How to Grow Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass blades and seedheads. image by Pompilad:commons.wikimedia.org

Overview

Bermuda grass is an aggressive warm-season turf that grows via above-ground runners and produces tall, propeller-shaped seed heads. Bermuda grass is drought-tolerant and very hard-wearing, so it is often the turf of choice for sports fields and public parks where foot traffic is heavy. With its fast-spreading habit and adaptation to less-than-ideal soil conditions, it is also a low-cost lawn choice in residential settings.

Step 1

Grow bermuda grass by seed or by sod in a location that receives a full sun exposure. Bermuda grass struggles to maintain its carpet effect and remain deep green with shady conditions. The exception would be a few hours of light shade or filtered shade each day in climates where there is intense sunshine and heat.

Step 2

Water your bermuda grass so that the thatch remains just slightly moist at all times. Follow the 1 inch of water applied each week during the growing season. In cooler climes, watering once a week is often sufficient. In warmer, drier climes, the 1-inch variety should be broken down into a half application twice weekly and be supplemented with more water if the lawn is under drought stress.

Step 3

Fertilize your bermuda grass at least twice a year with a good-quality granular turf fertilizer scattered over the lawn and watered in well. Alternatively, feed several times a year during the growing season with a soluble liquid fertilizer diluted with water. Follow the label directions carefully to avoid over-fertilizing, which will stimulate top growth at the expense of root growth.

Step 4

Mow your bermuda grass consistently to maintain the height you desire. Set your blade no lower than 1/2 inch for a golf course look maxing out at 2-inches in height for a more natural appearance. Refrain from cutting off more than one-third of the blade length in any one mowing session. If you take off on a long vacation and come home to a lush, long-haired lawn, cut down the length slowly over successive mowings to reduce stress on the roots. Control the edge of your bermuda grass with ongoing maintenance as it will spread aggressively into surrounding beds and become established. Use hand pulling of runners, edge shears or a string trimmer to control and maintain a crisp edge.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Lawn mower
  • Edge trimmer

References

  • American Lawns on Bermuda Grass
  • This Old House All About Lawns
Keywords: bermuda grass, cynodon dactylon, grow 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: Pompilad:commons.wikimedia.org