Crabgrass VS Bermuda Grass – Difference Explained

Last Updated on April 6, 2023 by Mattias

When it comes to gardening, grass is certainly a vital aspect. It adds to the appeal and makes your garden look lively. Unfortunately, you can’t just plant a random grass variety in your garden. If you’re just a beginner at home gardening, you must be having difficulty differentiating between such wide varieties. We completely understand your overwhelming doubt, but the good news is that you have come to the right place. Today we are going to settle the most common debate between crabgrass vs Bermuda grass

Keep reading to learn all about their differences, similarities, and links.

Crabgrass vs Bermuda Grass 

Crabgrass VS Bermuda Grass

To state the obvious, bermuda grass is a thick and luscious turf, whereas crabgrass is a weed that no one wants in their garden. Crabgrass is usually rough-textured and highly undesirable. Meanwhile, bermuda grass has a coarse medium texture that is smooth and pleasant. Where Bermuda grass has thicker blades with small hair, crabgrass is identifiable by its clumpy growth and wide leaves. Both are often associated with each other because of their aggressive growth and tendency to invade 

Now that you know the primary difference between these two kinds of grass, It is also important to understand their properties. You must learn about their menacing prospects to choose the right variety for your garden.

Let’s dig into some more details and analyze the subject “crabgrass vs Bermuda grass”

What is Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is also known as finger grass and has two popular types, smooth crabgrass and hairy crabgrass. They have dark green leaves that typically reach 3-5 inches. Low-lying grass can adapt to different conditions and appear in various forms.

It will germinate, sprout, and die in the same season, but it can kill nearby species and invade your garden during its life cycle. This grass is hard to get rid of because before it dies out, crabgrass deposits its seeds all around your garden, and as soon as the next season approaches, the carpeted seeds begin to grow once again. This cycle repeats itself repeatedly until you take the necessary actions. 

How to identify Crabgrass?

You can identify crabgrass in your lawn by looking for leaves about ¼ inch wide in size. It is quite easy to distinguish them since they are the largest grass plant. 

The best way to spot crabgrass is by examining how its seedlings are spread in your garden. You’ll see that they have branched out at various places and appear in the form of clumps. That’s because it’s an invasive grass that grows everywhere its stems deposit seeds. Soon you’ll notice that crabgrass has carpeted your entire garden with gaps and spaces in between, which is unsightly and unlike any other grass variety. The final indication would be the star-shaped growth patterns formed by the grass on your lawn.

How to Remove Crabgrass?

removing crabgrass

Garden weeder tools

Using garden weeder tools to remove crabgrass from your lawn and gardens is a good idea. They come in the shapes of plungers and claws that can be dived into the ground. Once you dig them inside, pull the roots right out.

This is a time-consuming process but effective and promising nonetheless. By pulling a single crabgrass plant at a time from the roots itself, the chances of aggressive growth will decrease significantly. 

Pre-emergent herbicides

These are a form of chemical weed control that prevents germinated seedlings from getting fully established. 

Several effective herbicides can kill crabgrass without affecting the garden and other species around it. Make sure to inspect the warning sign on the bottles, as your selected product should only target crabgrass. This step is crucial because you definitely don’t want other lawn grass to die in this process. 

If you are uncomfortable with this particular solution, home remedies such as vinegar are a good alternative. It has a high acidity of 5% and above that will perform just as well and do the job. 

What is Bermuda Grass? 

Bermuda grass is a sun-loving species with dark green leaves and coarse texture known to thrive in warm climates. Unlike crabgrass, Bermuda grass is a well-liked grass plant that adds visual appeal to your garden. It makes the garden look lush, and as a bonus, it is extremely pleasant to walk on it with bare feet. 

It is mostly used in the southern United States as turfgrass because of its evergreen appearance. This grass is resilient to weed killers and tough climates, and its deep root system makes it drought-resistant. 

Its growing season usually lasts throughout the late spring and entire summer and even reaches early fall sometimes. It will most likely go away with the signs of the first frost. 

With the promise of surrounding your lawn in warm climatic conditions, you might find it a little hard to get rid of this grass once planted.

How to identify Bermuda Grass?

Bermuda is a type of grass variety with a lovely dark green color and coarse texture. The warm and frost-free climate will keep your lawn lush and green all year. Apart from its appearance, here’s how you can identify it in your garden.

You’ll see that this grass has roots above ground, i.e, stolons, and its leaves are attached to these roots. Small hair will be evident where the leaf blade meets the stolon. Considering this grass grows underground by rhizomes and above ground by stolons, another common sign would be its aggressive growth. The best way to identify this grass is by looking at the seed heads. In doing so, if you notice that it resembles a bird’s foot, then it’s definitely Bermuda grass

How to Control Bermuda Grass?


Even with all its advantages, this grass can get out of hand in a matter of time. If not controlled at the right time, Bermuda can turn into a weed and invade your garden entirely. It can easily take over other grass varieties, such as tall fescue and zoysia grass, along with flower beds or other planted species. Here’s how to control it.

  • Fertilizers- by ensuring regular use of fertilizers, you’ll be strengthening other species against the bermuda grass lawn, so when this grass enters its invasive phase, other species will be able to fight against it and hold their ground.
  • Mowing the lawn will help keep Bermuda grass pleasant-looking, and your garden will look manicured. Regular mowing is also recommended so that you can cut the grass before it spreads in unpreferable areas. 
  • Proper edging around flower and plant beds is important because it will ensure that the grass stays exactly where it’s supposed to. It will make your life a lot easier, and you won’t have to worry about Bermuda grass invading other species on your lawn. 

Crabgrass vs Bermuda grass- Differences

a hand feeling the grass

Now for the main question, what’s the actual difference between crabgrass and Bermuda grass? Take a look below and find out.


The biggest difference between the two most certainly lies in their appearance. Bermuda grass is a desirable-looking lawn turf that is thick and luscious. Meanwhile, crabgrass is nothing short of an unpleasant and stubborn weed. Crabgrass will appear as clumps on the surface, and you’ll find it rough-textured and unsuitable for walking on. Meanwhile, well-groomed Bermuda grass will have hair on the leaf blade, making it smooth and comfortable.

Growing conditions

One of the most significant differences between the two is their growing conditions. A Bermuda lawn is high maintenance and needs a lot of water, fertilizers, and close attention to growing effectively. Bermuda grass is sensitive to cold weather and needs direct sunlight to thrive. Even though this grass develops 6 inches-deep roots in the soil, it is still one of the warm-season grasses that need a good drainage system. It is often known as “southern state only” grass because it can’t tolerate colder climates and hence can’t be grown in the far north, especially in North America. 

On the other hand, crabgrass doesn’t have many preferences regarding climatic conditions and the general location. This weed is an annual plant because it can grow and spread on any landscape at any time. 

Even though it can grow anywhere, it is most likely to favor sandy and compact soil over fertile soil, so to state it, this grass tends to grow on lawns that are not well-kept and low in nutrients. Unlike Bermuda grass, Crabgrass doesn’t need extra water, fertilizers, or your basic attention to grow and spread. 

Crabgrass vs Bermuda grass – Similarities 

a wheelbarrow with grass

Why are these two grass varieties often interchangeable? Some gardeners even think they are weeds and find it hard to distinguish between them. Now that we have covered their differences let’s see what exactly cojoins them.

Aggressive growers

Based on what we have discussed above, it is safe to say that both these grass species have aggressive growth habits. Bermuda grass is known to have a creeping habit and can be difficult to contain.

It is known as a “low-growing” grass because it has doubled growth rates and spreads through underground rhizomes and above-ground stolons. Before you choose it for your garden, you must remember that aside from growing quickly and saving you valuable time, it can get out of your hand just as easily.

Crabgrass is a low-lying weed that obviously has aggressive growth as well. You’ll see it growing in clumps all over your garden. Since crabgrass seeds are deposited wherever the stem makes contact, it eventually leads to the entire landscape being unsightly carpeted.


When Bermuda grass species takes over your garden, its luscious pleasantries don’t seem all that tempting anymore. Much like a weed, It has more strength than other species, and it can push them aside and even harm them to grow further. It can easily invade your plant beds and other crops, so gardeners are recommended to do proper edging of the area. 

Crabgrass is also known to harass other species and you definitely don’t want your entire lawn or garden covered in clumpy growth.

Advantages VS Drawbacks

To help you choose the right variety, we have listed some of the most common advantages and drawbacks of each grass. Take a look below and see what suits you the best.


Advantages Drawbacks
Suitable for foot trafficExcessive growth rate
Low-maintenance Not pet-friendly 
Not highly invasive The rough texture makes it unpleasant to walk on
Less preparation neededHard to get rid of

Bermuda grass

Advantages Drawbacks
Tolerates heavy foot traffic, thus good for athletic fields and golf coursesAggressive growth rate
Stress-resistant and pet-friendlyHigh maintenance 
Tolerant to heat and droughts Requires fertilizers
Fills in bare spots on your lawnOften invasive
Guarantees a luscious and soft-textured lawnPerennial grass variety

Which One is Right For Your Home Garden? 

a green homegarden

Bermuda grass is aesthetic looking, while large crabgrass is an ugly clumpy grass variety. Bermuda grass is your companion for gardeners who wish to have a manicured and pleasant-looking lawn. It will grow quickly and fill in the bare spots on your lawn while giving it an aesthetic appearance. 

You must be wondering why would someone intentionally choose crabgrass over bermuda. For gardeners who want an energetic-looking and greenish garden without putting much money or time into the process, then the low-maintenance crabgrass might be the right pick. It is a hardy grass variety that doesn’t need much from you and will keep your garden green all year long. Before making your decision, remember that it can take up to 30 years before a crabgrass variety finally sprouts, so it’s really a lifetime commitment.

FAQ – Bermuda Grass

When does st augustine grass grow?

St. Augustine grass grows during spring, summer, and early fall when the temperature is between 80 to 95 °F.

When does st augustine grass turn green?

St Augustine grass turns green sometime in April, but some homeowners must wait until mid-May, depending on the climate.

When does st augustine grass seed?

St. Augustine grass does produce a seed pod. But it’s easy to assume it’s weed. Even if it makes a seed pod, it cannot be grown by seed.

Is st augustine grass a weed?

No, it’s not a weed. But when St Augustine grass seed, it can easily be mistaken as a weed.

Crabgrass vs Bermuda Grass Summary 

We hope this article helped you understand the major differences and similarities between crabgrass and bermuda grass. We discussed each type and its properties and explained in detail why they are often linked.

The key takeaway from this article would be that even though these two types of grass have similar characteristics, they are definitely not the same. One has the potential to make your lawn look beautiful, while the other is an ugly weed. If not controlled properly, both can take over your healthy lawn and bully other plants, so always keep an eye out for them.

Are your doubts clear now? If this article helped you understand crabgrass vs. bermuda grass, share it with your friends and family and save them from future trouble.