types of Bermuda

Bermudagrass Guide

When choosing the right type of sod, you must first consider where you live and the climate you will be growing your grass. It is important to learn about different varieties so you can choose the right sod for your yard’s needs.

NG Turf’s Sod School has published an assortment of articles on grass varieties such as Choosing the Best Sod VarietyShade Tolerant Sod, and Zoysia Grass: The Ultimate Guide.  In this article, we will focus solely on Bermudagrass.

Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass is known for its remarkable ability to tolerate heat and drought conditions. Bermudagrass is often selected as a front running contender because of its capability to withstand heavy use and ability to recovery quickly.  However, its climate requirements do limit its use. Depending on where you live and how you use your lawn, Bermudagrass may just be the grass for you.

Warm Season Grass

Bermudagrass is a warm season grass that is found growing throughout the southern two-thirds of the United States.  Bermudagrass thrives in areas with high temperatures, mild winters, and moderate rainfall. Bermuda is more sensitive to cold temperatures than other warm season grasses, such as zoysia. This inability to tolerate cold hinders its use north of the “transition zone”. However, south of the “transition zone” from coast to coast (Atlantic across southern states into California) Bermudagrass is a leading lawn choice.

grass zone map

Dormancy

Bermuda typically begins to go dormant after the first frost of the year and will turn a warm brown color. Bermudagrass is expected to turn brown from November to February, depending on weather, region, and overall grass health.

Tifgrand Bermuda sod

Bermudagrass Characteristics

Pro and Cons of Bermuda Lawns

bermuda sod in Calhoun, GA

Benefits

  • Tolerant of high temperatures
  • Drought tolerant
  • Extremely traffic tolerant
  • Fast recovery rate
  • Attractive color
installing dormant sod in winter

Things to Consider

  • Needs full sunlight/not very shade tolerant
  • Difficult to control on lawn edges
  • Weekly mowing during growing season
  • Dormancy
 

Establishing Bermudagrass

Bermuda grass is easy to grow and can be established from sod, plugs, or seed. Bermudagrass requires a lot of sunlight, therefore if you have a lot of shade in your yard, this grass type may not be for you.

sports fields sodded with tifway bermuda sod from NG Turf, Atlanta GA

Where can Bermuda be used? 

Bermudagrass is commonly used on golf courses, athletic fields, and landscaping for home lawns and commercial properties. Bermuda is an excellent choice for families with children or pets because it is highly traffic tolerant, and has a fast recovery rate. 

Bermuda Maintenance

Bermudagrass is known for its curb appeal but does require more maintenance than other varieties.

Bermuda Maintenance Includes:

  • Watering

    Water 1″ per week, including rainfall. Over or under watering and watering at the wrong time of day can harm your lawn. Water in the morning before the dew dries to keep your lawn healthy.

  • Mowing

     Mowing height is usually recommended at .5″ to 1-1/2″ in height. Follow general mowing recommendations, keeping mower blades sharp and removing no more than  1/3 of the total height with one mowing. During periods of rapid growth, twice weekly mowing may be necessary to prevent scalping.

  • Fertilizing

    Bermuda generally requires 3 to 6 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet annually. Apply nitrogen fertilizer twice a year, May through August, and test your lawn every other year to detect nutrient deficiencies and maintain balanced soil. Avoid high nitrogen “winterizing” fertilizers in fall. 

  • Insect/Disease Control

    Bermudagrass can stand up to insect damage, disease, and weather conditions quite well. If you notice any insects or disease apply broad-spectrum fungicide or insecticide. *Read products labels carefully before application* Bermuda is susceptible to dollar spot disease. 

  • Weed Control

    It is good practice to apply a pre- emergent herbicide in the spring and fall when temperatures start to change as a way of preventing weeds from appearing. 

  • De-thatching 

    It’s important to periodically remove the brown thatch at the soil surface to deter pests and diseases.

  • Aerating 

    Poking holes in the soil creates more room for air, water and roots, promoting growth.

Bermuda Lawn Maintenance Schedule:

MonthActvity
JanuarySit back and relax!
February*Apply pre emergent herbicide to prevent summer weeds
March*De-thatch and aerate once before the grass turns green
April*De-thatch after green-up if needed
*Water
*Mow – 1/2 to 2 inches high
May*Water
*Mow – 1/2 to 2 inches high
*Fertilize
June*Water
*Mow- 1/2 to 2 inches high
*Fertilize
July *Water
*Mow- 1/2 to 2 inches high
August*Water
*Mow – 1/2 to 2 inches high
September*Water
*Mow
*Apply pre emergent herbicide to control cool season weeds
October*Water
*Mow- set blade to 2 inches to prepare grass for winter
NovemberIn cool weather grass will go dormant. It is resting, so you can too!
DecemberEnjoy the holidays!

Bermuda Sod Varieties

NG Turf grows and harvests three premium Bermuda sod varieties, each offering a unique quality. 

  • TifTuf

    TifTuf Bermuda is the newest “Tif” release from the world-renowned University of Georgia breeding program. After two decades of rigorous testing, TifTuf proved superior drought resistance, maintaining quality and color while using 38% less water than other varieties. TifTuf’s growth allows for faster establishment and quicker recovery compared to other Bermudas. Recommended for residential, commercial and golf applications, it features an attractive bright green color with faster spring green-up and late fall color retention.

  • TifGrand

    TifGrand® Bermuda offers superior quality in full sun, along with moderate shade tolerance. Perfect for golf courses, it is darker green than other Bermuda varieties such as Tifway or TifTuf. TifGrand requires less nitrogen fertilizer to maintain its rich color and can be mowed below 0.5”, although it thrives best at 0.5” to 1”.

TifWay 419

  • TifWay 419

    Tifway 419 Bermuda has been used for more than 50 years, providing high quality turf performance in a variety of applications. Tifway’s density and quick recovery from injury make it a durable Bermudagrass with excellent traffic tolerance. It performs reliably in residential and commercial settings as well as on sports fields and golf courses. 

Want to View a Side-by-side Comparison of Bermuda Varieties?

 Visit our Bermuda varieties page to view a side-by-side comparison of NG Turf’s Bermuda varieties regarding features such as: 

Interested in learning more about other sod varieties NG Turf has to offer?

 Visit our varieties page to view a side-by-side comparison of all the sod varieties NG Turf has to offer. 

Questions?

If you have specific questions concerning sod varieties or sod maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact one of NG Turf’s Certified Turfgrass Professionals at 770.832.8608 or info@NGTurf.com.

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