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How To Overseed Existing Bermuda grass

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Adding Grass To Existing Bermuda Turf

Many golf and sports turf managers as well as home owners and sports field managers are faced with drastic reductions in survival and re-establishment of their permanent bermuda bases, after winter ryegrass overseeding. Turfgrass managers in the southern United States generally plan and budget each year to add additional bermuda grass seed or sprigs to their turf grass project, especially in areas that have become worn or thinned out due to overseeding stress. This is considered regular maintenance to keep bermuda populations high and to assist the dormant bermuda grass with faster recovery from winter dormancy and ryegrass overseeding. Cool season turfgrass managers, using species such as bluegrass as a permanent base, overseed each year for the same reasons.

The turf-type seeded Bermuda grasses are perfectly suited for this maintenance practice, especially if your sports field or golf course has an existing base of "common" or another seeded bermuda grass. The turf-type bermuda grasses currently available will blend well, and improve the overall appearance and performance of any seeded bermuda base that has become thin due to excessive wear, or winter overseeding decline. Innovative southern turf managers have been using these turf-type bermuda grasses as an annual "spring overseed" the last few years with tremendous success.

In some cases, projects with a base of hybrid bermuda will also benefit from an annual interseeding or overseeding with one of the newer, higher quality seeded bermuda grass varieties or blends. If your hybrid or vegetative bermuda grass turf has thinned out, from wear and tear or from ryegrass overseeding damage, then consider interseeding with turf-type seeded bermuda grass. Texture and density on the more recently released seeded bermuda grasses can be quite similar to some of the medium and medium-fine textured hybrids.

READ ABOUT OVERSEEDING TIFWAY 419 BERMUDA.

Benefits Of Overseeding - Planting Seeds In Existing Bermuda Lawns

  • INCREASED BERMUDA POPULATION
    The new seedlings will establish and contribute to a higher quality mature turf appearance with increased density
  • IMPROVED SUMMER TRANSITION
    Correct interseeding practices will reduce ryegrass competition and increase soil temperature for faster Bermudagrass recovery
  • REDUCED WEED INFESTATIONS
    A more completely covered soil surface will reduce weed seed germination and establishment in summer months
  • IMPROVED STRESS TOLERANCE
    Seeded turf-type Bermudas are generally more salt, heat, drought and insect tolerant than some popular vegetative varieties

How & When To Overseed Bermuda Grass

In mid-spring, as soil temperatures approach 60° F, mowing height should be reduced to half for the winter overseeded ryegrass. This will slow the ryegrass growth to reduce competition with the new bermuda seedlings, and will also open the canopy to allow more sunlight on the soil surface for improved seed germination. Some turf managers have also had success with applications of growth regulators on the ryegrass to further slow the growth, and improve establishment of the bermuda grass seedlings - apply the growth regulator to the ryegrass 1-2 weeks before seeding the bermuda grass.

Core aeration or spiking to open up the seedbed, or the use of a slicer seeder to apply the certified bermuda seed, has been very successful. Aerating or spiking in two directions, and then broadcasting the bermuda grass seed uniformly has worked well, with the seedlings establishing in the openings and spreading from there to blend with the existing bermuda sod. Using a slicer seeder to open the thatch and soil surface and planting the seed in the shallow slicer furrows has also worked well to establish new bermuda seedlings in existing sod.

Plant 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of turf-type bermuda seed per 1,000 square feet. Plant the seed shallow (less than 1/4 inch) for best results. Soil temperature must be over 65 ° F for bermudagrass seed to germinate and establish. Spring/early summer rains or regular, light irrigation applications for the first 2 to 3 weeks are essential for best results.

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Above information provided courtesy of Seed Research.

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