Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass is considered the "South's Grass". It is a favorite in texture and color.
This perennial grass, which originally came from Africa, Australia, and South America, can now be conveniently grown in tropical, sub-tropical and transition zones. It can be found on lawns, sport fields, parks, yards and coastal areas. Bermudagrass is also the most popular type of grass for golf courses. It is a creeping grass, and has roots that penetrate deep into the ground. These roots can grow in poor soil and are hard to destroy. Bermudagrass can survive in dry conditions, but requires heavy rainfall to grow. This grass spreads easily, which is helpful for farming and husbandry. It can also be used to feed cattle and sheep, and helps stem land erosion from excess rains or over-watering. Bermudagrass is sometimes called devilgrass, wiregrass, or dogtooth grass.
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Newer, more "cold tolerant" varieties extend bermudagrass' planting area further North, now providing a choice of a more drought resistant species in the transition zone. Examples of these include Yukon and Mohawk.







Types of Bermudagrass:
There are different types of bermudagrass which require less maintenance and have additional benefits.
Yukon - Best choice for tees, fairways, turfs and tropical, as well as, subtropical zones. Can survive long winters with less water. Usually grows in open areas even in the midst of frequent disturbances such as grazing, flooding, and fire. Mostly suitable for turf areas. Extremely small seed which makes the planting process easier. Blackjack- Usually found in yards and sports fields. Known for its excellent texture. High cold and water tolerance. Mohawk - Used on golf courses and sport turf (baseball, football, and soccer). High cold tolerance.
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 The Basics of Bermudagrass MaintenanceWATERING: Golfing greens and athletic fields of all kinds need a particular watering schedule (usually irrigation) to maintain the highest degree of growth that can be obtained. Over watering can bring about fungus and invitations to insects. Trained groundskeepers time all maintenance to conditions and season. Lawns that are not highly maintained can use the drought tolerance of this grass to their advantage. In most average rainfall seasons, little if any water may be needed. Although bermudagrass is drought tolerant, it does respond well to watering and fertilization if the desired density is not sufficient, or if it growing slower than in usual peak seasons. WEEDING: This is an aggressive grass, and can usually take care of weeds on its own once the sod is established and well managed. A regular mowing program helps control weeds. The same goes for pastures. FERTILIZATION: Although bermudagrass generally requires lower amounts of fertilizer, usage will determine how much "fuel" this grass will need. Under intense wear, mowing, and watering schedules, more of the fertilizer will be used or leached into the soil. Bermudagrass used in average lawns and erosion control situations generally need less fertilizer. MOWING: Lawns planted with this grass can be mown much closer than other warm season grasses. This information is according to the variety and cutting heights' range from 1/2 to 11/2 inches. The closest mown bermudagrass are the most improved varieties. These include the vegetative, as well as, the newer seeded varieties. The newer seeded varieties can be maintained as low as 3/8 inches, and the hybrids can be mown down to 3/16 range. Low mowing of bermudagrass will generally require daily mowing during peak growing seasons. DISEASE/INSECTS: Pearl scale is a big problem on Tifgreen and other sodded bermudagrasses. Unfortunately, there is no good method to control them on some of the improved, vegetatively established bermudagrass. The pearl scale feeds on the roots, so getting insecticide down in the soil where the insects are is difficult. Therefore, insecticides are not that effective against them. The best option for turf infested with pearl scale is to plant seeded bermudagrass, which are naturally resistant to them. No one knows the mechanism of resistance in the seeded bermudagrass to pearl scale - somehow they just never get infested with it. OVERSEEDING: Why overseed? When to overseed? How to overseed? With what grass does one overseed with? These are questions that can be answered at the lawn forum. A short version is that overseeding accomplishes many goals for improvement, gives a continuous green look, and is the prime example of human ingenuity over Mother Nature. Grass coverage is now (more than ever before) an erosion control factor. Once in place, we yearn to keep the cover as green for as long as possible. Overseeding warm grasses with cool grasses in the transition zone has succeeded with this goal. Athletic fields and golf courses led the way with a demand for grasses to provide a year-round playing field. Perennial ryegrass is the number one favorite to overseed bermudagrass. The perennial ryegrass will not compete as aggressively with the bermuda, and will die back as soon as the temperature rises. Also, it germinates quickly, has good disease resistance, and high traffic density. Annual ryegrass is also used in a lot of lawns because of the price and ease of overseeding. Sometimes the annual may return in weed form and cause problems later. Overseeding also thins the bermuda turf over a period of time. This results in having to overseed with more bermudagrass seeds. This is an excellent opportunity to add newer varieties to improve the old lawn's characteristics. The best advice for overseeding is water according to directions and keep off the grass until it is growing sufficiently. In the spring, you should start a transition program to encourage the bermuda to grow while forcing the ryegrass to die out. Hybrid Bermuda GrassesCompared with common bermuda, these grasses have more disease resistance, greater turf density, better weed resistance, fewer seedheads, finer and softer texture, and a more favorable color. They also produce no viable seed, and must be planted by vegetative means (sprigs, sod).The hybrids also require more intensive maintenance for the best appearance. Frequent fertilization and close mowing, edging, and dethatching are needed to keep them attractive. Tifway (419) - dark green, fine texture, denseTifway II - dark green, fine texture, dense, tolerates colder temperaturesTifgreen (328) - medium green, fine texture, very denseMidway - dark green, medium texture, dense, tolerates colder temperatures
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Sources:www.bermuda-grass.netwww.bermudagrass.comwww.american-lawns.com/grasses/bermuda.html This Wikispace was created by Jacquelyn Rupley.