An Overview On Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass lawn care is easy to doThere are many kinds of grasses primarily cultivated for lawn cover and one of the most popular are those from the genus Cynodon. This is an evergreen perennial grass that can grow up to more than one foot and characterized by short and spiky leaf blades. This grass is endemic to north and east Africa, Asia, Australia, and southern Europe. While these grasses are more commonly used as cover for lawns and putting greens, some species in the genus are also used as pasture or forage grasses. There are nine species belonging to Cynodon wherein the most common and frequently encountered species is the C. dactylon or bermuda grass.

Also referred to as Bahama Grass, Couch Grass, and Indian Doab, this grass is highly valued especially in warmer climates due to its drought resistant properties. The grass grows and spreads at a medium rate, capable of giving complete ground cover in at least four weeks. It also helps with soil conservation as it spreads sidewards, forming roots whenever a node touches the ground, easily forming a dense ground cover.

Free seasonal remindersThe grass can grow in different types of soil, even able to thrive in soils poor in nutrients. The bermuda grass is resistant to drought and can stay green even in very hot and dry weather. Optimum conditions for the plant to thrive are a well-drained soil and full sun exposure. This grass is generally tolerant to grazing, herbicide, insects, salt, weeds, water-logging, heavy soil, peat, sand, and atmospheric pollution. It can also withstand frost, as it is hardy to about -10ºC.

There are several varieties of this grass wherein the readily visible differences are in leaf size, color, texture, and the size of the spikes. Colors usually range from a dull blue green to bright green or yellow green. Most bermuda grass varieties are poor seeders. Thus, the best and fastest way to propagate this grass is through sodding or to plant the rooted side shoots straight into the soil rather than seeding.

Several cultivars or hybrids of this grass were also developed with the aim of producing lawn cover with better resistance to disease and weeds. These hybrids also have denser turf, finer texture, and better color than the type of this grass found in the wild. However, these perceived superior qualities of the hybrid varieties come at a price since they require more maintenance to maintain their superior appearance. These types of bermuda grass will require more watering, fertilizing, mowing, and overseeding.

With its ability to form roots fast and spread easily, the grass can be highly aggressive and can crowd out other grasses. It has been shown to invade uncultivated land and other habitats. Controlling this grass is important especially if there are adjacent lawns with other grass types or species. One way to control the spread of this grass is to apply herbicide that not only kills the top of the grass but more importantly works on the roots, rhizomes, and stolons. Two applications of herbicide is recommended when controlling bermuda grass through this method.

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