Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Mattias
The Spanish introduced Bermuda grass to the USA in the 1500s from Africa. This appealing, dense grass, also called the “South Grass,” is an adjustable warm-season turf that various people use for their lawns. It is mostly found in pastures, golf courses, athletic fields, parks, and sports fields.
Bermuda grass may be an ideal turfgrass for your beautiful landscape if you want a tough lawn that can easily survive the hot sun and dry summers.
In this Bermuda grass guide, we will share some top caring tips for Bermuda grass and when to plant it. But before moving on, let’s learn more about Bermuda grass!
What Is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is an attractive warm-season grass that thrives in the country’s Southern parts.
It is a perennial grass known for surviving difficult conditions like drought, heat, foot traffic, and salinity. Also, it recovers from any damage more promptly than other types of grass.
In the growing periods of spring and summer, you can plant Bermuda grass by seeding or laying sod. It is a fast-growing, spreading turfgrass, extending by runners above and below the soil.
Fine- to medium-texture blades have sharp tips and are wide, allowing a dense, deep green lawn of grass.
Like most warm-season lawns, Bermuda grass thrives during spring and summer and transforms from green to brown as it becomes dormant for fall and late winter. The Bermuda grass lawn will stay green throughout the winter in deep South regions with no frost.
Several types of Bermuda grass are adaptable for USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10. While Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass, some common varieties will work in a transitional zone.
Tips For Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass is easy to care for, especially if you pay the turf more attention a few times yearly. By watering, aerating, mowing, and fertilizing your grass as required, you will have a most vibrant, beautiful lawn on the block!
Your Bermuda grass doesn’t require as much water as other grass types. However, it will still benefit from adequate watering.
In the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), your bermudagrass lawns must only be watered if there’s an unpredictable hot, dry period or the grass is wilting / curling.
- Throughout summer, provide your lawn with at least 1.25 inches of water every week. We recommend watering for about 2 to 4 hours every third day unless there’s rain in the forecast.
- Water your Bermuda grass in the morning to prevent burning the grass.
Compacted soil, due to silt, heavy foot traffic, and clay soil, will compress your lawn, preventing nutrients, water, and air from reaching the roots of the turf. It can result in restricted growth, more weeds, and insect problems in your Bermuda grass lawns.
Aeration can help break up soil compaction, giving roots more nutrients. Bermuda grass must be aerated once or twice yearly in the late spring or early summer to protect the lawn from drying up and to keep your grass lush and growing.
Common bermudagrass grows promptly and needs frequent mowing, specifically throughout rainy seasons. Follow these top tips to keep your thin Bermuda grass healthy and weed-free.
- Use a lawn mower to mow your grass for 1 to 2 weeks as required.
- Keep grass blades about 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. Do not remove more than 1/3 of a grass blade to avoid stress.
- Your first mow must be in mid-March, after a final winter frost, once the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees or high.
- Your initial mow after the winter must be low to remove damaged or dead grass.
- Continue mowing during the spring, summer, and fall until grass goes dormant or the first frost of fall.
The best time to plant your Bermuda grass is during the spring, around mid-March (after the final frost of the year). If you’re starting with a new lawn, it is when you would add sod.
Allow one complete warm season (spring to fall) for the sod to develop roots in the lawn before aerating.
Bermuda sod typically contains hybrid varieties of warm-season grasses. However, we do not recommend overseeding your Bermuda lawn because of the difference in grass varieties.
Fertilizing is a simple way to provide your lawn with the nutrients it lacks. It will help your lawn grow fully and fight off disease and weeds.
- Have the soil tested at the local extension office, or do your at-home soil test.
- The soil test results will display what nutrients your soil lacks and what fertilizer is required.
- Fertilize your Bermuda grass 2 to 4 times every year, between March and November, depending on the soil analysis outcomes.
Bermuda grass often lacks nitrogen, indicating your applications should likely be nitrogen-heavy.
Sometimes, 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet will require to be added to your Bermuda lawns every year. The amount of nitrogen required and how often to apply varies based on your region and soil analysis outcomes.
When Should You Plant Bermuda Grass?
The good time to plant your Bermuda grass is early spring, after the final frost. Like most warm-season grasses, the Bermuda seed germinates best when the soil temperatures remain above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a general thumb rule, look for high temperatures that remain more than 80 degrees throughout the day.
How Much Grass Seed Do You Need?
The amount of Bermuda grass seed you require depends on various factors, including whether you are seeding a new lawn or overseeding your existing lawn.
The seed bag must show coverage estimates and spreading rates. However, use a grass seed calculator to quickly estimate the amount of grass seed needed for your lawn size.
Also, you can learn from different guides on seeding your lawn for complete step-by-step instructions on seeding your lawn or overseeding the existing lawn.
Where Does Bermuda Grass Grow Best?
Bermuda grass needs slightly acidic soil (a pH of around 6 to 7). However, it can tolerate certain levels of alkaline soil.
Test your soil to analyze its pH levels. Bermuda grass also requires well-draining soil and prefers full sun to grow well. If you’ve shady locations, look for some shade-tolerant plants to supplement your green lawn.
Some warm-season grasses can handle much shade better, but they may grow poorly alongside your Bermuda lawn.
Is Bermuda Grass Drought Tolerant?
Bermuda grass is one of the most drought resistant grasses. After your grass is established, it will stay green with only 1 inch of water every week (less than many other grass types).
It can also tolerate hot, drought conditions well. It goes fully dormant in long periods of drought and will survive in such states for as long as four weeks.
Water your grass infrequently but deeply to promote the long root system to grow deeper, which will help it handle dry conditions. Sandy soils usually need more frequent watering.
Bermuda Grass Weeds And Disease Control
Like every turf, your Bermuda grass is prone to certain diseases and weeds that grow mostly in warm-season grasses.
Proper care and maintenance of your Bermuda lawn, such as fertilizing and aerating, can help resist weeds and diseases. It also gives the best results for weed control permanently.
Tips For Bermuda Grass Summary
In this article, we went through all our tips for bermuda grass.
As you discovered, bermuda grass can be easily maintained if you give it the attention it needs.
Did you find this article helpful? Share it with friends to get the green bermuda grass lawn they desire.
Meet Mattias Jonsson, the head of content at RainSaucers. Passionate about gardening and water-related topics, he’s dedicated to providing expert information and resources to help improve your home, health, and wallet. Learn from his research and experience.