COMMON NAME Common Bermuda Grass, Bermuda Grass
BOTANICAL NAME Cynodon dactylon
HEIGHT Reaches 4″ to 12″ when left unmowed. Maintain at 1″ or 1.5″ Don’t let grass get taller than 3″ if you mow.
WIDTH 2’+ per year. Fastest spread growth rate of any of the warm-season grasses, can overtake manicured gardens
LIFESPAN Long lived
SOIL TYPE Well drained. Prefers a pH between 5.8 and 7.0, tolerates alkaline soils. Can grow on sandy, rocky, and clay soils.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Water regularly when required, such as to make up for lack of rainfall. Needs irrigation during drought. Symptoms of grass dehydration are wilting blades and grass discoloration. Overwatering can cause fungus, while underwater can cause grass to dry out and force Summer dormancy. Watering will help dormant grass recover.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Full sun. Has a poor shade tolerance.
FERTILIZING Use a turfgrass or lawn grass fertilizer, do not use flower or vegetable fertilizer. Apply every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season, for a total of 4 or 5 applications per year. Turfgrass fertilizer contains slow-release nitrogen and low or no phosphorus. Too much nitrogen can cause thatching. Slow-release nitrogen keeps blades healthy and stronger for longer, and also reduces the chance of accidentally burning the grass from excess application. Florida soils are usually high in phosphorus, though there have been increased phosphorus deficiencies in a number of lawns throughout Florida. Soil tests may be warranted if deficiency symptoms occur, such as reduced growth and dark green followed by purple shoot color of lower leaves. A soil test is required to properly identify a phosphorus deficiency, and if the deficiency is confirmed, phosphorus can be applied to supplement such.
COLOR Medium green to dark green
MONTH OF COLOR Warm months
FRUIT Tiny, light brown-tan seeds. Inedible.
TOXICITY AND ANIMALS Safe for animals if properly maintained and healthy. Chemicals sprayed on grass as insecticides or fertilizers may be unsafe for animals, read the label.
COMMENTS This dense turfgrass is well adapted to most Floridian soils and climates. Excellent for withstanding wear, making this grass the best choice for dogs. Rapidly establishing and vigorously growing, this aggressively growing grass can rapidly invade flower and landscape beds. Compromised ‘spots’ from pet pee or rough play will come back relatively quickly. Most of the most widely used warm-season grasses. If temperatures become very cold, the grass will go dormant for Winter and generally not maintain it’s green color during so. Able to dominate most weed species. Best option for turfgrass where no irrigation is available. Poor tolerance to many insect, disease, and nematode pests, which can limit their use. Susceptible to thatching, which can be prevented by avoiding over-watering and over-fertilizing. Best time to set seed is from late Spring to early Summer. Aeration is recommended every 1 or 2 years to optimize grass health and prevent compacting.
PRICE Prices vary by area size, call for a quote.