How to Care for Bermuda Sod in Georgia

Overview

Bermuda sod, more commonly known as bermudagrass, is a warmth-loving grass that does well in Georgia's climate--so much so, that the University of Georgia has introduced several bermudagrass hybrids. Lawn care practices for Georgian bermudagrass don't diverge widely from standard lawn care methods for other species, though certain topics, such as fertilizing or mowing, are specific to bermudagrass or the Georgian climate.

Step 1

Water your bermudagrass sod. Bermudagrass creates extensive root networks that can reach a depth of 6 feet or more, thus not requiring very much water. Apply 0.1 to 0.3 inches of water daily, using the bermudagrass' appearance as an indicator. If it starts to wilt or turn yellow, it's time to increase the amount of water you're applying.

Step 2

Fertilize the bermudagrass. The species has a voracious appetite, needing regular feedings every four to six weeks from the spring through the summer months when growth is fastest. Use a standard granular lawn fertilizer applied at the rate listed on the label, as potency varies by product. Alternatively, apply straight nitrogen at a rate of 1 pound for every 435 square feet. Use a urea-based nitrogen product, as other types of nitrogen don't work well in Georgia's climate, according to the University of Georgia.

Step 3

Mow the bermudagrass. Bermudagrass should be kept at a height of 1 inch if used as a lawn on which you expect moderate to heavy amounts of foot traffic. A height of 2 inches is acceptable in lawns that aren't used heavily. Some hybrid bermudagrass species found in Georgia, such as the Tiftsport variety developed by the University of Georgia, can be mowed even shorter at 0.75 inches.

Step 4

Correct weed and pest problems, if applicable. Bermudagrass sod that's well-maintained should have negligible amounts of pests and weeds, but these may sometimes arise regardless of your bermudagrass management practices. If you encounter common Georgian weeds like clover or chickweed, spray with a lawn herbicide formulated with 2,4-D; meta-chlorophenylpiperazine; or dicamba. If you encounter insect pests, apply a lawn insecticide designed to target the specific bug you're facing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Follow the guidelines on any insecticides or pesticides that you use, as usage practices and toxicity varies widely by product. When using such products, avoid contact with the chemicals and wear appropriate safety gear like gloves and eye goggles.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Lawn mower
  • Insecticides or pesticides
  • Safety equipment (e.g. gloves and goggles)

References

  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • University of Georgia: Bermudagrasses in Georgia

Who Can Help

  • University of Georgia College of Agricultural Sciences: Types of Bermudagrass in Georgia
Keywords: growing bermudagrass in Georgia, Georgian bermudagrasses, Georgia lawn care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.