Preparing to Sprig Bermudagrass
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v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} 96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";}           The extended periods of hot, dry weather that most Georgians have experienced over the past few summers has taken a toll on many of the permanent forage grasses.  This is especially true of cool season grasses like fescue and orchardgrass in North Georgia.  Many of these producers with declining forage stands are considering establishing bermudagrass.           If you are considering establishing bermudagrass, you have probably realized there are several options.  Certain varieties can be established by seeding, others by using clippings (tops) and some with vegetative sprigs.  Vegetative sprigs can be used in both prepared soil and no-till situations.  For more information on bermudagrass varieties grown in Georgia, refer to “Selecting a Forage Bermudagrass Variety” 96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Proper preparation is the key to good bermudagrass establishment.          This article will focus on getting your field ready to sprig bermudagrass into prepared soil.  Establishing a field in bermudagrass is a long-term commitment so you need to be sure the site is well prepared before putting out the first sprig.          As with most all agronomic crops, a good place to start is determining soil fertility needs by soil testing.  While you are waiting to get the soil test results back, you can destroy any existing vegetation by spraying the area with a non-selective herbicide.  One very troublesome weed that is often found in these sites is common bermudagrass.   Common bermudagrass is virtually impossible to remove once the field is established and should be controlled prior to sprigging.  Keep in mind that common bermudagrass must be green and actively growing for the non-selective herbicide to be effective.           Once your soil test results are back and you have burned-down existing vegetation with a herbicide, you are ready to apply the recommended lime and/or soil nutrients.  Of the three major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), adequate potassium levels are critical to maintain a healthy bermudagrass stand.  Any needed nutrients (and lime if required) can be spread at this point so it will be incorporated into the soil root zone during the tillage process.           As mentioned earlier, bermudagrass is a long term crop and proper tillage prior to sprigging can help relieve soil compaction issues and smooth the soil surface.  Deep plowing and disking will get the soil well prepared and allow for any leveling/smoothing of the soil surface that may be needed.  Once the soil is prepared it should be packed to ensure consistent planting depths.   If this tillage is completed a month prior to sprigging, it will give weeds a chance to germinate
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