Bermuda Grass Control: How to Maintain Bermuda Grass Yearly

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Bermuda Grass Control: How to Maintain Bermuda Grass Yearly

Bermuda Grass Control: How to Maintain Bermuda Grass Yearly

Most Effective Products

Dominion 2L Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $37.24
Barricade Granular Pre-emergent Herbicide
Granular
As low as $28.99
MSM Turf Herbicide (Manor)
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $15.77
Patch Pro Fungicide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $49.99
Solutions 15-5-10 Weed & Feed Fertilizer with Trimec
Granular
As low as $54.99
Solutions 8-12-16 Fall Grow Fertilizer
Granular
As low as $42.99
Keith's Pro Tips

“Do not be dismayed when you notice bare spots within your bermuda grass. To help repair bare spots combine bermuda grass seeds with a professional level fertilizer and mulch, for fast and effective results within your lawn.”

Bermuda Grass Control: How to Maintain Bermuda Grass Yearly

This page is a general yearly maintenance program for bermuda grass. Using the products and methods suggested you can get control of your bermuda grass. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and methods and we guarantee 100% improvement in your bermuda grass.

Bermuda Grass is a popular warm-season grass used along the southern region of the United States. This type of grass is ideal for areas with heavy amounts of foot traffic due to its ability to repair itself from its creeping stems along the surface (known as stolon's) and stems beneath the soil (called rhizomes) of the turf. Other harsh conditions it can withstand is heat and drought, though it does require weekly watering to remain healthy.

Despite its name, Bermuda Grass originates in Africa and the bengal region of India. It became quickly popular when it was introduced to the southern half of the United States by traveling Europeans.

Unlike St. Augustine Grass, bermuda grass cannot grow in shaded areas and must be exposed to consistent sunlight. Like other warm-season grasses, bermuda grass cannot survive cold temperatures. Bermuda Grass is a perennial plant meaning it does not die after one season and will continue to grow under the right conditions.

If you are trying to maintain a yearly schedule for your bermuda grass, our DIY schedule guide can help. The instructions below were compiled by our lawn care experts and will explain when and how to treat bermuda grass.

Identifications

Bermuda Grass

Before considering a treatment approach, you need to properly identify the grass you are dealing with and confirm if it is Bermuda. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods, costing you time and money.

  • Bermuda Grass has a long root system that penetrates 6 inches below the surface of soil.
  • Bermuda Grass has a blue green texture and grows in dense patches on lawn.
  • Stems of bermuda grass enables it to endure heavy traffic.
  • Bermuda Grass spready rapidly from rhizomes and stolon's once established, but can spread from seeds as well.
  • Bermuda Grass can be easily confused with st. augustine grass for they both have the same physical qualities. The difference is bermuda grass can not grow in shaded areas and its leaves are shorter than st. augustine leaves.
  • Bermuda Grass can grow in any type of soil.

Use the description above and the images to help you properly identify bermuda grass. If you are having trouble identifying it, contact us and send a photo of your grass and we will identify it for you.

Inspection

Bermuda Grass

After you have confirmed that the grass you have is bermuda grass, you can then move forward with inspection. In this phase, you will need to determine where the bermuda grass is growing and what the growing conditions are. This will help you make cultural changes to your lawn and figure where to focus your applications.

When to Inspect

Bermuda Grass is a warm-season grass so it will start to grow at the second half of spring to near end of summer. Bermuda Grass cannot survive cold temperatures and typically begin to wither in the wintertime. This means the grass will germinate from its stolons/rhizomes or sprout seeds in warm soil when temperatures are at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. By late spring (April), bermuda grass will be fully visible within your turf.

What to Look For

If you have bermuda grass growing on your lawn, they are hard to miss because it will cover a large portion of your property. Bermuda Grass can grow anywhere in your yard except for underneath trees or shaded areas. If it does grow in these areas it will be a dull brown color.

Treatment

Before starting any treatment, be sure to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and remember if using any type of chemical solutions to keep all children or pets off the treated area until dry.

To maintain a healthy bermuda grass lawn it is best to begin in the late spring when the grass is young and actively growing.

Step 1: Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide in Mid-February to Mid-March

Spreading Granule Product

To control the appearance of your lawn apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the middle of February or March.

Typically, your bermuda grass defense is low from winter dormancy and is more susceptible to weeds germinating. Our recommended go to product is Barricade for it has a broad label that will prevent a wide variety of weeds growing in your turf. As a granular herbicide it is cost effective and when applied to the dirt will create a barrier in the soil that will stop weeds from emerging over the next several months.

Before applying Barricade Pre-Emergence Herbicide, measure the square footage of the area you want to treat. You can do this by multiplying the length and width together (length x width = square footage).

Bermuda grass will need to be applied with 4 pounds of Barricade per 1,000 square feet. Newly sprigged or plugged bermudagrass may be treated, but no more than 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. At a rate of 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet, a 10 lb. bag of Barricade Herbicide will treat up to 5,000 square feet.

We recommend you using a broadcast spreader to apply the granules evenly across your yard.

Step 2: Irrigate Your Lawn Consistently Throughout Year

watering lawn

Although bermuda grass tolerates stress from heat, it grows best when watered at least once a week.

Deeply water the roots of bermuda grass until well saturated. Probe the soil with a stick to determine if soil is moist.

It is often necessary to determine the soils texture. Bermuda grass needs a weekly application of one inch of water. On sandy soils it often requires more frequent watering since it does not hold water well and will dry easily. Because clay soils accept water slowly it is not recommended for your lawn to remain consistently moist. If you are noticing the water is not draining well then do not reapply water until it has been soaked into the soil.

Over saturation of your bermuda grass can often interfere with its health. When the turf is consistently wet it makes bermuda grass more susceptible to fungal and weed growth. To help promote dense growth in your lawn we recommend Patch Pro for treating fungal diseases and MSM Turf Herbicide for weed control. Both products have a broad label that will help to eliminate many species of weeds and funguses. 

Proper irrigation will help to keep your lawn healthy which in return will prevent pest problems and less stress on your turf in the summer.

Step 3: Fertilize Your Lawn in March and August

Spreading Fertilizer

 

Appropriate fertilization from March and August encourages a dense, thick lawn that allows bermuda grass to tolerate stress from heat, diseases, and insect activity.

The amount of fertilizer depends on the current nutrient levels in your bermuda grass. To choose the best fertilizer you should have your soil tested by your local extension office, governed by the national pesticide information center.

A fertilizer we recommend for this time period is Solutions 15-5-10 Weed & Feed with Trimec. This product contains a blend of fertilizer and weed kill that will help to control numerous types of weeds and provide essential nutrients to your turf. The application rate is 3.2 to 4.0 lbs. of Solutions 15-5-10 Weed & Feed with Trimec per 1,000 sq. ft. One bag of this product will cover up to 15,625 square feet. Of course depending on the current levels of pH in your soil will affect the fertilizer application rates.

Bermuda grass should receive between 2 to 4 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. You may apply at a higher rate if the bermuda grass is shown to be grown on sandy soils and at a low rate for it is grown on clay soils.

You will reapply your fertilizer in August to help prepare your bermuda grass for the upcoming winter dormancy.

For fall fertilizer application, use a fertilizer best suited for this period such as Solutions 8-12-16 Fall Grow Fertilizer. For general application, you can apply 5 lbs. of Solutions 8-12-16 per 1,000 sq. ft.. Once applied, wait at least two days before watering to activate the fertilizer.

Step 4: Start Mowing in April

Mowing Grass

Start mowing when bermuda grass turns green, typically this will be in late spring (April).

Mowing will help to remove dead grasses from your lawn and stimulate bermuda grass blades to develop deeper roots.

Maintain a height of 2 inches before you mow your bermuda grass. If bermuda grass is cut beneath two inches this may result in scalping the lawn. Scalping is when you cut your grass so low that the grass stems are exposed. Mowing is more recommended than scalping for there are less chances of error and damage to your turf.

At first you may be mowing at least twice a week, but will see bermuda grass growth rates receding in the summer. Frequent mowing when the grass is not high will result in damages and less density in turf.

Step 5: Aerating Your Turf in the Second Half of April

Aerate Turf

Once the frost is completely gone and your turf is completely out of dormancy (usually in the last two weeks of April) you will aerate your turf.

Aeration is making holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the bermuda grass roots and relieve soil compaction.

Ideally, you will want to use an aeration machine for your turf, but you can also walk around your lawn with an aerator sandal. Lawn aerator sandals are a type of shoe with spikes at the bottom that pokes holes into your grass as you walk. This method is more cost efficient and easy to use.

Step 6: Apply Insecticide Product in May

Spraying Turf

In the last two weeks of April or the first two weeks of May, apply an insecticide.

During this period, insects are starting to become active and larvae can be seen within your lawn. Common insects in bermuda grass are white grubs, mites, may beetles, and fire ants.

Before choosing a type of insecticide product properly identify the type of insect residing in your lawn for effective insect control. Without knowing which pest may be harming your bermuda grass, you will not be able to determine the best treatment strategy to use.

To effectively get rid of insects we recommend Dominion 2L. Dominion 2L is a systemic insecticide, meaning it will absorb into treated plants and translocate through the plant tissue. This will effectively kill any insect pest pests that will feed on the treated foliage, while keeping your grass safe.

Determine how much Dominion 2L you will need by calculating the square footage of the treatment area for treating flowers and ground cover. To do this, measure and multiply the treatment area length times the width (length x width = square footage).

Dominion 2L will need to be applied at a rate of 0.4 to 0.6 fluid ounces per 1,000 square feet with at least 10 gallons of water. For example, if you had measured a 1,500 sq. ft. area for treatment, you would need to apply 0.6 to 0.9 fl. oz. of Dominion 2L in at least 20 gallons of water.

To mix, add half the water into the pump sprayer, add your measured amount of Dominion 2L, then add the remaining half of the water and close the sprayer. Shake the sprayer to agitate, and pump to produce a low-pressure spray.

Key Takeaways

  • Bermuda Grass is a fast growing and aggressive perennial grass known to grow above and below ground.
  • Our top recommendation for treating bermuda grass with a fertilizer is Weed & Feed with Trimec for spring and in the late fall Solutions 8-12-16 Fall Fertilizer
  • By maintaining a regular lawn care schedule and promoting a lush green, nutrient turf, weeds, insects, and other environmental factors will find it difficult to establish itself on your bermuda grass.
Questions and Answers
  1. Q:Instead of using herbicide, is there a granule solution.
    4/5/24
    A:Yes, Barricade is a granular pre-emergent. This is great for preventing weed germination in Bermudagrass.

    Colin Travis

    4/15/24
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