Care of Bermuda Grass Lawns

Overview

Bermuda is a warm-season grass that's commonly planted in lawns located in regions with mild winters. Bermuda grass (Cynodon spp.) can withstand dry conditions, hot sun, and heavy foot traffic. Bermuda grass can't tolerate shade, but it can thrive in many different soil types. Because it's a perennial grass, Bermuda grass lawns often require reseeding. Vigorous, fast-growing and spreading by rhizomes and stolons, Bermuda grass requires frequent mowing and some control to keep it out of flower beds and gardens.

Step 1

Water your Bermuda grass lawn during the summer in the morning to provide 1 to 1 1/4 inches of water per week. Wet the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. In spring and fall, water your Bermuda grass lawn only during dry, hot, windy or drought-like conditions, or if the lawn is newly sodded or seeded.

Step 2

Mow your Bermuda grass lawn from spring through autumn once or twice a week to maintain a grass height of 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches, or 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches for hybrid Bermuda grasses. Mow your lawn frequently enough to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the total grass length in a single mowing.

Step 3

Feed your Bermuda lawn in spring about three weeks after the grass turns green again by applying a 20-5-5 NPK fertilizer at a rate of 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Apply the fertilizer at the same dosage rate once every four to six weeks from June until August, and then make an additional fertilizer application in September.

Step 4

Control crabgrass weeds by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in late February or early March. Apply a pre-emergence herbicide in fall to control winter annual weeds. Follow the instructions on the herbicide label exactly.

Step 5

Get rid of weeds that appear in your Bermuda grass lawn by applying a post-emergent herbicide during late spring and summer, according to the directions on the package.

Step 6

Reseed bare patches in your Bermuda grass lawn in late spring or early summer. Seed the Bermuda grass at a rate of 1/2 to 1 lb. of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for common Bermuda grass pests and diseases. Dollar spot is one of the most common problems, causing 1- to 3-inch-diameter circular spots of straw-colored grass in the Bermuda grass lawn. The spots usually appear in spring, but treatment is best performed in fall by applying an appropriate fungicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or irrigation system
  • Lawnmower
  • 20-5-5 NPK fertilizer
  • Pre-emergent herbicides
  • Post-emergent herbicides
  • Bermuda grass seed
  • Power rake or vertical mower
  • Lawn aerator
  • Fungicide (optional)

References

  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Lawn Care Calendar -- Bermudagrass

Who Can Help

  • Lawn Care Guide: Bermuda Grass Care
Keywords: Bermuda grass lawn, Bermuda grass care, Bermuda lawn maintenance

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.