Wednesday, March 30, 2011

6 Simple Steps to Having Less Weeds in your Bermuda Grass Lawn

  The following is applicable if your lawn is Bermuda grass and your climate gets cold enough in the winter that your green grass turns brown (dormant).  Zoysia grass and Centipede lawns are similar too.
  Let's just make this simple.  I could write a book, and spend two years teaching you all about the different types of broad leaf weeds, invasive grasses, etc.  But you nor anyone else would read it... and they certainly wouldn't want to pay attention to all the minutia.

Overview:  There are always less weeds if the lawn is healthy.  The watering and fertilizing you did last summer will allow for less weeds this spring.  Quite simply, the best weed preventer is a healthy lawn.

Step 1:  Get good equipment.  You need a good sprayer - a backpack sprayer is best.  It might hold 4 gallons, I recommend starting out by filling it half full until you get used to the weight.  You need a good rotary spreader.  (commonly called 'Broadcast Spreader')  Do yourself a favor and don't go to the Walls Martz - find a good nursery or maybe a farm and garden store. 

Step 2:  Early spring.  Pay attention to it getting warmer outside and your lawns initial "greening up".   Don't panic if you see a lot more weeds this time of year.  It is normal - the climate has gotten warm enough for weeds, but not quite time for the Bermuda grass to green up yet.  This is a good time to spray a lawn weed killer and fertilize. The lawn weed killer can be purchased at almost any Home and Garden store and should have the herbicide '2-4-D' in it.  Fertilize lightly with something like 16-4-8 at about 5 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft.

Step 3:  6 weeks later.  Fertilize with higher nitrogen,  (The first number, don't worry about the last two)  something like 29 - x - x.

Step 4:  Water a lot, but not often.  Irrigation systems might run for an hour per zone, but not more than 2 times per week.  Water during the growing season and water in the early morning.... NOT in the evenings.

Step 5:  Mow low and mow often.  Don't bag the grass.

Step 6:  This winter - prepare for next spring.    Ask your nurseryman for a fall feeding and pre-emergence herbicide.  Preventing weeds is way easier than killing them.


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