Bermuda grass has always been a great option for a lush green lawn or backyard in Southern America, Asia, and tropical regions.
However, there is always a challenge when you want to plant a new lawn and look thick and serene within a few weeks if you don’t know how to get Bermuda grass to spread.
Or when you have been having a thin Bermuda lawn and wondering how to get Bermuda grass to fill in bare spots. We will get into these details, but first;
Ideal Conditions For Bermuda Grass To Spread
The good news is that you will not have any regrets with the grass, at least not when you have a way out. The grass has the easiest sod maintenance among the rest of the grass types, especially once it secures its roots in the ground.
As we have mentioned, Bermuda grass basically does well in warmer areas instead of the cold regions. Therefore, you will find it doing well in South America, India, its surroundings, and most common in Africa.
It is resilient to heat that most grass types will not persevere but are highly affected by winter and very cold seasons.
Moreover, the grass grows in pH conditions that are mildly alkaline or neutral, ranging between 5.8 and 7.0. This means that soil that tends towards intense pH conditions will not favor the grass.
As for drainage, the grass lavishes in well-drained soil. However, it would help if you didn’t lose hope simply because your lawn leans towards clay.
You can always improve your soil drainage, as we will see before the end of this article.
Spreading Bermuda Grass for Lawns
Bermuda grass makes an amazing lawn that you will be proud to own. While it requires minimal maintenance once it grows, you have to dedicate sufficient care when young.
Here are a few tips that you should consider;
- Ensure The Right pH Balance
Before you plant the grass, ensure that you have your lawn soil tested. The pH should range between 5.8 to 7.0. If not, you can, for instance, add lime to acidic soil to ensure it is suitable.
If the soil is missing major soil nutrients for plant growth, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, you need to fertilize it before planting the grass.
You can also consider calcium treatment for poor soils.
- Fertilize Them!
Continue fertilizing the soil even after planting the grass to ensure that it has optimal nutrition. The grass requires sufficient fertilizer, especially nitrogen-rich fertilizer for optimal growth and spread.
- Ensure Proper Drainage
With poor drainage, you should consider using animal and plant manure as opposed to commercial fertilizers. The manure helps disintegrate the soil, hence bringing in aeration and proper drainage.
- Get Rid of Weed
If there are weeds and other plants on the lawn, you can uproot them or apply weed killers that don’t kill Bermuda grass to ensure that you start with a fresh lawn.
This will prevent competition and patches that later come to disturb lawn owners.
- Better Irrigation
Once you plant the grass, you should water it as frequently as two times a day. It is a high consumer, and if you want satisfying results, you should commit yourself to its first weeks of germination and growth.
- Mow Your Lawn
Last but not least, you should mow your lawn frequently once the grass hits two inches in length.
Consistent mowing ensures that you encourage lateral grass growth, and it is not in competition with vertical growth. After all, Bermuda looks more attractive in its mowed version.
How Bermuda Grass Spreads?
With all the above conditions in place, your Bermuda grass will spread impressively. Amazingly, the grass spreads in two forms, namely via rhizomes or stolon, or both.
Rhizomes are part of the grassroots and spread from underneath the soil to sprout new grass at different points.
On the other hand, Stolons will also spread laterally to form more grass individuals at different points. Stolon, however, spread from above the soil.
Due to the two strong methods that complement each other, the grass spreads so quickly that it will amaze you.
How long does Bermuda grass take to spread? The grass will give you an impressive green ground cover within five to six weeks after germination.
Germination will only take a week with the right conditions in place.
Does Bermuda Grass Leave Bare Spots?
I would say no, but I am sure that someone has witnessed this already. However, Bermuda grass rarely leaves bare spots, especially if the above conditions are in place.
However, some situations could still render affected spots, such as very cold weather conditions or drought. Sometimes you uprooted other plants growing with the Bermuda grass, and the ground left bare.
If this happens and only a small area is affected, ensure that you continue watering the grass even more frequently.
Also, mowing the lawn to encourage spread. Within a few weeks, the grass will cover the bare spots.
However, for Bermuda grass to fill in bare spots that are too large to wait for the spread, you can plant new sods.
With proper watering, fertilizing, and mowing, the patches should be full within less than six weeks since the older grass helps with the grass.
Watch this video to learn more about spreading and filling bare spots with Bermuda grass.
What to Do with Thinning Bermuda Grass?
Sometimes even Bermuda grass that was ever healthy may start thinning. It is shocking, especially in a first-time experience.
In such instances, the first thing that should come to mind is the reason for the thinning. It could be adverse weather conditions, and in most cases, the soil could be having a deficiency.
If there has been a drought for some time, consider watering the grass more often, even if it is fully grown.
Also, try evening or night irrigation so that the grass can use up the water before the hot weather vaporizes it.
There are plant treatments such as sprays, which act as a gel-Like cover on the plants. In cold weather conditions, spray the grass with the cover to ensure that the thinning does not affect the grass further.
If you rule out weather conditions, you need your soil tested for drainage, pH, and nutrition capacity. Whatever is lacking, ensure you treat the soil to prevent further thinning.
Then, to take care of the thinning situation, fertilize the grass, water it, and mow it consistently. The stolon will start to spread, and so will the rhizomes.
Within no time, you will get back the grass lawn you cherish.
Bermuda Grass to Grow in Bare Spots?
Have you thought of filling up a bare spot in your lawn with Bermuda grass? It can act as an amazing contrast to bright flowers, especially when left to grow long.
You have a different type of grass that rarely spreads and wants to complement it with Bermuda grass in a few spots for a fuller outlook.
Luckily for you, you can actually use Bermuda grass to fill in the spots that you wish. You will only plant a few seeds to prevent the excessive spread and develop the ideal lawn outlook that you wish.
Just as planting pure Bermuda grass, you need to take care of the small patches of grass you fill-up. They need constant watering and fertilizing.
If the area has poor drainage, use manure to aerate the soil for proper growth.
How to Water Bermuda Grass?
Though there is an insistence that you water Bermuda grass, there is a formula. Once you plant the grass, you should water it more frequently. However, by frequently, I mean two times a day.
Two times a day may mean morning and late in the afternoon, but not in the evening. Evening and night watering of germinating sods may render them prone to fungal infections.
However, over time and as the grass strengthens, any time is suitable for watering.
Moreover, you cannot flood the grass. Before germination, the flooding water may carry the seeds. After germination, excessive water leads to grass rotting, which is why it should be avoided.
Once the grass is long enough and has taken root, you can water it once a day or even once in two days. It is strong enough to persevere longer periods without water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
With proper irrigation, it may take 45 to 90 days for the Bermuda grass to spread from the seeds.
You need to mow very low height like 1-inch twice a week. This will promote faster growth for Bermuda grass.
Since Bermuda grass is affected by cold, it is best to plant it in warmer seasons, such as spring. This will give them time to germinate and take root before harsher conditions step in.
Most Bermuda grass types will grow in tropical and warm areas. However, some will withstand cold, though not the harsh winter cold.
If you live in the northern parts, there are resilient grasses that do well in the cold. These include Kentucky Bluegrass and Reed grass, among others.
So, did you learn how to get Bermuda grass to spread? You will only need sufficient watering, mowing, and fertilizing.
Most importantly, ensure that your lawn conditions are suitable for Bermuda grass to prevent disappointments.
With proper care and maintenance, Bermuda grass will offer a lush environment on your lawn where you will want to relax and get a breeze.
After all, we all want a beautiful lawn that we can be proud of, right?