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Bermudagrass

Description

Bermudagrass is a medium- to fine-textured warm-season turfgrass that spreads by rhizomes and stolons. It has excellent heat, drought, and salt tolerance but does not do well in shade. Bermudagrass is the most widely used species on athletic fields and golf course fairways/tee boxes due to its high wear tolerance and rapid recovery. It can also be a very invasive and hard to control weed in some turf settings. Bermudagrass can be confused with nimblewill. However, nimblewill has a membranous ligule, which can be distinguished from the hairy ligule of bermudagrass. Bermudagrass is also often confused with zoysiagrass, but zoysiagrass has hairs standing upright on the leaf blade, whereas bermudagrass does not. Zoysiagrass is also stiff to the touch and offers more resistance to your hand than bermudagrass. Zoysiagrass leaf vernation is rolled whereas bermudagrass leaf vernation is folded. There are many different hybrids of bermudagrass that range from fine to coarse in leaf texture. As a weed, bermudagrass is sometimes referred to as wiregrass.

lawn Maintenance for June - August

Fertilization

Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet every 4 to 6 weeks using the March through May fertilizing guidelines.

Insect Control

Follow the March through May insect control guidelines. August is the best time to control white grubs because they are small and close to the soil surface.

Irrigation

Follow the March through May irrigation guidelines.

Mowing

Follow the March through May mowing guidelines.

Thatch Removal

Vertically mow to remove the thatch if it is more than ½ inch thick. Thatch can be removed monthly if the lawn has sufficient time to recover.

Weed Control

Apply postemergence herbicides as needed to control summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and lespedeza. Crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, nutsedge, annual sedges, and sandbur can be controlled with postemergence grass control herbicides. Two or three applications 7 to 10 days apart are required for effective control. Apply herbicides only when weeds are present, the grass is actively growing, and the lawn is not suffering from drought stress.

athletic Maintenance for July - August

Fertilization

Follow the April-June fertilization guidelines.

Irrigation

Follow the April-June irrigation guidelines.

Mowing

Follow the April-June mowing guidelines.

Renovation

Make arrangements now to begin renovation and establishment early next spring. Ensure that the necessary labor, equipment, and supplies are available. Bermudagrass can be planted any time soil temperatures reach 50 F, usually in April but sometimes as early as March. The other option is to sod the field. Although this option is very expensive, the fields can be ready for play within six weeks.

Early June is the latest preferred date for renovating a bermudagrass field by sprigging. It takes about two to three months of good growing weather before a sprigged field is ready to withstand light traffic (less than 10 football games per year). Looks can be deceiving. Good coverage can be achieved within nine weeks with aggressive cultivars like Vamont; however, the plants will not be mature enough to withstand much traffic.

Soil Cultivation

Follow the April-June soil cultivation guidelines.

Weed Control

Follow the April-June weed control guidelines for control of grasses, sedges and broadleaf weeds.

Generally, do not apply postemergence herbicide treatments during July and August when the bermudagrass turf is drought or heat stressed and air temperatures exceed 90 F. Temporary bermudagrass discoloration can be expected in hot weather and dry soils. Rainfall or irrigation will revive the turf.

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Seedhead/Flower

raceme; 3-5 spikes that join at the top of a main stem.

p1060821
p1060821
p1060821
Vernation type

leaves folded in the bud

dscn1050
dscn1050
dscn1050
Ligule Type

fringe of hairs 0.04 - 0.12 inches (1 - 3 mm) long

ligule
ligule
ligule
Growth Season/Life Cycle

warm season turf or perennial weed

Auricle type

absent

ligule
ligule
ligule
Leaf blade tip shape

sharp-pointed; sparsely hairy, edges rough, leaf blade soft

dscn1037
dscn1037
dscn1037
Leaf blade width

0.06 - 0.1 inches (1.5 - 3 mm) wide

Stolon Presence

present; stout

stolon2
stolon2
stolon2
weed4
weed4
weed4
Rhizome Presence

present; stout

Collar Type

continuous; not hairy, may be hairy on edges

dscn1039
dscn1039
dscn1039
dscn1041
dscn1041
dscn1041
vernation2
vernation2
vernation2
Sheath Margin

open

dscn1047
dscn1047
dscn1047
sheath hairs
sheath hairs
sheath hairs