tearing them off. Hybrid Bermuda lawn needs more maintenance than seeded Bermuda lawns to look great.

Instead of common Bermuda, plant the new, improved, seeded types. There are more than 30 new seeded varieties. Each has some strengths and weaknesses so several varieties are blended. You can get a blend at the big-box stores or irrigation specialty houses. The improved Bermudas are more drought-tolerant and quicker to recover from wear and tear. Water the new seed about four or five times a day for about three minutes. If the seed dries, it dies.

If you have considered installing a Bermuda lawn, now is the perfect time to do it. If you are considering killing a Bermuda grass, now is the perfect time to do that, too. Roundup is the herbicide of choice. Just be sure to add a spreader sticker or surfactant to the Roundup so the herbicide will stay on the leaf surface.

For maintenance, water every three days for about 30 to 40 minutes. Apply fertilizer for a rich green carpet. Your may use ammonium sulfate 21-0-0, urea 45-0-0 or a complete lawn food. The fertilizer release from each is different. Some are quicker-acting than others, and the potency is different. So read and follow label instructions or ask your nursery. Ironite is a good supplement for strong roots and deep green color.

The best thing you can do to rejuvenate a lawn is rent and use a core aerator, fertilize and water deeply.

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