Bermuda grass pros and cons are important to learn before planting your lawn with this grass variety. Bermuda is a non-native and warm-growing grass type that is considered to be invasive in many states.
This grass is one of the most low-maintenance and easy-to-grow turf grasses worldwide and produces the lushest lawns because of its deep green color. Find out what some of the major selling points of Bermuda are in this guide, along with a few disadvantages.
- What Are the Top Pros of Bermuda Grass?
- What Are Some Cons of Bermuda Grass?
What Are the Top Pros of Bermuda Grass?
The top Bermuda grass pros are that it is a grass that is quite cheap and has excellent foot and drought tolerance. As a warm-season grass, it has a natural inclination to thrive under higher temperatures. It has great self-repair qualities and can be kept at a low height.
– Heat Tolerant Grass
Bermuda grass is classified as warm-season grass that grows best under hot weather conditions. Bermuda grass seed only begins germinating when the temperature starts warming up during spring. Use a thermometer to check the soil temperature before reseeding with this grass because it needs to be above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bermuda has excellent heat tolerance and will stay lush green throughout the hottest summers, given that its water needs are being fulfilled. It tends to thrive between a high-temperature range of 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. No doubt, it is the grass of choice in most homes and gardens in regions with hot summers.
Consequently, the cold tolerance of Bermuda is not as good as its heat tolerance. Below 55 degrees, you can expect it to start undergoing dormancy and turning brown. If you live on the west coast, your Bermuda lawn will stay green even during winter.
– Amazing Traffic Tolerance
Few grass varieties come close to the traffic tolerance that Bermuda exhibits. The grass blades of Bermuda, if kept at the right height, can withstand people and pets walking, running, and sitting over it. This grass survives well in high traffic areas such as golf clubs, tennis grounds, and even school playgrounds.
For homeowners with kids and pets, there is no better grass than Bermuda, to be honest. You can invite your friends and family over for a barbeque on the lawn or let pets loose to play in the grass to their heart’s extent. The trampled Bermuda grass blades will bounce back instead of getting damaged.
– Good at Tolerating Drought
Being the most drought-tolerant grass is one of the biggest Bermuda grass pros. This is grass that carries on growing during the worst possible conditions. Every seven days, just one and a quarter inches of water can keep this tough grass vibrant and spread.
If you cannot water your lawn for some reason, then Bermuda grass will live without going dormant for as many as seven weeks. This happens when the lawn has yet to receive even rainfall for these seven weeks. Only during the eighth week will the grass blades begin to turn brown and slow down their fast spread.
If drought conditions persist for another three to four weeks, your grass survives. We have even seen a dormant Bermuda lawn turn back into a vibrant green after a drought for as long as ten weeks. All it takes is one to two deep watering sessions, and the grass looks as healthy as ever.
– Self-Repair Qualities
Sometimes, bald patches and bare spots appear on a Bermuda grass lawn, especially when something heavy is dragged across the lawn. It would help if you filled these patches in other grass types using reseeding procedures. Not with Bermuda, though, because this grass will fill over any such bald patches within barely a week.
The self-repair properties of this grass are phenomenal. It helps when the grass is maintained and kept at the required length. This gives them the strength to bounce back after they are bent over from foot traffic.
How you look after this grass determines how much it gives back to you. Keeping it well fertilized and watered during its growth period means it will overcome minor to moderate damage to grass without any problem.
– Can Take Root in Various Soil Types
We love warm grass types like Bermuda, Buffalo, and fescue, etc., because they are easy to grow almost anywhere. Imagine how much energy, time, and money you get to save that would instead have gone into an extensive soil amendment.
It doesn’t matter whether the native soil in your neighborhood is sandy or clay-like, acidic or alkaline because Bermuda can take root in all soil types. Although we recommend adding compost and sand to the soil before planting Bermuda, it is unnecessary.
– Can Use Salt Water for Bermuda
Again, Bermuda grows best in freshwater but will tolerate salt water pretty well. People living near the coast and with salty underground water reserves have trouble growing grass in their lawns. A moderate amount of salty water is acceptable for watering the Bermuda grass weekly.
However, it would help if you still diluted saltwater spills of a large magnitude because these will cause the grass blades to die of chemical burns. Secondly, protect Bermuda from pool water as well because it contains chlorine, which the grass cannot tolerate.
– Affordable Grass
It is natural to expect that beautiful-looking grass with high drought tolerance that spreads fast will cost a ton to buy and maintain. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that a Bermuda lawn is very reasonable to maintain compared to most other grass varities.
Get premium-quality Bermuda grass seeds at an exact price from various sellers online. To be safe, ensure that the seller has good reviews before ordering. Bermuda sod costs around $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot of sod. You can get the best type of sod by spending just a little more money.
Bermuda’s low long-term lawn care cost makes this grass the most affordable. Remember that this grass spreads without regular fertilizing, watering, or reseeding.
– Can Be Kept at a Low Height
Who doesn’t love to plant grass that can be kept as short as possible? Short grass blades give the lawn a neat and well-kept appearance, but unfortunately, most grass varieties don’t do well when kept short. With Bermuda, you can keep it at two inches tall, and it will still thrive. Of course, keeping such rapidly growing grass at a low height means carrying out much more frequent lawn mowing than one would like to.
Some newer hybrid bermuda grass varieties that can be mowed down to one inch in length have been developed. Such varieties are pricier and need more care than regular grass. A grass kept short is at the disadvantage that it will not be able to develop very deep roots.
What Are Some Cons of Bermuda Grass?
Some cons of Bermuda grass are that it is shade intolerant and highly invasive if left without supervision. Bermuda grass grows well only under the full bright sun all day long. It begins to die when it encounters low temperatures, and easily turns brown during a drought.
Make sure to keep this type of grass in check as it can quickly spread and become invasive. This grass type is not native to the United States and does not have natural predators.
– Not Good at Tolerating Shade
Bermuda grass grows only on a lawn or turf that is well illuminated by direct sunlight for at least eight to nine hours per day. If the lawn lacks sunlight, then this grass will either grow very thinly or not at all. Remember that Bermuda is a fast-growing and rapidly spreading grass type, so it naturally needs plenty of sunlight to make food for its sustenance.
When the exposure to bright and direct light is less than seven hours, or the grass receives mostly indirect light, it will not grow as thickly as expected. It will also not be as vibrantly dark green and instead will be much duller in color. A shade-tolerant grass type will be better if your lawn receives less sunlight.
– Most Invasive Grass Type
Bermuda grass needs more time and effort to keep it from spreading uncontrollably rather than getting it to spread. It has been classified as a properly invasive species when not kept in check. Left to its own, this grass spreads to reach every nook and crevice of the lawn and even the driveway and sidewalks.
Bermuda has a very high rate of seed production and dispersal. Its seeds can spread further than your lawn’s designated boundary and germinate without proper watering and fertilizing. Bermuda is non-native to the United States, so there aren’t any natural predators like weeds to keep this grass in check.
Another negative aspect of this grass’s invasive nature is the damage it causes to other plants on the lawn. Bermuda roots grow aggressively long and competitively steal water and nutrients from the surrounding plantation. Your beloved plants grown on the lawn are at risk of being starved by Bermuda grass.
– Dies at Low Temperatures
Bermuda grass does not grow well when it is less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit because it needs warm temperatures for photosynthesis. Below 55 degrees, it begins to go into dormancy, where it turns brown, stops growing further, and cannot resist damage as much as actively growing grass. Finally, when it gets to below 30 degrees Fahrenheit in cold weather, be ready for your Bermuda grass to die altogether.
What this means for people who live in states with cold winters is that their lawns will not turn green in the upcoming spring. The entire lawn will have to be reseeded with Bermuda grass seeds, or you will have to plant Bermuda sod all over again. The reason why grass dies is that the ground freezes over, which kills the roots.
– Turns Brown During Drought
Bermuda is a tough grass that can withstand prolonged drought and hot weather conditions reasonably well. However, it cannot stay green during this tough period. After six to seven weeks of consistent drought, the grass blades will lose their dark green color and become brown.
Turning brown means the grass is no longer doing photosynthesis and is instead going dormant. Seeing a vibrantly healthy lawn turn dull brown is like a wake-up call for negligent lawn keepers to arrange water for the grass. The great news is that Bermuda continues to live for several weeks even when it has turned brown from dormancy.
Let us briefly summarize our guide outlining the pros and cons of Bermuda grass as a conclusion.
- Bermuda grass grows well in warm temperatures between 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and dies when temperatures drop below freezing during winter.
- The blades of this grass can spring back up even after constant trampling.
- Bermuda sods are quite affordable to buy and install in the lawn and maintain later.
- A major con related to Bermuda is its low shade tolerance because it needs about eight hours of daily sunshine to grow.
- Keep this grass in constant check as it is an invasive species and will deprive surrounding plants of nutrients.
In this article, we have discussed the major selling points along with certain cons of the beautiful Bermuda grass. We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision on whether or not this is the right type of grass for your house and lifestyle.
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