Brought to America from Africa in the 1500s, Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) goes by many other names.
Also known as the south’s grass, as it does well in the southern United States, and also carries the names Dog Tooth grass, Devil’s grass, and Bahama grass, to name a few.
The grayish-green, short, sharp-edged blades of Bermuda grass hold up well to foot traffic and can grow all year long in some areas of the country.
Bermuda grass does not like colder climates and grows best in USDA zones seven to ten.
As with any plant, Bermuda grass has particular growing habits. However, you can start from seed by following certain instructions.
How long does it take for Bermuda grass to germinate?
If conditions are ideal, Bermuda grass can germinate in one to two weeks using un-hulled seeds. The time for germination of hulled seeds is a mere five to ten days. If conditions are too cool, shady, or dry, on the other hand, Bermuda grass seed can take up to 30 days to germinate.
Type of Soil Best for Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass prefers slightly acidic soil, with a pH ranging from around 6 to 7. However, you can plant Bermuda grass and it is somewhat alkaline soil, and it will do well.
If you have shady spots in your yard that need grass, you may want to consider a different variety than Bermuda. Although Bermuda grass will grow in partial to full shade, it will not get full and lush under these conditions.
Your local Cooperative Extension Service Agency can test your soil’s pH level. Or, you can purchase a soil pH meter so you can test the soil yourself.
You can also use it to test the soil for your vegetables and other plants.
Best Time of Year to Plant Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass seed is best planted during the late part of spring or early part of summer, once the ground has become warm.
It takes consecutive days of heat above 80 degrees Fahrenheit to bring the ground temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Taking the temperature of the soil to a depth of two to three inches will let you know if the soil is warm enough to germinate your Bermuda grass seeds quickly.
The faster your seeds sprout, the sooner they will begin to grow and cover your yard with a thick grey-green lawn.
How Often to Water Bermuda Grass During Germination
The ground where you plant Bermuda seed needs to be kept damp for the first two to three weeks or until the seed has germinated. The germinating seed will dry up and die if the soil around a newly sprouting grass seed dries out.
Depending on where you live and the spring weather in your area, you may need to water your newly seeded lawn several times a day.
Taking this measure will keep the ground from drying out, which will help the germinating seeds burst forth.
After the seeds have sprouted, they will still need one to two inches of water a day until they are well-rooted. However, once established, Bermuda grass is quite drought-resistant.
Uses for Bermuda Grass
Due to its characteristics, Bermuda grass has more uses than giving you a lush lawn. As forage for livestock, this grass provides adequate pasture for forage.
As erosion control, Bermuda grass’s deep roots and long runners form a web used to hold up the banks of ponds and canals to prevent erosion.
The weed-free toughness of Bermuda grass makes it suitable for recreational areas which receive a lot of foot traffic.
Although rather weedy, Bermuda grass’s broad grey-green blades make it an excellent choice for many applications around your property.
Can I Grow Bermuda Grass Where I Live
Yes, you can, but it may be in question whether it returns next year or stays green all winter.
Bermuda grass grows best in USDA zones 7-10; however, you can grow it outside these zones, but it will die off when the temperatures dip below freezing.
Other factors that might prevent you from growing Bermuda grass where you live are state regulations. Some US states classify Bermuda grass as an invasive species.
Although it is considered a southern grass, the amount you can produce is controlled in many states where it grows. Here you can find grasses and plants regulated by the state you’re living in.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Long it Takes Bermuda Grass to Grow
Is growing Bermuda grass from seed easier than laying sod?
Both methods of forming a lawn require that the ground be prepared before the grass is planted. Having sod laid, however, is labor-intensive and more costly than germinating Bermuda grass from seed. The advantage of sod, though, is you get a lawn almost instantly, but it will still require special care until it is established.
What are hulled and un-hulled Bermuda grass seeds?
Hulled seeds have had the outer coating removed mechanically. The reason for this process is that a hulled seed will germinate much more quickly than one that is not. The downside of using hulled seeds is that they are unforgivable if you forget to water them or see their other needs when germinating. A seed that still has its coating may take longer to germinate, but its coat is there for protection. It will help keep the seed safe until it can put down roots and grow blades.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.