Bermuda grass is a hardy variety of grass that is often used in playing fields and golf courses. In warmer regions, it's a popular lawn grass because it tolerates very high temperatures. It grows low to the ground, prevents erosion with its extensive system of roots and rhizomes, and holds up well under heavy foot traffic. It also establishes itself from seed relatively quickly. Common Bermuda grass is the only type that can be propagated from seed.
Plan to sow Bermuda grass in the spring when soil temperatures are over 65 F. Prepare virgin ground around two months before sowing.
Remove all trash, stones, and other debris from the area where you want to sow the grass. Pull up any weeds and dispose of them in a plastic bag away from the site, or burn them. Do not compost weeds because the seeds can survive and grow when you use the compost.
Break up the ground with a shovel or tiller and make the soil as fine as possible. Shovel or rake over the site to make sure it is even, without any lumps or holes.
Test the soil pH and add amendments as needed. If the pH is lower than 6.5, spread lime and dig it in. Spread sulphur if the pH is higher than 7.5. Add other organic materials such as aged manure or compost if the soil is very poor.
Let the ground settle for up to two months. Fill in any holes that appear, and remove any weeds.
Compress the soil lightly before planting. You can walk over the entire surface if it's small enough, or use a garden roller for larger areas. The day before sowing, water the ground so that it's moist to an inch deep.
Rake lightly over the soil right before you spread the seed, just enough to give the seeds a place to settle.
Spread l lb. of Bermuda grass seed per 1,000 square feet. Sow the lawn on a day that isn't windy. Spread the seed by hand or use a mechanical spreader. Divide the seed in half and spread a light layer of seed walking in one direction, then another light layer walking in the other direction.
Rake lightly over the seed so that it's buried about halfway. Avoid sowing too deeply or the grass will not come up well. Water the seed in well.
Keep the soil moist while the seed is germinating, but don't soak it. Bermuda grass takes up to two weeks to germinate.
Roll over the young grass with a garden roller when it is about 1 inch high. Do not mow new grass until it's 3 inches tall. When you mow the first few times, don't take more than an inch off the top. When Bermuda grass is better established, you can gradually start mowing it to 1 inch high.
Keep Bermuda grass free of pets and foot traffic during the first growing season.