The Q&A Archives: Bermuda Grass

Question: I live in Louisville, part of my yard has Bermuda grass, I want to kill my whole yard, but I share yards with a neighbor, do we both have to kill the grass? What is the best time of the year? What is the best grass to reseed in my area? How long after I have kill the old grass do I have to wait to reseed and are there any other procedures I need to know? Thank you.

Answer: If your lawn is beyond minor repairs or is simply not what you want it to be, you may want to replace it. Total renovation is the process of killing-off any existing grass and weeds in your lawn and starting over. The following steps below will help you in renovating your lawn:

Know when to renovate. Since total renovation involves replanting your grass, you should do so only when it is the best time to plant your new grass. Most warm-season grasses are planted in the late-spring and most cool-season grasses are planted in the early fall.

Kill your existing lawn and weeds. The best way kill-off your lawn and weeds is through the use of a broad-spectrum herbicide such as Roundup or glyphosate. Simply find a non-windy day, mix your concentrated herbicide with water, and spray with a pump sprayer over your lawn. Make sure if you have any trees, plants, and flowers that they are not sprayed with the herbicide otherwise you may end up planting more then just grass when your done. Make sure to read the directions on the herbicide label. Depending on the application, you may want to repeat the spraying a few times over a few days to make sure you have killed everything. Most herbicides will take a few weeks to fully work so make sure you plan accordingly.

Aerate, Dethatch, and remove the old grass and weeds. Once your grass and weeds are dead, it's time to remove them and start over. First you will need to dethatch your lawn to loosen-up the soil, and remove the old grass and weeds. Next you will need to aerate the soil to help loosen it up and better prepare it for planting and watering. Finally, you will need to rake away all the excess grass, weeds, plugs, and debris that is on the lawn surface. Once completed, smooth-out the surface with rake and remove and chunks, rocks, or excess debris that remain.

Planting your new lawn: Now that your soil is ready, it is time apply your seeds/sod, fertilizer, and plant your new lawn.

Grasses commonly found in your area are Bermuda, Tall Fescue, Zoysia, Ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass. Since you're tearing out bermuda you probably want fescue, ryegrass or Kentucky Bluegrass.

It isn't necessary for your neighbor to do anything to his lawn. To keep his grass from creeping over to your lawn - or vice versa - you can construct a barrier along the property line. The easiest to install and maintain is a concrete strip six inches deep and 3-4 inches wide. Or you can lay bricks along the property line, buried about 3 inches.

Best wishes with your project!

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