bermudagrass care guide

Ultimate Guide to Bermuda Grass

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Everyone loves the sound of Bermuda, right? I mean, who doesn’t love warm weather? While many people love Bermuda for plenty of reasons, one of them is actually the grass.

This is why I’ll be focusing on Bermuda grass today because you’ll definitely be surprised by how desirable it can be. If you’re looking for a good lawn grass, or you’re in need of some turf, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention.

I’ll be showing you everything there is to know about this grass in my ultimate guide to Bermuda grass. I’ll do the best I can to answer any questions you may have, but more importantly, I’ll lay out all of the facts for you.

I’ll be going into heavy detail in my ultimate guide to Bermuda grass, which is why everything is separated into easy-to-read sections. I know that a lot of you will have different levels of knowledge about Bermuda grass, so please feel free to skip around if you need to.

Now sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into my ultimate guide to Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that survives well in tropical climates and made its way into the US from Bermuda. It can aggressively spread by using stolons and can be quite difficult to eradicate. Also, it is known to turn brown during dormant seasons and can be distinguished by its purple-tipped leaves.

Click here for my full range of articles on different grass varieties.

Table Of Contents

Is Bermuda grass good for lawns?

The first thing I want to talk about is whether or not Bermuda grass is actually good for your lawn. There are quite a few uses for this grass, so I want to make sure that I cover all of the bases. Let’s have a look.

Can it be a good lawn for the average homeowner?

This really depends on the location that you live in. This is due to the fact that Bermuda grass is actually a tropical grass, which means that it needs potent sun and moisture. Therefore, if you live in an area with frequently changing seasons, you can actually end up with a brown lawn.

So when it comes to determining whether or not Bermuda grass is good for lawns, it really comes down to the area you live in. Also, keep in mind that it can be aggressive, which means that it can be hard to control at times. Just a quick heads up.

Is it good for turf?

A lot of people like to know which grass types work well as a turf. This is a very reasonable question, because turf usually takes quite a bit of punishment. Luckily, if you live in a tropical area, you’ll find that Bermuda grass can definitely handle turf applications.

What about as a pasture?

Bermuda grass is also a decent grass for pastures. This is due to the fact that it grows in thick patches, and you’ll find that it can be pretty good grass when it comes to agriculture in general.

So is Bermuda grass good for lawns? If the conditions are right, absolutely.

What does Bermuda grass look like?

If you’re going to be working with Bermuda grass, it’s important that you know what it looks like. That’s why, in this section, I’ll be going over some of the characteristics that Bermuda grass has. Let’s jump right in.

lawn care bermuda grass

Check out my full article on the pros and cons of bermuda grass.

What color is Bermuda grass?

If you want to distinguish Bermuda grass from another type of grass, you’ll definitely want to check out the color. Why? Because Bermuda grass actually has a very unique purple tip on the leaves. Aside from the purple tip, it can actually turn brown if not in the right conditions.

How tall does it get?

Bermuda grass actually doesn’t grow too tall. You’ll find that it will usually not exceed about 90 centimeters in total, but the average height is usually well below that at around 40 centimeters.

The best way to determine whether or not you’re looking at Bermuda grass is by looking for the purple tip.

Types of Bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is not a type of grass that only has one variation. While most of what I will be going over will apply to most types of Bermuda grass, I still want to show you all the different variations of Bermuda grass. Let’s take a look.

What types of Bermuda grass are there?

Here are some of the common types of Bermuda grass out there:

  • Yuma
  • Ormond
  • Santa Ana
  • Jackpot
  • Cheyenne
  • U-3

What about hybrid types of Bermuda grass?

Bermuda grass is a unique type of grass for many reasons, but one of them is definitely the ability to become a hybrid. Hybrid Bermuda grass can have different qualities, and some common types of hybrid Bermuda grass are:

  • Sun-turf
  • Tifway
  • Tifgreen
  • Tifway I
  • Tifway II
  • Tifway 419

So as you can see, there is a lot of Bermuda grass out there. Each type does have some unique qualities -especially the hybrid types- but most types of Bermuda grass require similar maintenance

Click here for my full range of articles on different grass varieties.

How long does it take for Bermuda grass to grow?

If you’ll be seeding your Bermuda grass on your own, you’ll want to know how long it takes to grow, right? Therefore, in this section, I’ll be showing you what the growing process for Bermuda grass looks like. Let’s take a look.

How long does it take Bermuda grass to germinate?

Once you have the seeds down, and the soil is permitting, the germination will actually be quite quick. On average, you can expect Bermuda grass to germinate within 10 days. Now, please keep in mind that this is the average, and in some cases, Bermuda grass can germinate within 7 days.

What if all of the conditions are not met?

If you happen to underestimate the needs of Bermuda grass, the germination process is going to take a lot longer. While it’s not impossible, you might have to wait about 2 weeks before you start to see germination.

So when it comes to the amount of time it takes Bermuda grass to grow, you’ll find that it’s much faster if all of the conditions are met.

How tall should Bermuda grass be mowed?

Check out my Bermuda vs St Augustine grass article.

One thing you should also consider, and this applies to any grass really, is how tall it should be mowed. You might be surprised by the answer, so you should definitely pay close attention. Let’s have ourselves a look.

What is the average for a regular lawn?

If you’ll be using Bermuda grass for home usage, I would define recommend mowing it down to about two inches. I’ve noticed that the stems of Bermuda grass are typically about an inch in height, and you really shouldn’t mow it down to the stem.

What about for turf use?

Now, while I did say that I wouldn’t recommend mowing it below two inches, the same rule does not apply for turf usage. This is due to the fact that turf is usually a bit more maintained than a front lawn, and in the right conditions, you can get away with mowing Bermuda grass down to an inch.

I would definitely recommend against mowing Bermuda grass below two inches. Can it be mowed lower? Sure, but that’s not always a risk you want to take.

Does Bermuda grass die in the winter?

Bermuda grass, as the name suggests, is better equipped to handle warmer climates. This means that you’ll need to be pretty cautious during the winter, but don’t panic, because I’ll show you how to manage Bermuda grass. Let’s jump right in.

Will it always die during the winter months?

Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass, which means that it responds the best to warmer climates. Therefore, if you live in an area with very mild winters, you shouldn’t have to worry about your Bermuda grass dying.

Check out my ultimate guide to warm-season grasses.

What if I don’t live in a tropical climate?

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in a tropical climate, Bermuda grass will have a tough time surviving in the winter. So if you’re in an area that dips into the 50-degree Fahrenheit range -or below- you might want to avoid Bermuda grass.

What month does Bermuda grass turn green?

Grass is supposed to be green, right? If you notice that your bermudagrass is not green, this could be a cause for concern. Don’t worry, though, because I have the answers for you.

The spring

Bermuda grass is known for producing a nice green color, but this only occurs when the conditions are right. This means that Bermuda grass will likely turn green in the spring because the soil temperature should be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check out my ultimate guide to Spring Lawn Care.

When will Bermuda grass lose its green?

If you’re concerned about when Bermuda grass will lose its green color, the most common time for this to occur is during the winter months. As I’ve mentioned a moment ago, once the soil temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, Bermuda grass will start to turn brown.

When should I overseed my Bermuda lawn?

Overseeding is typically used to fill in patches, or even promote growth when a new season comes around. While overseeding might seem like a simple process, this is not exactly the case. You want to make sure that you do this when the time is right, so in this section, I’ll show you the sweet spot.

The fall months are definitely the best

Bermuda grass can be a bit tricky to grow and can run into some issues during the winter. This is why I would recommend overseeding Bermuda grass in the early fall months like September or even October. You don’t want to wait until the soil becomes too cold, because the seeds may not germinate quick enough.

bermudagrass palm trees

How often should I water Bermuda grass?

Taking care of Bermuda grass is going to take some work, and while it may seem easy to water grass, this is not always the case. This is why I want to show you some great methods for making sure that your Bermuda grass can thrive. Let’s have a look.

Follow my three-day rule

Bermuda grass is equipped to handle harsh temperatures, on the hot side at least, which can make it tempting to keep the soil moist. I understand that mindset, but the best practice is actually to water Bermuda grass once every three days.

I know that watering can seem harmless, but trust me on this one, overwatering is most definitely a thing. I’ll have more on that for you in just a second.

Check out my full article on watering your lawn with a sprinkler system.

Can you overwater Bermuda grass?

I always hear people claim that there is no such thing as overwatering. While this may be true for some types of grass, Bermuda grass actually does have a water limit. Therefore, I want to set some time aside to show you all what that limit is.

During the seeding process, absolutely

If you’re planting seeds, you actually want to be pretty careful with your watering habits. This is due to the fact that adding too much water can actually disrupt the seed.

Now, unfortunately, if the seeds are disrupted they can end up flowing with the excess water that’s on the soil. If this happens, you might notice missing patches on your lawn.

Check out my article on whether watering your lawn in the sun will cause it to get sunburned.

How often should I fertilize Bermuda grass?

One thing you should definitely consider -when working with Bermuda grass- is how often to fertilize it. Grass is something that you have to nourish, and to be quite honest, fertilization is definitely one of the things you need to consider. Let’s take a look at some great fertilization techniques.

How much fertilizer should I use for Bermuda grass?

If you’ll be doing some fertilizing during the summer months, I would definitely recommend using about 1 pound of fertilizer at a time. I know this seems like a lot, but trust me on this one, the result will definitely be worth it.

How often should I fertilize Bermuda grass?

Now that you know how much fertilizer to put down, I want to take some time to explain the frequency in which you should be putting it down. While you may be tempted to fertilize every week or two, once every 4 or 5 weeks should definitely do the trick.

Check out my article on whether you should use fertilizer or compost on your lawn.

What type of fertilizer should I use?

Everything you do -fertilization wise- will be for nothing if you use the wrong fertilizer. Now, with that being said, I’ve noticed that a nitrogen-based fertilizer will definitely work much better than other types.

When it comes to fertilization, just make sure that you use the right type.

Why is my Bermuda grass dying?

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of issues that can occur with bermudagrass. Unfortunately, one of those issues is dying. Now, with that being said, I want to set some time aside to go over some possible reasons as to why your bermudagrass may be dying.

It could be too cold

As I’ve said a few times, Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass. This means that it thrives in warmer climates, which means that it won’t do too well in cold temperatures. So if you have a harsh winter, your Bermuda grass may be dead.

Check out my article on why grass turns yellow during winter.

Spring dead spot

Bermuda grass is pretty resistant to most external threats, but that doesn’t mean that it’s invincible. That’s why I want to bring up a condition that’s actually unique to Bermuda grass called Spring Dead Spot. This is usually caused by a fungus, and if you noticed that isolated patches of your Bermuda grass are dying, this could be the cause.

An extended drought

Finally, the last thing I could see killing your Bermuda grass is a drought. While Bermuda grass may be drought resistant, this doesn’t mean that it can last forever. So if you’ve had a very dry summer or spring, that could be a huge reason as to why your grass has died.

Other than the three things that I just mentioned, the chances of your Bermuda grass dying are actually quite low.

How to make Bermuda grass thicker

The next thing I want to dive into is how bermudagrass can grow in much thicker. As you may have noticed, Bermuda grass is actually quite high maintenance if it’s not in the right climate. So in this section, I’ll be showing you how to make patches of bermudagrass much thicker.

Overseeding

If you notice that one of your Bermuda grass patches is a bit light, you can always overseed a bit. This will encourage the patch to fill in and should be done during the late spring or early fall months.

Make sure the soil is doing well

I’ve noticed that a lot of thinning issues with Bermuda grass are caused by malnourishment. All I mean by this is that your soil needs to have enough nitrogen, and you need to make sure that your Bermuda grass is getting enough moisture.

Other than these two options, your Bermuda grass should actually fill in quite well. As I’ve said earlier, the stolons are quite potent, so most problems with Bermuda grass will actually resolve themselves.

Check out my full article on how to make your grass greener and thicker.

bermudagrass care

How to make Bermuda grass spread

If you’ll be working with Bermuda grass, you’ll need to know how to spread it out properly. Lots of grass types will spread on their own, but to be blunt, Bermuda grass is gonna take a little more leg work. That’s why, in this section, I want to go over some methods to encourage the spread of Bermuda grass.

So what do I need to do to make Bermuda grass spread?

To be quite honest with you, this grass will really spread on its own. This is due to the fact that Bermuda grass uses stolons to spread underground, but it can even spread above ground as well. So the only advice I have on your for making Bermuda grass spread is simple: make sure the conditions are right.

Bermuda grass is very aggressive. Trust me on this one, it will spread whether you want it to or not as long as you’re in a tropical climate.

How to get rid of unwanted Bermuda grass in the yard

I know that I’ve covered a lot already, but if you’re looking to get rid of Bermuda grass you’ll want to hang in there. This is due to the fact that I’m going to use this section as a way to show you how to remove bermuda grass if you don’t want it. Let’s take a look.

Herbicide

If you don’t mind going the chemical route, which I actually recommend doing for grass as aggressive as Bermuda grass, you’ll definitely need to use an herbicide. Now, you can’t just use any old herbicide, so make sure that you choose one that has glyphosate.

Can I remove Bermuda grass without chemicals?

I know that I said I would recommend using an herbicide, but I know that some of you would rather take the organic approach. I want to let you know that this is completely possible, but it’s going to take a bit more work. The best ways to remove Bermuda grass without chemicals would be to:

  • Apply vinegar to the area
  • Remove the rhizomes (roots)
  • Remove any type of sod, and smother the grass with cardboard, wood chips, or anything else you can find

When it comes to removing Bermuda grass, as I said earlier, I would definitely use an herbicide.

Check out my full article on removing unwanted Bermuda Grass from your yard.

Recap

I know that I’ve gone into quite a bit of detail, but I just want to make sure you know how to take care of your Bermuda grass. I know that it can be a pain sometimes, but making sure you know the facts is extremely important. Grass may seem like just plain old grass, but trust me on this one, there is more to grass than you think.

With all of that being said, I feel like I’ve held you here long enough. If you ever feel a bit lost, or unsure about how to manage Bermuda grass, please feel free to use this post as a guide. Like I always say, I just want you to be well informed.

Anyway, now that you know the facts, is Bermuda grass the grass you’ve been looking for? I hope that my ultimate guide to Bermuda grass helped.

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