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How we coaxed a Lush GREEN (Bermuda Grass) LAWN.
This page was last updated:  04/28/2016 05:01 AM


Our first approach (July 2011) to growing grass, was to sow seeds; but the task of keeping the seeded area moist was overwhelming.  We didn't have an underground sprinkler system. 

We wanted to buy rolls of sod and cut it into 6" squares (so it would cover more ground).  But we were too late in the year, the nurseries and home improvement stores weren't stocking sod in July.   So as an alternative, we grew our own plugs.  It was a time intensive process.  Put Styrofoam cups into trays - kitty litter trays worked best.  We lined them up on folding tables on the patio and then created "mini-greenhouse" by putting the trays on three  4-shelving units.  We covered each shelving unit with plastic.  This speed up the growing process. 

We grew 25-35 plugs (depending on the size of the cup) in each tray.   We started all the trays in one shelving units, then a week later started the second unit.  A week later we started the third.  By the fourth week, the trays in the first unit were ready to transplant.   So about every three or four weeks we could  transplant 200+ plugs.

And we started over.  We started this system in July and continued until the last plugs were planted in early November.

Grew 100s of these plugs



Cups of grass seedlings


Planted plugs in mid-July 2011

Grass grew.
Picture late-Sep 2011. 
This are the grass plugs
we planted in mid-July.

Later we harvested "Slugs" from areas
we did not want grass to grow and transplanted it where we did.

The slugs were transplanted in the more vast red dirt areas.

Between the plugs & the "slugs", we eventually saw a green.  Bermuda grass is a perennial.  It spreads with two types of shoots: those aboveground (stolons) and those belowground (rhizomes). The stolons and rhizomes are capable of rooting in the soil, thus creating new plants as they grow out from the original plant or when they are cut and left on moist soil.   In areas where the soil has not been disturbed, rhizomes are shallow (1 to 6 inches). But where the soil has been spaded or tilled deeper than 6 inches, or in sandy soil, under sidewalks, and against solid structures such as building foundations or walls, the rhizomes may be deeper than 6 inches. Common Bermuda can be very invasive.*  Hope it invades our lawn!  It will be interesting to see what comes back in 2012.

*It's the rhizomes that give Bermuda grass its resilience. They spread out from the base of a mature plant and start a new plant. They may spread a few inches or several yards before popping up.  It's these rhizomes that help the grass survive droughts. Even if the top growth dies off the underground shoots can remain viable for years.


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