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Site Preparation For Planting Bermuda Grass Seed

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Preparing a site to plant grass seeds should be done in a quasi scientific manner involving the step by step procedures listed below. While each and every particular planting has its various differences... We have found that the best procedure is to follow as many of the steps below to achieve getting your seed to sprout and grow from a little seedling to an adult grass.

Read more about The Establishment of Bermuda Grass from Seed.
Specific instructions on Planting Bermuda Seed.

Things To Consider Before Site Preparation

STEP 1-Make sure that Bermudagrass is suited for the usage, area location, weather and soil type that you have. Also make sure before you plant that it is the type of grass you want. See our www.lawngrasses.com web site for help in determining and selecting the best grass for your particular lawn. Remember that seeding takes time to establish a lawn and perhaps some areas might be more suitable sodded?

STEP 2- Measure and lay out your site - record the square feet lawn area that you have. Different lawn grasses handle different aspects of your site in unique ways. What may be a suitable site for some grasses is not for others. Allow for other types of shrubs and ground covers for use in the areas that are not suitable or where shade is present. Keep in mind that Bermudagrass is an aggressive invader of non-lawn areas.

STEP 3- Pull soil samples and have a qualified laboratory test your soil for nutrients and deficiencies. Then you will be able to fertilize correctly and make other soil adjustments as needed. Check the pH of your soil and adjust if needed. You can apply the adjustments before tilling so as to incorporate them uniformly. Starter fertilizers are best applied after tilling but before dragging / raking the soil areas level. You can also apply the fertilizers immediately after planting your seeded Bermuda grass lawn area.

Preparing The Ground For Bermuda Grass Seed Or Sod

STEP 4- You next step is to prepare your site for your seed. We are going to assume that you will be "killing" off your existing grass and/or weeds. If you need to overseed see the section on 1-2-3 EasySeed.

STEP 5- There are two methods you can use to "kill" off your current lawn. One would be to go the organic route and the other is to use chemicals. You want to ensure that the existing grasses and weeds will not stay around to compete with your newly seeded lawn plants.

One method is to just tiller (roto-till) the existing weeds and grasses without killing the plants with chemicals. It will work with repeated tilling which is recommended even if you do use chemicals like Roundup. Additional bermuda grass or any type of organic grass removal techniques may be found here http://www.sunset.com/garden/earth-friendly/how-to-remove-bermuda-grass-00400000052080/.

The least desirable method is to use chemicals due to new studies that show herbicides and other chemicals to not be as effective as claimed. Also these chemicals are harmful to the soil, animals, humans and the general environment. This not recommended method is to spray the lawn with a "Roundup" type product before you roto-till. (Follow label directions regarding waiting time for planting seed after using chemicals). This has been found to be ineffective since most of the herbicides do not kill the roots of the plants or dormant weed seed but rather just the leaves or foliage.

STEP 6- Most likely you will need to tiller the lawn at least two times -- yes even if you use chemicals -- so as to incorporate the soil and old plant material uniformly. A good method is to till the lawn and then wait a week before tilling a second time. This results in more "kill" of current plants in your lawn area.

Dragging Your lawn - Grass Planting Site PrepSTEP 7- After tilling the lawn ... you need to drag and level the surface to provide for a clean, smooth, firm and level soil surface to plant within.  Properly leveling your lawn now will help to avoid the lawn being scalped by your mower.  You can use a rake to do this step or for bigger areas some sort of heavy drag like device, pulled behind a tractor or riding lawn mower can achieve similar results. Remove any clumps of weeds or grass left, and break up clods of dirt to create a fine seedbed in the top 3 inches of soil.

You Are Ready To Seed!

STEP 8 - READY TO SEED
Now that your lawn surface is ready to seed... continue on to our 1-2-3 EasySeed steps for simple HOW-TO' s on seeding your lawn. For more detailed planting instructions see our page on seeding lawns or our page about seeding pastures. Visit www.sodding.com for sodded lawns.

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