How to Establish Bermuda Grass Pastures

Overview

Bermuda grass plays an important role in livestock production programs. The grass can grow in many different conditions. It copes well with heavy stocking rates and animals that graze the land closely. As a forage grass, it makes dry matter that can be used as hay or for grazing. While it is a relatively low-maintenance plant, Bermuda grass does need a fertile environment and some attention to thrive. The University of Kentucky recommends that you contact your cooperative extension to determine the best variety for your climate.

Step 1

Choose a planting site with well-drained soil. Bermuda grass does well in a variety of soil types, as long as the water doesn't pool.

Step 2

Test the soil in the pasture. Walk around the site and collect several samples. Combine them and let them dry. This will provide a more accurate assessment. Send the soil to your cooperative extension for testing.

Step 3

Till the soil to loosen and aerate it. Attach a disc cultivator to your tractor. Drive back and forth over the pasture and dig into the earth to break it up.

Step 4

Determine amendments in accordance with the soil test results. When the soil pH is below 5.0, Bermuda grass responds well to hydrated lime applications.

Step 5

Lay down a layer of the amendments over the local soil. Use the spreader for even results. Run over the pasture one more time with the tractor so the disc cultivator can combine the amendments into the soil.

Step 6

Plant Bermuda grass seed with a seed drill set. Sow an even amount of seed. Too many seeds will compete for nutrients and too few will result in a sparse pasture. Disperse 5 to 8 lb. of seed per acre of land.

Step 7

Get the seeds to start germinating by compacting them with a roller. Seeds must directly touch the soil to sprout, and the roller establishes better contact.

Step 8

Re-seed areas that appear to be sparse or those with bare sections. If the areas are small, you can drop the Bermuda grass seed by hand.

Step 9

Test the soil once a year to determine if nutrients are needed. Follow the analysis results.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let pets or children near the pasture if you have applied chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Tractor
  • Disc cultivator
  • Fertilizer
  • Agricultural lime
  • Spreader
  • Bermuda grass seed, 5 to 8 lb. per acre
  • Seed drill
  • Roller

References

  • University of Kentucky: Bermudagrass, A Summer Forage in Kentucky
  • Oklahoma State University: Pasture Management
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Varieties of Bermudagrass
Keywords: Bermuda grass pasture, grow Bermuda grass, establish Bermuda pasture

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.