How to get Bermuda grass to spread is a query we get a lot from turf owners living in warmer areas. The good thing about Bermuda is that it is a grass type that is naturally rapidly spreading and competitive.
All you have to do is ensure the grass grows in a conducive and well-cared-for environment. This research-backed article discusses nine simple ways to help your grass spread further.
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- How To Get Bermuda Grass To Spread?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Get Bermuda Grass To Spread?
Here is your cheat-sheet to getting Bermuda grass to spread!
- Ensure the soil has a good pH and is well-fertilized.
- Plant plugs, strips, or hand transplanted grass patches on areas where you want it to spread.
- Provide adequate watering, feed and overseed to help Bermuda to spread and thicken.
1. Improve The Soil Before Planting Grass
Before planting Bermuda grass in the soil, we always recommend that turf owners test it. You can complete home testing by ordering home testing kits from sellers online. If not, collect a soil sample and send it to a nearby laboratory for testing.
One important thing soil testing tells you is the pH of the soil and whether you need to change it. Bermuda grows best when the soil pH is between 5.8 to 7.0. It will tolerate some alkalinity levels but will have trouble growing in acidic soil.
If the soil is too acidic, add lime and if it is alkaline, add some organic ingredients to lower the pH. If soil testing reveals that it lacks certain important nutrients, add the appropriate fertilizer to it before planting grass.
2. Plugs and Strips Spread Faster
If you want your grass to spread faster, try installing plugs or strips instead of sowing seeds. Plugs are clumps of grown grass about three inches in length and width grown in a tray.
They are then planted in the ground at a distance of nine to 12 inches. Soon after planting these plugs in the soil, Bermuda establishes itself and spreads to cover the spaces between each plug.
Growing Bermuda using sowing seeds takes more time and a lot of care. Under ideal conditions, germinating Bermuda grass seeds take three to seven days. Under usual circumstances, it will take around two to three whole weeks for Bermuda to germinate and a further two weeks for the grass blades to spread.
3. Propagate Grass By Hand
If you already have Bermuda grown on your lawn, you can spread it further by hand. All you have to do is to take three by three inches of grass by hand.
Grab the grass blades in your hand as near the ground as you can and pull them with as much force as possible. You want to uproot grass blades along with as many roots as possible. Replant these sections at a distance of a few inches from one another wherever you want to.
If the soil has enough nutrients and is watered properly with one-inch water per week, the grass will soon get established and begin to spread.
4. Water Frequently With Little Water Until Germination
Once you have sowed grass seeds in the soil, you need to water Bermuda a lot. The trick is to water the seeds several times during the day but with only a small amount. Water a little so that the soil dries up quickly for the next watering. This would speed up germination first of all.
Bermuda grass grows and spreads the fastest when watered properly with one inch of water every week. Bermuda has a high tolerance for salty water, but it is best to give it fresh water.
Bermuda needs to be watered deeply with a large amount of water. Use a sprinkler or a hose to keep watering the lawn for at least 30 to 45 minutes straight. It is a warm-season grass that grows best when the temperatures rise high. Even if the mercury goes as high as 85 degrees, the grass will thrive if watered properly.
5. Overseeding Helps The Grass To Thicken
Bermuda grass spreads and thickens more when overseeded in fall or late spring. Obtain the best quality seeds that you can get from your trusted grass vendors. Wait till the time is right and mow the grass to one and a half inches in length. Then sprinkle the seeds over the freshly mowed grass, preferably after pre-germinating it.
Overseeding is a great way to fill bare spots that might develop in the grass. It helps the grass spread further as well. We suggest our personal favorite princess 77 Bermuda grass seed be used when overseeding during the warm growing season.
6. Do Not Forget To Fertilize
Like plants, your grass lawn also needs regular fertilizing during its active growth. The growing period of warm season grasses like Bermuda last from early spring till late summer. During this time, you need to fertilize it every four to six weeks without fail.
Warm grass varieties respond very well to nitrogen fertilizers that contain other essential nutrients in lesser amounts. You can also use a well-balanced grass fertilizer for healthy and lush grass.
Take care to water the grass deeply for a few hours before applying fertilizer to it. It is better to dilute the formula with water before use to be safe. Pour it evenly all over the surface of the lawn so that the grass grows uniformly everywhere.
7. Plant Hormones Help
Plant hormones help with Bermuda grass spread, and you can utilize their potential to help you on the lawn. Before you plant Bermuda grass on the lawn, apply plant rooting hormones to the roots before putting them into the soil.
Plant hormones come in powder, liquid, and gel forms, and you can choose whichever form you find the most suitable to work with. Most hormones need to be applied to the roots and rhizomes and can only be applied when fully grown grass is being transplanted.
Certain hormones such as auxins can also be applied to the seedlings stage of the grass. These hormones are easily available everywhere, and you must use them per the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Frequently Mow and Dethatch Grass
Make sure to include frequent mowing and dethatching as part of your regular lawn care. Bermuda is fast growing grass, and you can get it to spread more by keeping its height short. It can easily be mowed down to a height of one and a half inches.
To keep such fast-growing grass at such low heights, you must mow it quite a lot. It would help to invest in a good-quality lawn mower because you will use it a lot on a Bermuda lawn.
Frequent mowing creates a lot of thatch, and you will have to dethatch the lawn yearly. That would be even better if you could do dethatching more than once a year.
9. Control Weeds
Lastly, to make Bermuda grass thicker and to get it to spread, it is imperative to keep weeds under control. Weeds compete with your Bermuda grass for nutrients, water, and sunlight.
One good thing about Bermuda grass lawn is that it is invasive and gives weeds tough competition. However, if you keep the weeds out, your grass can redirect its energies towards spreading further, utilizing all the resources.
Only use a selective herbicide because non-selective ones will also kill grass and weeds. Every year apply a pre-emergent one before weeds start growing within the grass. Once the weeds die and turn brown, you can pluck them up by hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Fast Does Bermuda Grass Grow?
Bermuda grows quickly and takes about 90 days to establish a fully grown and lush grass. Bermuda’s seeds can germinate as rapidly as three to five days when all the conditions are ideal.
– How Do You Get Rid of Bermuda Grass?
You can eliminate Bermuda grass by using any non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate. You will need to treat this grass with herbicide more than once or twice because it is quite toug.Once the patches of grass start turning brown, you have to remove them manually, using your hands or a weed whacker.
Using 10 percent vinegar solution is the most effective method to kill Bermuda organically. This will require more frequent applications than chemical herbicides. You must either pour vinegar directly on the grass or mix it with water to make it a grass spray.
It is time to summarize all the major steps that help spread Bermuda grass on its own.
- Grass planted using plugs or strips will spread faster than grass that has been sowed.
- Water a lot during seed germination but then maintain a regular schedule of one-inch water per week.
- Overseeding your Bermuda grass in spring will help thicken the grass.
- Fertilize with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every month from spring till late summer.
Our guide will make it easy to help your Bermuda grass spread wherever you want it to. Bermuda is already invasive, so you will not have to make much extra effort.