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Bermuda Grass Lawn Care

Types for Home Lawns, Planting and Maintenance

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season, perennial grass that is adapted to tropical and sub-tropical climates. It grows best in areas with warm temperatures and mild winters and forms a dense, fine-textured turf that is widely used on golf courses, sports fields and home lawns in southern states. A fine choice for those willing to dedicate a little extra maintenance and care to their lawn.

Bermuda grass is also an aggressive weed that is called Wiregrass or Devilgrass.

Bermudagrass

Features and Characteristics:

  • Spreads by stolons and rhizomes
  • Tough, durable and recovers rapidly from damage
  • Fast growing
  • Dense, fine textured turf
  • Responds well to low cutting heights
  • Salt and drought tolerant
  • Goes dormant and turns brown when temperatures drop in the fall

Optimum Site Conditions:

  • Full sun -- it is not tolerant of shade
  • Prefers well drained soils, however it is very tolerant of wet soils
  • Warm temperatures and mild winters
  • Will grow in any soil as long as it is fertilized

Uses:

  • Golf Courses
  • Sports Fields
  • Home Lawns
  • Utility Turfs/Erosion Control
  • Pasture/Forage Grass
Golf Fairway
Picture of Bermudagrass Golf Fairway

Planting Bermuda Grass Lawns

Bermuda grass is easy to plant and establishes very rapidly. It can be either seeded, sodded, sprigged or plugged. Seeding or sodding are the best ways to start home lawns.

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Common and Hybrid Types

Common Bermuda is lower maintenance than the hybrid types and is suitable for home lawns. Common is usually seeded and there are several improved varieties that should be selected for planting home lawns. The improved seed cultivars include: Princess 77, Savanna, Sultan, Sydney, Sunstar, Mohawk, Yuma, Yukon, and Riviera

Seeding: seed at a rate of 1 lb per 1000 ft2

The hybrids make very high quality turf stands and were developed for golf courses and sports fields. They are sterile and therefore must be sodded, sprigged or plugged.

Tifway 419 and Tifway II are hybrid grasses that can be grown by homeowners who want the highest quality lawns. Tifway is the standard for high-quality lawns however, these hybrid types require a little more maintenance and care than Common Bermuda. They require higher amounts of nitrogen fertilizer and need to be mowed shorter and more frequently.

Sports Turf
Picture of Bermudagrass Soccer Field

Bermuda Grass Care and Maintenance

Mowing -- Cutting height is between ¾ and 1½". For best results, cut frequently and use a reel mower. A rotary mower with sharp blades and set at the lowest height will produce a satisfactory cut.

Watering -- Needs 1" to 1 ¼" of water per week. Water smart.

Fertilizing -- Apply ½ to 1 lb Nitrogen per 1000 ft2 every 4 to 6 weeks. Start fertilizing in spring 3 weeks after green-up and stop 4 weeks before first frost.

Core Aeration -- Aerate in early summer when the lawn is actively growing.

Weed Control -- Apply preemergence herbicides in spring and broadleaf weed control as needed when weeds are present.

Overseeding -- Overseed with perennial ryegrass to in early fall to keep lawn green through the winter.

Watch for these Diseases -- Spring Dead Spot and Dollar Spot.

Dormant grass; keep it green in cool months by over-seeding with perennial ryegrass.
Picture of Dormant Bermudagrass
Bermudagrass


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