Dead Bermuda Grass?

We are in the process of buying a new house. The grass looks dead. But the builder told us that it was just dormant. We've had a really dry summer. And that once it cooled that the grass would start greening up. I am including a link to my site where you can view the grass. Would someone be so kind as to tell me if, in their opinion, the grass is dead? It has and hasn't rooted in some spots. I have Bermuda in our existing home. Front and back. Both are doing fine and very green.
http://spaces.msn.com/members/greghays
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Greg wrote:

If it's Bermuda and dead, count your blessings. :) But, if it's Bermuda, it won't be dead and it won't come back in cool weather, it'll come back before cool weather if it rains or is watered...
If it's a cool weather grass it may still have significant life even if it is currently dormant. Depends on how dry how long and what kind of soil and grass as to how much will recover. If this is a typical year and there is an established lawn that has been treated the same way previously it is quite likely to come back when it does rain. If, otoh, it was always watered in the past and particularly if it happened to have been fertilized this year and somebody didn't follow through this year it may well lose a lot since it will probably not have rooted deeply.
Although if this was a newly seeded new lawn this spring or summer and it wasn't watered it's quite likely there will be a lot of it that won't make it. If it is a new lawn, you can always ask for an allowance to get it re-established this fall when it cools down some and you get some water...it's too early in most places to start fall seeding of cool weather grasses, particularly if you're still dry.
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Greg wrote:

it goes dormant in cool and cold weather. what part of the country are you in?
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Northwest Arkansas. Temps are average 90's and up so far. Going to be in the mid 80's this week. There are some shaded spots where there is grass greening.
We have put it in our contract that the lawn is to be fixed should the grass not live. But I would like to take care of it now and not a year from now.

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I know moving into a new home is exciting. BUT placing this clause in the contract is going to provide you will lots of potential problems and high blood pressure moments.
Red Flags a waving New home and the grass is dead.... hummmmm What builder would not represent the home in its best view. Inside looks nice. What is the builder hiding? I am a suspicious person when it comes to forking my money over for a home.
Bermuda is extremely hard to kill. Even with no water the lawn should have green spots. Bermuda goes dormant in the winter not the summer. WHY would they stop watering the grass on a home for sale?
Demand that watering start immediately, if no change in 3 days then walk away. OR have the builder provide a performance bond to you for the grass. Hire a real-estate lawyer for the correct verbiage. Expect a fight and then you can be pleasantly surprised.
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SQLit wrote:

Three Mile Island?
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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Greg wrote:

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Greg wrote:

Not the right time of year for putting in lawn where you are whether you want cool-season grasses (fescue/bluegrass/etc.) or warm-season (bermuda, etc.). If you want cool-season, wait 'til fall, if you want warm, next spring will be best.
You <can> do it, but you'll have to water unmercifully at this point in time and, particularly, w/ the Bermuda, it's just coming on to it's dormant time what w/ shortening days and all, anyway. If by NW AR you mean Ft Smith or north you get cold enough Bermuda will go dormant over the winter and although you do have a little while, it's pushing it to get started from scratch at this point, particularly if you're as dry as you say...
Cool-weather grasses, otoh, will do <much> better if you wait until say at least mid-September. Hopefully by then you'll have had some rain and the temperature will break. They'll continue to grow (particularly root growth while the annual weeds aren't) up until close to Christmas anyway w/ any luck at all on a decent fall and late winter--particularly if you continue to water some if you don't get a wet fall/early winter.
OBTW, does this house have a sprinkler system and/or do neighbors in the area? If no and yes, respectively, might be worth the additional investment to get one in while the yard now. Also, what was done about preparing the yard after construction wrt to backfill, etc., to have a decent soilbed? That could be the whole problem of what was done not surviving and could mean nothing will be successful unless and until that problem is taken care of.
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If the roots are deep then the Bermuda will go dormant above ground during hot dry periods using what water there is to preserve the roots. It will not come back from cooler weather, only wetter. Pour the water to it and in a few days it should start greening up. If it doesn't it is gone.
Also, dig down and see how deep the roots go. If they are only an inch or two from the suface, it may be gone.
If your neighbors have green grass without any additional irrigation, just from normal rains and you don't, it is probably gone.

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weeds. Looks like someone did a turf job that died or sprayed everything with roundup...
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