Bermuda Grass Lawn Care

For any individual or family dwelling in a Southern climate who wants to have a hardy grass which is capable of enduring fiercely hot sun as well as living on smaller quantities of water, Bermuda grass proves to be a terrific choice.

Bermuda is a low-to-the-ground growing, extra-tough variant of grass, offering wonderful cover for the ground, as well as withstanding high levels of foot and pet traffic.

Taking care of a Bermuda grass lawn is not difficult. It revolves mainly around having the grass grow in sunny areas. The following are the various factors necessary to effectively care for and maintain a Bermuda grass lawn, including proper mowing, watering, and aerating.

care for a bermuda lawn

Information on Bermuda Grass

Because Bermuda grass is in fact a perennial form of grass, it does not typically require re-seeding. It sports a richly green color, and features a fine to medium texture. It does exceedingly well in yards.

Typically, Bermuda grass is the one selected for golf fairways or putting greens around the South of the United States.

The regular varieties of Bermuda grass which are grown throughout the United States’ South can be had in more than a dozen different varieties which have their own best uses for different scenarios. As an example, a user might pick out a specific variety because of its color, tolerance for wear and tear, mowing height, or practicality for a little bit cooler climate found in the northerly ranges of the South.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bermuda Grass

There are many impressive advantages to Bermuda grass versus other grass variants. Among them are its tendencies towards aggressive growth, a minimum level of maintenance, and tolerance for extreme heat, sun, and drought. The disadvantages of this family of varieties lies in the brown shade that it turns during the months of winter, as well as its lack of ability to thrive in shady places.

Proper Care for a Bermuda Grass Lawn

Mowing Bermuda Grass Lawns

Bermuda grass is commonly thought to be the most challenging family of grasses to mow. This is actually because in many cases, the incorrect lawn mower is being utilized.

Optimally, Bermuda grass should be reduced to a height of only one to one-and-a-half inches. The vast majority of lawn mowers simply are not able to mow so low to the ground without butchering the whole lawn. This sort of scalping is the result of a wheel in the lawn mower rotary dropping down into a small rut, which forces the blade to dip down, scalping the grass in the process.

Should a homeowner’s Bermuda grass become scalped, a half moon shape shows up in the place where the grass was injured by the blade. Not only is this ugly to look at, but it is very hard on the health and well-being of the lawn.

Preventing a Bermuda grass lawn from becoming scalped is really only accomplished effectively in utilizing a reel mower. Otherwise, with a traditional lawn mower to work with, the level of the cutting blade will likely need to be raised. While this will prevent the lawn from being scalped, it will not allow the owner to achieve that wonderful looking, even, low to the ground cut typically enjoyed on golf courses.

It is true that Reel mowers might cost more money than traditional mowers might, but they will offer a far more even cut to the lawn, which is closer to the ground, and on top of this, they never, ever scalp the person’s grass.

Ultimately, early in the grass-growing season, you should focus on achieving a cutting height of only one inch. Once the summer begins to finish, raise the blade height on up to two inches.

In order not to stress-out Bermuda grass, do not ever take off more than a third of the total height of the blades of grass, or the lawn will become stressed.

Fall is the point of the year to allow a Bermuda grass lawn to be dormant, mowing it only on rare occasions.

Finally, a word should be offered about whether or not to bag Bermuda grass while mowing. Studies have demonstrated that in allowing the clippings from the grass to stay on the lawn, lost nitrogen will return to the soil, eliminating the need for fertilizing the lawn. The clippings should naturally decompose and not increase the odds of thatching problems or disease arising.

Properly Watering Bermuda Grass Lawns

All lawns need water in order to remain green and healthy. This can come from two different sources, either natural rain fall or man-made irrigation.

Everyone prefers to allow nature to take its course and water the lawn, but this cannot be counted on. So watering a Bermuda lawn will become a necessity. Ascertaining whether or not a Bermuda grass lawn is in need of water is possible, if you know what to look for.

When a yard with Bermuda grass is thirsty, its blades will actually bow down a little. Because Bermuda grass proves to be among the most drought resistant kinds of grass, it only really needs to be watered once to twice per week.

The advantage to only watering a Bermuda lawn one time every week is in forcing the roots of the grass to dig down farther towards the available water, once its own supply becomes exhausted towards the end of the week. As the roots go down deeper, the lawn will stay both healthier and greener in the next area drought. So long as you put down a good amount of water on that one day every week, it will be sufficient for the grass.

Typically, the proper watering depth is approximately a good six inches. This will promote that deeper root growth necessary to protect a lawn from the cold, heat, and future droughts.

To test the level of watering just completed, simply push a screw driver into the ground. If it sinks down without difficulty a good six inches into the ground, then the watering is enough. If not, apply more water to ensure that the Bermuda grass has been sufficiently saturated.

Aerating A Bermuda Grass Lawn

Aeration involves literally poking thousands of holes down into the soil. This is helpful once a year, since the lawn takes a good deal of abuse in that amount of time.

In aerating a Bermuda grass lawn, the nutrients will be more capable of getting down to the roots. Also, punching holes in the soil permits oxygen, water, and various other nutrients to reach to the lawn’s roots.

Although there are two types of aerators available, one containing spikes and the other containing plugs, most people should rent a core aerator.This machine contains hollow spoons that pull up soil plugs when the machine is moving around the yard.

Aerating turns out to be similar to mowing the lawn, but doing it two times. The lawn should be properly aerated first in one direction, then in another one which is at a ninety degree angle to the first one. In such a criss-crossing pattern, the lawn should attain the proper twelve individual holes for every square foot of lawn.

Bermuda lawns ought to be aerated early in the summer. This is the point at which the lawn grows the fastest. Following the aerating procedure, apply a good serving of fertilizer and a thorough watering, so that the yard will swiftly recoup.

40 Comments

  • Reply Brian Brady March 3, 2012 at 1:49 am

    great website and very helpful.
    Do you have anything on how to be sure what type of grass one has? I’m pretty sure it’s bermuda. The only other disadvantage I see is flower beds. Bermuda grows like weeds in flower gardens and you can’t get rid of it.
    Thank you!

  • Reply James L. Stone May 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    How is St Augustine grass removed from a Bermuda lawn?

  • Reply Michael Smith June 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    How to keep the bermuda grass green, and thick? What some good fertilize to use?

  • Reply David Dowdell June 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Look forward to any additional info. Learn what it takes to care for this type of grass ( Bermuda ).

  • Reply Brad June 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Any tips on fertilizing?

  • Reply charlie July 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    How Bermuda in a place that receives only 2 hours or so on direct sunlight each day; is there anything that you can add (above watering, feeding) to help the grass in this situation. Thank you! Charlie

  • Reply Charlie August 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Saying a reel mower will “never” scalp someone’s lawn is simply not true. I had a friend reel mow for me and it actually scalped it worse than my push mower.

    Good read and thanks for the info.

  • Reply Jeanne August 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    My bermuda lawn is 13 yrs old, never aerated. It is so thick that I must mow 3 inches to even get my lawnmower thru it. A Professional Lawn Care Service advised that I need iron and phosphates in my lawn (?) My question, is there anything that I should do to prepare it for the winter months and after aerating in the spring, should I then apply a certain type of fertilizer???????

    • Reply ABDUL QADEER September 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

      In winter you apply only urea..and amonium sulphate.Ammoium sulphate will add green color in it.

  • Reply Charles. Christian September 5, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I just had my lawn aerated in september,should I seed and put sand this time of year.

  • Reply Vickie Rush October 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    This is great information that is clearly broken down for you to understand and be able to follow step by step instructions. I am buying my first home and I’m doing a good job (so I’m told) at keeping my yard looking good. I wnat it to look even better and this information I think will help me for the up coming year. Thanks a lot!!!

  • Reply Michael Crowson December 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    How do you remove or get rid of Ivy from growing on Bermuda lawns? I have spots of Ivy that grow in different areas of my lawn.

  • Reply Morgan February 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve been told that I can not use a reel type push mower (old fashion kind) on my bermuda lawn. Please tell me if I can or not as I’m new to bermuda and really have no idea about care and maintance of my lawn. I’m in centrl Mississippi. Thanks

    • Reply chris September 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Look up Mascot Reel Lawn mowers they make a Reel mower specifically for Bermuda grass. The info you revieved is wrong. Check out Mascot.

  • Reply Donald Steinback February 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I live in Evansville In. I have green grass in my Bermuda yard which I am stuck with I gave up using Turflon so I decided to try And make my Bermunda look better, do I wait to spray the other type of grass in early spring before the Bermuda greens up to get rid of it ? I might even get a reel mower to cut it shorter. My neighbor across the street works on his lawn 50 or 60 hours a week he sprays Turflon about once a week he is constantly trying to keep bermuda out that’s why I gave up. Thanks, Don

  • Reply Robert Drake March 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    You can see riding mower tire ruts in my bermuda. The grass there grows but not at the same rate as the other part of the grass. I have staggered my cutting path but does not seem to encourage the shorter grass to catch up. The damaged grass seems matted. Not sure what to do. I do have a lawn treatment service but I cut the grass with a John Deere X-300.

    • Reply Bert Pippen June 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Cutting with a snapper rear engine 30″ and on turns mower cuts lower. Looks awful. What to do

  • Reply Wang Tran March 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    How do I get rid off crabgrass and weeds on my new Bermuda grass ?
    I spayed crabgrass control + put compost on it. is that right way to do ?
    Please advice. Thanks

  • Reply William Querengesser April 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    What kind of weed & feed fertilizer should I use for Bermuda grass in Panama City Beach, Florida? I purchased Scotts Turf Builder, Plus 2, with weed control. The sales person at Loews said this should work with Bermuda!

  • Reply Rocky Susshine May 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I have a new Bermuda lawn 2000 Sq. Ft. (Sod). I have been watering twice a day for a week now. How much more H2O will I need to apply? I wish to cut the grass 3in. tall. Can I get away with this height?

  • Reply RayBrooks May 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    How often should the lawn be fertilized and your suggestion as to what kind.

    Ray

  • Reply George Stevenson May 22, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I am greens committee chair in Mexico where we are in the middle of a 5 month drought and April and may temperatures at 30-38 in the daytime. Problem is our sprinkler system just can’t. Handle (and we just do not have enough water) the heat. Our grass is now sparse in the rough and that is being nice. The only place tere is any grass is centre of faiways. I believe it’s too late to recover it before rainy season. The board wants me to flood the course an fertilize. Which I think is a total waste. Can you give me some guidelines on when to use water and fertilizer when in drought situations. By the way it is well water and cost much money

  • Reply Janet July 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I have been paying a company for 13 years to fertilize and do weed control. Had my soil tested and there are virtually no nutrients. The Bermuda is turning to seed in spite of proper mowing and watering it will not green up and does not look healthy. Need help.

  • Reply Steve Stanfill August 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I have had moles in the pass and my yard got rudded up be cause of them and also I have some trees . i got reid of the moles and trimed the trees higher so sun can get in, is there anything else I can do to make the grass grow stronger Thanks

  • Reply Steve Dressler August 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I recently bought a home in Sarasota, FL. I have noticed in alot of areas in my lawn white sandy areas. Should I be adding some sort of top dressing in these areas? If so, what do you recommend?

  • Reply tommy snow August 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    my bermuda lawn has gotten full of clover and other weeds, how can I get rid of them

  • Reply John Anderson August 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    What is the planting season for bermuda in upstate South Carolina? Thanks in advance. I’m using Scotts seed.

    • Reply Brian (BMo) April 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

      John Bermuda is a summer grass, you want to seed it in May or June, it grows best during the summer months. Keep your seeds wet until they germinate.
      Brian (BMo)

  • Reply Laurie November 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I live half way between Amarillo Texas and Albuquerque New Mexico and I would like to know how to prepare my Bermuda lawn for winter and how much to water during the winter months. Thank you Laurie

  • Reply Billy Drew December 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I live in North Carolina where the ground is like red clay.. should I lime Bermuda grass and if so how much ? thanks Billy

  • Reply D. Naville June 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I use 10-10-10 twice a year – late spring, and just before 1st day of summer. It makes the bermuda healthy enough, and growing close enough to choke out any remaining weeds. Plus, I like the idea of getting rid of the weeds by making the grass healthier. The 10-10-10 fertilizer trick I learned from my neighbor, where you could eat off the ground, her lawn is so pristine.

  • Reply Linda Jergens July 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I would like to know why my bermuda grass ALWAYS has brown spots after the gardeners have mowed. The grass is beautiful green until it gets mowed. The gardeners mow once a week with a reel mower. I just get sick every week when the grass gets cut. The brown spots are always in different places each week. Do you have an answer as to what these brown spots are from.

    • Reply Brent August 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      The brown spots are due to a fungus being within your lawn. If you go to
      Home Depot and get Scott’s fungus control, it will clear these small brown spots you are seeing within your lawn.

    • Reply Matt January 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      @ Linda Jergens – you are letting your Bermuda grow too high. The bermuda grass will only get green where sunlight can penetrate. If you let the grass grow too long the stems of the grass will not get sunlight and turn brown so when you cut it (cut off the green) it will expose the underside that is not getting sunlight. Simple solution cut your lawn shorter and you will not see the brown spots.

  • Reply Greenskeeper August 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Linda, they are simply cutting too much of the leaf off, actually cutting into the stem of the grass, they either need to mow more often ot raise the mower slightly.

  • Reply Byron April 16, 2015 at 12:48 am

    how can I make my lawn thicker? I have put more seeds down but it didn’t work. Can you help me? Can you mix seeds with bermuda to make it look thicker.

  • Reply Craig June 24, 2015 at 1:52 am

    A new area was planted in my lawn. Put down seed, lime,and starter fertilizer. Starting to turn brown now that I am not watering as much. What now?

  • Reply Rt G. July 19, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I just plant the bermuda grass last july 16 here in arizona. I just want to know how long it will take the seeds will grow, i am watering twice a day. Please help.

  • Reply Tommie Reynolds October 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I pay loan care $60.00 a month and my grass looks really bad. The grass length is six to eight inches long if you lift it up. It looks like greenish blue feathers on the top 1/2 inch and brown the rest of the way to the ground. I have watered several times a week since June and they put down the right? ? fertilizer.? I am disgusted! When they mow it looks like it just laid it down. Where he turns the mower around it gets beat up. What can I do on my own?

  • Reply JCools October 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Great article. I live in North East El Paso TX and had Bermuda grass put in as sod in 2012, I believe (it’s Oct 2016). It grows like crazy! I have a large sanded area in my yard where we HAD an above ground pool. Now that it’s been gone for about 2 years trying to keep the grass out of there is a nightmare. I would just let it go, but I don’t have a sprinkler system over in that area. I used to have the mower this article suggests to cut the grass, but because my yard is soo uneven the wheels would get stuck in the low spots making it extremely difficult to push. I got a traditional mower for ease of pushing, but unfortunately it does scalp it now in some places. The last few springs I’ve been adding bags of topsoil to fill in the low spots, can’t say it’s really helped, but eventually hopefully it will and I can start using the better grass cutter again with success. The grass looks really horrible after topsoil has been added, but fills in within 2 weeks and is super green and beautiful. Mid March it starts greening up and I have the kids go over it with an aerator before adding topsoil (it’s fun as long as we take turns). I water every 3Rd evening or early morning (like 3am) for about 5-8 mins per zone (I have 3). In my yard if my grass needs more water it begins turning a shiny silvery color so I adjust how often before I change the length of time. I also have loamy soil. Last winter was the first winter I did not water at all and saw no change in the summer grass, so I will likely do the same this winter. We also have a trampoline that has to be moved a lot because despite this being a sun-loving grass the grass grows at a very fast rate under the trampoline. I actually move the trampoline over spots that don’t seem to be thickening up as well as the rest and within a week it’s thicker than the rest so I move the trampoline and cut the grass and it looks fantastic. Whew, I hope that this was a little help full to anyone from El Paso or similar wondering if this grass was a good choice.

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