Bermuda Grass Care

Bermuda grass is a wonderful selection for anyone who lives in a southern climate and desires a turf grass that can withstand the harsh sun and survive with minimal amounts of water. Bermuda grass care is simple: it is sun-loving – it does not do well in shady areas – as well as being naturally heat and drought resistant and is therefore a great type of grass for those living in hot, humid or somewhat arid climates. It is a low growing wiry grass that provides good ground cover and withstands constant use from being walked upon or being treated harshly by pets.

Bermuda grass spreads naturally by producing seeds and it can spread through above ground shoots called stolons or below ground shoots referred to as rhizomes. This ability to spread is both a blessing and a curse for some. While the aggressive growth of Bermuda grass insures a wide ground covering, the below ground rhizomes can also infiltrate flower or garden beds and be the source of frustration for many.

Learn how to care for bermuda grass lawns

Bermuda grass is a perennial grass and therefore reseeding is not often necessary. It has a rich green tone with a medium to fine texture and is well suited for lawns. It is often the grass that grows on the putting surfaces or fairways of golf courses throughout the south. It should be noted that the particular variety of Bermuda grass used for putting surfaces is a hybrid which was developed for that particular purpose and is only available as sod. The normal variety of Bermuda grass grown in the southern regions of the United States is available in over a dozen varieties and can be selected based on the particular circumstance of each purpose. For instance, a prospective grower can select a variety based on wear tolerance, color, suitability for a slightly cooler climate in the more northern reaches of the south or mowing the height desired.

During cooler months Bermuda grass turns brown and while the root system is still alive, the blades of the grass appear dead. For some, this is a major disadvantage of this grass. Nevertheless, the moment spring and summer begin to arrive the grass will return to green and grace the owner with a lush carpet to enjoy.

Minimal maintenance, aggressive growth, sun, heat and drought tolerance are the strengths of Bermuda grass. The weaknesses are the inability to grow well in the shade and the brown color that descends upon it in the winter months.

Taking Care of Bermuda Grass

If you’re a home owner looking to improve you lawn, here are some bermuda grass care articles that will certainly help you out in caring for bermuda grass.

Is My Bermuda Grass Healthy?
Mowing Bermuda Grass
Bermuda Dollar Spot
Watering Bermuda Grass
Aerating Bermuda Grass

Hopefully the bermuda grass section of the Lawn Care Guide have helped you understand how to produce a greener and thicker lawn. If you see something we’ve missed please leave a comment or question below. Also check out the lawn care and lawn maintenance sections of our site.

Comments

  1. Edward Bendert says:

    How do you get poanna grass out of a bermuda lawn?

    • The short answer is pull them out. There aren’t any weed killers to take care of Poanna so you’re stuck waiting until the heat takes care of them or pull them out. I’m going to be writing an article on this very subject soon, so stay tuned.

    • Use atrizine. It works very well.

    • Curtis Ramsey says:

      There is a product called “Nutsedge” that kills po anna, and nut grass. It is a liquid application that you attach to the end of your garden hose and spray it over your lawn. Works great. Takes about 3-4 weeks, but the po anna starts turning yellow, and eventually dies.

  2. It seems like the heavy rain this year in Atlanta has caused the weeds in my bermuda yard and my subdivision to come out in full force. My yard was treated with a pre-emergent in January and Scotts Plus 2 weed/feed in late April. I have also spot treated with weed b gone. These weeds are kicking my butt. I also used a dethatcher in mid May. Please Help?

    • I know you’re thankful for the rain, but maybe not the weeds. If the weed-b-gone didn’t take care of the weeds its probably because they are not weeds. It’s likely a different type of grass, like annual rye grass (poanna), that has infested your lawn. If that is the case it will die off in the summer heat which is right around the corner.

      • Before I cut my Bermuda grass it can look nicely full and plush….once I cut it to 1 1/2 inches, the brown grass closer to the grass is revealed and leaves the “green” looking blotchy….why is that?

        Thanks…..

        • I meant “the brown grass closer to the ground is revealed.” The bottom half of many of grass stems are brown with the top half nice green.

          • Bad news, you’re letting it get too tall. Bermuda doesn’t like to be grow much taller than 1.5 inches; if you’re cutting that much, you’re cutting most of the green leaves. It’s not hurting it much since the roots are resilient. Try cutting at 3/4″ of growth. Yup twice as often but you’ll keep that lush green!

    • I use the Weed-b-gone that attaches to the hose. Walk around spraying the entire yard completely on a nice warm sunny day. The weeds will start to wilt in a couple of days. Make sure there is no forecast for rain within a few days of applying this stuff, it works best I have found on warm sunny spring days.

    • Try a granular bag called Bonide Weed Beater Complete. Wait a day then spray on a product called Bonide Weed Beater Ultra. Put a teaspoon of dish washing detergent in the spray bottle w/ the Ultra makes it stick to the grass. Should see results shortly after.

  3. What do you recommend for bare spots in a bermuda lawn? I only have two. The aren’t ‘dollar spots’. I tried to plant bermuda seed in these spots by scratching the surface of the dirt and planting the seed but I used regular topsoil to cover the seed ( about 1/2 inch) and it never came up. I did keep it watered for 2 1/2 weeks. I think the topsoil was to heavy. Your thouhgts. Oh and what is the proper use for sand in planting Bermuda? I have search on the Internet but have been unable to find much info.Thanks so much Nate!

    • If you planted bermuda seed this early in the season it probably won’t have germinated yet. It needs consistent temps to germinate. Instead of using top soil a nice layer of sand to hold the seed in place will work great. Bermuda loves sand and you can also probably add a bag of play sand to each bare spot to help the bermuda easily spread to the barespots.

  4. You all may like the Bermuda Grass but I despise it. We live in an area with lots of rain so we don’t need this pest. I’ve tried tilling it up, digging it up, using round up, even hired a lawn care service and he said “we dont have anything to kill that stuff.” It gets into my flowerbeds and I’ve never hated anything so much in my life. If you want some of it come and get it.

    • Sorry about your situation. Yup Bermuda is tenacious. There is a product called “Overtop” that semi-selectively kills Bermuda; it will stun surrounding foliage, so read the label for co-toxicity.

      For large areas, there’s really only one economical choice; total destruction. If you want Bermuda out of a lawn, you have to write off the existing cool weather lawn. Two staged treatments with Roundup or other glyphosate during the growing season should kill everything; use three if you want insurance; two weeks between treatments. Once it’s all dead you can re-start your lawn.

      • BAUCOM ROBERT H. says:

        HERE IN FORT WORTH, The. best bet is to use SAINT AUGUSTINE Turf Patches. IT OVERCOMES EVERY THING BUT JOHNSON GRASS AND STICKERS. But it takes a LOT OF WATER. I HATE THE STUFF MY SELF. I jes love BERMUDA, It takes te hHEAT well and becomes like a carpet if mowed close regularly.

  5. What do I need to do for lawn maintenance with Bermuda grass? It also has alot of weeds in it…we live near Atlanta GA

  6. I fertilized my bermuda a couple of weeks ago using the Scott’s brand with a spreader. It seems as if some of the grass is green while other spots look sort of brownish/yellowish. i don’t believe I used to much fertilizer. I also put down some lyme. What’s with the sections of grass that aren’t as green as the others?

    • Are the brown spots in stripes or patches? If there are stripes its likely the fertilizer. If its patches its likely a lack of water. Hope this helps.

  7. My Bermuda lawn have a lot of holes in it ,cani put sand in it to leaved it?

  8. My Bermuda lawn is not leaved can i put sand to do so?

  9. i have a bernuda lawn, should i bag my clippings each time i mow?

  10. i just spread out the bermuda seed and i was wondering how much i sould water it a week.

  11. Lee Rust says:

    I have 3 year old bermuda- what kinda fertilizer is best and what will stop nut grass with out hurting grass?? It seems to like not being mowed too low

  12. How do I get rid of crabgrass?

  13. This past April I seeded a piece of property with Scotts Bermuda, about half has taken. For the most part the stems are spreading along the ground but it has more of a tendency to grow tall, I’ve read that it should be kept mowed at about an inch, fertilized every 45 days or so and lay down lime, all of which I have been doing. It doesn’t seem to be coming in as well as I expected and have been recently told to allow it to grow up to 3″ and mow to 2″, the extra height will help promote photosynthesis which in turn will promote further growth and a good base to work with next year.
    I understand that keeping it mowed at 1″ or so will promote a nice thick lawn but does the keeping it tall the first year scenario make sense or is it a matter of keeping it low and being patient.
    I do have a very lush fescue lawn at my home in Charlotte, NC so I do have alot of experience with the care of lawns, I have never worked with the Bermuda ( except killing the wild variety in my fescue lawn )

  14. Mark Neill says:

    I live in the Texas Panhandle and my front lawn is african bermuda and has been in this lawn for over 25 years. About 4 years ago there was a round spot about 3 feet in width that appeared. This area just started turning brown. I assumed it was grubs and treated as such. The next year it continued to spread in a circular pattern by about 1 foot. The following year began doing the same spreading out further by about 2 feet. That year took pictures and took it to a lawn and garden center and was asked by them about the type and age. Their comment was that due to its age it was choking itself out and that about the best thing to do was to till it up.
    My question is would a good aeration (core type) do the job or does it appear that there is another problem.

  15. HOW DO I GET RID OF ALL THIS CRAB GRASS OTHER THAN DIGGING IT UP. I DON’T WANT TO SPRAY SOMETHING THAT WILL TURN MY BERMUDA YELLOW . ALSO WHAT KIND OF FERTILIZER AND WHEN IS BEST FOR THIS LAWN. IT WAS JUST SODDED IN MAY 2009

  16. I live in Alabama. We built a new home 2003 and Bermuda sod was placed on the lot. The sod was horrible and we had weeds. Lots of them.

    We used Tru-Green for a few years and they were never able to get rid of the weeds. Poa Anna was prevalent. I finally decided to take over the lawn care myself since paying Tru-Green over $700 a year was not working.

    I bought a spreader aerator from Sears to attach to the back of my lawn tractor. It punches holes in the ground while you are spreading seed, fertilizer…whatever. I decided to use Scotts products. In two days the lawn greened up really well and I was able to handle a 1/2 acre lot with one bag I purchased from Sam’s Club for $60.

    Scotts works great and for the money I am saving it is worth it. My lawn looks better than ever and the grass is the greenest on my street with thick grass that feel like carpet.

    In the south we have hard, red clay soil, so breaking it up as much as possible is a good thing. The aerator really does a good job. I also used it to put down Bermuda seed to overseed and it went good as well. The aerator drops the seed in while punching holes in the soil…two for the price of one and I did not have to do anything but drive the mower around while it did it’s thing.

    Then water well. I usually water once a week if there has been no rain, other than that my grass looks great!

    • Did you fertilize 1st or lay the seed? My grass has a lot of weeds too. It is bermuda also.I have tons of bare spots and they seem to be getting worse. I also hired Trugreen and have not seen any improvement. I literally want to cry when I look at my yard. Its embarrassing. I live in an HOA community. I have no idea where to start. HELP!! :o (

  17. Not sure what grass i have but during the summer my grass is thin light green and brown in some spot and doesnt grow at all. Very so often i get to pull out the the lawn mower to mow it. Also under our tree its even worse. What should i do. During the winter season it all grows out even under the tree. It becomes thick and dark green very beautiful.

  18. hi
    I have lawn with bermuda grass it is brownish green can u suggest what I should do in fall should i put fertilizer or seeds and can usuggest what type of fertilizer to use and waht should do later on
    have anice day
    thanks
    jagdeep

  19. Nez,

    Sounds like you may have Fescue since it is a cool season grass if it is turning dark green during the winter. It will not do well during the warm months. You should try Scott’s lawn products cause they work really well.

    You would have to over seed it next spring with Bermuda seed to have a summer lawn then it will go dormant in fall and the Fescue will run it’s course.

    Jag

    Get the Scott’s Winterizer (available now). There are dierctions on the back that tells you when to use their products for a great lawn. You also may need to overseed next spring and aerate as well. Use something now to prevent some weeds from seeding and appearing next spring.

  20. I recently planted about 5000 sq. ft. of Bermuda sod . The lawn was doing fine for about 3 weeks until the heavy rains came . Now about one third of it has turned brown.. Any suggestions?

  21. I have a Bermuda lawn in upstate SC…. lots of Mushrooms have just popped up in the last month. I have several trees and we have had a lot of rain so I’m sure that’s condusive to mushroom growth. Should I try to pull them up, kill them with something??? or just leave them alone?
    Thanks.

  22. I am doing an experiment in class with Bermuda grass growth with fertilizer! Help!!!!

  23. I laid bermuda sod last spring and it did great through the summer. Atlanta has had so much rain the past year and this winter that my yard is now a mud pit. What do I need to do to get the Bermuda to spread back quickly and not have this happen again hopefully.

  24. Hardy Maloch says:

    I live in Jacksonville, Fl. I’m looking for the best weed control and fertilizer for my Bemuder grass lawn?

  25. Mosely E johnson says:

    hOW CAN i KILL POA ANNA GRASS IN MY BERMUDA GRASS,

    i LIVE IN aLABAMA (BIRMINGHAM)

  26. Mosely E johnson says:

    HOW CAN I KILL POA ANNA GRASS IN MY BERMUDA GRASS,

    I LIVE IN aLABAMA (BIRMINGHAM)

  27. i have a small lawn at a townhouse in alabama. i have bermuda or i had bermuda in my backyard. after planting a bradford pear tree all of my bermuda is disappearing. do i put down bermuda sod, seed. go to fescue under the tree. i want some grass.what do i need to do

  28. Need to put sand in some places. What type of sand to use.

  29. I have bermuda grass however I love year round green grass is there another type grass I can plant with the bermuda to keep green grass year round ?

  30. I have burmuda grass and would also like a few trees in my front lawn, what trees would be a good choice for a grass that also needs a lot of sun??

  31. R.D. Hut says:

    How high can I get my Bermuda grass grow before mowing. I was told letting it grow thick and taller about 4 inches would hurt the root system some kind of way. what is the talles I can let it grow. I usually have a nice think bushy lawn just like plush carpet.
    I fertilze it. too. should I also buy some lime and spread it. in the yard as well
    I want the Best , green lawn in the neighbor hood possible
    what do I need to do.

  32. Joe DLT says:

    I’m a new homeowner with a bermuda lawn living in Dallas, TX. In early April I used starter fertilzer on it as directed by my builder and I’ve used weedkiller a few time, but I’ve still got weeds coming in and some brown patches. Plus I recently discovered that the sod right up against the sides of the house didn’t take at all. Is it to late to try to save this sod or is there still something I can do? The front and the back yard are doing fine (except for those pesky weeds). Should I wait until June to fertilizer as suggested by local nursery???

    Any advise would be welcome.

    Thanks.. Joe DLT

  33. we moved into a new house last june. The city planted new grass in an area where they had to install a sewer system meter.The grass came up looking good last summer however this year it looks brown and has bare spots in it .it came up a real lite green color at the top and brown at the bottom so when we mow it turns out looking all brown. what should we do?

  34. I’ve had a bare spot on my lawn for a year. I bought extra Bermuda grass to put there. A “Lawn guy” I know cautioned to NOT mix different Bermuda types BIG No-NO.

    He says I have to mow/water every three days.

    I live in a condo. This means buying/ storing a mower–and once reso;ved getting the condo lawn guys to start doing it again.

    Can’t I JUST throw down the seeds I bought? Will that REALLY damage things?

  35. Teresa Szuminski says:

    My parents moved into a new home in a new subdivision in northern San Antonio, Texas last year. The developers planted some type of bermuda grass in both the front and back lawns. The HOA takes care of the front lawn and they are responsible for the back. Both lawns have brown patches at times even though there is a sprinkler system and it gets plenty of water and sunlight. We’re not sure if it’s being cut too short or needs cutting more frequently. I don’t like this grass at all. Most of south Texas has St. Augustine grass and is beautiful, as long as it gets plenty of water. The last few years we’ve been in a terrible drought until this winter, so perhaps that’s why so many builders have switched to Bermuda. Awful!! It looks skimpy and doesn’t feel good to walk in. Any help as to how to keep it looking it’s best?
    Thanks,
    Teresa Szuminski

  36. Tom Ditz says:

    Is it ok to plant bermuda sod in july or August in the Atlanta area?

  37. I had a River Burch tree in my front lawn. My lawn is suppose to be burmuda grass. All around this tree my grass has been disappearing and becoming very thin . I removed the tree and try to gain back my grass. What is the best way for me to do this? My front yard has a slight slant for water to run down and around my home. Please help!

  38. Enrique says:

    I install Bermuda grass almost a 2 months and last week my grass turn brown like winter is like sleeping what fertilize I need I don’ t ,no what to do .

  39. I recently purchased a new home with bermuda sod being laid about 2 weeks ago. I have watered regularly, but it is turning brown. It has been 100 (+) for the last couple of weeks, but I’m afraid I am watering too much, is this possible?

    I also have a lot of new little worm like catipillars all over the place, could they be killing my grass?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  40. is it too late to plant bermuda sod now in suwanee ga?

  41. For the questions regarding how to control crabgrass and nutgrass (nut sege), try using MSMA. It will control both of these and will not have any effect on your bermuda grass!

  42. Richard Blankenship says:

    I Want to know if i can burn my bermuda grass in the spring. will it come back if i do?

  43. I have bermuda grass and a large section of my front yard thats shady and the grass died. What other type of grass could i use that would coexist with the bermuda?

  44. rusty rankin says:

    should you keep your bermuda grass tall in the winter or cut it short?

  45. Hello. It is now early November 2010 in OKC (USDA Zone 7a). My lawn care guy reccomends I mow my bermuda lawn and bag the clippings before he applies his last treatment of the year. (For the past six years I have never bagged the clippings.) Is there any conventional wisdom about bagging the clippings on the “last mowing” of the season? bckelly121@cox.net

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  47. HI.

    I have just moved into a new house in Katy, Texas.
    My house came pre sodded with Bermuda grass and last week only i have installed a sprinkler system.

    I am a first time home buyer and i have no idea of how to take care of this grass.

    My friend was telling me that i need to put some kind of fertilizer for fall. My grass was installed only a month back and it is still trying to catch the ground.

    What do you suggest

  48. I live on south Texas and my lawn has huge patches of clover EVERYWHERE! I had planted Bermuda grass last year and it looked great but now I have a clover yard. What can I use to get rid of it? Should I use some sort of weed and feed? Also, my front yard is a sticker patch and I want to get rid of that as well. Please help?

  49. First you must turn off the “caps lOCk” then a neighbor told me to use Roundup in the late winter when the Bermuda is still dormant. This should kill weeds and the Poly stuff

  50. What is the best pre-emergent, fertilizer and weed control for Bermuda lawn? Is is anything with lots of Nitrogen, that apparently Bermuda needs?

  51. Can you mix Bermuda grass with another grass particularly Winter Rye?

  52. Terry Tillman says:

    How can one be sure one has not watered too much and pushed the fertilizer/soil nutrients past/out of the root zone?

    How deep could Bermuda roots penetrate in a clay loam soil? A professor once said that the roots could reach six feet in depth. This sounds like quite a lot too much to me, but then I’m not an expert!

    Thanks–

  53. Tom Spehar says:

    Question: Is there a treatment to prevent the above ground shoots
    or “stolons” in bermuda grass from growing straight up?

    These appear only a couple of days after I have mowed and make the lawn look like it needs mowing again..
    Thamks,
    Tom – Tulsa, Ok.

  54. Odie Bautista says:

    Hi

    It is rainy season now in the Philippines and I believe it is about time to top dress my lawn with fine grade sand.

    I accidentally had sand delivered from a sand supplier who provides most of the golf courses here in the areas around Manila.

    Not knowing how much sand I needed i order 17 cubic meters of sand. Now I have a mountain of SAND at the back of my lawn.

    Question: How many inches of sand can i put on top of my bermuda grass? Because I have so much sand, I have about 3 inches of sand on top off my grass now. Will my bermuda lawn have a chance to survive? It has been raining almost every other day, Can I just wait for the bermuda grass to grow by themselves?

    Please help. Thanks!

    Regards
    Odie.

  55. dana mccourt says:

    Could you tell me what fertilizer to use and when on Bermuda grass in Ga. Thank you

  56. Hassan Mack says:

    I have two concerns. We bought our house about a year ago where the lawn was not kept up. The front has bermuda and where some parts of it grows and some parts dont, even though its green. What do I do? Aerate?
    Also, i have a problem with crab grass popping up everywhere. How do i get rid of them other that pulling them up????

  57. Jimmy d colrman says:

    When is best time to cut bermuda grass back.

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  59. We have fescue grass growing in our bermuda grass. What fertilizer and how much for each acre?

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