The irrigation interval will vary from site to site depending on the environmental conditions at that site and soil type. The general rule to turfgrass irrigation is to water “deeply and infrequently”. Localized dry spots or hot spots can be watered by hand as needed. For more information on turfgrass watering, see HGIC 1225, Conservative Turfgrass Irrigation.
Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control existing winter grassy and broadleaf weeds. In general, do not apply post-emergent herbicides during the spring green up of the turf. If a weed problem begins and the grass has begun to green with warmer temperatures, wait until the grass has fully greened before applying a post-emergent herbicide. In the meantime, mow and bag the weeds. Bermudagrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, not only during spring green up, but during hot summer temperatures. Follow label directions for use of any herbicide and use with caution during these times. For more information on weed control, please see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm-Season Lawns.
During periods of environmental stress due to high temperatures or a lack of rainfall, raise the mowing height until the stress is eliminated. Always mow with a sharp mower blade using a mulching type mower, which leaves the clippings to decompose on the turf. The mower blade needs to be sharpened on a regular basis – usually about once a month or at least before the growing season starts. If the bag is picking up soil, especially sand, when the lawn is mowed, then the blade may need to be sharpened more often than once a month.
September through December
Aerification: Core aeration is the process of punching small holes in the turf and into the soil to alleviate compaction, thus allowing air to get to the root system. This will help to correct problems associated with poor infiltration and drainage. Once the threat for frost has passed, lawn aerification may be combined with dethatching to alleviate any soil compaction problems.
Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. The mower setting should be around 1 inch high. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. This should be done just before the time of lawn green-up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. If possible, use a mower with a bagger to collect the clippings and remove any dead material left from winter dormancy. Alternatively, the lawn can be hand raked to remove the excessive dead leaf material from the lawn surface.
Bermudagrass lawns should receive 2 to 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per growing season per 1000 square feet of turf. The higher rate may be used on bermudagrass lawn grown on sandy soils, and the lower rate for lawns grown on clay soils. An application of a soluble iron product will enhance the green color without creating excessive growth.
Mid-summer: Depending on the soil type, fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in June or July using a fertilizer that is also high in potassium, such as a 15-0-15. The need for phosphorus is determined by the soil test.
LATE SPRING AND SUMMER: Apply pre emergence weed control without fertilizer around June 1 to control annual and perennial weeds that continue to germinate into the summer. If your lawn is mostly weed free and weeds do not usually blow in from surround areas, you can skip this application. Use a product approved for use on Bermuda grass and apply at the rate recommended on the bag. Remember not to aerate for 3 months after you apply pre emergence weed control because it may affect the chemical barrier. Irrigate after applying unless otherwise stated on the bag.
There are two ways to control weeds in a lawn: as the weed seeds germinate and after the weeds have already germinated. When using weed control products, always make sure the product is approved for use on Bermuda grass and follow the labeled directions. Do not apply more than the recommended rate; it will not give you better results and may injure your lawn.
Another group of post emergence weed controls are the non selective sprays such as Round-Up. The term non-selective means they will kill all vegetation including Bermuda grass. The trick is that non selective weed sprays are absorbed through plant leaves. During the winter months when your Bermuda grass is brown, you can carefully spray green weed without affecting dormant Bermuda grass. WATCH OUT! Be very cautious and make sure that your lawn’s leaves and stolons have not emerged during a winter warm spell. Even then, spray only the weed and expect some Bermuda grass in the vicinity to be killed as well.
Types of weed control for Bermuda Grass
TIP: Neighboring lawns, woods and adjacent untended areas product enormous numbers of weed seeds that blow into your lawn. If possible, mow or "weed-eat" them to prevent seed formation.
Weeds enter a lawn for one reason: your lawn is not growing well. In fact, two of the most common reasons for weeds in a Bermuda grass lawn are drought and shade. It is not that drought and shade increase the number of weeds or weed seeds trying to creep into your turn. Instead drought and shade cause Bermuda grass to thin, thus offering weed seeds an open space to germinate and grow. Your trouble may be different. Compacted soil, cold damage, insect/disease damage, flooding, steep slopes (causing dry soil), lack of fertilizer, and irregular pH can cause Bermuda grass to thin. The underlying point is that a thick, well grown stand of Bermuda grass is the first step toward "closing the door" and stopping weeds. Even then, most of us will have to employ various weed control measures to keep our lawns weed free.
Under normal conditions, a thick, lush Bermuda grass lawn will remain weed free with two application of granular pre emergence weed control (late winter and early fall) and spot treatments of problem weeds with a post emergence weed control spray in mid winter and early summer. Here are two options when trying to renovate a very weedy lawn or if you live near a major source of weeds like an old pasture.
LATE WINTER: Apply a pre emergence weed control when the soil temperature reaches a consistent 50 degrees. This is usually February or early March, when the Forsythia is in bloom. This application will control annual weeds and perennial weeds that germinate in the spring. Make sure the product is approved for use on Bermuda grass and apply at the recommended rate. Do not aerate (core) for 3 months after you apply pre emergence weed control because it will affect the chemical barrier. Irrigate after applying useless otherwise state on the bag. Do not use a pre emergence weed control that contains fertilizer. If you fertilize now, you might stimulate your law to break dormancy during a warm spell, only to be damaged by freezing temperatures.
Read on to learn about common bermuda grass weeds, non-chemical control methods, preventative solutions and treatment strategies.
If you are able to identify the weed you are seeing at home, you can make a more informed choice of which products to use by reading their labels. Be sure to read the product labels thoroughly so that you know if the chemical can be applied to your lawn without damaging the grass. Follow the product label’s instructions upon application. For more information, read Identifying Common Lawn Weeds . It is important to know that there are a few cultural, non-chemical control methods for weed control you can use as well.
Common Weeds in Bermuda Grass Lawns
This doesn’t mean weeds will never appear in your bermuda grass lawn. Some common weeds that tend to make an appearance in bermuda grass are common chickweed, dandelion or yellow nutgrass. Having the ability to know which types of weeds are growing will tell you a lot about your soil. It will also give you the chance to come up with a treatment strategy for the specific kinds of weeds you’re seeing.
Pre-emergents should typically be applied in the spring as temperatures start to warm up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and in the fall when soil temperatures are below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping. Take a look at a few of the recommended pre-emergents below.
In comparison to pre-emergent herbicides, post-emergent weed control formulas are useful when a weed problem has already occurred and you need to get it under control. There are many different kinds of post-emergents depending on the kind of weeds you want to kill and the variety of bermuda grass you need to protect. It should be noted that you shouldn’t use Tenacity or Fusilade II on bermuda grass lawns as they are labeled to control invading bermuda grass and can damage your lawn.