Bermuda grass is a plants with long, thick, dark green blades. Although this grass is used for lawns in some places, it is considered a weed in Maryland. It’s an invasive species that can ruin your lawn’s grass and decrease the curb appeal of your property because it grows and spreads swiftly. Learn how to treat Bermuda grass and get rid of it for good.
Bermuda grass is a tall grass plant that is dark green in color but turns brown while dormant in the winter. It spreads quickly, especially in hotter areas and on unmowed lawns. Bermuda grass is used as turf grass by homeowners in the southern United States, but it is a weed in the northern United States. Bermuda grass replaces other species of grass on lawns. When it becomes brown in the winter, it might detract from your home’s curb appeal.
Bermuda grass is widely used in pastures, coastal areas, golf courses, parks, and sports fields. In areas where it is considered a weed, however, it spreads out of control and sprouts in undesirable spots, such as your lawn. Bermuda grass can overtake your yard or garden and even spread into your neighbor’s lawn. Bermuda grass is difficult to regulate as well as eradicate.
Bermudagrass is endemic to tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Although the exact date of its arrival in the United States is unknown, historical archives show that it was already established as one of the principal grasses in southern states by 1807. Bermudagrass is a warm-season perennial grass, which means it grows every year in the right conditions and grows most vigorously from late spring to late summer.
Bermudagrass is more cold-tolerant than warm-season Zoysia grass or cool-season grasses like turf-type tall fescue. This lack of cold tolerance limits its use north of the grass-growing region known as the “transition zone” by lawn professionals. Bermudagrass is a popular lawn choice south of that region, from the Atlantic to the southern states and into California.
Bermuda grass thrives in locations with full, direct sunlight and sufficient drainage. It is resistant to heat, salt, and humidity. Bermuda, unlike Centipede grass, is also drought-tolerant. Although the majority of Bermuda’s roots remain within 6 inches of the surface, they can reach depths of 6 feet or more. This deep root system is more resistant to environmental challenges than other warm-season lawn grasses.
Bermudagrass grows at the highest rate of any popular warm-season grass.1 It spreads through both above-ground and below-ground stems known as stolons and rhizomes. Bermudagrass’s rapid growth rate makes it difficult to control, yet it can withstand heavy use. It recovers from harm far faster than most grasses. As a result, it is the ideal grass for athletic fields, golf course tees, and golf fairways throughout the southern United States.
Bermudagrass remains green all winter in frost-free regions. However, it spends the winter dormant and brown in much of its growing zone. Dormancy in Bermudagrass begins earlier and lasts longer than in warm-season alternatives such as Zoysia and Bahiagrass. Southern lawn owners frequently supplement Bermudagrass lawns with cool-season ryegrass for winter color.
What Does Bermuda Grass Look Like?
Bermuda grass has a strong light-to-dark green color and a medium texture at its best. It has compact leaves with a sharp point and tiny hairs where the leaf blade meets the leaf sheath. Bermuda grass has a distinctive seed head that looks like a bird’s foot. It also spreads laterally because to its tough system of above- and below-ground stems, which aids in its rapid growth.
Bermuda grass is classified into two types: hybrid and common.
Common Bermuda grass: This seeded Bermuda grass is light-green in color and has a rough texture. It has fewer shoots than hybrid grass but a better nutritional value. Because of its thick growth and ability to resist considerable foot traffic, this species of grass is commonly seen in pastures or as turf grass.
Hybrid Bermuda grass is a cross between regular Bermuda and African Bermuda grass. Because it does not produce seeds, it grows through vegetative means such as sprigging, sod, or plugs.
Bermuda grass grows low to the earth and thrives on sunlight and warmth. This grass spreads through rhizomes, stolons, and seeds in warm climates. Stolons are new shoots that grow above the soil’s surface, whereas rhizomes grow beneath the soil’s surface. Rhizomes stretch out from the root of a mature plant to reach new places. They can move from a few inches to a few feet.
Even if the plant’s top dies, the underground rhizomes persist and thrive for several years. Rhizomes can be difficult to eradicate due to their large root system. This root system also enables the grass to endure harsh weather, insects, and diseases.
Although Bermuda grass resembles crabgrass, crabgrass has larger leaves than Bermuda grass. Examine your land for the following Bermuda grass identifying characteristics that distinguish this species of weed:
Blue-green or brown leaf patches: Bermuda grass has enormous areas of blue-green leaves. During the summer, you may observe these patches, especially in the early morning when the grass is still wet. During the winter, it turns brown. The leaves themselves have a hairy texture.
Stolons spreading: You may notice stolons spreading on the sidewalk and roads. Unlike crabgrass, which is a dense, sprawling solitary plant, Bermuda grass spreads in thick clumps of tiny plants.
Finger-shaped spikelets: From mid-summer through fall, the Bermuda grass seed head has finger-shaped spikelets. Spikelets typically have several spikes.
Experts understand how to efficiently target weeds without injuring the plants and grass on your lawn and garden. On your property, you could try some of these Bermuda grass protection tactics.
Solarization is one of the most simple and successful methods of dealing with Bermuda grass. You should aim to do it during the warmest months of summer to destroy the grass on the surface as well as the stolons underground. Cover the entire yard with a clear plastic tarp after watering the Bermuda grass. Place rocks or bricks on top to help weight down the tarp.
The sun’s rays pass through the tarp and dry out the underlying soil, killing any plants beneath it. You can remove the tarp after a few weeks. Rake up the dead grass or leave it to decompose.
Mulching kills Bermuda grass while enriching the soil as it decomposes, allowing you to plant other species of grass. Spread a typical landscape fabric over the Bermuda grass to completely cover it. If you need to use more than one piece of fabric, make sure the edges overlap so there are no gaps on your grass.
Spread a thick layer of mulching material, such as wood chips or bark, over the landscaping fabric. The cloth and mulching’s darkness, heat, and pressure will kill the Bermuda grass beneath it in a matter of weeks.
You can get rid of the dry, dead weeds after a lengthy period of hot, dry weather since Bermuda grass thrives with frequent irrigation. Dig into the dirt with a garden spade or rototiller to break up the lawn. Dig deep enough to reach the Bermuda grass roots and move the dirt beneath. Wait a few weeks for the grass and roots that you brought to the surface to dry out.
Continue to monitor the area to see if the grass grows back after continuing this technique. It may be necessary to repeat the process multiple times before the roots and stolons are completely removed.
Herbicide should only be used as a last option due to the risks to the surrounding vegetation and your health. It may be more beneficial to look into eco-friendly lawn care methods to ensure the safety of your pets and children. If solarization, mulching, and cultivation do not work, consult a lawn care professional.
Many of the benefits and drawbacks of Bermuda grass overlap depending on where you live. What makes the grass popular in warmer climates makes it a vexing annoyance in chilly climates. Bermuda grass, for example, is commonly used to blanket magnificent golf courses and athletic fields in various parts of the United regions, but it is considered an invasive weed in Northern regions where it may seep into cracks in pavements. Here’s a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of Bermuda grass.
Bermuda grass has a high tolerance for sun, heat, and drought. It favors direct sunshine and can survive daytime temperatures of up to 100 degrees. Furthermore, its thick roots aid with drought resistance.
Resilience: Because of its vast root system, this grass can withstand severe use, including strong foot activity, making it suitable for lawns and athletic fields.
Bermuda grass grows swiftly and spreads quickly, which can be beneficial if your lawn has brown patches.
Low cold tolerance: When temperatures drop, Bermuda grass can become weak and dormant, turning a dull brown color. When the weather turns colder, growth slows.
Shade intolerance: If you have multiple trees in your yard, Bermuda grass may not be the best choice for your lawn. Because this grass requires direct sunlight, you may notice thin portions in excessively covered places.
With this variety of grass, you may find yourself mowing more frequently. It can also spread aggressively in more curated areas, such as flowerbeds.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for making a Bermuda grass calendar. This grass kind reacts differently to temperature changes. You should stick to a seasonal plan for the best outcomes. Here are some pointers:
Winter (December, January, and February): In the middle of January, clean up any storm debris and fertilize the soil. Examine the soil for nutritional shortages. Begin using pre-emergent herbicide in late February to prevent germinated weed seedlings from sprouting.
Spring (March, April, and May): Begin spraying fertilizer and insecticide when the weather warms and insects emerge. Begin mowing the lawn more frequently at the end of spring, and remove any weeds. Apply a fungicide and begin aerating your grass around the middle of April.
Summer (June, July, and August): If possible, increase your mowing frequency to a couple of times each week. Maintain a constant fertilizer application schedule, and consider irrigation to battle the heat.
Fall (September, October, and November): Check your yard for worms and tidy up any fallen leaves, acorns, and twigs.
Bermuda grass, depending on the climate, might be a strong competitor for your home’s turf. However, when it comes to selecting the finest grass variety for their yard, homeowners have various options. If you’re having trouble deciding, a local lawn service professional can assist you in weighing your grass type selections. Here’s how Bermuda grass compares to some of the most popular grass varieties.
When it comes to Bermuda grass vs. fescue, both can resist droughts, but fescue grass can withstand lower temperatures, causing Bermuda grass to go dormant and turn brown. Bermuda grass is slightly shorter than fescue grass, which can grow up to 4 inches tall.
These grasses grow quickly and restore themselves. Although Kentucky bluegrass is softer than Bermuda grass, both are fairly durable. The fundamental distinction is their temperature requirements: Kentucky bluegrass prefers cool temperatures, whilst Bermuda grass prefers warmer temps.
Both types of grasses are warm-weather grasses, which means they thrive in warmer temperatures. However, St. Augustine grass requires more irrigation than Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass can withstand higher foot activity than St. Augustine grass.
Warm-season grasses are hardy and grow under the correct conditions. When deciding between Bermuda grass and Zoysia, Bermuda grass may be the preferable choice if you want a faster-growing grass. Zoysia is the less-maintenance of the two grasses.
Many homeowners in warmer climates prefer this hardy grass because it can withstand extreme heat and drought while growing into a lush lawn. Bermuda grass, unlike other grasses, develops and spreads swiftly and can sustain heavy foot traffic. However, whether Bermuda grass is suitable for lawns depends on your geographical location, as this grass has a limited tolerance for colder temperatures, causing it to lay dormant and turn brown during the winter months.
Because of its system of above-ground stems (stolons) and below-ground stems, Bermuda grass is one of the fastest-growing warm-season grasses. (rhizomes). Bermuda grass will spread if there is enough water and sunlight in a warmer climate. Bermuda grass’s high growth rate makes it resistant to weeds and excellent at choking them out. This vigorous growth, however, can make the grass difficult to confine and control.
Some Bermuda seeds will sprout on the surface if placed on the ground and left, although the germination rate will be reduced. It is recommended to develop the area before dispersing the seeds for maximum results. Rake the area first, then sprinkle the Bermuda seeds evenly. Before watering, cover the area with about 14 inch of soil.
Although Bermuda grass is drought resistant, it still requires watering once or twice a week. The recommended amount of water for Bermuda grass varies depending on the season. In general, Bermuda grass requires around 1 inch of water each week in the summer, fall, and winter, and up to 34 inch in the spring.
Bermuda grass is reasonably simple to care for if planted properly and mowed on a regular basis.
Yes, Bermuda grass can be cultivated in the right area and under the right conditions.