The Basics Of Bermuda Grass Lawn Care
Bermuda grass is an ideal cover for lawns in warm southern climates. This grass loves the sun, is heat and drought resistant, does not need to be watered frequently, and is tolerant to high foot traffic. In general, the grass is easy to care for. To get healthy Bermuda grass throughout the year, one just needs to know the basics when it comes to watering, mowing, fertilizing, aerating, and controlling pests.
This grass has different watering needs in its different stages of growth. For seedbeds, it is best to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. Alternatively, Bermuda grass lawn care for a new sod requires watering two to three times a day during the first three weeks, and then two to three times a week for three more weeks to establish the roots.
For an established lawn, watering is done just once a week even during the dry season. In the rainy months, watering is on an as-needed basis or when the grass looks like it's going to wilt. While watering is only required once a week, it is best to water the lawn to at least six inches deep. This Bermuda grass lawn care practice of watering deeply will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the ground on the days after watering and when the top portion of the soil has begun to dry out. Deep root growth results in greener lawns during the drought season.
In contrast to its watering needs, Bermuda grass requires frequent mowing because it can grow rapidly and aggressively. Mowing length is between half an inch to one and a half inches tall. Mowing below half an inch can cause damage to the grass due to scalping. Scalping is the term used in Bermuda grass lawn care to describe what happens when the mower blade tears into the lower section of the grass.
Using the reel type of mower has lower risks of scalping. Those who are currently using a rotary mower can remedy the situation by raising the blade, although the result may not be as smooth or even. Whichever type of mower one uses, it is best to keep the blades sharp at all times to keep them from tearing the grass.
One does not need to bag the grass after mowing as leaving the grass clippings on the lawn is actually a recommended Bermuda grass lawn care practice. Letting the clippings naturally decompose where they are after mowing will result in releasing nitrogen back into the soil. In terms of applying commercial fertilizer, the ideal frequency is up to three times during its growing season at a pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of ground.
Aerating is best done during the growing season. Doing so when the grass is nearing or in its dormant state in the fall or winter will result in weeds taking over the lawn. It is also not advised to aerate when the lawn is undergoing drought conditions.
When maintaining Bermuda grass, lawn care should also include pest control, particularly with a disease called dollar patch or dollar spot of which Bermuda grass is susceptible to. This is actually a fungus wherein its presence is indicated by brown spots on the lawn. It usually develops during the spring and fall seasons where the warm days and cool nights provide the conditions for the fungus to thrive. Fungicide will eradicate dollar patch, and keeping a regular watering, fertilizing, and mowing schedule as outlined above will prevent recurrence.