Thinning bermuda grass - Knowledgebase Question

Denton, Te
Question by heywhachano
February 19, 2011
I have a very nice and plush bermuda lawn in Denton, Texas (north of Dallas). As small oak trees on the property have been growing, the grass around & under the trees is getting really thin, with patches of the soil showing through now. What can I do to fill in these areas? I've looked at filling in with fescue grass, but will they grow alright together?


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Answer from NGA
February 19, 2011

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There are two problems with growing grass under trees. The first is shade but an equal problem is the dry soil. Tree roots will compete with the lawn for moisture and nutrients and since tree roots are larger and more numerous than grass roots, the turfgrass will suffer. There are two cultivars of bermuda that are exceptionally shade tolerant: 'Celebration' and 'TifGrand'. I'd vote for sowing seeds or laying sod of either of these burmudas rather than introducing fescue. Although the combination of fescue and bermuda will be attractive you'll run into problems with fertilization and weed control since each grass has different tolerances for different products. Because of this you'll have to feed and use separate weed products on each type of turf. I'd stick with the bermuda if at all possible.

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