If you’re considering a lawn substitute for your home, one of the most popular options is Bermuda grass. It’s grown in warm climates and spreads quickly, but it has some drawbacks that might make this option not worth it to you. Here are all the pros and cons of using bermuda grass in your lawn.
9 Bermuda Grass Pros and Cons
Pro – Warm Season Grass
1. Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that thrives in warmer climates. It’s the most popular turfgrass in the southern United States and has become increasingly popular in northern states, as well.
Pro – Low Maintenance
2. Bermuda grass is a low-maintenance option for lawns and athletic fields because it requires little or no fertilizer and infrequent mowing.
Pro Tip on When to Grow
3. Bermuda grass can be planted from seed or sod, but it must be planted during the warmest part of the year to ensure good establishment.
The best time to plant bermuda grass is early spring or late summer/early fall. In northern areas, where winters are cold, you may need to cover your new lawn with an insulating blanket during winter months to protect it from freezing temperatures.
Pro – Quick Grower
4. Because bermuda grass grows so quickly (it can reach heights of up to 6 feet), it can outcompete weeds if left unmowed for long periods of time (more than 10 days).
This means that you’ll only have to mow your lawn once every two weeks or so during the growing season (typically April through November). Mowing more frequently than this will not make your lawn look better but will instead encourage weed growth and may cause damage to the turfgrass roots and crowns.
Pro Tip on Fertilizing
5. While bermuda grass does not require much fertilizer, it does grow best when given some nitrogen each year (about 1 pound per 1000 square feet).
If you’re going to fertilize your lawn, apply it at least three weeks before seeding or sodding your lawn so that the nutrients have time to move into the soil before germination occurs. You should also avoid fertilizing newly seeded or sodded areas for at least two weeks after planting because these young plants are very sensitive and could die from excessive nutrients in their root zone.
Con – Not Ideal for Shady Areas
6. Bermuda grass is not a good choice for shady areas of your lawn, because it requires full sun to grow well. It’s also not a good choice for areas with poor drainage, because it will not tolerate standing water around its roots.
Con – Weak Against Foot Traffic
7. Bermuda grass does not tolerate foot traffic very well and should be mowed short (about 3/4 inch) or allowed to grow tall (up to 6 inches) so that people can walk on it without damaging the turfgrass blades. If you have children or pets, you may want to choose another type of turfgrass for your lawn if you plan on letting them play on it frequently.
Con – Discoloration During Fall Months
8. When bermuda grass is allowed to grow tall during the summer months, it will turn brown in late fall and winter due to a lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures. This is normal and should be expected, but if you’d like your lawn to retain its green color year-round, simply cut the grass shorter during the winter months (to about 1 inch). You’ll need to mow more frequently this way (every 10 days), but at least your lawn won’t look dead all winter long!
Con – Diseases
9. Bermuda grass is susceptible to several diseases and pests, including dollar spot fungus, leaf spot fungus, brown patch disease, chinch bugs and mole crickets. To prevent these problems from occurring in your lawn, avoid overfertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers and keep an eye out for insect infestations so that you can treat them before they cause serious damage to your turfgrass plants.
Does Bermuda grass make a good lawn?
Bermuda grass has a coarse texture, and it doesn’t form thatch like some other types of turfgrass. It grows slowly and requires little maintenance once established. Homeowners with children or pets should consider Bermuda grass because it’s less likely to cause a skin rash than other types of lawns.
As far as lawn care goes, you don’t need to mow Bermuda grass as often as you would Kentucky bluegrass or St. Augustine — about once every two weeks during the growing season (April through September). And unlike St. Augustine, Bermuda doesn’t require fertilizer to stay green all summer long; however, if your soil is deficient in organic matter (nitrogen), you can fertilize it with compost or manure tea every four to six weeks during the growing season.
What is wrong with Bermuda grass?
Bermuda grass is considered to be a weed in many parts of the world, and has been blacklisted from inclusion in many lawn care products.
Nothing’s inherently wrong with it, other than the fact that it can flourish so quickly as to overwhelm other plants especially if you are not careful about controlling its growth.
It favors hot weather and sandy soil which may also contribute to its popularity amongst Americans.
Apparently we like our sunshine too much 🙂
Is Bermuda grass aggressive?
Bermuda grass is considered a very aggressive grass. It can spread rapidly by stolons and rhizomes, which are horizontal stems that grow underground.
This makes it a good choice for areas where you want to fill in an area quickly, such as bare spots or lawns with lots of tree roots. However, it can also cause problems if it spreads into unwanted areas like flower beds or vegetable gardens.