Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)—

A Warm Season Turf Grass

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Bermudagrass

Bermuda Grass

Photo Credit: USDA, NRCS. 2010

 

 

The popularity of bermudagrass is unquestioned.  Historical references to bermudagrass date back to 1807 and there are good reasons for this.  Other than a bland winter appearance bermuda grass is a proven performer with few drawbacks in its preferred region. 

Bermudagrass is a perennial warm season grass that is a favored turf for lawns in the South, Midwest and Northern California. 

However, in northern parts of the country Bermuda grass may be unfamiliar and unwelcome since it often appears as a wiry, difficult to eradicate weed in these areas.

Bermudagrass is a very strong, weed resistant, low maintenance turf grass that stands up to a lot of abuse. 

Foot traffic, heat and drought are not much of a problem for bermudagrass in areas that get at least a half day of sun.  It recovers quickly from cutting or burning. 

It is a very green, salt resistant grass that grows well in course, medium and fine soils. You can see that it has a lot of qualities that make it a very widespread in home lawn use applications. 

Quick to establish, bermudagrass aggressively spreads by rhizomes and stolons.  The blades are short with sharp points.  The outside edges are rough and  1/8” making it a very fine textured home turf grass that is often used in recreational facilities, for livestock pasture, wildlife forage and erosion control as well. 

 

Bermuda grass requires commitment in terms of permanence.  The deep root system and the way it rapidly spreads by rhizomes and stolons means that once established, Bermuda grass is difficult to destroy.  Because Bermudagrass is such a prolific spreader, proper barriers will need to be established between lawn and garden beds, driveways, sidewalks and mulched areas such as tree borders. 

Professional grade edging or an edge trenching method will both work well.  Don’t waste your time or money on consumer grade products or half measures—bermudagrass will laugh at your wasted efforts as it gleefully spreads where you never wanted it to go.

 

You will want to avoid planting bermuda grass if you have an allergy sufferer in the house.  Bermudagrass pollen is a known allergen.  You can minimize suffering if you already have an established Bermuda grass lawn by frequent mowing to prevent the grass from going to seed. 

Common problems

While bermudagrass is a strong performer in turf grass there are still a few problems to be on the lookout for.  These include:  Spring Dead Spot, Helminthospoium Leaf Spot, Dollar Spot, and  Large Patch.  As far as bugs, there are a few white grubs that may cause problems, but they are not considered a major pest. If you encounter problems, your best resource is your local extension agent, who will have plenty of information for you.

 

There are many popular cultivars available in seed and sod. 

Varities such as ‘Arizona Common’ ‘Brazos’, ‘Coastal’, ‘Coastcross-1’, ‘Tifway’, ‘Tifgreen’, ‘Tifdwarf’, ‘Tufcote’, ‘Jackpot’, , ‘Majestic’, ‘Midland’, ‘Quickstand’, ‘Princess 77’, ‘Riviera’, ‘Santa Ana’, ‘Savannah’, ‘Southern Star’, are among some of the more popular.

Sources:

USDA, NRCS. 2010. The PLANTS Database   19 March 2010. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

University of Georgia –   Georgia Turf   Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)

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