Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season grass preferred by homeowners in the southern United States due to its ability to withstand direct sunlight, moderate drought and temperatures above 75 degrees F. There are several types of Bermuda grass each with its own distinct features and qualities, allowing gardeners to plant a specific type that meets their needs and requirements.
Released in 1965, Tifdwarf is a low-growing, dense Bermuda grass that requires frequent mowing so it remains short in height. This hybrid grass establishes and spreads slowly, and is not as invasive as other Bermuda grasses. Tifdwarf Bermuda is usually grown on small areas such as putting greens. Other hybrid Tif varieties include Tifway and Tifgreen, which require more fertilizer and water than other types. Tif varieties are usually sprigged or sodded on commercial lawns, sports fields and golf courses.
Established by seed, common Bermudagrass is not as desired as other types because of its light green color, loose-netted spread and rough texture. The seeds are often mixed with bahiagrass and planted along roadsides.
According to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Santa Ana Bermuda was developed in the 1970s by the University of California. It forms a low-lying dense grass with wider blades than Tifway grass. It resists smog, wear and tear and moderate traffic, which is why it is used on golf course fairways and tees, sports fields and home lawns alike.
Sahara and Cheyenne
Both Bermuda grasses are "improved" seeded varieties that have a dense spread, feature deep roots, medium texture and a dark green color. These general-purpose turf grasses are used for parks, home lawns and sports fields. Sahara is moderately pest resistant and can be planted in a variety of soils. Both types of Bermuda grasses should be used where improved characteristics are required.
Yukon is a hybrid, high-quality turf grass that withstands lower temperatures more than other Bermuda grasses. It features dark green blades that grow and spread slowly to form a dense lawn grass. It is a popular choice for small areas such as backyards, and holds up well in golf course fairways and greens.
Released in 1962, this bluish-green Bermuda grass type has a medium density and texture, and is used in athletic fields where mowing is infrequent and higher grass heights are acceptable. It is highly susceptible to dollar spot disease and stunt mite. Ormond is not commercially available.
U-3 is a fine-textured Bermuda grass with many seed heads that requires frequent mowing to keep them under control. This grass is the least reliable of the hybrid Bermuda grasses that is usually started from sprigs.
Rated very high on the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program as compared to other hybrid Bermuda grasses, Princess 77 is grown in small areas such as putting greens and larger areas including home lawns and sports fields.