ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

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Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

We just moved in to this house in September 2020. This is the first time owning a home with a yard. I hadn't mowed a lawn since I was doing chores as a kid.

We kept on the weekly landscape crew from the prior owners to keep things trimmed up until I could focus my attention on the yard and collect some tools. That lasted about 2 months until I was ready to take on the yard.

I noticed a couple problems from day one. The yard was always wet and soft and boggy in the shady patches.. We have 8 sprinkler zones serving the property from both front and rear yards and planters. Within the first week I noticed the all 8 zones were running for 10 minutes each every day. The whole property was being overwatered. The house had been vacant for months, so I have no idea how long this had been happening. I turned off the automatic timer and ran them manually as needed until I could get the sprinklers sorted. This revealed that almost every zone either had a at least one broken pipe or busted head and was flooding different areas of the yard. This explained the over saturation of the yard.

So here we are three months in, and I think I have all the sprinklers repaired. Spent a bunch of time clearing out other yard debris and overgrowth and I am started to focus my attention on the rear lawn as my new project.

I am fairly confident the grass is common bermuda, but it had been neglected, overwatered, and full of weeds. If I am wrong, please someone tell me.

So this is what I have done so far.
  • Dethatched
  • Plug aerated
  • Mowed down to 2"
  • Spread sand in the boggy areas to help with drainage
  • Sprayed Weed b Gone to attack the weeds
  • Spread an organic lawn fertilizer to give the bermuda a boost
The pictures look better than in person, and I am only like 80% sure its bermuda. Still trying to learn...
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This is the north side of the property and gets much more shade.
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This one area I call the mud pit. It is still recovering from the overwatering and I got to find a way to improve drainage here. I can't figure out if it is just poor drainage, or if I have another broken sprinkler pipe. Its a 16sqft area that remains shaded almost all day.
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I have couple trouble spots. After the recent work I did, it is starting to fill back in. It was muddy and bare along the wall, shaded by the fruit trees.
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So what do you think? Any advice?
Last edited by ShadowGuy on Mon May 17, 2021 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

Reserved for front yard
Last edited by ShadowGuy on Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

Scalped on 1/31 down to 1.25" and hit it with 1lb of N. Planning on keeping it at 1.5", Its been 3days and its really starting to grow. After much reading, I am discovering all the varieties of weeds I have. The three largest infestation are, nutsedge, poa annua, crabgrass. I am still haven't figured out a pre-emergent and post emergent herbicide plan yet. We have fruit tees along the far wall that I want to keep edible, so I need to figure something out. For now, I have been doing hand pulling.

I am also picked up a couple rain gauges and I have been working on dialing in my irrigation to target 1" per week. Not quit there yet, I may need to adjust and replace some sprinkler heads to get the proper coverage.

I was able to improve my drainage problem in the mud pit. I plug aerated and added a few bags of sand. It is still the wetter part of the yard, but not as much pooling and standing water as before. The whole yard will need to be leveled, but I need to get the lawn healthier, before taking that on.

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This kids got a swingset and sanbox, so the bermuda is getting much more traffic over here.

Image
Last edited by ShadowGuy on Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

8 days after scalp. Mowing at 1.5"

Image

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Last edited by ShadowGuy on Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

20 days past scalp.

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

Keeping it honest, it looks worse from where I started, but its been a bit of a renovation and mistakes were made. Thats how we learn, right?

So here is another twist in the story. I was right before when I said the lawn was mostly weeds. I just didn't know which weed.

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I just about wiped out my lawn which I thought was mostly crabgrass. I was a little frustrated as it was coming back strong and so I posted up here to confirm what I thought was a type crabgrass was indeed crabgrass.

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Nope Kikuyu, and actually a desirable grass here in Socal and that explains why the Quinclorac burn up most of my lawn. So I have accepted the fact that my lawn will be a bermuda/kikuyu blend, something I am calling Kikmuda,

My goal is to take the Kikmuda low, so I aquired a McLane 20" Reel and took it down to 7/8" to maintain at 1". I may go lower if I can get it heathly this summer after I attempted to kill it. Maybe it will forgive me.

There are patches of PRG and Dallisgrass that has mostly lost the battle to the Kikmuda at 1". At 1" it pops up over the kikmuda where it easily pulls out and the Kikmuda fills in. I have been mostly hand weeding and slowing working my way across the yard. I have some fairly large bare areas that were super low and heavily nutsedge and boggy. I have been working those areas with sand and topsoil to level and sprayed out the nutsedge that poked through with glyphosate. The kikmuda is finally started to fill in those spots. Beyond that is a poa annua green I am keeping at 1", that will be temporary until I can get the Kikmuda to keep spreading. May do some plugging later on.

Here it is 7 weeks from where I attempted to murder my Kikuyu. Both the bermuda and kikyu are coming back strong. Hitting it with some balanced fertilizer, water and praying for some warmer days, then got a fungal infection and just treated that last week. It doing better now, but not quite cured.

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It is faintly striping with the Mclane. I was practicing some double wides. Hoping it in another 7 weeks it will be thick.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

It’s getting thick. Took it down to 7/8”.


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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

Another week, and now less scalping with the DIY front roller.

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

Post Iron and AS spray and keeping HOC at 7/8.

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

User avatar
CenlaLowell
TLF Supporter
Posts: 2725
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:14 pm
Location: Central Louisiana
Grass Type: Raleigh St Augustine/Bermuda
Lawn Size: 30,800sqft
Mower: Badboy ZT Elite 48w/ odoc

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by CenlaLowell »

ShadowGuy wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 11:20 pm
It’s getting thick. Took it down to 7/8”.


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Is that st Augustine at 7/8?
Killing two birds with one stone is the name of the game. :bandit:

Cenlalowell Lawn Journal

Cenlalowell Bermuda kill off trial

DIY irrigation plan

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal

Post by ShadowGuy »

CenlaLowell wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 6:48 pm
ShadowGuy wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 11:20 pm
It’s getting thick. Took it down to 7/8”.


Image


Image
Is that st Augustine at 7/8?

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No that’s is mostly Kikuyu, especially the closeup.

My St Augustine Is in the front yard at about 2”.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

Image

I always post pics from this angle because it captures most of the yard and it tends to look best, minimizing the trouble spots far off in the distance and directly underfoot.

I have had some fairly large bare areas that were a result of heavily weed infested and poor health Kikuyu. Kikuyu with roots so shallow that chunks would pull out like lifting a rug. I recently got a pro plugger and after some experimenting I found that the Kikuyu takes well to being plugged. I use Scott's Lawn Soil with fertilizer and it the grass seems to love it. I top dress the newly plugged areas and the donor areas and keep it wet a few times a day.


Image


Image
In this photo the Kikuyu is most of the frame and I have common bermuda in the upper right. I am noticing that the bermuda is faster to cover the bare areas, but is eventually taken over by the Kikuyu.

I will post some after photos after these hopefully fill in over the next month or so.
Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

The kikuyu was getting a little spongy at 7/8” so I wanted to drop the cut and reset my HOC.

Dropped it to 5/8”, I was surprised by the lack of scalping, so I pushed it a little more and went down to 3/8. First time going this low on my McLane with my DIY roller.


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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

Back at 5/8. Not sure if I will keep it this low. Maybe let it go back to 7/8. I am scalping in a few bumpy areas around my bare spots at 5/8.

The weather is warming up, and my regular localized fert, water and top dressing application is helping lateral growth of my plugs in the bare areas.

Image

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

It’s only been 4 days since my last update, but the warm weather has speeded things up.

Bare spots almost filled in.

Image

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

So it has been about 6 months since I got serious about my lawn. Here is a before and after. Still a work in progress, but I am happy with the progress. There is still plenty of time this season.


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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

Topic Author
ShadowGuy
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:00 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Grass Type: Kikmuda & St. Kikuyu
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane 20" Reel & M140 Rotary
Contact:

Re: ShadowGuy's Lawn Journal - Kikuyu, Bermuda, St Augustine.

Post by ShadowGuy »

I wanted to share this as Kikuyu is rather rare on this forum. Every morning, the Kikuyu sprouts these seed heads. They last until about noon, from when the wind, or foot traffic knock them down and they disappear. It is an excellent way for me to see the percentage of Kikuyu vs bermuda in my lawn. Kikuyu is taking over the bermuda.

My guess is that this is a stress response to being mowed at 5/8. My other yard has Kikuyu and St. Augustine at 3"+ and had one showing a month or so ago, and has not done anything since.

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Embracing the Kikuyu blend in Socal.

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