Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Warm season member lawn journals
User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

Hello all. We are moving to our new house very soon, and finally we have a yard-- sort of.

What we have is about 800 sq ft sodded with dormant 419 in the front, and 1700 sq ft seeded ( :lol: )with annual rye in the back. Pics of the lawn, such as it is, are below and will serve as a reference point going forward.

The 2020 plan is as follows:
  1. January: Move in
  2. February: Fill gaps in sod with sand for leveling/moisture retention purposes
  3. February/March: Do a legit seeding of annual rye in the back as temporary Spring groundcover
  4. May: Kill annual rye and any weeds; seed the back with La Prima XD Bermuda
  5. Try to get as much root growth and seam fill-in as possible the rest of 2020 and wait til 2021 to think about leveling
Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice are more than welcome. I look forward to keeping up with this journal.

Image
Image

SC Grass Loon
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:25 pm
Location: South Carolina
Grass Type: Zorro Zoysia/Centipede
Lawn Size: 6500
Mower: Baroness LM56G, Rotary

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by SC Grass Loon »

If it were me and that sod was laid dormant and shows no root growth I would attempt to flatten the area in which it was laid now. In my opinion it is easier to do before the sod has taken root than after through top dressing. I think your idea of getting the edges of each piece to be more level or seamless is also good. I would also look at correct any potential drainage issues - you could route the gutter under ground to the sidewalk or street. Best of luck with the move.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

SC Grass Loon wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:39 pm
If it were me and that sod was laid dormant and shows no root growth I would attempt to flatten the area in which it was laid now. In my opinion it is easier to do before the sod has taken root than after through top dressing. I think your idea of getting the edges of each piece to be more level or seamless is also good. I would also look at correct any potential drainage issues - you could route the gutter under ground to the sidewalk or street. Best of luck with the move.
Good point! It's been so warm it wouldn't surprise me if there is a little root growth going on now, but I will try to correct any major problems before it roots once we are moved in and it dries out a little from the torrential rains we have seen lately.

Thanks for the feedback and the well wishes. Fingers crossed we don't run into any major problems!

User avatar
Dangerlawn
TLF Supporter
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Amarillo TX
Grass Type: Bermuda - La Prima
Lawn Size: 6,000 sq ft
Mower: Toro Greensmaster 1000

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Dangerlawn »

Looking forward to seeing your results. I seeded La Prima XD in my backyard last spring, and it did pretty dang good. It spreads and grows really fast. If you have dogs, it should fill it pretty easily from any damage they do. My only suggestion would be to buy more seed than you expect to use because more than likely you'll want to throw down more seed.

For a lawn that size, you could totally get by with a push reel mower.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

Dangerlawn wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:11 pm
Looking forward to seeing your results. I seeded La Prima XD in my backyard last spring, and it did pretty dang good. It spreads and grows really fast. If you have dogs, it should fill it pretty easily from any damage they do. My only suggestion would be to buy more seed than you expect to use because more than likely you'll want to throw down more seed.

For a lawn that size, you could totally get by with a push reel mower.
Thanks for the tip re: seed. Do you mind sharing where you got yours? I still have to buy it and the annual rye.

Also, I totally plan to use a push reel-- a 7-blade Earthwise, most likely. Most of the lawns around us will be even smaller than ours but I can almost guarantee I'll be the only one using a manual push reel.

User avatar
Teej
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: SoCal
Grass Type: Common Bermuda
Lawn Size: 3000 sq. ft.
Mower: California Trimmer

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Teej »

Just a heads up that the 7-blade Earthwise will start floating on your bermuda pretty quick. It's a great manual reel, but I found myself almost completely leaning on it to make sure I was getting proper cuts. Upgrading to a powered reel for this season.

User avatar
Dangerlawn
TLF Supporter
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Amarillo TX
Grass Type: Bermuda - La Prima
Lawn Size: 6,000 sq ft
Mower: Toro Greensmaster 1000

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Dangerlawn »

Bermuda_Rooster wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:01 pm
Dangerlawn wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:11 pm
Looking forward to seeing your results. I seeded La Prima XD in my backyard last spring, and it did pretty dang good. It spreads and grows really fast. If you have dogs, it should fill it pretty easily from any damage they do. My only suggestion would be to buy more seed than you expect to use because more than likely you'll want to throw down more seed.

For a lawn that size, you could totally get by with a push reel mower.
Thanks for the tip re: seed. Do you mind sharing where you got yours? I still have to buy it and the annual rye.

Also, I totally plan to use a push reel-- a 7-blade Earthwise, most likely. Most of the lawns around us will be even smaller than ours but I can almost guarantee I'll be the only one using a manual push reel.
I got mine here:

https://hancockseed.com/products/laprim ... grass-seed

User avatar
Dangerlawn
TLF Supporter
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Amarillo TX
Grass Type: Bermuda - La Prima
Lawn Size: 6,000 sq ft
Mower: Toro Greensmaster 1000

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Dangerlawn »

Teej wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Just a heads up that the 7-blade Earthwise will start floating on your bermuda pretty quick. It's a great manual reel, but I found myself almost completely leaning on it to make sure I was getting proper cuts. Upgrading to a powered reel for this season.
Yeah I had the same issue. It only mowed well if I was at an inch. Anything lower and it had a lot of washboarding and would sort of get stuck cutting grass.

I upgraded to powered reel this week and it's amazing! But I still plan to use the manual reel from time to time.. and in places where I don't want to cut super low.

Don't let any of this scare you off of buying one though. You can get a good cut from these. Just do it often.
Last edited by Dangerlawn on Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

Dangerlawn wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:00 pm
I got mine here:

https://hancockseed.com/products/laprim ... grass-seed
Thanks! That's where I first inquired, so I'll stick with them.
Teej wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:51 pm
Just a heads up that the 7-blade Earthwise will start floating on your bermuda pretty quick. It's a great manual reel, but I found myself almost completely leaning on it to make sure I was getting proper cuts. Upgrading to a powered reel for this season.
Dangerlawn wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:02 pm
Yeah I had the same issue. It only mowed well if I was at an inch. Anything lower and it had a lot of washboarding and would sort of get stuck cutting grass.

I upgraded to powered reel this week and it's amazing! But I still plan to use the manual reel from time to time.. and in places where I don't want to cut super low.

Don't let any of this scare you off of buying one though. You can get a good cut from these. Just do it often.
Thanks for the info. I don't plan on going below 1" anyway. If I did want to occasionally go lower, is there another manual reel that would perform better at lower cuts? I don't have the desire to shell out for a powered reel. My lawn budget is pretty low.

User avatar
Dangerlawn
TLF Supporter
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Amarillo TX
Grass Type: Bermuda - La Prima
Lawn Size: 6,000 sq ft
Mower: Toro Greensmaster 1000

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Dangerlawn »

All my research pointed to the earthwise 7 blade being the best option for a manual reel on Bermuda grass. The fiskars is also really nice but the extra blades are supposed to really help on Bermuda. I’ve also seen some people use this same 7 blade mower to get down to a half inch with no problems, so your mileage may vary. I think it depends on the thickness of your lawn and variety of Bermuda. I don’t know if any other push reel that performs better low. A lot of the different brands are actually made by the same company with different logos.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

Dangerlawn wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:09 am
All my research pointed to the earthwise 7 blade being the best option for a manual reel on Bermuda grass.
Cool. We'll see how it goes. The first test will likely be annual rye later this Spring, so I have no idea how it will work on that.

User avatar
Teej
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:04 pm
Location: SoCal
Grass Type: Common Bermuda
Lawn Size: 3000 sq. ft.
Mower: California Trimmer

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Teej »

Dangerlawn wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:09 am
All my research pointed to the earthwise 7 blade being the best option for a manual reel on Bermuda grass. The fiskars is also really nice but the extra blades are supposed to really help on Bermuda. I’ve also seen some people use this same 7 blade mower to get down to a half inch with no problems, so your mileage may vary. I think it depends on the thickness of your lawn and variety of Bermuda. I don’t know if any other push reel that performs better low. A lot of the different brands are actually made by the same company with different logos.
@Bermuda_Rooster, I took my lawn down to about .5" yesterday with no problems from my Earthwise. Mind you the grass is not growing. I don't know if this would have been possible during the growing season. As far as push reels go, I've read good things about the McLane push reels as well because they are heavier units.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

With the beautiful weather yesterday I couldn't stand not doing something in the yard. So I went out and bought a few bags of play sand to get started filling in the seams in the front yard sod. It was laid 2.5 weeks ago and has gotten even more bumpy in that time. I'm sure I'll need to wait til 2021 to do any kind of real leveling, but it's really bad. I'll need maybe another 100-150 lbs to finish the seams, and that's probably all I can really do in the front for awhile. I had two neighbors stop by and ask me what I was doing and whether they should do that, too.

I was going to follow @SC Grass Loon's suggestion and try to even out the worst areas underneath the sod, but it seems to have already rooted! We've had some mild weather in the last 7-10 days, and apparently it's been warm enough for root activity. I'll take this as a good sign and not complain about the bumpiness.

The mild weather has also triggered some germination from the annual rye that the builder tossed in the back, despite soil temps hovering in the mid 40s. I have a lot of construction debris to remove before I try to smooth things out back there and plant more rye.

It's February 3rd, and I'm already in full lawn mode.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

We had 4.79" of rain the first 9 days of February, and the average historic total for the month is 4.84. We have another 4-6" projected to fall in the next two days, so we're looking at a doubling of the normal total, all in the first 11 days of the month. We had some serious puddling and water flow (away from the house, thankfully) after the first round, and it's probably going to be worse the next two days. If we get through this with no water intrusion and only minor washout of soil in the back, I will call that a win.

The annual rye that was thrown out in the back by the builder started to germinate in the last week or so, and from the pattern you can see where the seed was protected and where it was washed out. After the soil dries out enough to walk on (next weekend, maybe later) I will seed a little more annual rye in the bare spots and hope that we don't get any more torrential rains before it germinates. If I can fill in some of the low spots before that, all the better . . . but emphasis has to be on erosion control for now.

The worst of the joints in the front have been sanded, and we only lost a little sand from all the rain. So I think we've got a good start on smoothing out the 419 sod, though it's still pretty rough. When I was working on finishing the sanding last night, it was like walking on a wet sponge. :?

Next update I will post some pictures, but I wanted to get this rain update down to remind myself what a challenge the first few weeks of this "lawn" have been.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

Yesterday I did some work trying to smooth out low spots in an area that drains to a ditch in the back of the yard, and now I've seeded annual rye, topdressed, and started watering. I also added wood pellets and cracked corn to get a jump start on improving soil conditions, though that of course will be a very long project.

The pics below give a decent idea of where things are starting. The builder threw down annual rye in mid January, and with mild weather and rain some of it has germinated . . . but much of it washed away. So I'm starting, a little at a time, to fix what has washed out and try to get more or less full coverage in the yard sometime in March.

Pics 1 and 2: you can see the sporadic splotches of green where the builder's seed didn't wash away and started coming up.
Pic 3: Some perspective on the soil I'm starting with. This is everywhere.
Pic 4: These are just a few of the objects I've removed from the yard. Not pictured: metal straps, plastic straps, nails, screws, plastic bags, insulation, drywall. And there's still more out there.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Bermuda_Rooster on Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

McDiddles
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:23 pm
Location: NE Georgia
Grass Type: Zeon Zoysia
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by McDiddles »

In north Ga and we deal with a lot of bermuda sod laid dormant. You've got the right idea. Builders/lanscapers do a terrible job prepping and laying sod nowadays. The seems will fill in pretty quickly once it starts growing in late spring. Stay on top of watering, fertilizing, and keeping the weeds down in the first year. Worry about leveling later on. Curious to see how the bremuda seed comes out. I've never seen much success with seeding bermuda in clay. We always recommend sodding. Congrats on the new home!

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

McDiddles wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:48 am
In north Ga and we deal with a lot of bermuda sod laid dormant. You've got the right idea. Builders/lanscapers do a terrible job prepping and laying sod nowadays. The seems will fill in pretty quickly once it starts growing in late spring. Stay on top of watering, fertilizing, and keeping the weeds down in the first year. Worry about leveling later on. Curious to see how the bremuda seed comes out. I've never seen much success with seeding bermuda in clay. We always recommend sodding. Congrats on the new home!
Thanks! When do you typically see bermuda greening up in Gwinnett County?

I'm crossing my fingers that my experience seeding cool-season grass is helpful with seeding bermuda. I have a method that worked very well for me before but bermuda seed may be a whole other ballgame.

McDiddles
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:23 pm
Location: NE Georgia
Grass Type: Zeon Zoysia
Lawn Size: 2500sqft
Mower: McLane

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by McDiddles »

Bermuda_Rooster wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:14 pm
McDiddles wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:48 am
In north Ga and we deal with a lot of bermuda sod laid dormant. You've got the right idea. Builders/lanscapers do a terrible job prepping and laying sod nowadays. The seems will fill in pretty quickly once it starts growing in late spring. Stay on top of watering, fertilizing, and keeping the weeds down in the first year. Worry about leveling later on. Curious to see how the bremuda seed comes out. I've never seen much success with seeding bermuda in clay. We always recommend sodding. Congrats on the new home!
Thanks! When do you typically see bermuda greening up in Gwinnett County?

I'm crossing my fingers that my experience seeding cool-season grass is helpful with seeding bermuda. I have a method that worked very well for me before but bermuda seed may be a whole other ballgame.
Green up depends on soil and air temperatures, and daylight hours. We usually start to see some green by late March, early April. Full transition doesn't finish until Mayish. Depending on the weather of course. I'd guess you're probably a week or two behind us.

User avatar
Topic Author
Bermuda_Rooster
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:42 pm
Location: 7b (SE TN)
Grass Type: front:419 / back: Royal TXD
Lawn Size: 2500 sq ft
Mower: Earthwise 7-Blade Push Reel

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Bermuda_Rooster »

McDiddles wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:23 pm
Green up depends on soil and air temperatures, and daylight hours. We usually start to see some green by late March, early April. Full transition doesn't finish until Mayish. Depending on the weather of course. I'd guess you're probably a week or two behind us.
I've been thinking mid May, so it sounds like that's reasonable. I'll probably seed the back at around the same time.

User avatar
Two9tene
Posts: 986
Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 7:52 pm
Location: Elgin, Oklahoma
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 4,516 sq ft
Mower: GreensMaster 1000 (Mdl. 04052)

Re: Bermuda_Rooster's New Lawn, 2020 Journal

Post by Two9tene »

Following!
"One of the great challenges in life, is knowing enough to think you’re right, but not enough to know you’re wrong" - Neil Degrasse Tyson :roll:
2018-2019 Journal

Image

Post Reply