BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

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Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

I purchased a house in Georgia in December of 2017 from a lady who used a string trimmer to cut the grass. She had bushes, flowers, and trees all over the lawn, nearly pushing down the fence row and vines growing up the sides of the house into the soffits. I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I bargained to reduce the purchase price because I knew no one wanted to buy into the mess of a yard this lady had so graciously cultivated.

In 2018, I spent most of a year just clipping branches, pulling weeds and finding buried bricks (most often with my mower). I attempted to merely maintain the disaster so as not to imply that I was the neighborhood degenerate. In November 2018, after spending $600 in plumber visits to snake roots out of my waste pipes, one of my neighbors actually helped me cut down the tree in my front yard.

In 2019, I started clearing away the brush, pruning bushes, and pulling out any plants that weren’t rooted around my irrigation system. Around August, I used Compare-N-Save 42% glyphosate in 2 applications to kill all the weeds and centipede grass. That same month, I rented a large stump grinder to grind down about 20 medium to large stumps throughout the yard. Additionally, my wife and I picked up 3-4 ton of rocks, bricks and old fertilizer bags that were buried in the lawn.

In September, I rented a Toro Dingo, along with a soil cultivator and a harley rake, to completely flatten the entire yard. Not sure how it happened, I ended up with less dirt than I started with and realized I would will now need to top dress and level. After essentially tilling everything, I created a makeshift drag mat out of an old wire dog crate I had. I then rolled the soil and used a landscape rake to knock down the ridges and high spots. I did a soil test and it was worse than I thought. There was absolutely no nutrients in the soil and it was quite acidic.

I knew I wanted to get something established before winter but was quickly running out of time, so I ordered 10lbs of Blackjack Bermuda seed from Seed Ranch. I put down 3 bags of Milorganite and 2 bags of Stagreen starter or something similar. I sowed only about 6-7lbs of the Blackjack in fear that I would lose it all to the cold. In retrospect, I should have bought more and sowed it all. But that’s a mistake I will only make once. I replaced all my sprinkler heads and began watering 3 times a day. Germination was great and I had a nice thin lawn in about 3 weeks.

Fast forward to late January 2020, I put down Anderson Barricade but it was too late. I had a ton of oxalis/clover already. It appeared that the crabgrass, plantain, and dandelions were already rooted as well. So in February, I sprayed 2-4D (a little too heavily) which unfortunately killed off most of my front lawn but seemed to be just right for the side. I’m not really sure what happened in the back, it’s almost as if I killed all the Bermuda and encouraged the weeds. In March, I started mowing as low as my rotary would go (1.25”). I’ve mowed almost twice a week since then.

In early April, I purchased another 25lbs of Blackjack from Seed Ranch. I was a little upset when the box came and I pulled out a bag of Maya. I had never heard of Maya Bermuda, but it had a certification label on it and when I did a quick search, I found that others were saying it’s the Blackjack 2.0. I really like Blackjack, so I thought “Wow, this should be some really good stuff and it sales for a higher price.” So, I aerated heavily and scattered about 15lbs of this Maya seed. It’s been about a month and a half and I’m having problems. Like someone else on here said, it’s growing vertically but NOT laterally, at all. I’m more than a little disappointed after spending almost $200 on what looks like something less desirable than common Bermuda. What I’m seeing, if it’s even Maya, has small thick blades, big stems, and it’s the opposite of dense. I can easily see dirt. I’m almost wondering it’s not torpedograss. I’m not an expert as this is my first Bermuda lawn, but at 15lbs overseeded on 8000sf, I’d expect NOT to see the ground.

I’ve been spraying Doc’s Superjuice about 3 times every 2 months since March. I put down 2 bags of lime because I didn’t know what was going on with the lawn. It seemed to help, but I haven’t done a soil test since last year. I’m probably going to get some high nitrogen fertilizer this weekend and spread that. One of the members here is helping me out with a Trucut reel mower. Other than that, I’m just watching it to see what happens. I will probably do a soil test here in the next few days to get a better idea of nutritional needs. Any advice would be very helpful. I’m not opposed to overseeding again, however I was going to wait until I top dress and level to seed again.

Apparently in Georgia, gutters aren’t included in the building code. So, I need to get gutters installed before I put down the sandy topsoil or the rain will just wash it away.

I could really use some help with increasing the density of the grass. I’m naturally impatient, but my first round with blackjack has set my expectations and the Maya is a poor performer in comparison. Maybe my opinion will change over time, yet if I could do it all over again I’d stay far away from it.

Next Steps:
-Mow Lower
-Order Celsius WG and Certainty

October 2017

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Some Google images

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Fall 2018, right before my neighbor helped me cut the tree down on the right.

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The stump

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April 2019

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May 2019

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July

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August

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Cleaned and gravel added to sprinkler valve box

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September 2019

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October 2019

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After I sprayed 2-4D, April 2020

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May 2020, after overseeding with Maya

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Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

Last mow before the TruCut. I bought some Celsius WG today and a Field King backpack sprayer.

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User avatar
JRS 9572
TLF Supporter
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun May 27, 2018 7:28 pm
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
Grass Type: TifGrand
Lawn Size: 8000
Mower: McLean 20" Reel

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by JRS 9572 »

I really can't suggest any more than what you're doing. Just keep going. Impressive the amount of work you've put in so far. Hang in there!
"That yard is how he works out stress and frustration. What it costs to maintain the yard is a lot cheaper than therapy with a shrink." My wife

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

@JRS 9572 Thanks! Your tifgrand looks great! I wish I could have afforded sod. lol I was hoping the maya was going to be a little darker green, maybe some iron would help. I didn't think about it at the time, but in hindsight I probably would have gone with arden15. I'll keep watching your journal to see how the PGR works out. I'd like to experiment with that in the future.

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

First reel mow! I scalped it pretty good, but that was the intention. I'm hoping to set my HOC at around 1/2in - 3/4in. If it doesnt rain all day I'll be spraying celsius tomorrow.

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cbagz
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 9:41 am
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 2000sqft
Mower: rotary

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by cbagz »

Looking good from where you started.

Remember it is a marathon not a sprint. You can always go back and overseed with more Maya if you need to later on down the road to fill in the spots you are concerned with. Or maybe add plugs.

Im in the same boat as you with the Maya but i just started my adventure with anything grass related earlier this year.

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

I've been in such a hurry lately to attain results from my lawn that I'm not even sure I can accomplish with seeded bermuda. I've had so many thoughts lately about what direction I'd like to go in the immediate future. So, I made a list below with the question and thought I have for the best course of action to achieve the best results.

-Maya has a lot of trouble growing laterally and I could force it by mowing low and often. Or, i could let the grass grow until seed heads emerge and allow it to overseed itself and everything to grow in. Then, readjusting my HOC over time back to 3/4in.

- Overseed with a superior grass seed like Yukon, P77/Arden15, Riviera, or even Royal Bengal. I fear this will destroy the appearance in the long run due to lack of uniformity.

- I've read so many bad things about Maya, sometimes I feel like cutting my losses early, killing it all, doing my leveling, and planting a truly superior proven seed.

- (Rhetorical) What guy at the NTEP fudged the numbers to depict that Maya is in any way comparable to P77, Arden15, and Yukon!?

- Does anyone have an impressive seeded lawn? I'd love to see one because I'm losing hope.

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

I'm blown away by the results from Celsius. In one application I got rid of 95% of the weeds. I still need to mitigate the sedge problem. I found I was also watering the lawn too often. It has really taken off since I cut it down to only a few times a week.

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MasterMech
TLF Supporter
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:49 pm
Location: Greenville SC
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 20,000sq ft
Mower: JD LT180 48C/ Jacobsen GK526a
Contact:

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by MasterMech »

If you are a patient man, except when you have to wait, then check this out. I have major nut sedge issues that were not resolved with Certainty last season. Taking a little different approach this season.

Dismiss NXT applied @ .250 fl oz / 1M, video was shot 36 hours after application. I have never seen a faster response.


Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

@MasterMech It's funny you say that! I called SiteOne yesterday and the guy said most of the companies in my area are having better results with dismiss in recent years than sedgehammer. I originally called to ask about outrider, but they dont stock it. Certainty is just so expensive, I couldn't bring myself to buying it. I think I will give the Dismiss a try. Thank you for the helpful tip!

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

I had to pull out the rotary since the reel mower is down. It doesn't look too bad, but I hated it the whole time.
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Benwag
TLF Supporter
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 11:46 am
Location: Atlanta Georgia
Grass Type: Tiftuf Bermuda
Lawn Size: 1.75 acres
Mower: JD 220a

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by Benwag »

Still looks really good with the rotary, great deep color

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

Picked up a bottle of Dismiss NXT today for SiteOne. I plan to mix that with another round of light celsius to take care of the rest of the weeds here and there... hoping between the herbicides and the new reel mower, this will take my lawn to the next level. Gutters are being installed in a few weeks, then lots of sandy topsoil. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I know once the leveling and overseeding is done I can't do much more than just be patient and watch it grow.

Mtsdream
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 2:09 pm
Location: Southwest missouri
Grass Type: Primarily k31 until reno
Lawn Size: 8000
Mower: 21" troy built

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by Mtsdream »

Nice write up, looks a ton better. I also bought a house from an older couple that put literally everything everywhere, finally getting closer to what I want.

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

Benwag wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:46 pm
Still looks really good with the rotary, great deep color
@Benwag Thanks, I was impressed with it myself. I guess between the Sta-green 29-0-5 and Superjuice, it finally found some nitrogen and iron.

Topic Author
BermudaBen
TLF Supporter
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 am
Location: Middle Georgia
Grass Type: BlackJack/Maya Bermuda
Lawn Size: 8000 sqft
Mower: Trucut C25, JD 220A

Re: BermudaBen - Centipede to Blackjack/Maya

Post by BermudaBen »

First JD reel mow this morning, double cut. The grass was wet, so I had some clumping here and there. I'm itching to get the front beds done and start leveling the lawn. The gutters can't come fast enough.

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