New sod (bermuda) and already have weeds

Christina D
by Christina D
Hi all! I am a new homeowner and have never had to take care of a lawn before. We just moved in this week and the sod (which is bermuda grass) is already sprouting quite a bit of weeds. I don't know exactly when it was laid, but it was probably about 10 or so weeks ago. Not sure if I should pull them all myself or use some Ortho spray that this lady at Home Depot recommended. I'd hate to mess up our new lawn so any advice or resources any of you could recommend would be amazing. Thank you!!
  7 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 04, 2013
    Christina, I am a big advocate of the hand pulling of weeds. I'm not sure what's in the Ortho spray, but there is pretty alarming new research about some lawn chemicals and a possible link to increased cancer in dogs (see my recent post here, so read the label very carefully before going that route. Hometalk member and Georgia Gardener has a good guide to weeds and bermuda grass here:
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 04, 2013
    I'm with Douglas, hand pulling is one of the best ways to control weeds. As for the commercial weed killers it's not just dogs that have an increased cancer risk, it works the same way on people. Plus when you use the stuff, you are killing weeds and the microorganisms and worms in your soil. You can try using corn gluten in the early spring which will suppress and kill of a lot weed seed. Timing when using it is critical, but your local extension office (found under government in your phone book) should be able to provide some information about weed life cycle in your area. Btw, you don't have to buy the bags of expensive corn gluten, plain old corn meal works the same way and also comes in big bags.
  • Pulling weeds is a start; however, from having sod pulling weeds is not always an option. I put my sod down 4 years ago and only use liquid combo of weed and feed and it works great. You do not need the expensive brands and you cannot over do it. Just do not spray the weed and feed on other plants because it can kill them. Do not do this in the heat of the day but very early in the morning. I do not water at night because that is not good on the grass. Do not spray and feed when it is going to rain for at least a day. Good luck.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Aug 05, 2013
    While I agree that it is easier to'weed & feed' than to hand pull weeds @The Garden Frog with C Renee I do disagree emphatically with you that you cannot over do it. The best advice is to read the label instruction so that you don't over do it. Because when you do over do it you are wasting money and contributing as @Douglas Hunt and @Catherine Smith concern of adding more unnecessary potentially harmful chemicals into the environment.
  • Yes Donna you can over do it; however, I have found with liquid hose weed & feed you cannot overdo it and kill the sod. Unfortunately this came from having my non green thumb hubby help me out while I was gone and weed & feed using the whole bottle on our small plot of grass. Boy was it green and plush when I got home. LOL I believe that spray weed & feed with a hose on the yard to either be absorbed or evaporated is much better on the environment than granules. I do not use granule fertilizer/weed nor do I use anything that can potentially be hazardous to my many animals, wildlife, and to the reservoir/lake where I live. I received some wise advice many years ago from an 80 yr old nursery man who pointed out to me that pulling certain weeds like water/crabgrass makes them grow even more and sometimes weedkiller has to be used. Some weeds just are not easy to pull and many people are not going to go out there and pull. And I apologize if this answer offends anyone.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 06, 2013
    @The Garden Frog with C Renee certainly not offended here. I just want to try and make you understand what happens to your soil if you chose to use chemical fertilizers, and herbicides. Soil chemistry is like math, 2+2 always equals 4. There is microbial life in your soil, that causes certain chemical reactions to help the plants or grasses' root system to absorb nutrients to keep them healthy and productive. Chemical herbicides not only kill the weeds, they kill those microbes, worms and other beneficials as well. It becomes a vicious circle, because you are killing off those beneficials you need to use the chemical herbicides and fertilizers all the time in order to get growth. There are organic ways to fix that problem: 1. Use probiotics i.e. EM-1 to increase and replace the microbes that have been killed off. It takes about 3 years to get optimum coverage, but you can see changes the first year you begin to use it. 2. Over seed those areas where you have the most weed problems. Fall is the best time to do that. Grass seed normally takes about 14 days to germinate, so it normally grows in smothers out most weed seed. I would mix regular grass seed with some annual rye, which germinates even quicker, but dies back in the cold. Again it smothers out weed seed and provides additional nutrients to the young grass. Because we here in VA live in a fairly temperate growing zone, we can work that almost year round. Consider going with a corn gluten weed suppressant in the early spring, timing with that is critical, but usually start using it when the forsythias start blooming. And btw, regular corn meal will work just as well as the expensive commercial stuff. Use compost instead of chemical fertilizers. There are several commercial made types that are both granular and sprayable. It is a bit more work, but it's a lot healthier for both you and the environment.
  • Christina D Christina D on Aug 06, 2013
    Thanks everyone, this is really helpful! There is so much for me to still learn. I started pulling some of the weeds by hand and it took hours and there is still a ton! Some are really hard to pull too!