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How to Care for Bermudagrass

By DoMyOwn staff

By taking care of your bermudagrass lawn throughout the year, you could easily have the best lawn on the block.

 How to Care for Bermudagrass Video Play

Video Transcript

Bermuda grass is a lush, green warm-season turf that is not only one of the most prevalent grass types in the Southern United States, but the turf of choice for many Southern home and business owners.

Bermuda grass is bright or gray green when growing but will turn brown as it goes dormant in the winter months. The turf flourishes in full sunlight but does not do well in the shade. Homeowners may notice brown spots of dead turf beneath trees and decks. It's not the best choice for a mostly shaded property. By giving your lawn attention throughout the year, you could very easily have the best lawn on the block!

Mow your lawn every 1-2 weeks during the growing season, from late spring to early fall. Your first mowing should be in mid-March after the final frost of the winter. Keep grass blades half an inch to 2 inches long. Mow until the first frost of fall or until the grass goes dormant.

Fertilize your lawn 2-4 times per year between March and November. Use an at-home soil test to determine which nutrients your lawn is lacking to select the proper fertilizer. The application instructions of the fertilizer will determine how often it will need to be applied. Bermuda turf often lacks nitrogen, so pay special attention to the nitrogen results from your soil test.

This turfgrass does not need to be watered as often as other grass types but will still see benefits from occasional watering. In the spring and fall, only water in if there is an unexpected hot, dry period or if the grass begins to curl or wilt. In the summer, give your lawn at least 1 and a quarter inches of water per week. We recommend watering for 2-4 hours in the morning every third day unless rain is in the near forecast.

Aerating compacted soil will help the soil breathe and the grass roots receive nutrients. Aerate Bermuda grass once or twice a year in the late spring or early summer to prevent the lawn from drying.

Lawns with this turfgrass are susceptible to many common weeds, including crabgrass, clover, nutsedge, and spurge. By applying 1 or 2 pre-emergent herbicide applications in the spring and 1 or 2 applications in the fall, you will prevent the majority of weeds from growing. If you miss the pre-emergent application window and spot weeds in your lawn, a post-emergent herbicide can be sprayed directly on the weed for control. Choose a post-emergent herbicide that is compatible with Bermuda turf or you may damage healthy turf during your treatment.

Lawn diseases and fungal infections like dollar spot and large patch can occur in Bermuda grass and are more often found in lawns that are not properly drained or aerated. If your lawn is susceptible to disease, use a preventative fungicide to stop the disease before it starts.

Grubs, Japanese beetles, sod webworms, ants, ticks, and grasshoppers are some of the many pests that can be found in this turfgrass. Insecticides labeled for turf can be helpful in controlling infestations while milky spore is a natural way of controlling grubs. Select an insecticide labeled for the pest or pests you are trying to treat and be sure it is compatible with Bermuda turf before applying.

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