Seasonal Care for Bermuda Grass

Cynodon dactylon image by


Bermuda grass, known botanically as Cynodon dactylon, is a common lawn grass that is fast-growing and cost-effective to establish. Bermuda grass is frequently used for sports fields and parks because it is hardy and drought-resistant. It produces propeller-shaped seed heads and thrives in full sun. Tropical by nature, Bermuda grass turns brown in cooler temperatures.

Step 1

Mow your Bermuda grass up to three times per month during its active growth period. Set the mower blade at 2 inches or the height you prefer for maintenance mowing. In the spring after the last frost, mow all of the brown grass down to a half-inch to encourage fresh blades to emerge.

Step 2

Apply granular or liquid lawn fertilizer in early spring to quickly turn the lawn green and speed new growth. Use a spreader or hose sprayer attachment to provide an even application of fertilizer. Repeat applications in keeping with the instructions on the label of your product of choice. It will likely call for several feedings a year depending on your climate.

Step 3

Keep the soil under your Bermuda grass consistently moist throughout the summer. While it can tolerate some drought, extended periods without water will affect its greening and growth rates. Water deeply once or twice a week during the active growing season in areas where the grass goes dormant and year-round where it does not go dormant. Stick to 1 inch of water per week for irrigation, taking into account any rainfall that may reduce the need for watering.

Step 4

De-thatch or aerate the lawn in the spring or in the fall before the grass goes dormant. In warm climates where Bermuda grass does not go dormant, you can do this year-round except for the hottest part of summer. Aerating your grass encourages new root growth and the absorption of water and nutrients deep into the soil. Always water the lawn after aerating to prevent it from drying out at the abrasion points.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bermuda grass is an aggressive grower. It will quickly creep into adjacent beds, borders and hardscapes. Periodically use an edger or string trimmer to maintain the edges of the lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Mower
  • Edger


  • American Lawns on Bermuda Grass
  • This Old House All About Lawns
Keywords: Bermuda grass, seasonal care, maintenance

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: