Watering Bermuda Grass

Keeping your lawn healthy and green requires some amount of water. Whether that comes from mother nature or an irrigation system is irrelevant. Of coarse we’d all agree we’d like mother nature to take care of watering our bermuda grass, but it just doesn’t work out that way sometimes. Although when it’s thirsty it’s blades will bow a bit. It’s subtle but if you’re looking for it, you can easily spot a bermuda lawn in need of some moisture.

Bermuda grass is one of the more drought tolerate types of grass. If you want to give you grass an even better chance during the next drought than consider only watering once a week.

Watering bermuda grass once a week will force the roots of the grass to dig deeper as the water supply is dried up during the week. The deeper the roots the more likely you are to have a greener healthier lawn during the next drought. Watering once a week isn’t sufficient if you’re not getting enough water down that one day a week.

In general you’ll want to water to a depth of about 6″. Like we said earlier this will encourage deep root growth which will protect it from the heat, cold, and the next drought. A quick test you can do to ensure you’ve watered to the right depth is to stick a screw driver into the ground. If you can sink it easily about 6″ in the ground you’re there, otherwise you need to put a couple hundred more gallons of water on your bermuda grass.

It’s important that when you’re watering that you don’t allow water to run off your lawn. If you’ve got water run off problems you’ll want to only water until the water start running off, and then move to another zone. If you didn’t get to the 6″ mark you’ll need to come back to that zone after your new zone starts running off.


  1. james medeiros says

    I have just moved into a new home with freshly seeded Bermuda grass. How much watering should I do we have a sprinkler system and at this point I am watering for 3 days a week for 15 minutes each time. We live in the Charleston SC area.
    Also I have noticed some red in the small growth is this due to not enough or too much water?

    Thanks ?jim

  2. James,

    The red growth is not from watering. Bermuda not getting enough water will cause it to turn yellow. I think the red growth may be a fungus or some type of shock. Hard to say.

    Your watering routine sounds about right. With a bag of fertilizer you should be on track for a great looking lawn!

    Keep us posted.

  3. I noticed red in my seedlings to but after a few days they turn green.
    I planted sahara bramuda.

  4. New to Bermuda grass, bought a new home near Dallas that was soded in Janurary. Water is notably expensive. How much water is necessary with an sprinkler system to keep a nice lawn during summer heat?

  5. Hi, im in dubai and have 10,000 sqft of Bermuda grass in my to water. i have an automatic underground sprinkler system that comes on twice a day for 3 minutes each time. it delivers about 400 gallons each time (800 gallon tank half empty after each watering). the temperature here in summer runs from 104 to 114. the soil is pretty much sand with some fertiliser mixed in. MY QUESTION… the system is currently set to water it at 7am and again at 6.30pm (just before sunset). is this the best way yo water? should i dump the 800 gallons on in the morning or keep it split morning/evening? is there a Gallon per sq ft equation in existance?

    Any help much appreciated.


  6. JERRY TAYLOR says


  7. andrew bannister says

    i too live in dubai and would love to know the answers to the questions you were given in september….

    i have been told that by over watering this can cause a black looking fungi to that looks a lot like compost once it has finished with killing the grass…

    please give me as much info about how to look after this grass as it gets very very hot here and never rains ( maybe two to three days a year ) we use a sprinkler system automatic and it comes on twice a day for several minutes a time…

    what is the best time of year to feed and should we (not sure if this is right ) scarify the lawn once a year ???

    Please help as the golf course opposite has great looking lawns and fairways and ours looks terrible….. ps about 15,000 sq ft of it !!!!


  8. Put in topsoil and spread bermuda seeds about 15 days ago and still nothing has come up I am in greenville sc will it ever come up I have watered on schedule

    • The temperatures in Greenville will need to maintain a a solid 70°F day and night before those seeds will start to germinate.

  9. Faisal Makki says

    I have been around this issue with lot of friends. we have received expect advice for our farms and now things look good.

    Grass out here dies out or loses it color in summers due the following

    Urea being less .. Turns to brown.

    Excessive watering at night time can lead to rotting the soil causing the grass to die. Water 2 times as suggested below have done great benefit for us.

    Water the plant before the sun come up. preferably half and hour before sun rise. When the sun is up watering can Evapourate the water with the plant getting is required supply. Wastage is high. In order to make the grass roots go deeper . Water throught 30 minutes before sun rise. This is ideal way for root to grow deeper. (please note for deeper root watering is done one time days after 3 weeks of germination for 2-3 weeks only) switch back to 2 times normal watering.

    Second water timing is ard 6 pm depending if the sun set is ard 6:45. Do not over water due this time. Ideal would be 7 minutes depending on the sq meter distribution of splinkers.

    Bermuda grass is ideal for UAE temperature. Dear Karen where did you buy your seed from and at what rate. this will help determine if you got the right item. were they hurled on unhurled.

    Do you have 3 inches of red sand , with 1.5 to 2 inches of top soil. 15 days is a very long time. Normally 5 – 7 days is maximum time. Ideal way is to make the red sand moist that water holds on it like small puddle . Mix the top soil with Berumda seed and then spread it accross. Light moist the soil. Over watering will cause the seed to rot. Moist the top soil early morning hours and do not water in the evening. Lower temperature will slow down the germination process. This is a tradition way how thing are done in farm houses.

    I hope this helps.

  10. I heard that laying down sand helps your Bermuda grow???

  11. I planted bermuda sod .before i planted the sod i tilted the dirt and laid petmoss . next waterde the grass twice a day like instructed .next once a day also put green starter lawn granuals that the nursery recommened. i started noticing some area where tthe grass was drying up and yellow patches.the nursery instcuted me to spred grub worm granuals.Is their anything else i can do to start seeing it get back to its normal stage? our current average temp is about 96 degrees . area is el paso,tx . your advice is greatly appreciated

  12. Jesse Taylor says

    I was told today that the brown bermuda on a pallet will come back and you could buy it for 1/4 the price of the green. The brown/ yellow has only been on a pallet for a week.

    Is this true?

  13. will sand help bad spots of grass grow on my lawn.

  14. I have bermuda grass in our front & back yard. It always looks dead. I recently “AERATED” our front & back in hopes the water will soak deeper and our bermuda grass will get some color. My question is will areating help our grass & should we add seeds or fertilizer to the grass now??

  15. I am a lawn technician and would love to offer up any advice I may give. I live in the southern united States, Georgia to be exact, so southern soil types and warm weather grasses are my specialty; although I can offer up certain advice for some cool weather grasses. Please shoot me a comment or email. Love to help. I currently have a beautiful lush green bermuda lawn. I have applied a 24 percent nitrogen and 28 percent both with two layers of sulfur that allow for slow release. I am really getting a nice dark color this year.

    • I have bermuda sod put down in Nov 2010. I live in Charleston SC and the days and nights are warmer so the sod is getting green, however I now notice brown spots, along with patches of brown in other areas. I water 2x/ week 15 min each. I just put down Scotts Bonus S 3 weeks ago…ideas?

    • Rori Childress says

      My son currently put round up on some weeds in my front yard. The bermuda has turned yellow. Is it dead? Is there anything I can do to help it turn green quickly? What do I need to do?

    • Hey Jason, I have a neighbor who is very paticular with his lawn and loves green. About three weeks ago his lawn was a lush green. He fertilized according to scotts schedule and put whatever they recommended and now he has brown spots everywhere. He waters three times a week now about 40 mins each zone. I thought maybe he over fertilized and applied I think turf builder. I told him it needed more water to work that fertilizer. We just had a good rain last night hopefully it will take some brown away, but what is your take and advice for him? The grass is going on 2 years old come Sept. Thanks! Jimmy a concerned neighbor.

      regards MEL

      • Mel, This is likely a fungus growing on the grass. Best to apply a fungicide. The lawn should recover quickly once the fungus is dead.

        One likely cause of brown spots is watering to much or to early in the morning. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

    • Watering bermuda grass better to do every other day at 10 minutes a zone or six days a week at less time.Thanks

  16. Faisal Makki says

    Dear Jesse Taylor

    this is best part abt bermuda .. even if it brown adding urea or NPK can it is back to lush green.

    We have made our football ground in daid farm house.

    I asked my gardener and disagreed to adding seed in exist fields which has grass in. If you think fungu has developed.. it is better to take out the complete infected area. Although it can be fixed but the cost is high .. And the better option is to buy grass carpet and fill the area.

    best regards

  17. Faisal Makki says

    Dear Jason .

    I have had a situation, for which i have not been able to find an answer. We have done our ground from zer0 ( 20 m X 80 m) .. the whole field is identical .. soil .. water system.. fertilizers etc. yet we notice in some part of the ground the grass grows at very massive rate. this is a good sign .. but is there something this causing it grown that fast .. My gardener say this is abnormal but it is good. We have dug out the grass from one of the patches and place in an open area where we wanted new grass.. 3 X 2 meter grass which was distibuted in approximately 7 X 1.5 passage. Initally the gardener did patch work .. the result was amazing in one month. such kind of coverage takes 2-3 months was we saw in one month.. the whole passage was thick and dark lush green.

    what could be the reason.

  18. Dear Jason .
    I have had a situation, for which i have not been able to find an answer. We have done our ground from zer0 ( 20 m X 80 m) .. the whole field is identical .. soil .. water system.. fertilizers etc. yet we notice in some part of the ground the grass grows at very massive rate. this is a good sign .. but is there something this causing it grown that fast .. My gardener say this is abnormal but it is good. We have dug out the grass from one of the patches and place in an open area where we wanted new grass.. 3 X 2 meter grass which was distibuted in approximately 7 X 1.5 passage. Initally the gardener did patch work .. the result was amazing in one month. such kind of coverage takes 2-3 months was we saw in one month.. the whole passage was thick and dark lush green.
    what could be the reason.

    Without being on the site it will be difficult. I would say that although the area consists of the same soil it may carry its nutrients differently. I have areas in my lawn that grow much lusher than others as well. The best way to give this a prognosis is to do a soil sample. A local county extension in your area or local government can point you in the right area. You may have to do separate samples for areas that are not as lush and those that are fast growing. That would probably answer the question. What type of grass do you have? Have you applied them at same rate? Does the ground have proper plaining, meaning does water drain off at same rate in all areas? Have you applied lime? Did Lime get applied at proper rate across grass? It sounds as if the areas you speak of are getting more nutrients that are feeding the grass what it needs. If it is a warm weather grass such as bermuda, or zoysia, nitrogen is the gem. There is such thing as too much nitrogen that can lead to leaf spot or other issues but for the most part nitrogen is warm weather grasses prime need in the warm months. If I apply a round of nitrogen to my bermuda at 1 lb per 1000 sq ft one week and decide later to fill or level and area using sand I will try to promote a quicker take into those areas with some extra fert, the effect is a darker area where I added the nitrogen. So I really think the first step to the answer is a proper soil sample TEST. Hope this leads you in the right direction. Thanks for the opportunity share.

  19. Bill,

    aerating is more of a long term solution to solve thatch and compaction issues. Yes, it allows the ground to open up and give ample opportunity for water, air and nutrients to reach the root zone, but a very compact soil with extreme thinning issues will atleast a year to recover. I would recommend a simple test is several areas to measure the compaction of the soil. Take a flat head screw driver and attempt to slide in the soil. Ideally, you will be able to penetrate the ground with little effort. If you find that it is like pushing on a rock then you know that the ground is still too compact to really allow good root growth. The roots are probably bound up and looking for water but settling into smaller areas. You end up with thinner grass on the surface. The color issue should not really be too much of a relationship with the aeration. As long as you can see that the ground will accept some moisture. Meaning, when watered it soaks in and does not runoff immediately, then the nutrients will be released into the ground and whatever root systems exist with absorb them with the water. Fertilizer it the way to go. I would not seed, until you know the soil you have is fertile enough. I mean don’t waste time seeding. You will get some short term results this year possibly, but If you are really compacted I would get though this year. Fertilize according to national and international recommendations for bermuda. In the very early spring I would scalp down to less than a half inch. We are talking before the grass comes out of dormancy. Make sure the night before you aerate the lawn or ground is watered 1 -2 inches of water. Then aerate the next day. If you can fit it in to that same day or the week after add the highest rate of nitrogen. This will help bring grass out of dormancy. If you are in the south I would recommend this mid to late march. I used a 46-0-0 to green up quick. Lesco product. It is amazing. Then next round use a more complete NPK. hope this helps\





  21. My Bermuda Grass was about the prettiest yard in the neighborhood until about 2 weeks ago. We are in Waco, TX and the temperature has been in the 100-107 degrees for about 30 days straight now. We water every other day about 7:00 p.m. and about 15 minutes on each station. Our grass is turning yellow and it just makes me sick. I read if you stick a screwdriver down about 6 in. and if it comes out easy, that your watering should be efficient. I just went out and did that and the screwdriver came out just fine. I’m like you, is there something we can do for these brown spots. Brenda

  22. Hi Jason,
    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Here are few things about Bermuda grass that worries me. I live in North Atlanta, GA Suburbs.

    1. I have a lot of yellowish brown big patches all over the lawn. I am assuming that it may be because of the irregular watering schedule I may be following.

    2. Small areas in the lawn have bald patches with no growth of grass in those small areas

    3. Is there a place I can find the watering schedule by Months and amout of water to be put in the lawn. I read 6″ is the watering depth needs to be followed. Can I know in terms of minutes that would take care of 6″ watering depth?

    Can you offer some expert advise on this?

    Appreciate it.

  23. Ashley Harris says

    I live in Abu Dhabi and I recently planted Bremuda grass (sod not seeds) and have been watering 2 times a day for 5 minutes or so each time (morning and evening). I am having difficulty keeping it alive. I have some perfectly green parts and some that are terribly brown. Most recently I have noticed some areas that are turning almost black. It looks as though it has been over watered or is growing some sort of fungi? Any suggestions on how to fix this? Is there a good fertilizer for this sort of grass? How much water does it need?


  24. Odell Ruesink says

    Hi Jason , my wife and I just moved to Betonville, AR on Oct 1 2010 we have new sod which is pretty much all brown. I have started watering twice a day 1/2 hour a time. Should I keep watering through the winter months. also should I spread on any lawn care products this fall?

  25. Hey again, I forgot to tell you we live in West Columbia SC and the soil is sand if that makes any difference. Thanks

  26. Hi,
    i would like to make lawn in my home guarden, so which grass is suitable for. where can i get the lawn seed in U.A.E- Abu Dhabi.


    • Hi Renju, I would highly recommend Passpalum Grass – American variety. We are an established Carpet Grass supplier in the UAE with our own Grass Farms and Nurseries. I can guide u to make the right choice. Let me know where you are in UAE or you are welcome to visit us on our farm in Ajman. Look forward to hearing from you …if you are still on the lookout for advise on this.

  27. Terry Priestap says

    I’d like to do my part to conserve water during this drought and stop watering my Bermuda (I believe tex turf ten).

    Will this damage the grass in any way ?

  28. Sir I have a piece of land where i i have sown bermuda grass which is florishing, but today i saw green layers covering soil but bermuda grass is stable. Can anybody tell me what are these green layers and do thses creat any problem in future.


    • Hi Rahil,Are you using any fertilisers on the lawn? or such as Peat Moss. This helps to retain water / moisture on the soil and sometimes results in “Green patches” on the lawn OR maybe you are overwatering the lawn. Hope this helps. Good Luck. If you need any plants or seasonal flowers (Petunia, Marrygold, Vinca) etc .. let me know, we can even deliver to your home, if the quantity is reasonable or club it with other delveries in your area. Can be contacted on shamsinurseries at gmail dot com

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  31. Mike Arango says

    On bermuda golf greens is it better to irrigate during the day or during the night?

  32. has anyone flood irrigated Bermuda grass seed when planting?