Asked on Jan 20, 2012

How do you go from fescue to bermuda grass?

Charlie S
by Charlie S
We have had fescue for 35 + years and are tired of working so hard then having it die when the drought hits or the tempterature is too high and it costs too much to water it. What steps to we take to replace it? Kill it, then what?
  7 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 20, 2012
    Sounds like you aren't having a problem killing the fescue, but burying it in black plastic or newspaper should take care of it. After that, get a soil test through your local cooperative extension office to determine what you should add to the soil to promote ideal bermuda growth. Then plant your bermuda when the temps are steadily between 65 and 75 degrees for best results.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 21, 2012
    You will get the best results, Charlie, if you kill the fescue and till it under. This will take care of any compaction issues that may have developed over the time you have had the fescue and ensure the best contact with the soil. 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. You'll have to keep the fescue mowed short (1 inch) to prevent overshading until the baby bermuda becomes dominant.
  • First I get a soil sample and send it to the county extension office. While waiting for the results, I kill the fescue. Next, depending upon the size of the yard, I till the soil up with a bobcat or a tiller. Depending upon the test results, I add lime and a starter fertilizer. In Georgia, we almost always need to add lime. Rake it all smooth and lay sod. Then, always roll it with a roller that is filled with water to ensure good contact for the roots with the soil. Many people get lazy with watering seed and often the seed does not germinate or take. Zoysia is also great and a lusher green. How many hours of direct sun do you get?
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jan 22, 2012
    Bermuda seed can be spread in May, when the soil is warm. Sod can be planted almost any time but April/May is best. Don't skip the tilling part - it is imperative either way.
  • Faidra at  CA Global Inc Faidra at CA Global Inc on Jan 22, 2012
    As FS said, zoysia is the best thing going these days, grew fescue from seed and it would never fully thicken, killed, tilled, fertilized, layd and rolled my zoysia, little more expensive but well worth it checked out my lawn. there's also kinds that work well in the shade as I have many mature hardwoods - 29 pallets later and still smiling
  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Jan 22, 2012
    Before I switched to Bermuda I would check some of the other warm season grasses, especially Zoysia. It is more difficult to keep Bermuda out of flower beds and vegetable gardens and away from shrubs around the house. The underground stolons are much more vigorous on Bermuda than other warm-season grasses and you may be trading one problem for another.
  • Heather M Heather M on May 09, 2015
    Can you grow them indoors ?