In my last blog I wrote about the importance of the height of your lawn. In the next few blogs I will write and give you, hopefully, valuable information about the most common grass types in your lawn. It is my hope that this will help you determine how high or low to mow, fertilization rates, when to mow, and water, etc.
Bermuda is considered by some to be the toughest turf grass of the south. To give you context, it is highly resistant to heat and drought, uses little water, tolerates a variety of pH levels, tolerant of high traffic areas, establishes easy, and can grow on hard or low soil surfaces.
With its ability to resist heat and drought at a higher level, this type of grass only needs to be watered once a week during the growing season. If you were to miss a week or two do not stress over it. If healthy, this grass can go up to eight weeks without any serious harm being done. You will not need to water when dormant unless you over seed with rye grass. If this is the case then you should water, every 4 to 7 days.
It does not do to well in the winter, some hybrids may stay greenish during the winter, but for common Bermuda, it will turn brown with the first drop in temperature. I recommend over seeding with Annual Rye, if you would like to keep a green lawn in the winter.
Fertilize Bermuda in the spring at least two weeks after green up. Apply one pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Use a complete fertilizer, Nitrogen, Phophorous, and Potassium(N-P-K). You may apply one pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in the summer, if needed. Also, if you must apply fertilizer in the fall, do it around October(4 weeks before the first frost). You will want to apply a low-nitrogen, high-potassium fertilizer.
You will want to make sure that you mow at a height of 0.5 inches to 2 inches. Bermuda is able to withstand being mowed at a shorter height, which is why varieties of this grass is used on golf courses. Remember, try not to cut more than 1/3 of the grass.
With its ability to to establish easy, it can fill in bare spots quicker than most turf grass. It will grow back well when injured and has the ability to out grow weeds. This grass has rhizomes(underground shoots) and stolons(above ground runners) that help the grass spread.
IS IT A PEST?
Now unfortunately because of this, you run into the problem of this grass being an unwanted pest for those of you that do not have or want Bermuda in their lawn. It will be difficult to eradicate and keep out. There are some herbicides that can be used that will travel through root, shoots, and rhizomes, but you will need to be very careful when applying. It is my recommendation that you call your local lawn care professional before you attempt anything.