The Types of Soil for Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass can be found in over 100 countries around the world. Not surprisingly, it thrives in almost any type of soil. What Bermuda grass does need to survive is a well-draining soil and a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. When planting Bermuda grass, Richard L. Duble, of the Texas University Cooperative Extension, recommends waiting until the soil temperature has reached 65 degrees F before sowing the seeds. A planting ratio of 1 lb. of seed to every 1,000 square feet of area is also recommended.

Clay Soils

Clay soil has poor drainage and must be amended prior to planting Bermuda grass, which needs a well-drained soil. To increase clay soil porosity, add a 1- to 2-inch layer of peat moss over the planting area. Mix the peat moss into the soil, using a rototiller, to a depth of 6 inches.

Sandy Soils

Sandy soil is the opposite of clay soil when it comes to porosity and nutrients. Where clay soil is nutrient-rich, sandy soils offer little to no nutrient value to Bermuda grass. This problem can be rectified with the addition of an organic compost, which will provide the nutrients Bermuda grass needs. As sandy soils are considered a light soil, porosity is high with this soil type. This suits the drainage needs of Bermuda grass, but it may require up to 0.3 inches of water per day in higher temperatures to avoid dehydration.

Alkaline Soils

An alkaline soil is identified as any soil with a pH level of 7.3 or higher. Clay soils, or soils with a high concentration of limestone, are typically alkaline. While many acidic-soil plants cannot thrive when planted in alkaline soils, Bermuda grass is not affected by the higher pH level and accompanying soluble salt in the soil. There is no need to amend an alkaline soil to suit this grass type, with the exception of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for improved growth.

Saline Soils

Saline soils are often caused by the weathering of minerals in the soil, or from deposits of fossil salts left behind by an ancient sea bed. Saline soils cannot be amended by chemicals or the addition of other organic materials. The result of the high salt levels in the root zone of this soil is often failed seed germination or slowed plant growth. An exception to this rule is the hardy Bermuda grass. It is highly tolerant of saline soils and is able to thrive despite this inhospitable condition.

Keywords: growing bermuda grass, soil types, clay soils

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.