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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I have been posting on another forum over the past month tracking my progress renovating the majority of my 2 acre property. There is not much action on that forum and I stumbled upon this website yesterday. I see many others are hard at it in the middle of renovations, some using Riviera also, so I figured I would post my progress, successes, and failures for others to view and provide feedback. I will cut and paste my past posts from the other forum and then start just doing updates here. Here goes.

May 22, 2017

Here is my process of renovating over an acre of lawn going from fescue, common bermuda, weed mix to a nicer quality hybrid bermuda. The purpose of this post is track progress, get feedback, and maybe help others who might be trying this in the future.

Background: I have two acres of land that I built a house and moved in last July. I had about 13,000 s.f. of Tifway 419 bermuda laid around the house around July 2016. I paid someone to do the prep work prior to the sod and they did an awesome job. However with all sod it has some bumps and I might tackle leveling it in the future. I am mowing with a 54" zero turn on the lowest setting (1.5"). Here are some pictures of it from May 22.







The other 1.25 acres or so was rough and was never maintained other than an occasional brush hogging prior to me purchasing the land. Mowing was frustrating because of all the bumps and rocks. So I decided to renovate by regrading and start over with Bermuda seed. Here are some pictures prior to starting (sorry I don't have great pictures of the beginning).





Over the past couple months I have made several glyphosate applications. Here are some pictures after two applications about 2 weeks apart back in late March/April.





I made one more application in mid April and had 3 loads of topsoil delivered. The last application seemed to get the majority of the rest of the grass/weeds that were being stubborn. I spent many nights and weekends picking up rocks that I could see on the surface after this. Then again after heavy rains. I would guess I picked/dug up (30) 5 gallon buckets of rocks.

My next plan was to spread the topsoil in the low spots with a skid steer. Knock down the high spots and use a home made drag made from angle iron to drag everything smooth. I did this on May 13th. It worked pretty good. Here is some in progress photos.





Here are some pictures after spreading the topsoil and dragging the area a few times pulling the heavy drag behind the skid steer. I wanted to drag it much more, but I ran out of time and the skid steer had to go back the next morning so I will rent something that is lighter weight and more maneuverable in the near future to drag some more.





I was really happy with the results, but it still wasn't good enough. I wanted to have someone with a harley rake to come in and work on the ridges and pulverize the dirt some more to get a nice seed bed. Luckily I know someone who was going to come out and help me with a harley rake. I had some time becuase the soil temp was not quite at 65 degrees so I was willing to wait for my friend. The guy who was going to help saw the forecast and didn't want to do anything with the chance of heavy rain. He was right and unfortunately we had a 4" rain over the weekend and my hard work didn't look so good after the heavy rain.



So now I wait. Soil temps are good and I am ready to plant, but I need to get on this guys schedule and I know he is busy so not sure when I will plant. I did go ahead and do another application of glyphosate, this time just spot spraying the patches of weeds and crab grass that are sprouting.

After my friend comes in with the harley rake. I may rent an UTV and roller and pull the drag some more just prior to seeding. I hope that will be in the next week. I am anxious to get this going.

I realized I forgot to tell you the seed I am using and I'm sure you will ask. I am using Riviera for the front 1/4 acre, since this is so expensive I was only able to buy 25 lbs. Using La Prima for the back which is just under an acre (75 lbs). This is a large yard and I don't have sprinkler systems so I know that will be my biggest challenge. I am considering doing the back first and then the front a couple weeks after since Riviera can handle a cold winter easily if it isn't as established. I plan on having a few weeks of long nights and early mornings with help from my wife moving sprinklers and the lawn tractor sprinkler.

More updates to come, but this is up to date as of this post. Any advice is appreciated. I have never taken on a yard project this massive.

June 3rd, 2017


UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon the yard was Harley raked. I then borrowed the neighbors tractor and pulled my heavy drag to smooth everything back out.





I then spread the seed and drug all the area with a piece of wire fabric used for concrete reinforcing. This just barely moved any of the dirt to try and get 1/8" coverage over the seed. Seemed to work to just barely cover the seed.



Thursday and Friday I started watering a small strip about 50' x 130'. My plan was to wait for a rain to start watering the rest and to see how watering is going to go. I realized watering is going to be quite the problem. I don't have great enough water pressure to run 2 sprinklers and trying to water 1 and 1/4 acres with 1 sprinkler is physically impossible to water it all in one day.

The same guy who Harley raked Harley raked is going to come by and use his hydroseed machine to spray the mixture minus seed over the area to help retain moisture. This hopefully will happen this morning since we have a good chance of rain this afternoon and tomorrow. After the rain this weekend I will start watering the whole yard. I'll tinker with the pressure reducing valve on my side of the water meter to see if I can get enough pressure to run two sprinklers. If I can't, I'm wondering if I'll be successful getting this seed going. Time will tell.

Oh yeah, after Harley raking me, my wife, and kids picked up 15 more 5 gallon buckets of rocks plus a wheel barrel full. So many rocks, but I think I've gotten most them on the top inch of soil.

I'll update more as everything progresses.

June 4, 2017

My area just had about an 1" of rain in 30 minutes and it looks like steady rain for awhile as this storm rolls through. I'm afraid half of my seed could have washed away with the way the water was flowing across my property. Not sure what I do from here. Don't feel like starting over. This is why normal people don't do foolish stuff like starting hybrid Bermuda from seed.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
June 5, 2017

I walked the yard yesterday evening after the rains and I still see seed on the surface in many places and I know I was able to get most of it covered with a 1/8" of dirt so I am hoping I didn't lose as much as I thought. With so much bare dirt and rain, many areas of soil eroded which obviously took the seed with it, but hopefully I lost less than 25%. My nice smooth yard is not so perfect anymore, so i'll have to figure out how to smooth it back out later on.

Right now I will push forward with watering the best I can, fertilize once the grass emerges, and keep fertilizing every few weeks to try and get it to spread as much as possible this year. No rain in the forecast for the next 7 days so I'll try to keep the sprinklers going as much as I can, I might have to take a couple afternoons off of work.

June 9, 2017

Right now I have the sprinklers running about 18 hours a day. The Bermuda seed has emerged. This pic was taken a couple nights ago.



I bought 31 bales of straw yesterday and spread it around the yard to help keep the moisture trapped in. I should have done that several days ago. Still struggling to keep the soil wet on this large of an area. Rain is forecasted later this week so fingers crossed.



June 18th, 2017

We finally received some rain. About 3/8" this morning. The grass in the back (La Prima) is coming in nicely.





The front (Riviera) seems to be about a week behind the back.

Lots of weeds so I plan on spraying some Drive weed killer next weekend. Maybe mowing the back tomorrow just to knock the weeds down and give the lower grass a chance to get more sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Current update as of today

I am really happy with the La Prima so far. As you can tell, that heavy rain moved enough seed around to cause clumps of heavier seeded areas and some with little to no seed. Walking around yesterday picking up some smaller rocks on the surface I noticed grass is still emerging in some areas. I suspect that since this is a blend that the SR9544 has emerged faster and the LaPaloma is germinating later. This makes sense in my mind since the Riveria up front emerged much later and is about week later in development than the back. I am anxious to see what the back looks like next weekend.

Here is the backyard as of June 21


Here is the front yard Riviera as of June 21.


I will be spraying Drive XLR 8 on the backyard tonight to try and knock down some of the weeds. I will do the front here in a week when the Riviera gets going better. I'm battling crabgrass and carpetweed mostly with some yellow nutsedge and various other weeds mixed in. If needed, I'll spray Celcius here in a month when the temps are to high for other herbicides.
 

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My LaPrima blend had the SR9544 and
LaPaloma as well and am very pleased with it. I went to order more and noticed they changed the blend so now I'm deciding what to do for the rest of the back yard. I too noticed a 2 stage germination with mine. Your renovation is looking great and can't wait to see more.
 

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josh02_2001 said:
I will be spraying Drive XLR 8 on the backyard tonight to try and knock down some of the weeds. I will do the front here in a week when the Riviera gets going better. I'm battling crabgrass and carpetweed mostly with some yellow nutsedge and various other weeds mixed in. If needed, I'll spray Celcius here in a month when the temps are to high for other herbicides.
Dude it might be a little soon for Drive you barely have tillering.
Its easier said than done because i used MSMA early but not quiet that early. Your front yard doesnt seem like its at emergence yet and you need to at least wait 1 week after emergence.
Try your best to wait a little longer. Trust me I was there 2 weeks ago just itching to fight the weeds
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I was waiting to spray the front until it looks like the backyard currently. Most of the back yard looks like this. Is this to early to spray?
If it is to early I feel like I need to mow as it's nearly 3" tall is some areas and I want to promote lateral growth.

 

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You have emergence in the back. But how long has it been that long. I did a test spot in an area and it set back alot of the bermuda and didnt kill all the crabgrass. You want to use full strength to get the best kill. I used half strength and MSMA really didnt kill all the crabgrass and gave it more opportunity to spread.
In the area that you are showing me in the picture I dont see many weeds.
Do you have more than 60% Bermuda coverage? If most of the backyard looks like the picture then I definatly wouldnt spray. There is no need to until it gets older.
If you do then wait. At about the 5th or 6th week after seeding, my bermuda really started to take off and spread laterally.

When it starts to take off you will Know and then you will be like Ahhhh I shoulda waited.

But with all that said.
Im a hypocrite.
Its soooooooo hard to wait.
You just want to do something.
You just want to help.
If you must then spot spray and dont broadcast spray.

But let others chime in as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks tellycoleman. I was planning on spot spraying so I do have that going for me. Drive is supposed to be safe for use 1 week after emergence on hybrid Bermuda seed. I have areas of heavy crabgrass and some like the picture. The other problem is that there is a 80% chance of rain tomorrow afternoon. You are not supposed to spray Drive 24 hours before a rain so maybe I should try and mow at 2" tonight and spray Sunday???
 

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josh02_2001 said:
Thanks tellycoleman. I was planning on spot spraying so I do have that going for me. Drive is supposed to be safe for use 1 week after emergence on hybrid Bermuda seed. I have areas of heavy crabgrass and some like the picture. The other problem is that there is a 80% chance of rain tomorrow afternoon. You are not supposed to spray Drive 24 hours before a rain so maybe I should try and mow at 2" tonight and spray Sunday???
I think you aren't supposed to mow 2 days before or after spraying drive, I believe
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You're correct. I was thinking if i mowed tonight I would spray Sunday. Which would be over 48 hours, prob closer to 72 since I usually mow in the evenings. However I decided not to mow tonight.

I did spot spray Drive on half the backyard tonight. I mixed it at the recommended rate per 1000 s.f., added methylated seed oil and made sure I was under the threshold per sq foot for what I was spraying. I'll post an update for everyone to see how it affects the Bermuda.
 

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How old is the area you sprayed? This is from the Drive label that I have:
Drive® XLR8 Label said:
NOTE: No adjuvant or additive should be used when Drive® XLR8 herbicide applications are made on newly emerged turfgrass seedlings until 28 days after emergence. With the exception of seashore paspalum, a Drive XLR8 application rate of 1.45 fl ozs/1000 sq ft (0.75 lb ae/A) can be made to all other turfgrass species in Table 4.
Drive® XLR8 label Table 4 is on page 9.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I didn't see that on the label to be honest. The back started emerging June 9th. My information came from this University of Arkansas turf science report at the end of this post. Pages 6,7,8 are relevant to this topic. Their trials show Drive XLR8 to be safe 1 WAE. I sure hope they are right. Even if I sustain some damage I would guesstimate I sprayed approximately 10% of the Bermuda while spot spraying so I should be okay overall. I'll wait to spray the other half to see if I sustain any damage.

http://turf.uark.edu/publications/factsheets/Establishing%20Seeded%20Bermudagrass%20on%20Lawns,%20Golf%20Courses%20or%20Athletic%20Fields%20MP477.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I've mowed twice now. The La Prima in the backyard is growing well. The Drive that I sprayed on one half of the yard did a good job of killing most of the crabgrass. It seems to have slightly yellowed some of the Bermuda but a week later it doesn't seem have done permanent damage.

The front yard seems to have been overtaken by weeds. The Riviera doesn't grow very fast which has let the weeds really take off. I am just hoping I get a good enough base established this year and with the help of pre emergents next year give it a chance to spread and thicken in.

Watering has been the biggest challenge. Since planting on May 30, we have had two rainfalls. The washout a few days after planting and a 3/8" rain about a week ago. Tomorrow the weatherman is calling for high chance of heavy rain. Let's hope he's right.

Here are a few pics of the back tonight.





 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Need some advice on my front yard
Riviera Renovation. I really can't believe the amount of goosegrass in my front compared to the back where there is very little. Here are some pics of the front from a couple days ago.





It might be hard to tell but it is a heavy infestation. From what I read there is little you can do post emergence (msma is unavailable to me and dismiss and revolver together I don't feel is worth the $$$)

Should I just leave it alone for now and do a good job of installing pre emergents in the fall, spring, and summer? I'm worried it may be shading and taking to many nutrients away from the riviera.
 

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As long as there is Bermuda there is hope. if you can be patient enough, next year, goosegrass and other weeds will be a thing of the past. Focus on keeping it mowed short and fertilized. Apply a good preemergent for winter weeds, goosegrass will die out, and then apply another app of preem next spring and the Bermuda will take over. Without any herbicides, I don't see any other options. Don't worry about your Bermuda not making it. Mine was overtaken by sedge, not anymore.
 

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MSMA can still be sourced if you are so inclined. I had a bad dallisgrass infestation on some unmaintained property that was causing me issues until I found MSMA available online. Dallisgrass is a perennial so using preemergents alone wasn't a solution. I'm not sure if goosegrass is perennial or annual though.
 
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