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Bermuda Lawn Questions

Our home has a Bermuda grass lawn.  Last year, we had a problem with weeds and dandilions.  I have two questions:


- Should we use a pre-emergent now, and, if so, what kind?  I asked at the local store, but they didn't seem to know the answer.

- Can we overseed with Bermuda seed?  If so, when?  I saw bagged Bermuda seed at the store and didn't realize that was an option (it was put in as sod years ago).


Thanks in advance.

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Posted 2011-02-19T17:16:05+0000  by Erin1410 Erin1410

Hello Erin1410,


Welcome to our community! Thank you for your question. My name is Christine and I'm a Home Depot associate in Atlanta.


One of our garden experts on the community, GreenGiant, did a post recently about pre-emergent. Check it out here.


As for overseeding Bermuda, it should be done in the fall. You can, however, fertilize your lawn after your first mowing.


Let us know if we can help with anything else,



Posted 2011-02-19T18:17:36+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Hey Erin1410.


This is greengiant. You asked the right person, for I also have Bermuda and I will tell you all you need to know.


You do need to put down a pre-emergent right now because you have to prevent weeds before you start killing them. Weed killer has no preventative capabilities and killing weeds today doesn't do anything for next weeks weeds. I would recommend using the Lesco 0-0-7 pre-emergent if you have an area over 10,000 square foot and the Vigoro or Scotts Halts if you have a small yard. With this warm weather I would water it into the ground immediately after putting it down and not wait for rain because weeds are coming up right now.


As far as overseeding your yard, let me recommend not overseeding and here is why. Is the Bermuda getting some shade, because if you want to overseed your Bermuda, then it must be getting thin which is only caused by shade from hardwood trees. If you have trees then Bermuda will always be thin in that area, for Bermuda grass has lousy shade tolerance and there is no substitute for sun. The Bermuda sod that you have is a hybrid Bermuda. What does that mean? It means that your Bermuda grass does not come in a seed and therefore any seed that you put on top of it will be an inferior type Bermuda. Bermuda seed is slow to establish anyways and thickening up what you already have will be much quicker. Since I don't know where you live I am going to tell you what I am telling people in your shoes to do in Atlanta right now.


Put down a pre-emergent and water in right now.


In about 1 to 2 months when your Bermuda is 50% green then you can Put down a weed and feed, if you have weeds or a premium lawn food if no weeds.


In our area soil is very acidic and compact, therefore it is recommended to core aerate your yard when it is green and actively growing.(mid-May) This will pull dirt plugs out of the ground softening the soil. By throwing down a pelletized lime immediately after aeration, the lime will get down in the holes and adjust the soils pH much quicker.(I would see what the soil type is like in your region before just throwing down lime)


If you want to take this yard one extra step further, to get it looking like a golf course then you can top dress it with 1/4 inch of sand immediately after core aeration. What this does for us in Georgia, where the ground is compact Georgia clay is, the sand will mix into the ground helping make the ground softer and more porous, thus causing the roots to go deeper making it healthier, more drought resistant, and less prone to disease.


This recipe will get your Bermuda back on track to looking thick and healthy. I have attached a few posts that I have done in the past that might also be informative.

Posted 2011-02-20T14:21:43+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL
Thanks GreenGiant. I'm in Atlanta, too (east Cobb). I'll grab some of the pre-emergent you recommended today, cut the grass short at the beginning of March (per your other post), fertilize when it's 50% green, and core aerate in May. As for overseeding, it's not for the main parts of the yard. The previous homeowners had a playground and trampoline in the back yard. Now that they're gone, there are two big holes in the back yard that are filling with dandelions and thistles (there's a field on the other side of our fence that they migrate from). Any ideas on how to fix those holes with matching grass? Thanks again.
Posted 2011-02-20T15:27:09+0000  by Erin1410

Hey Erin1410.


Your game plan sounds perfect. You probably shop at the Merchant Walk store then and they will be carrying sod this spring. If it is a small area then fill it in with some top soil and put some more Bermuda sod over it. If it is a large area then we can special order you sod by the pallet. You can overseed it if you would like, it is certainly more economical to seed, but requires patience. The best time to overseed Bermuda is late spring or early summer. Also get a starter fertilizer and put it down with the seed or sod. The grass seed will not match perfectly, but the sod would. The kids surely compacted the soil playing back there so aeration will do it a lot of good.


Thanks greengiant.

Posted 2011-02-20T16:05:02+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL

Hi Greengiant,


Great info in this thread.  I too live in Atlanta (Norcross) and have a Bermuda yard thas is in need of some help.   The grass is still pretty brown and I have a few fescue weeds along with some type of little flowery type of weed that popped up everywhere over the past few weeks.


I'm looking for a resource somewhere that tells me what I need to do throughout the year to maintain and keep my yard looking good.  I used to have a lawn maintenance service but couldn't justify the cost and wanted to handle on my own.  I purchased a spreader from HD but not sure what treatments I need now.   I see in the above thread you mention a pre-emergent in February (too late for that now?), once the grass is 50% green in march/april to apply either weed/feed or just premium feed and the in mid-may to aerate and apply lime (and maybe sand).


Can you help me better understand what steps I should be taking now and then what I will need to continue to do on a year round basis if I want to take care of the lawn on my own?  If this was in a previous thread I apologize for asking here but I was unable to find. 


FYI - I tried clicking on some of your links above but I was receiving page not found messages.


Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help you can provide.


Posted 2011-03-19T12:38:44+0000  by peheben
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