Bermuda grass is a well-known turf grass that is widely used for athletic fields, large lawns, and golf courses. It requires more maintenance but grows beautifully and densely. Here you will know everything that you need to know about this grass.
What is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that is commonly used for turf in lawns, golf courses, and other related areas. It is known for its dense, green growth and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic.
This grass is also known by many other names across the world, such as:
- Couch grass
- Indian doab
- Scutch grass
- Dūrvā grass
- Dog’s tooth grass
- Ethana grass
- Bahama grass
- Devil’s grass
Today, Bermuda grass is widely found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is one of the most popular types of turf grass in the southern United States. Additionally, Bermuda grass has a high tolerance for heat, drought, and salt, and can be used in areas that are subject to water restrictions. The grass is also resistant to insects and diseases. Bermuda grass has a short, dense growth habit.
In most cases, it is considered an invasive species due to its rapid growth and ability to crowd out native plants. However, in some areas, it is prized for its durable nature and distinct green color. Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying that Bermuda grass is one of the most versatile and widespread types of grass in the world.
Bermuda Grass at a Glance
|Botanical name||Cynodon dactylon|
|Plant type||Perennial turf grass|
|Average mature size||4 to 16 inches|
|Requirements for soil type||Tolerates most soil types|
|Soil pH value||6 to 6.5|
|Spreads by||Stolons and rhizomes|
|Hardiness zones||between 7 to 10|
|Mowing height||1-2 inches|
|Foot traffic tolerance||High|
|Shade tolerance||Poor (requires full sun)|
|Water requirement||Low to moderate|
|Suitability||Southern lawns from coast to coast|
|Other names||Couch grass, Indian doab, Grama, Scutch grass, Wiregrass, dūrvā grass, Arugampul, Dog’s tooth grass, Ethana grass, Dhoob, Bahama grass, Devil’s grass, Crabgrass.|
What Are The Types of Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is a widely available well-known turf grass which has more species and cultivars than you could imagine. . However, they all boil down to 2 different broad types:
- Seeded Bermuda Grass
- Hybrid Bermuda Grass
Each broad type has several different varieties.
Seeded Bermuda Grass
This Bermuda grass grows from seeds and was introduced two decades later the Bermuda grass was introduced in the USA. Since then, it has gained a good reputation due to the existence of new cultivars that are dense and useful like the hybrid type.
When this grass matures, it starts to produce seed heads. Seeded Bermuda grass has a deep shade of green and creates a dense turf. This grass has a fine texture and can tolerate heavy foot traffic. Its new cultivars have also developed winter hardiness.
Hybrid Bermuda Grass
Hybrid Bermuda grass, as the name suggests, is grafted and cultivated to have more desirable grass features that aren’t common with natural to seeded Bermuda grass like:
- Better shade tolerance
- Deeper green hue
- Higher resistance to diseases
- More compact growth
You can say it’s a better version of seeded Bermuda. But, even with all these positives, hybrid Bermuda has one downside it doesn’t produce seeds. Thus, the absence of seeds can be an issue when black spots and damage in the turf appear.
Common hybrid Bermuda grass types include Tif varieties (like Tifway-II, Tifway 419) and Sunturf, etc.
17 Common Types of Bermuda Grass
1. Tiflawn Bermuda Grass
Tiflawn Bermuda grass is well-known for its speedy growth rate and excellent root establishment. It has pale green leaves and a thick texture. It is relatively low growing and is drought and wear-tolerant.
It has a high recuperative potential, but it is vulnerable to Bermuda termites. It requires well-draining soil in hardiness zones 5 to 9 to grow.
Some of the key characteristics of Tiflawn Bermuda Grass are:
- It is a hybrid of Cynodon dactylon & Cynodon transvaalensis
- Requires Full sun to partial shade
- Requires Clay, sand, loam, and well-draining Soil
- Need hardiness zones 5 to 9
- Good drought tolerance
- Good wear tolerance
2. Blackjack Bermuda Grass
A healthy lawn is the foundation of a beautiful garden. It also helps to prevent soil erosion and regulate moisture levels. One type of grass that is well-suited to these conditions is blackjack Bermuda grass. This tough variety is resistant to drought, shade, and cold, making it ideal for areas with harsh climates. With its dense network of blades, blackjack Bermuda grass also provides an effective barrier to tolerate high foot traffic. Also, it is a low-maintenance grass that requires less water as well as fertilizer. As a result, this versatile grass is an excellent choice for any gardener looking to create a healthy lawn.
It is a type of seeded variety with a fine texture and it produces deep green turf in no time. It grows well in different soil types and in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10. This grass thrives in warm regions but also has excellent tolerance for the harsh winter season.
3. Tifway 2 Bermuda Grass
Tifway 2 is an attractive but high-maintenance type of Bermuda grass. It is a frost and nematode-tolerant variety. The grass can easily grow in various soil types. Due to its disadvantage of not being drought tolerant, you should be prepared to keep the grass watered.
4. Ormond Bermuda Grass
Ormond Bermuda grass is a desired variety of grass that is popular for a number of reasons. This is mostly used in sporting grounds such as Golf courses. If we talk about the appearance of the grass, it is dark green-blue in color and has a fine texture. The grass blades are thicker but it is less dense than other Bermuda grass varieties.
This grass isn’t tolerant to cold temperatures but is pest and disease-resistant. It is suitable for most soil types between hardiness zones 5 to 9.
5. Tifton 85 Bermuda Grass
Tifton 85 Bermuda grass is a hybrid that comes from crossing between P1 290884 and Tifton 68.
Tifton 68 is among the best pasture grasses with high cold tolerance, and P1 290884 is a type of drought-tolerant Bermuda grass.
While other Bermuda grass hybrids are relatively short, it is taller with broader leaves, and larger stems and the roots of this grass also go deeper. Because of these characteristics, this grass is preferred for larger pasture lands.
It grows well in hardiness zones 5 to 10.
6. Oasis Blend Bermuda Grass
It is one of the popular hybrid types of Bermuda grass. This grass can be grown in soil types with neutral and alkaline pH. The characteristics that make this grass a better option are its disease tolerance and shade tolerance. It grows well in hardiness zones 5 to 9.
7. Yukon Bermuda Grass
Yukon Bermuda Grass is one of the best turf grass varieties of Bermuda grass that was genetically engineered by the Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Research Team. It was made as turf grass that can grow along tree lines and fairways because of its shade tolerance.
It is tolerant to cold climates, meaning it will not immediately grow dormant as soon as the winter season kicks in.
Moreover, it’s a disease and “spring dead spot” resistant hybrid. Yukon Bermuda grass has the capability to grow in all types of soil in areas of hardiness zones 6 to 10.
8. Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass
Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass is an incredibly popular choice for sports fields, athletic fields, and golf greens. It is tolerant of lots of wear and heavy foot traffic. When winter comes around, this grass goes dormant. And after frequent exposure to harsh frost, it turns brown but regains its dark green color once it’s slightly warmer outside.
Because of its ability to recuperate fast and create dense turf, Tifway 419 Bermuda is a popular choice for lawn owners. It is one of the toughest hybrid Bermuda grass that sets roots and grows fast in areas of hardiness zones 7b to 11a.
9. TifSport Bermuda Grass
TifSport Bermuda grass was developed under the collaboration project of the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia using a gamma mutant of Midiron Bermuda. This type is well-known for its high tolerance to cold and is best grown in areas where it gets cold early.
It will produce dense and thick turf good for areas like fairways and tree lines. As a hybrid, it’s only possible to produce it through vegetative propagation. For best growth, this grass also needs full sun exposure.
10. TifGrand Bermuda Grass
TifGrand Bermuda grass also goes by the label PP21017, is a versatile and adaptable type of turfgrass. It stands out from other types of grass due to its impressive deep green color and finer texture. This grass also features excellent disease and shade tolerance. This grass grows well in soil with low nitrogen levels.
It is one of the most shade-tolerant Bermuda grass cultivars which has been scientifically developed to withstand up to 50% of shade. It is resistant to both mole crickets and spring blank spots. It does well in hardiness zones 5 to 9.
11. Triangle Blend Bermuda Grass
It is the fast-growing hybrid type of Bermuda grass. The grass grows well in places that have hot and dry climates. It is highly adaptive and ideal grass that grows in both hot and cold weather. The fact that makes the grass popular is that it is resistant to both drought and cold conditions. It can grow well in different soil types in hardiness zones 6 to 11. It is cheap, which is another contributing factor to its popularity.
12. Texas Bermuda Grass
Named after its place of origin, Texas Bermuda grass is an impressive hybrid Bermuda variety that is designed to withstand the scorching hot temperatures of Texas. It thrives in a wide range of soil types with a neutral pH and is known for its deep, lush green hue, and dense turf quality.
Even if your lawn has suffered some wear and tear, you can count on Texas Bermuda grass to quickly rebound back to its original state. This grass grows well in hardiness zones 6 to 9. It is loved for its endurance, toughness, and drought & wear tolerance.
You can easily plant in your favorite spaces without worrying about survival.
13. Mohawk Bermuda Grass
Having a luscious, green lawn in winter seems hard to achieve, but not when you grow Mohawk Bermuda grass. Originating from the Mohawk Valley in Arizona, this variety is uniquely suited for northern regions and tolerates extreme cold. Its deep green hue is aesthetically pleasing, which makes it ideal for home lawns.
Moreover, even though it enters dormancy during winter, it can quickly resume growth once the weather warms up. It is an advanced synthetic type of seeded Bermuda grass and thrives well in saline soils. This grass is fast and dense growing.
Also, it grows well in hardiness zones of 3 to 9.
All of these features combine to make Mohawk an amazing option for landscapers and pasture land owners.
14. La Prima Bermuda Grass
La Prima is the perfect solution for people looking for a hybrid Bermuda grass but that still want some of the benefits of seeded varieties. This Bermuda combines both La Paloma and SR-9554 to create turf grass that is both drought-resistant and low-maintenance.
The best part of this type of grass is that it yields lots of seeds when it matures. It is a seeded Bermuda and also has some hybrid characteristics like pest and drought resistance.
With its ability to thrive in shade and USDA hardiness zones 7–10, La Prima stands out as one of the best types of Bermuda grasses in the market today.
15. Coastal Bermuda Grass
The Coastal Bermuda grass has a lot in its favor when it comes to fields requiring pasture or hay harvesting. As it’s a hybrid of Bermuda grass, it is capable of producing lots of heads when mature, yet there won’t be too many seeds for you to harvest.
This hardy cultivar can tolerate a wide range of soil types and grows well in areas with hardiness zones from 5 to 12. It requires high maintenance and needs extra care each year.
16. Sahara Bermuda Grass
If you are looking for an easy and cost-efficient way to add Bermuda grass to a large area, the Sahara variety might be your best bet.
It grows quickly and produces a thick and dense dark green turf that’s also drought-resistant. Plus, it doesn’t require excessive maintenance – all it needs is good soil with a neutral or alkaline pH in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12.
Not only will this grass save you some money, but it can handle high traffic and its thatching rate is also low. All these factors make Sahara Bermuda grass an ideal choice for pastures, parks, sports fields, and lawns.
17. Jackpot Bermuda Grass
Jackpot Bermuda is a type of turf grass that is unarguably one of the best for playing fields receiving lots of physical activity; that’s why it is chosen for baseball fields across the country. It prefers clay, loam, and sand soils, and can tolerate slightly acidic, alkaline, or neutral soil pH levels.
Though good in cold climates with USDA hardiness zones from 6 to 9, this grass doesn’t handle hot temperatures well and requires more upkeep than other grasses. In places with warmer temperatures like Arizona and Georgia, this grass can experience poorer growth quality.
You should carefully consider your climate and location before settling on Jackpot Bermuda as the right choice for you.
How To Plant and Grow Bermuda Grass?
Planting Bermuda grass through seeds is the best and most cost-effective way to get a healthy, dense lawn. The best time of the year to do this is in the late spring when temperatures are consistently in the upper 80s.
- While planting, it’s important to till up the area and loosen the soil.
- Then you can sow your Bermuda grass seed, rake the seed into the soil surface, and firm it with a tamper, garden tractor tires, or roller.
- Apply ⅛ inches of water to the grass generously for about 3 to 4 times daily to keep the soil surface and seed moist.
- With proper care and watering, your new lawn will be beautiful in no time.
Using weed-free mulch and covering less than 50% of the area can be helpful in protecting the area from erosion.
What Are The Problems (Diseases) That Might Occur With Bermuda Grass?
Let’s know about the problems or diseases that Bermuda grass has to deal with, a little more or less.
|Disease||Causal Agents||Symptoms||Conditions for Disease||Treatment|
|Spring Dead Spot||Caused by one or more species of fungus named Ophiosphaerella||– Circular patches of bleached dead grass. |
– The size of the patches is between 6 inches to several feet in diameter.
– Also, it damages stolons, rhizomes, and roots.
– If left untreated or uncontrolled, the size of the patches increases.
|– 50 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit of soil temperature. |
– Excessive thatch.
– Soil pH is more than 6.2. High nitrogen levels.
|– Use fungicides such as Thiophanate-methyl, myclobutanil, and propiconazole in the fall(approximately 1 month before the grass goes dormant. |
– Prepare a balanced fertilizer regime according to the soil.
– Dethatch and aerate the lawn during summer. It should not be done when the disease is in an active condition, as it may spread the fungus.
|Rust||Different fungi are responsible for different rust diseases. But mostly caused by fungus mainly Puccinia Cynodontis.||– The lawn appears bronze if watched from a distance. |
– Small-sized dark brown to orange pustules appear on the grass blades.
– The dusty reddish brown spore masses are released when these pustules burst out.
|– 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. Humidity. |
– Leaf wetness for longer periods.
|– Graze heavily or harvest the grass for hay. |
– To deal with the excessive wetness of grass, practice appropriate irrigation techniques.
– Remove excessive thatch.
– Maintain proper soil fertility. Apply appropriate fungicides.
– The use of fungicides is not recommended if your field has livestock.
|Leaf Spot and Melting Out||Leaf spot is caused by Drechslera poae and melting out is caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana.||– These are 2 different turfgrass diseases that generally occur together. |
– Symptoms of leaf spot Small purplish black dots appear on the grass blades.
– Slowly, these dots grow into oval lesions with purplish-black borders having tan tissue in the center.
– Symptoms of melting out are more serious than the leaf spot. This disease progresses down into the crown and roots, It rots away the leaf sheaths, stolons, and rhizomes.
|– Leaf wetness for longer periods. |
– Low mowing heights.
– Nitrogen deficiency, or in some cases its excessive use.
– Shaded areas with poor air circulation.
– Excessive thatch.
– Leaf spot and melting out cause the most damage in fall and spring when conditions are cool and wet.
|– Remove excessive thatch. |
– For increasing air circulation, prune or trim vegetation in shady areas.
– To deal with the prolonged wetness of leaves, adopt appropriate watering techniques.
– Mow regularly.
– Apply the appropriate amount of nitrogen, according to the requirement of the soil.
– Application of fungicides like mancozeb, fludioxonil, azoxystrobin, iprodione, penthiopyrad, or chlorothalonil can provide good control on leaf spot.
– However, the use of fungicides can’t completely cure melting out.
|Dollar Spot||Clarideedia jacksonii||– Scattered tan spots of 2 to 6 inches in diameter across the lawn. |
– The grass blades have hourglass-shaped lesions with brownish-purple borders.
– The lawn may exhibit a cobweb-like, silvery covering called mycelium, in the morning.
– In critical cases, each spot merges and creates a big infected area.
|– Low nitrogen levels. |
– Dry soil.
|– Mow regularly. |
– Remove Excessive thatch.
– Use of recommended amount of nitrogen, according to the requirement of soil.
– Appropriate watering techniques. Water deeply and less frequently.
– Use of fungicides like triticonazole, triadimefon, vinclozolin, thiophanate-methyl, propiconazole, myclobutanil, or boscalid. The causative fungus can quickly develop a resistance to fungicides, hence it is better to alternate between products.
|Large Patch||Caused by Rhizoctonia solani, which also causes yellow patch and brown patch disease||– Brown or yellow colored rough circular-shaped patches. |
– The patches vary from size a few inches to several feet in diameter.
– Sometimes these patches may also merge.
– When the grass recovers, the patch’s center may turn green, making a donut shape.
|– Excessive thatch. |
– Application of nitrogen fertilizer in late summer when autumn is too close.
– High humidity.
– In case the soil pH goes below 6.0, the disease becomes more critical.
– Leaf wetness for longer periods.
|– Apply reliable fungicides. Determine the soil pH and maintain its level between 6.0 and 7.0. |
– Remove excessive thatch.
– Maintain the proper mowing height. The ideal mowing height for Bermuda grass is 1 to 2 inches, and for hybrid varieties, it is ½ to 1½ inches.
– Water deeply and less frequently. Watering early in the morning preferably before 8 a.m. is the best time to water the lawn.
– Release soil compaction with core aeration.
– Application of fungicides provides excellent large patch management. Its use in the fall can prevent large patch symptoms from appearing in spring.
How to Care For Bermuda Grass?
Taking care of Bermuda grass may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, it is quite simple.
- To keep your Bermuda grass green and healthy, regularly mow it down to about one to two inches tall; this helps to promote a dense turf that can better fend off weeds. Mowing should be done approximately twice a week. The ideal mowing height for Seeded Bermuda grass is 1 to 2 inches, and for hybrid Bermuda varieties, it is ½ to 1½ inches.
- Watering your Bermuda grass regularly is also important. As time passes and the grass grows, reduce the frequency of water but increase its quantity (i.e. water deeply and less frequently). Watering early in the morning preferably before 8 a.m. is the best time to water the Bermuda grass.
- Finally, maintain the pH level of your soil so that your Bermuda grass has every chance of thriving.
With these simple steps, you should have no trouble caring for your lovely lawn.
How to Kill or Get Rid of Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass can become invasive and infest other turfgrasses, mostly tall fescue, and zoysia grass, and then it’s time to take steps to get rid of it or kill it.
To kill the grass, you need to apply appropriate chemicals or herbicides. Due to the long roots of this grass, it is quite difficult to kill or destroy it. Therefore, you should apply the herbicides again and again, until you get the result.
Sometimes the use of common herbicides may prove harmful to the wanted species, so to get rid of Bermuda grass when it invades the lawn you have to take some special steps.
Apply herbicides to this grass in early spring when its growth is less than 6 inches high and again before new growth reaches the same height.
You should take the help of a licensed professional for these chemical controls.
With this, we have discussed everything about the Bermuda grass. Hope you have liked reading this article.