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Lawn & Garden


Bermuda lawn care

I'm moving into a new house with an existing and very healthy Bermuda lawn (not sure which type) and would like to not kill it!  Any basics you can provide in terms of fertilizing, mowing frequency, etc.?  Also, I've read in a few places that it's better to use a reel mower.  Is that true?   If so, should I get one that has a bag attached, and does HD sell one you'd recommend?  

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Posted 2012-06-29T17:37:34+0000  by thedougie thedougie

Hello thedougie,


Welcome to our site!:smileylol:

A lot depends on where you live, here is the So. Cal area I have to water 45 minutes one time a week to make my lawn healthy, in areas with regular rainfall you can water less, but I would use a rain gauge to make sure that you were getting at least that amount of water in your lawn on a weekly basis. I tell many people who water 5 minutes every day it is just not enough for a healthy lawn. Most bags of fertilizer will tell you how often to use them on the back of the bag. A well-watered lawn will do fine following those directions.

Scotts Turf Builder.jpgBayer Weed Killer&Crabgrass control.jpg


There are many weed killers that are safe to use in a Bermuda lawn, spot treat while they are small, and with your continued attention your lawn will be green and lush.

I, too, have heard that a reel mower is best, but I use a rotary mower and am happy with the resulting look. For best results I would make sure to mow at least one time a week for a good-looking lawn.

If you get a rotary mower, I would use a  self-mulching blade to help get the most fertilizer value out of it , and all Honda mowers now have a double blade system that gets the mulch smaller.

honda 21 inch variable speed self-propelled mower.jpg


Hope this helps,


Best Answer

Posted 2012-06-29T18:42:01+0000  by Gail_HD_OC



I have St Augustine grass. It is beautiful and chokes out the weeds when taken care of. One big problem with this grass is it is easily damaged by chinch bugs. It is important to spray a pesticide to eliminate the little monsters. They can wipe out a lawn quick. It looks like massive brown spots when they infect an area. Here is an article on them and the effects they have on St Augustine;

We continually had a problem and realized the gardner was using the same lawn mower on all his lawns. He was bringing them to our home every week! Good luck.


Regards, Tim

Posted 2012-07-02T02:06:25+0000  by timitzer

The reason a reel mower is used for grasses like bermuda is that they are cut very low, usually around an inch or so in height. Their cutting action is also better suited to those types of grasses. It cuts like a pair of scissors. The standard rotary blade mowers whirl the blade around so fast that its action "cuts" the grass. If you look closely at the blade of grass just cut, you'll see its actually torn or ripped. A reel mower can also be used when the grass is wet, as it won't clog like a traditional rotary mower.


As for collecting clippings, there is typically a bin, not a bag, on the front of the mower if you have a powered unit. Most push type reel mowers have the collection behind.

This is a picture of a Jacobsen reel mower, similar to the one I used as a kid to mow our bermuda and zoysia yard. Keep in mind, because you're cutting a bit more often, the clippings are much finer. Because of the small size, they decompose quickly, returning nutrients to the grass.


Depending on your point of view, there are a couple of disadvantages to reel mowers. First, the most common ones are powered by YOU. No engine. Very green, but more work. Second, powered reel mowers are expensive, typically in the $1200 range new. You can find them used much cheaper at lawn mower repair shops and commercial dealers/repair facilities.


Run by your local golf course early in the morning and you'll see reel mowers in action. Bermuda is one of the common grasses found on a golf course.

Posted 2012-07-14T00:14:58+0000  by Paul
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