Is Your Bermuda Grass Healthy?

Bermuda grass is known for its thick lush lawn that is a pleasure to walk on. However if your grass gets stressed out it might start lacking in the coveted curb appeal we all work so hard to achieve. So lets discuss a couple different areas where your bermuda grass might be struggling to remain healthy.

Crunchy Bermuda

Got some patches or really dry bermuda grass that hurt to walk on. Maybe you can see the thatch / soil between the burned out shoots of bermuda. Chances are if you’ve got some really dry spots in your yard it’s not getting enough water. One article you might find particularly helpful is How Much Water Does My Grass Need.

Weedy Bermuda

Another tell tail sign your grass might not be healthy are weeds. If you’ve not implemented a strict weed control regimen into your lawn care routine, maybe it’s time to start. Weeds thrive in soil that is not conditioned to well. If your soil is healthy your grass will be healthy and the weeds will die off. If you’re looking for an organic solution to weed control you might consider broadcast spreading some sugar on your lawn. Otherwise there are several commercial weed control products to help you rid your lawn of pesky weeds.

Seed Head Bermuda

Bermuda grass that is stressed out will start throwing seed heads only a couple of days after mowing. These cause your grass to appear like it needs mowing again but is actually a sign your grass is in distress. What I’ve found is that most lawns are in pretty good shape and only have a couple of patches where seed heads are prevalent. If your lawn is covered in seed heads there are a few reasons to consider. Ensure your lawn is property drained, that you are watering adequately (too much AND too little), and the most common cause which is low Nitrogen availability. There is also a possibility that your soil needs to be aerated or that the temperature fluctuations are causing the seed heads.

Comments

  1. if ive got seed heads about 4 days after mowing , even though my yard is real thick and green. then what do i need to do to fix this issue if this is a problem.

  2. Patricia & Kirk says:

    Our Bermuda has developed large bare areas on in our front yard directly under the bradford pear tree. In the back we lined our property with Leland Cyprus trees and now the back closest to the trees is bare as well. What can we do. Should we re-sod with a different variety , should we seed? What would give the best results the quickest?

    • It doesn’t sound like your Bermuda is suffering from Dollar Spot. It sounds like it might not be getting enough light, or perhaps the ‘runoff’ from the trees is causing an imbalance in the soil which makes the bermuda die off. Resodding is the fastest way to replace the dead area, but if you’ve not found the root cause you’ll be replacing it in 6 months.

  3. I just put down bermuda sod but it is not greening up very fast and has a few weeds. What do I need to do?

    • Just wait. Bermuda takes a while to come out of dormancy. Shaded areas will take even longer. For the weeds, either pull them or treat with a standard weed killer.

  4. jim dinsmore says:

    my bermuda is thick, but is a mixture of of both green and tan. it has been this way for a couple of months. any ideas? btw, what is “seed heads”?

  5. i have had bramuda grass for over 10 years now. i feel like some areas are just not getting as lush green as the rest but is getting the same water/sun. i hear roto tilling is a way to refreshen an old lawn. also i need leveling from all the years of wear and tear. eny advise?

  6. Its about to be March and weeds are started to come up what should i do?

    • This is the time of year your going to see spring weeds begin to germinate and come out. The best way to prevent this is to use a pre emergent herbicide in the first week of Feb. This will prevent most of that. If you havent then you can use several different types of weed killer. Most common weeds in the southern region are crab grass, dallas grass, crow foot ect. MSMA works great on these with a combination of others like sencor, but some of these herbicides are restricted and you must have a licence. You probabaly want to use another pre emergent application with fert in April to control the summer germination weeds. Most of these problems can be controled with pre emergents. You may still get some but for the most part it works. As far as poa ana in the winter there arent to many things to prevent this and its expensive, but 2 to 3 apps of a fungicide called Rubigan works but its very expensive and most homeowners dont even know about it, its comon on golf course practices.

  7. Hi, I just fertilized my yard (bermuda grass) last week. Can I apply sugar now? I do have lot of weeds and some bare spots around the trees.

  8. LarryT says:

    What and how does the sugar kill the weeds in bermuda Grass?

  9. Kristina says:

    Our rental house has at least 10 trees in the front yard which shades the bermuda grass at least part of the day so, as a result, it is extremely sparse and there are large patches of just plain dirt. Is there any hope for us? Is there any type of fertilizer that would help?

    • Shade is the worst thing in the world for bermuda so unless you remove some trees I would suggest resoding with Zosia if you have the money. It does much better in the shade and also chokes out weeds better than the bermuda does.

  10. Thanks for the good information. I have seed head problem and wanted to find out how to fix it. I’ll try some 4-3-3 fertilizer and make sure I’m watering properly.

  11. Please help.I livein Atlanta GA and my lawn last year was spectacular. However this spring i have several areas that are bare and some areas that aren’t greening up at all. While we had a very cold and wet winter my neighbor’s lawns do not seem to be having these problems.I did have a lawn service company that applied lime in the fall. Should I re-seed the bare spots. What are your thought about the brown areas? Thanks

    • Last winter was one of the hardest in years in your area. You may have lost some of your turf grass to winter kill. It was very common last year. If you have spring dead spot witch is a fungus then thats a totaly different situation. It may take all year for it to come back. Otherwise if you just had some winter damage then you may want to fertilize alot and water. Bermuda handles fertilizer well and just pound it every 10 days or so until it comes back. Make sure you dont overdo it though and put it out when its dry so it doesnt burn.

  12. Johanna says:

    I live in Atlanta also and I’m having the same problem as Don. I have had the same fertilizing company for the past few years but he has been very little help with this. My yard is sloped and he said with all the rain this past winter and the cold I now have winter kill. I thought you couldn’t kill Bermuda? Could this be true? Should I re-seed the bare spots?
    Help Please!

  13. John Wise says:

    I note that several have the same problem with their bermuda lawns so please tell me what to do.
    Last year lawn was beautiful. This year I have bear spots every where and of corse no grass under my Bradford pear trees. Have used Tru greene several years
    and am now considering going back to doing it myself.
    I have an automatic sprinkler system from the lake [ Lanier].

  14. Deb Hogan says:

    Our sod was put down in March and I have fertilized it twice and it is still a lime green. The dirt underneath is clay. The landscapers did nothing to prep the lawn before putting the sod down. What do I need need to do to green it up? I live in North Carolina near Raleigh.

    • Try using liquid iron. Also you may want to lime once every year if your base is clay. Also when you fertilize make sure its high in nitrogen, this should green it up faster. Many people just use a 13-13-13 which isnt going to give you the green up your looking for. Use something like a 34-0-0

  15. john echon says:

    I laid Bermuda sod in April and it turned lush and green. Now I have bare brown spots in some areas. It is in filtered shade . What:s the problem?

  16. I have mostly bermuda grass in my lawn and it has done real well over the past three years. This year on one side of the house it has burned real bad, I” was trying to water but maybe not enogh. Now that is burned can I bring it back or do i need to reseed. I have two types of burmuda on that is course and on that is fine. The type tha burned was the thin kind

  17. Sue McMillon says:

    I want to get bermuda grass growing in an area along side of my present section of bermuda. I live in Missouri and still have a few months of growing time. How to I get the grass to the bare section. Is there seed you can buy? Or do I just have to wait for it to creep to the bare area? Thanks.

    • Depends. Do you have comon bermuda or 419? Anyway you could sod it or just fertilize the heck out of your lawn and get it moving. It will spead into the bare areas faster with fertilizer and it would help to pull some plugs and keep those bare areas spiked up. Make sure they arent crusty and hard.

  18. Sue McMillon says:

    See “Sue” above

  19. Dorie Hogan says:

    Front yard is very lush, back yard has several patches of brown, dry grass, I have not been able to find any insects or bugs – don’t know what is problem?

  20. rickey hunt says:

    My yard has bermuda grass and i really havent been taking very good care of it as i should, i want to get my yard looking great, my yard is like the kid that the other kids pick on cause there not dressed as nice. i have acoulpe of bald spots in my back yard “like just dirt” and my front yard has alot of crap grass and other types of weeds in it, im looking for some advice to bring this kid back up to par so it can be respected by the other kids on the block if you know what i mean. ive spreed some weed and feed on it and some turff builder as well, how often and what would be the best product to use to help the grass look healther.

  21. Tom Mcneal says:

    this is the second year my 419 bermuda has developed spring brown spots. Is there anyway to restart and bring it back or do I have to do like last year. Last year I pulled the grass out in the area and spread new dirt and seeded. The surrounding grass grew in along with the seed but it took awhile. Any suggestions. The other question is how do you fight Pohanna in the bermuda

  22. Jan Bolton says:

    I live in Memphis, Tn and have Bermuda grass and a yard service takes care of all yards. They have done the exact same thing to all yards, but there are roughly 3 yards that are completly dead and mine is one. The yards on both sides are green. My front and back are both dead. Will it come back? What do you suggest I do? Can I take a soil sample somewhere and have it tested? It never got green after the winter.

  23. i LIVE IN VEGAS MY BERMUDA GRASS HAS DONE WELL HEHE IN THE HEAT BUT THIS YEAR MY BACK YARD IS NOT DOING VERY GOOD I HAVE RESEEDED BUT IT HAS NOT HELP. HELP!!!

  24. I sewed bermuda grass seed last year 2011,the seed came up beautiful,but this year the grass did not come back up….what is wrong or do I need to reseed. i live in alabama

  25. I have a bermuda grass yard that was sodded when we built our house about 5 years ago. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get the yard to look remotely like a respectable yard. The major problem I having (other than weeds, which I assume will clear up once the grass issue is resolved) is it just looks dead in most areas, same pattern every year. There are areas that appear to have grass but the rest just looks dead, dormant, or thatchy in appearance. From everything I’ve read about bermuda is that it should spread rather easily and fill in. This has not happened at all. It just doesn’t seem to get any better. I live in Miississippi and would think bermuda should do well here. I’m considering aerating and laying some seed down. Sound reasonable? Any thoughts are appreciated.

  26. I live in AZ and I am considering growing an area of approx. 250 sq ft of grass in the backyard area which gets morning sun. My house is a new build and therefore the land is clay dirt with no trees. I am considering using Bermuda seeds, but what I am looking for is nice looking grass during our fall, winter and spring months which cant handle the heat of the summers and the feet of children.

  27. Anita Thomas says:

    We planted Bermuda last year, had a beautiful lawn It is now the last of May and there is nothing what do we need to do. do we need to reseed

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