How to Install Bermuda Grass

Overview

Bermuda grass is a heat-loving variety that is used for turf in warm climates in the southern part of the United States. Bermuda grass reproduces by above-ground runners known as stolons and underground runners known as rhizomes. Because of this, the grass can be installed through plugs, sod carpets or stolonizing. Before installing Bermuda, the soil must be properly prepared.

Step 1

Remove the existing turf by applying a broad-spectrum herbicide such as glysophate. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage.

Step 2

Reapply glysophate after two weeks to remove any remaining grass from the first application. Remove the dead grass and roots with a sod cutter after the grass turns brown.

Step 3

Take soil samples to a local county extension service. Apply any amendments recommended by the test to reach the optimum planting soil. Bermuda grass tolerates a wide range of soils but performs best between pH 6.5 and 8.0

Step 4

Break up the soil to a depth of 8 inches using a garden tiller. Remove sticks, rocks or large debris. Spread necessary amendments over the top of the soil to a depth of 4 inches. Mix them into the soil by passing the garden tiller over the soil again.

Step 5

Water the soil and allow it to dry thoroughly. Rake the soil so that it is uniform.

Step 6

Lay sod over the surface of the soil. Plant grass plugs by cutting sod pieces into smaller squares and placing them into planting holes, or plant stolons instead of sod. Rake the yard into furrows, place the stolens into the furrows and cover them with dirt.

Step 7

Water the lawn and keep it moist to allow Bermuda grass to establish. Cover the ground with 1 inch of standing water every two to three days. Water the lawn in the early part of the day. Space out the watering sessions to allow soil to dry if the soil seems soggy. Reduce the watering to 1 inch per week once the grass has become established.

Step 8

Mow the lawn one week after it begins to grow. Keep the grass to 2 inches in length.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear protective clothing, gloves and breathing protection when handling glysophate herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Glysophate
  • Sod cutter
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Garden tiller
  • Garden hose
  • Rake

References

  • University of Arizona Extension: Vegetative Establishment of Bermudagrass Home Lawns
  • United States Golf Association: Investment Yields Bermudagrass Cultivars with High Quality and Improved Cold-Hardiness
  • Pacific Earth: 10 Step Installation
  • University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program: Installing a Sod Lawn
  • Texas A&M Extension: Bermudagrass "The Sports Turf of the South"

Who Can Help

  • Grounds Maintenance Magazine: A Creeping Menace
Keywords: establishing Bermuda grass, sodding a lawn, laying in Bermuda grass lawn

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."