Gardening Q&A

By Bill Geer Published: May 10, 2001
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Q: Should I start my Bermuda grass lawn now?

A: May is a great time to establish Bermuda grass from seed, sod or sprigs. OSU Extension Fact Sheet 6419 covers lawn establishment in Oklahoma.

The process begins by taking a pint of soil from the lawn to your county extension office for a basic soil test. The cost is $10.

While waiting for soil test results, kill out existing undesirable vegetation with a broadcast spray of Roundup + Fusillade at labeled rates followed by spot spraying 2 to 3 weeks later.

Next regrade the site so that water puddling does not occur. Following grading, install any in-ground irrigation system.

An establishment fertilizer (see Fact Sheet 6419) can then be lightly raked into the soil.

Next, keep the site moist with light, frequent irrigations to germinate seed or keep young sprigs or freshly laid sod from drying out. Once the grass is properly established, a weed control program can be undertaken as well as mowing, fertilization and irrigation for a mature lawn as suggested in OSU Fact Sheet 6420: Lawn Management in Oklahoma.

Remember, there will be more weeds during the first year of establishment of a lawn, as there are only a few weed killers that are safe to use on newly established turfgrass. Stop by your local OSU Extension Office for turfgrass fact sheets or follow the turf publications link at www.turf.okstate.edu.

Q: Did last year's weather hurt my lawn for this year?

A: A severe drought in late summer through early fall, coupled with a colder than average winter, teamed up to provide a blow to many Oklahoma lawns.


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