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New Sod Question

1418 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Movingshrub
I have a centipede lawn which was laid in 2016. Nothing has been done to it since it was new construction property and my wife and I didn't move in till last November. I'm not a big fan of centipede. My question is can I convert to Bermuda without laying down whole new sod? I had Bermuda at my previous house and loved it. Just wondering if there are any options for this?
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For Bermuda, you've got several methods of propagation.

You can use seed or vegetative propagation (sod, plugs, and sprigs).

For a 2500 sqft yard, you're talking 5-6 pallets of sod. A pallet tends to run about 500 square feet, and Bermuda seems to run between $75-$200 a pallet depending on what version and where you are in Alabama.

Some cultivars cannot be grown from seed. First make sure you've got enough sunlight for Bermuda grass, and then decide which cultivar you want to grow and/or which method of planting you want to use. If you opt for seed only, there are plenty of people with experience but the most recent ones to come to my mind are @Tellycoleman , out of Nashville, who seeded a yard with Yuko Bermuda, and @Colonel K0rn near Savannah, who seeded with Royal Bengal Bermuda.

Out of curiosity, why do you want to avoid sod?
Yes you can there are a few different ways to establish Bermuda without sodding the whole yard. Seeding, sprigging and plugging.

Bermuda grown from seed has historically been of lesser quality than most sodded cultivars. They have improved seed quality over the years but still the best seeded cultivars are in the middle of the pack of sodded cultivars.

Sprigging is where you or the sod farm if your lucky will tear apart the sod where most all the dirt is removed. You're left with sprigs, you can broadcast them out into your lawn and cover them with a topcoat of soil, sand or peat where roughly 30% of the grass is still showing. Keep the soil moist and the sprigs will green up and start spreading. Movingshrub renovated his back yard with this method last summer.

Plugging is where you take a piece of sod and using a tool like a Pro Plugger to transfer the plugs into your lawn with some sort of grid pattern. The grass will fill in the areas between the plugs with time.

The benefit of sprigging and plugging over seeding is you can use the best cultivars out there. With seeding and sprigging it would be best to kill off the centipede but you could probably get away with keeping it with plugging, the Bermuda will out compete the centipede especially if your wanting to go reel low. With all these methods it's critical to keep the soil from drying out. Do you have an irrigation system?

If it were me and my lawn was 2,500 sqft I would probably sod it. Latitude 36 is one of the best if not the best cultivar on the market right now. The sod farm here in Oklahoma was selling it at $175 per 500 sqft last year. That's $875 without delivery cost but you would have an instant lawn with an amazing grass.
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I really don't want to sod because the centipede was just put down a year ago. I would hate to take all that up and re sod. Or do I just work with it this year and see what happens with the lawn?
JustinWheat said:
I would hate to take all that up and re sod.
That's a sunk cost. In the most polite sense, if you're going to replace it with something else, who cares whether it was last year or ten years ago?

My understanding is that centipede is considered a low maintenance grass, which can be great for many people, but it isn't going to have the same look as Bermuda or zoysia. It just really depends on what you want the look to be and what you plan to use the space for as well. On the upside, you won't be cutting your grass three to four times a week in the summer like the rest of us Bermuda junkies.

However, there is this from Auburn and Alabama A&M on centipede lawn maintenance.
With 2500 square feet the world is your oyster!! To get crazy you can try a different grass every season. If you are not wanting it to seem like you have wasted your money or investment. OR Trying to hide it from the WIFE!!! Then I think seeding is out of the question. Bermuda seed is not like Rye grass it will have a hard time sprouting up in areas already controlled by higher cut centiped grass. It will require you to kill your current grass then reseed. Sprigging will be difficult as well. Your only solution would be to plug your lawn with bermuda and keep it cut below an inch. Bermuda likes low cut and centipede does'nt so bermuda will dominate eventually. Whatever you choose to do, if it is not sod, you will not have a complet converted lawn until next year.
What dont you like about centipede???? Just curious
Sprigging can be done in one growing season, assuming the existing turf is killed and removed.
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