How to Maintain a Healthy Bermudagrass Lawn

Bermudagrass is also known as Cynodon dactylon. image by Pompilid/


Bermudagrass is a naturally hard-wearing turf grass that is fast-growing and produces prominent, windmill-shaped seed heads. Bermudagrass spreads by over-soil stolons that can build into a thick thatch between the grass blades and soil. Water, lots of direct sunlight, consistent fertilizing and mowing need to be supplemented with annual or even twice-yearly dethatching or aerating. This will allow all of the applied water and fertilizer nutrients to reach down to the soil feeding it and help to maintain a deep shade of green.

Step 1

Provide at least six hours of direct sunlight for your Bermudagrass each day. Some filtered or dappled shade is acceptable, but full shade will cause Bermudagrass to thin and become sparse.

Step 2

Water your Bermudagrass every week with either one deep watering of at least an inch of water or two applications of a half inch in each session. In dry climates or in very warm weather, you may need to increase watering to keep the soil evenly moist.

Step 3

Mow regularly to maintain a blade height of between 1/2 inch and 2 inches, according to your preference. Bermudagrass varietals designed for golf course putting greens such as Midlawn or Tifgreen can be sheared as low as 1/8 inch without damaging the lawn. Begin mowing in spring again after the last frost has passed and the grass begins to green. In the first few mowings of the season, only remove one-third of the blade height in each session to reduce stress on the roots.

Step 4

Fertilize your Bermudagrass at least twice a year with a granular lawn fertilizer. Make the first application in the spring after the last frost and the second application in the late summer of early fall.

Step 5

Aerate or dethatch the lawn once or twice a year during the growing season. Pull the dethatching rake through the lawn in one direction over the entire lawn, gather up the loosened thatch and discard. Use an aerator to lift plugs of thatch and soil in an even pass over the lawn. Plugs can be collected or allowed to degrade and fertilize the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Lawn mower
  • Dethaching rake or machine
  • Flexible rake
  • Garden edger


  • American Lawns on Bermudagrass
  • 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: Pompilid/