Bermuda grass, also known as Cynodon Dactylon, is a warm-season grass that thrives in almost any soil. It is one of the most popular and widespread grasses in the United States. While it can be found throughout the country, this plant is most common in the eastern hemisphere.
The medical properties of the devil’s grass, as well as its good, fast-growing rate, make it a popular choice among many lawn owners. However, getting bermudagrass to spread is a different story.
Bermuda grass spreads quickly when all of the conditions are favorable, and it can soon grow into a dense lawn. Weeds will sprout all over your lawn if it is thin and has bare spots, reducing its lush appearance.
To encourage deeper root development and faster spread of bermudagrass shoots, water your lawn twice a day at a depth of one inch. Mow the lawn low and often to encourage grass to spread laterally.
It will also grow faster if you feed it a nitrogen fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.
Steps To Encourage The Spread
If you want a dense, fully-established lawn by summer, you can use a variety of strategies to speed up the spread of your bermudagrass.
Best Time To Grow: Late Spring
Planting Bermuda grass correctly includes doing so at the right time. As a result, Bermuda grass is best planted in late spring, near the end of the peak growing season, when the grass will thrive and spread more quickly.
Planting should be avoided in the winter when the ground is frozen, and in the summer when the temperatures are too hot. In addition, seeding rather than sodding or sprigging is the fastest way to establish bermudagrass.
Ensure Proper Soil Condition
If you’re growing Bermuda grass in an incompatible soil type, it may grow slowly. If your soil becomes clogged or compacted, try switching to a different type of soil that drains well and avoids compaction.
Make sure the soil you’re using is neutral-alkaline, with a pH of 5.8 to 7.0. You might not need to change the soil, which is time-consuming.
Instead, use soil amendments to help aerate and improve the overall quality of the soil. Lime can be added to acidic soil to make it alkaline enough for bermuda grass to grow.
Once those issues are resolved, you can create the ideal environment for bermudagrass to thrive, allowing it to grow faster and spread further to cover your entire lawn.
Maintain A Regular Watering Schedule
Watering a newly seeded Bermuda lawn on a regular basis is critical for root establishment. Your bermudagrass will grow and spread faster with proper root anchorage, leaving you with a fully-established nice-looking lawn.
Prior to root establishment, bermudagrass typically requires a lot of water. You should water the lawn at least twice a day at this point. Once the grass plants are about an inch tall, reduce the irrigation frequency to once per day.
It is recommended that you soak your lawn soil with about an inch of water for deeper root establishment. Finally, only apply as much water as the soil can absorb when irrigating to avoid degrading the quality of your lawn soil through erosion.
To ensure that the roots establish themselves deep underground, make sure the water penetrates about an inch into the ground.
Mow The Lawn Frequently
If there is more lateral growth than vertical growth, Bermuda grass spreads faster. Mowing your lawn frequently is the best way to encourage lateral growth and spread over vertical growth.
However, it is advised to avoid mowing your young Bermuda grass plants until they reach a length of at least two inches. This is due to the fact that the plants have yet to establish proper root anchorage, and mowing could result in permanent damage.
Mow at least twice a week at a low height of one inch to help fully established bermudagrass spread faster.
When you mow, make sure to remove no more than one-third of the leaf blades, leaving enough leaf blade area to allow photosynthesis to continue and faster growth to occur.
The nutrients in your lawn soil are essential for bermudagrass plants to absorb and convert into energy for growth. As a result, by using fertilizer to raise the levels of these soil nutrients, your turfgrass will grow and spread more quickly.
The best time to fertilize bermudagrass with nitrogen fertilizer is during the peak growing season, at intervals of 6-8 weeks.
It’s also a good idea to stop fertilizing your Bermuda lawn when the dormancy period begins in early fall because natural grass growth will have slowed by that time.
Adequate Sunlight Exposure
Finally, many plants require a lot of light to thrive, and bermudagrass is no exception. Bermuda grass spreads quickly and fills in any bald spots on your lawn when exposed to daily sunlight.
Examine your lawn and try to reduce the number of shaded areas as much as possible. In those areas, the grass will spread more slowly, so make some temporary or permanent changes to your lawn landscape to help the bermudagrass spread more quickly.
Cutting back some of the branches of the taller tree blocking the grass from direct sunlight access can help your turfgrass spread faster in a shaded area.
Bermuda Grass Grow Habits
Another consideration is how quickly Bermuda grass spreads in comparison to other warm-season grasses. It has one of the fastest rates of growth and blooms in late summer.
Two parts of the plant – stolons and rhizomes – are involved in the growth process. Stolons are shoots that grow above ground and spread outwards from the plant laterally.
A new plant may emerge from nodes that develop in the stolons at regular intervals, allowing the grass to spread. Stolons are also known as runners, and they are the same thing.
Rhizomes are underground stolons that are similar to stolons. They can grow up to six inches beneath the surface and help spread grass across the lawn.
Where a stolon may encounter resistance on your lawn’s surface, a rhizome can penetrate and continue the grass’s propagation.
Further Care Tips
Despite being heat and drought tolerant, Bermuda grass requires regular mowing to maintain an ideal height of one-half to two-and-a-half inches, once-week deep watering, fertilization, annual aeration, and regular weed control.
Maintain a height of one-half to two-and-a-half inches at all times. When the grass turns green in the spring, begin mowing. Mow frequently enough to remove no more than one-third of the grass blades at once. Use a razor-sharp mower blade at all times.
Once a week, water deeply, saturating the soil to a depth of about six inches. Irrigate only when necessary. Aerate your lawn in the early summer before applying fertilizer.
After the threat of winter injury has passed, use pre-emergent herbicides to control spring and summer weeds. Post-emergence applications can be used to control broadleaf weeds. Always read and follow the directions on the label. Use no more than two to three herbicide applications per year.
After you’ve completed all of the preceding steps, keep an eye out for signs of success. Within the first seven days of planting, you’ll know your Bermuda has germinated, and it should take over an average-sized lawn in six weeks, give or take a week.
Naturally, the amount of time it takes varies depending on your lawn, the climate, and plant and soil health.
Q. Is Bermuda grass able to grow in bare spots?
A: It is debatable. Grass with rhizomes spreads laterally, filling in bald or bare patches on your lawn naturally. Grass that spreads via stolons is the same way.
Q. What is the best bermuda grass fertilizer?
A: The best fertilizer for bermuda grass will have a high nitrogen-to-phosphorus-to-potassium ratio, with little or no phosphorus and possibly a small amount of potassium.
Q. How long does it take to germinate the bermuda grass seed?
A: The hulled seeds can germinate in 3 to 7 days under ideal conditions. It’s normal for bermudagrass seeds to take 14 to 21 days to germinate if the conditions aren’t ideal.