Bermuda Grass Sod
( Cynodon )
Hybrid Bermuda grass sod will create a medium green, fine textured lawn that is well adapted to most soils and climates found in our North Florida area. It is drought tolerant and highly wear resistant making it the sod of choice for turf grass sports fields and golf courses throughout the area. Common Bermuda grass is recommended for use as lawn grass where a fine textured medium green color and a full coverage turf is desired.
Bermuda grass is native to Africa where it grew on fertile soils.
Pros and Cons:
- excellent traffic tolerance
- vigourous medium green dense turf
- widely adaptable to most soils
- establishes rapidly from sod seed or sprigging
- drought tolerant, low water needs
- fast growth can outcompete most weed species
- Hybrid Bermuda grasses require high maintenance levels
- Hybrid Bermuda grass sods have poor tolerance to insects and pests
- agressive growth can make keeping runners out of neighboring flowerbeds a maintenance issue
- poor shade tolerance
- High levels of maintenance for turf sports fields may require professional maintenance
Bermuda Grass is tolerant of a wide range of soil compositions.
Not highly shade tolerant, Bermuda grass should be grown in full sun locations for the best results.
Bermuda grass sod is an excellent choice for a seaside lawn. It is highly salt tolerant and rarely damaged in the sodic conditions created by direct and indirect salt spray from the Atlantic Ocean or North Florida’s salt marshes and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Bermuda grass should be watered on an as needed basis in the home landscape environment. When 30 – 50 percent of the lawn shows moisture loss ( blades of grass begin to wilt and turn a bluish gray sort of green, or when footprints remain visible on the lawn after walking across the grass ) it is time to give it some water.
Bermuda grass is fairly drought tolerant, I have had a Bermuda grass lawn for two years now and only watered a few times, during the summer when we hadn’t got rain for a few weeks in a row.
Water 3/4 of an inch of water and grass will perk up and re-green even after a prolonged drought within 24 hours.
Mow Bermuda grass in the home landscape on an as needed basis taking care not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass height at any time. A reel mower may be the preferred method for Bermuda grass because it will more accurately adjust to a proper mowing height. Leave grass clippings on lawn to decrease fertilization requirements and help drought proof your lawn, make sure to mulch leaves and grass blades well by running over them repeatedly with your mower.
Low Maintenance Level Common Bermuda Grass Lawn:
Mow to a height of 3/4 of an inch to 1and 1/2 inches tall once a week during the growing season. Mowing frequency will vary at different times of the year and once a week is only needed during periods of increased rainfall and elevated growth.
I mow mine an average of once a month in the spring, fall, and winter and once a week in the summer but I should note that I increase my mowing height to 2 inches and very rarely mow lower than that, basically all my mowing does is even up areas that are growing quicker than others due to shade etc and mulch up leaves that have blown into the lawn.
High Maintenance Level Hybrid Bermuda Grass For Golf courses etc.:
Bermuda grass lawns for golf courses or tennis courts should be mowed daily at a height of 1/2 inch during the active growth season. Caution, mowing at this height will require more water and fertilizer to keep grass green and healthy.
Bermuda grass has excellent traffic tolerance, making it ideal for sports fields and golf greens everywhere in the North Florida area.
Fertilizing Bermuda grass will vary depending on its use and the soil that the grass is growing in. Fertilizer should be applied to Bermuda grass from 2 to 6 times per year from spring to fall. With Low level maintenance for Common Bermuda grass using as little as 1/2 lb of nitrogen per 1000 s.f. per semi-annual application.
I do not apply straight nitrogen but in spring apply a top dressing of organic amendment over the top of my grass on my very sandy soil, either a compost or composted manure, and then during the hot summer months I apply Milorganite which is a pelleted manure product with a 6-6-6 ratio to keep it nice and green and help the sandy soil hold a little bit of water, consider that I am also using a mulching mower and leaving the grass clippings and stray leaves mulched up and left on the grass which lowers its fertilization needs.
For high maintenance Hybrid Bermuda grass on golf courses and athletic fields being cut every day Bermuda grass will require much more extensive fertilization methods and following a rigid monthly schedule is recommended. A total of 1 lb of Nitrogen as a slow release complete fertilizer applied per 1000 s.f. of turf area every month. During off seasons low levels of fertilizer may be applied to keep a good turf quality up.
Pest Problems and Management Practices:
Several inscets can become a problem with Bermuda grass including Mole cricket, sodwebworms, nematodes,armyworms, cutworms, grass loopers and bermudagrass mites. Various means of chemical control are available, check with your county extension agent for recomended pest control methods once a problem has been identified before applying broad spectrum insecticides.
Keep in mind that high levels of nitrogen fertilizer encourage pest problems while other organic amendments such as compost decrease pest problems in the landscape.
Disease Problems and Management Practices:
Dollar spot, brown spot and Helminthosporium leaf spot are the most commonly found diseases that can affect Bermuda grass lawns. A healthy maintenance program keeps desease problems minimized and Copper Sulfate or other fungicides can be used to treat a major disease outbreak.
Bermuda grass lawns can be established by sod , sprigs or seeding.
Hybrid Bermuda grass sod will create a turf that is well adapted to most soils and climates found in our North Florida area. It is drought tolerant and highly wear resistant making it the sod of choice for turf grass sports fields and golf courses throughout the area. Common Bermuda grass is recommended for use as lawn grass where a fine textured medium green color and a full coverage turf is desired.
There are several varietis of Bermuda grass sod Each variety varies slightly on the above characteristics but still holds the same general tendencies.