You can “overseed” Bermuda lawns with winter rye to green them up in the off-season. Mow your Bermuda grass low, setting your lawnmower to a height of about 1 inch. Easy to do, you just sprinkle seed on top, water it in, keep it moist and it will sprout in about seven days. Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) grasses prefer U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 6, and 7 to 10, respectively, notes Missouri Botanical Garden. As a cool-season grass, fescue thrives on winter rains and dappled sunlight. Overseeding a lawn with weeds is much safer and cheaper than reseeding or using herbicides to fight off the weeds. Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide. Because each grass has a different growth pattern, Bermuda grass easily takes over fescue. Because Bermuda is often mown to a short 3/4- or 1 1/2-inch height, fescue swiftly dies back as its blades cannot photosynthesize effectively if mown so close to the ground. Overseeding Bermuda Grass If a tan, dormant lawn in the winter is more than you can bear, you might want to consider over seeding your Bermuda grass lawn with a cool season grass. The best time of the year for overseeding with fescue is four to six weeks before the first killing frost for your area. In this case you can apply HiYield Triclopyr … … Also, both types of grasses need nitrogen fertilizer, but on completely different schedules. The best soil temperature for Bermudagrass to germinate is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately there are problems mixing the two grasses. The Bermuda grass underlying an overseeded stand will still be partially dormant. Unless you’re really into lawn care, most people don’t really consider what type of grass they want in their yard but still find themselves looking at pictures of fields of billowing grass hills, far off countryside or even their neighbor’s lawn. By then, warm-season Bermuda usually has grown back, thereby allowing homeowners with this turf mix to maintain green lawns all-year-round. Set your mower to 3 inches and mow your fescue lawn 21 days after planting. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." All you need to produce a thick stand of annual ryegrass is 20 to 30 pounds of seed per acre. Water your lawn one more time to dampen the fertilizer and the seeds. Being a cool-season grass, fescue maintains its lush green color in all seasons except summer. These stems allow Bermuda to populate both the top surface and lower soil structure with vegetative growth. This grass creeps, and fills in bare patches, so you’ll probably only have to overseed a few times to restore shady sections of your lawn. The roots of bermuda will crowd out the fescue for sure. Apply a nonselective herbicide directly to the fescue according to the manufacturer's instructions using chemical-resistant gloves to avoid spraying the nearby Bermuda. When the neighbor has Bermuda and you have a Fescue or Bluegrass yard, the Bermuda will encroach upon the cool season grass during the heat of the summer. Since Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass and fescue is a cool season grass, the two seem like a match made in heaven. However, there are some cautions and tips before you decide if overseeding is right for you. If yes, when should i begin seeding? Cut that in half for overseeding and you get 3 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Buy 2 1/2 to five pounds of Bermuda grass and the fescue grass seed of choice for every 1000 square feet of soil surface you want to cover with turf. Overseeding of pasture or hay land with cool season annual legumes and grasses and with perennial legumes can be made much later in sod than in prepared seedbeds because the existing sod provides protection for the developing seedlings during the winter. Fescue does not tolerate short mowing heights; it thrives between 1 1/2 and 3 inches tall, advises the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. As a warm-season grass, Bermuda is most active in full sunlight locations between spring and fall, notes Walter Reeves. Still, mixing the two grasses can help homeowners to keep a green-looking lawn all year long. In this instance you don’t want to kill it all off and re-seed. Overseeding Your Tall Fescue Lawn Part 1: The Setup. High-end grass seed will give you a lush, thick blanket of green more quickly, while lower-end grass seed will take longer to fill in. Known for its use in sports fields, Bermuda quickly recovers from foot traffic by aggressively spreading through above- and underground stems, or stolons and rhizomes. If you want to completely eliminate fescue from your Bermuda, water your turf deeply and infrequently while maintaining a short 3/4-inch height, notes Missouri Botanical Garden. Spread your fescue seeds on the lawn using a seed spreader to spread them evenly. Bermuda vs Fescue Grass may not be your go to when thinking of a pristine lawn, but maybe it should be. Use 5 to 10 pounds of seeds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Since Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass and fescue is a cool season grass, the two seem like a match made in heaven. Bermudagrass is vibrantly green during the summer but turns buff brown in winter. In locations with full sunlight, however, fescue dies back each summer as Bermuda eventually fills in the entire yard. Overseeding requires about half the normal seeding rate, or the rate that would be used on bare soil, including totally bare spots in your lawn. As long as you have sufficient sunlight in the back area and can water it deeply at least once a week, fescue should grow there as well. You can isolate the overseeded areas from foot traffic for a couple of weeks while continuing to use the unaffected areas. The best time to overseed the home lawn is mid to late October and early November, but more accurately after the first frost. Red Fescue. Pull any Bermuda grass stolons that encroach around the zoysia plugs to prevent them from being overtaken by the Bermuda grass. Unless you keep it thoroughly irrigated, you will lose some of your fescue to our hot summers, every year – which is why you should overseed it every fall. Mow the bermuda high and regularly at 2.0 inches. Fescue, in contrast, uses its fibrous root system to search for moisture and survive drought longer than Bermuda, notes the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Tall Fescue — Festuca Arundinacea, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Planting And Management Tips for Tall Fescue, Walter Reeves: Fescue Lawn – Taken Over by Bermudagrass, Missouri Botanical Garden: Cynodon Dactylon 'Sundevil', Missouri Botanical Garden: Festuca arundinacea (mix). Usually, it is different with different seeds and the rates can be adjusted depending on your lawn. Still, mixing the two grasses can help homeowners to keep a green-looking lawn all year long. Because consistent mowing stimulates Bermuda, both stolons and rhizomes rapidly fill in the yard and choke out any remaining fescue patches. Marguerite, if you want to attempt to get some fescue to establish, I would buy the inexpensive Kentucky 31, which is an aggressive perennial fescue. Is Centipede Grass Resistant to Chinch Bugs? Bermuda enters dormancy when temperatures drop, allowing fescue to grow above the Bermuda's browning blades for access to sunlight. Overseeding Bermudagrass will improve the overall quality of the lawn and fix damaged areas. Fescue is a cool-season grass that dies off in the summer. Use a thatch rake to remove all the dead thatch and to slightly score the top of the soil. Any fescue grasses incorporated within the Bermuda become covered as stolons spread across the ground for more access to sunlight and photosynthesis activity. Reduce your watering patterns during the summer to cause severe Bermuda dieback. Also, the late August through October window for overseeding in the South and Southeast is relatively wide, and if the winter is mild, you can broadcast as late as February. Spray the bermuda in August and overseed fescue there 3 or 4 weeks afterward. 2. Be sure you do not apply any pre-emergent herbicide prior to overseeding your Tall Fescue lawn. If you have a shaded area with bermudagrass, or a small bermuda area you are changing over to tall fescue, here is the plan to follow. The short grass will allow sunlight reach the new … Most lawns are a combination of several different grass species to maintain a green hue year-round; one species enters dormancy as the other flourishes with active growth. Without getting too scientific on you you actually have a "Fescue Mix" which is a grass seed mix is made up of two or more different species of grasses. Fescue grass is a species consisting of multiple seed varieties, including tall fescue, creeping red fescue, hard fescue, chewings fescue, and sheep fescue. All Rights Reserved. Pre-emergent herbicides will prevent your Fescue seed from germinating. Bermuda – Overseed with Ryegrass The goal of a year-round green lawn is an elusive one. Your fescue has a chance to flourish come late fall and winter. Once the Bermuda begins growing again, set your mower to 1-1/2 inches, because Bermuda likes to be mowed lower than fescue. Wait until fall, when the weather begin turning cooler. Run a soil test two weeks prior to overseeding. During the summer, when temperatures are above 90⁰, your fescue will need to be watered lightly every day, just to cool it off. However- since there are possibilities of overseeding warm-season lawns with cool-season grass varieties and vice-versa- you may have a little wiggle room on when you can overseed. The more seeds you use, the thicker your fescue lawn will be. If you’re unsure you can always contract a landscaping consultant or reach out to your local extension office for further guidance on the same. First, Bermuda likes to be mowed low and fescue likes to grow taller. It’s not always required, but some light tilling can help encourage germination. Overseeding is Always a Good Option You'll have to keep the fescue mowed short (1 inch) to prevent overshading until the baby bermuda becomes dominant. Click to see full answer 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. When overseeding Bermuda with fescue, encourage aggressive fescue growth, even into the warmer spring months, by allowing shade from buildings or overhanging trees to cover the turf. The amount required for overseeding lawns with Kentucky bluegrass or Tall Fescue is recorded on the label. Your neighbors bermuda will continue to encroach, so if that is a problem, build a barrier such as an edge or wall between the two yards. Overseed Bermudagrass in the spring or summer when the soil is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have to overseed, rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis) is a better choice. Hybrid Bermuda is a water guzzler and greens up when fed in the summer. Mow the Bermuda grass to 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall. If you have a shady section of your lawn which always struggles, then you should consider overseeding that section with Red Fescue, or a Red Fescue blend. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Because Bermuda spreads through vegetative growth and seeding, removing it requires herbicides along with strategic irrigation. Tall Fescue Grass Many tall fescue lawns are Kentucky 31 fescue, a type of tall fescue that’s known for its coarse appearance. Since Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass and fescue is a cool season grass, the two seem like a match made in heaven. OK, you have heard my arguments against overseeding but you are going to do it anyway. I have some tall fescue grass in some areas in my backyard, and in the front, half of the yard is bermuda, and the other half is tall fescue (area where there is mostly shade throughout the day). Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, grass image by green308 from Fotolia.com, North Carolina State University: Overseeding, Savvy Gardener: Improving Your lawn Through Overseeding. Step 2 You preserve your Bermuda's health while rapidly removing fescue from the yard. If you want to overseed your lawn all by yourself, here are some helpful tips: I am wondering if overseeding will get rid of the tall fescue. If no, can i use a herbicide to kill of tall fescue? Your Bermuda slowly dies back in shady conditions while forcing the fescue to detect cool weather for continual active growth. Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. The best time of the year for overseeding with fescue is four to six weeks before the first killing frost for your area. The reality is fescue and bermuda don't get along well. If your Bermuda lawn is healthy and vigorous, you can overseed. When overseeding Bermuda with fescue, encourage aggressive fescue growth, even into the warmer spring months, by allowing shade from buildings or overhanging trees to cover the turf. The cool season grass will germinate in the fall and begin to grow as your Bermuda grass is going dormant. You must have full sun and be prepared to water and mow all winter. If you overseed every year, less seed is required. You can overseed at almost any time of the year for a fraction of the cost of a complete reseeding. Fescue Ryegrass aside, you can also overseed Bermuda grass turfs with Fescue grass varieties. Perennial ryegrass can prevent 100% green-up by the Bermuda grass. If you wait for the ryegrass to die out on its own, it could take a while and even then it could still turn into a clumpy ryegrass which is difficult to control. Eradicate the bermudagrass: 1. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Fescue comes close but keeping it thick and healthy during the summer is tough. 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. Tall fescue is grown as an "all or none grass," in that it is not compatible with bermudagrass. Water your lawn one more time to dampen the fertilizer and the seeds. But know that a serious winter heat spell could kill off your rye. Bermuda is a warm-season grass that can easily take over fescue. It is possible, however, to overseed with bermuda, if you mow the fescue very low in late spring and make sure to get up all the debris so the bermuda seed is getting plenty of sun. Seeding your turf with fescue in the fall, after the herbicide wears off, allows your yard to flourish with this cool-season grass. Water the lawn thoroughly, sprinkling for at least 1 hour or until you have put 1 inch of water on the lawn. Do not let the ground dry out completely until the fescue has grown approximately 4 inches tall. For tall fescue, the normal rate is generally 6 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet on bare soil. Apply a nonselective herbicide to the Bermuda grass in two successive summer treatments to kill off any remaining rhizomes that are hidden in the soil. Expect your fescue to die back and your Bermuda to begin reasserting itself when the weather warms up in the spring. The dead bermuda will act as mulch, helping to support the fescue, so just leave it. I’ll help you as long as it’s just for Bermuda or zoysia. While most people use that expression as an excuse to get out of an unfavorable situation; let’s take a moment and actually consider something. If you don’t mind the … Keep the lawn damp but not soggy until the fescue begins sprouting, in approximately seven to 12 days. Treat the Bermuda around the zoysia as it it were a weed and pull it out from the roots when you see any threat of competition for soil space, water and nutrients. Cover the fescue seeds with 1/4 inch of nitrogen fertilizer (composed manure will work fine) using a fertilizer spreader to spread the fertilizer evenly. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Mow your Bermuda grass low, setting your lawnmower to a height of about 1 inch. What Is the Proper Height to Mow Perennial Ryegrass? © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Die back and your Bermuda grass is a cool season grass will allow sunlight reach the new … the time. 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Walter Reeves continuing to use the unaffected areas to overseed the home lawn mid... Fescue according to the fescue, a type of tall fescue is a better choice turf to... Detect cool weather for continual active growth some of the tall fescue lawns are 31. Made in heaven thoroughly, sprinkling for at least 1 hour or until you to! To populate both the top surface and lower soil structure with vegetative growth and seeding, removing requires. Bermuda grasses can help homeowners to keep a green-looking lawn all year long overseed Bermudagrass the... Dies off in the summer to do it anyway health while rapidly fescue. Photosynthesis activity not always required, but on completely different schedules on completely different schedules known! Over fescue ) to prevent them from being overtaken by the Bermuda grass stolons that encroach around the plugs... Nitrogen fertilizer, but on completely different schedules flourish come late fall winter!