The Cynodon dactylon, also known as Bermuda grass and couch grass, is a fast-growing grass variety found worldwide. This warm-season grass can not only grow fast but can also survive in almost all soil types. These characteristics and its medicinal properties make Bermuda grass a popular choice among many lawn owners.
While the grass variety spreads quickly, there are times when it does not grow well and can leave behind bare spots. These spots can become home to weeds that can diminish the lush appeal of the grass. It is common to wonder how to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly and accurately in such a case. If you are thinking of the same, you are in the right place.
This post provides all details lawn owners need to know to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly and get that perfect lavish turf. Let the scrolling begin!
Growing Bermuda Grass: How to get Bermuda Grass to spread Quickly?
For all those wondering how to make Bermuda grass spread faster, all you need is to give it the right conditions. Below, we have discussed everything about how to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly in detail. Have a look:
Introduce Bermuda Grass at The Right Time
Just like any other grass or plant variety, this fast-spreading grass needs to be introduced at the right time. We suggest you plant it during late spring, which is the end of the peak growing season of the grass variety. If you do so, by the time summer arrives, your lawn will be full of appealing thick and dense turf.
Further, if you want the grass to thrive and spread faster, avoid introducing it to your lawn during winters. Planting Bermuda grass in such weather when conditions are frosty can lead to its restricted growth. The same goes for summers when the temperatures are too high for the grass variety to flourish.
Another thing you also need to take care of is how you establish the grass during this right time. Experts believe that it is best to establish Bermuda grass via seed. You can also try methods like sodding or sprigging. However, the grass spreads much faster with the Bermuda seeds.
For this, you need to spread them evenly over your lawn area. Then, you have to rake them into the soil. Once the seeding of the Bermuda grass on the yard is complete, it is crucial to water the newly-seeded yard well. This last step brings us to the next thing needed to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly.
Always Water the Newly-Seeded Bermuda Lawn Properly
To get Bermuda grass to spread quickly, you do not just have to water the newly-seeded lawn once. It will require regular watering over the following days to facilitate proper root establishment and shoot spreading. If you fail to do so, there will not be appropriate root anchorage. This can result in hindered growth and spread of the Bermuda grass. So, for a nice-looking and fully-established yard, regularly watering it is crucial.
Now, the next question that you may think of is how much water will the lawn need? Typically, the newly-seeded Bermuda grass needs a lot of water. It is especially true before root establishment. Thus, at the early stages of Bermuda growth, you must water the yard twice per day. As the grass starts growing and reaches an inch of length, this frequency can be reduced to once per day.
While water is a crucial factor for the growth and spread of Bermuda grass, overwatering can have adverse effects on it. It can lead to degraded soil quality, stunted growth, yellowing of grass blades, and a high risk of various diseases. To avoid this, try soaking your lawn with no more than an inch of water. In simpler words, use only that amount of water the soil can soak up.
Mow the Lawn Frequently for Lateral Growth
The following solution for how to make Bermuda grass spread quickly is by making sure there is more lateral growth than vertical growth. The best way to make this possible is by mowing the lawn frequently. For the fully established Bermuda grass, it is recommended to trim at least twice per week. Also, you need to do so at a low height of one inch only.
Furthermore, ensure that the leaf blades you mow should be less than one-third every time you cut. This is to make sure that there is enough area left behind for photosynthesis and the faster growth continues. As for the young Bermuda grass, we do not recommend mowing before the grass is two inches long as there is no proper root anchorage.
Use Nitrogen Fertilizer Adequately
Just as human beings need food to meet their nutrient requirements and healthy growth, so do the Bermuda grass and other plants. So, if you are looking for an answer to how to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly, this step is crucial. Make sure that the soil never lacks the nutrients the grass needs for its growth. Let us tell you why.
While growing, Bermuda grass requires certain nutrients and minerals for its proper growth and other life processes. These are already present in your lawn soil. The grass absorbs them using their roots and uses the energy from them to spread. Thus, levels of nutrients in the soil must always be adequate. You can do this using a fertilizer – nitrogen fertilizer in this case.
You can give this nitrogen fertilizer to the yard soil during the peak growing season for the best growth. Make sure to do so at intervals of six to eight weeks. Then, during the beginning of the dormancy period in early fall, stop fertilizing the soil. It is because, by this time, the natural grass growth is slow.
Fix All the Soil Problems
Now, what if you have introduced the Bermuda seeds during the suitable period and have taken care of them as mentioned above, and still, the grass spreads slower? We have a solution to it! If you notice that your couch grass is spreading at a pace that is slower than its natural growth rate, check your lawn soil for problems.
These could be anything, including using the wrong soil type, clogged soil, compaction, muddiness, etc. While Bermuda grass grows well with almost all soil types, here is what you should keep in mind about it if you want the grass variety to spread fast:
- The lawn soil should be good-quality.
- It should drain well and not be compact.
- The pH of this soil should be between 5.8 and 7.0.
Any kind of soil type that covers all the above points is good for the spread of Bermuda grass. In case the soil does not meet these requirements, you need to improve its quality by fixing these problems. For instance, if it is compact and has drainage issues, you have to aerate the soil. Further, if you diagnose any pH problems, adjustments regarding the same are required.
Keep in mind that the best pH for the Bermuda grass soil is neutral-alkaline – between 5.8 and 7.0. When it comes to fixing the pH, there are numerous ways to do so. For instance, if you diagnose that your lawn soil has pH levels below 5.5 (it is too acidic), you need to increase its pH for the proper spread of Bermuda grass. A simple remedy for this is by adding lime to the soil.
Ensure Sufficient Sunlight Exposure
Another thing that may be hindering the spread of your Bermuda grass can be inadequate exposure to sunlight. Yes, you read that right. Like most other crops out there, this grass variety also needs appropriate daily sunlight to thrive quickly, spread well, and cover all the bare spots. Therefore, if you have a heavily-shaded lawn, this might be the problem.
Under such conditions, chances are your Bermuda grass will spread at a slower pace than expected. Of course, it is possible to overcome this. You simply have to cut some of the branches of all the tall trees in your yard that block the grass from direct access to sunlight. Once you do so, there is sure to be a boost in the spreading rate of the lawn grass.
Use Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent Weed Herbicide
If you have bare spots on your lawn, there are high chances of weeds growing there if you are not careful. For the weeds that can grow here, we recommend using pre-emergent weed herbicide. It will prevent the growth of any unwanted plants. In case there are any visible weeds, post-emergent weed herbicide is the solution. It will help you get rid of them.
So, this is how to get Bermuda grass to spread quickly. Simply plant the Bermuda seeds in your yard during late spring. Then, make sure to water and mow the grass regularly. For the weeds, use pre-emergent and post-emergent weed herbicides. Other than that, ensure your Bermuda grass gets adequate sunlight, add fertilizer to the soil, maintain the lawn soil quality, and you are good to go.