Depending on where you live in the United States, you may identify Bermuda grass as either a friend or foe. In cooler climates, Bermuda grass is also known as “wire grass” and “devil grass.” In North Texas, this lawn grass is prevalent in new home builds, neighborhoods, and golf courses. So what makes this grass so loved in the South and on par with crabgrass in the North? Let’s dive in.
The Benefits Of A Bermuda Grass Lawn
Bermuda grass is a staple in North Texas for many reasons, but here are a few of the top reasons.
- Texas summers are brutal, both for humans and lawns alike. Bermuda grass stands up to the challenge because it is a drought-tolerant grass type. This fact does not mean that extreme heat won’t affect the plant; instead, it means that this warm-season grass can survive when water is scarce.
- Bermuda can be planted in several ways, including seeding, sprigging, sodding, and hydro mulching (more on that in a moment), and turf rolls.
- Bermuda grass grows like grassy weeds, utilizing rhizomes and stolons. The benefit is that this grass will efficiently and quickly regenerate and grow into bare spots.
- Bermuda grass’ appearance is typically skinner blades and longer stems. With these characteristics, lawns look fuller and feel softer than other broadleaf grass types.
- This turfgrass recovers quickly after mowing in high temperatures, provided it is receiving the proper amount of water.
The Two Common Types Of Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass comes in all varieties, but there are two that are commonly found in North Texas residential lawns. The two types are Hybrid (419 or Tifway) and Common Bermuda. While they both share the benefits of bermuda grass, they are not without their differences.
- Is much coarser, has larger leaves, longer stem length between the blades (internode length)
- This type of Bermuda grass can be seeded
- Grass is a finer, smaller leafed grass suitable for many applications
- Is planted by way of sprigging, sodding, or hydromulching.
- Hydromulch, a mix of paper pulp, tackifier (making the product sticky), fertilizer, and seed. Most hydro-mulch companies prefer to do large areas (large commercial installations) and often have a minimum amount of area/ cost that must be met. Very often, this offsets any savings by using hydro-mulch
- . It is better than Bermudagrass seed being sown directly into the soil because seeding has many more challenges to growth.
Chorbie’s choice is to sod a lawn with Bermudagrass. Sod can be installed year-round, provided that the residence has an operable sprinkler system for watering. Sod generally establishes itself in a matter of 4-6 weeks. Chorbie has found that sodding a lawn provides a useable, attractive space much faster than seeding or sprigging.
Whether or not one decides to seed, hydromulch, sod, or sprig, it’s important to remember the basics of growing grass. Set irrigation to water multiple times daily, so the soil or seed does not dry out. Don’t overfertilize the area as weeds may begin to sprout before the grass seeds. It’s also important to know when to fertilize your lawn. Finally, don’t mow due to the overly-saturated soil conditions.
What About Cool-Season Grasses In North Texas?
One of the downsides to Bermuda grass is that it does not remain green in cooler ground temperatures. In wintertime, it’s not uncommon to see neighborhoods full of brown lawns – the sign of dormancy in Bermuda grass. This is where cool-season grass outshines Bermuda grass in North Texas. The turfgrass that is available at big box stores is most often a blend of the top cool-season grasses, Fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and Ryegrass. Theses cool-season grass types can be sown in the fall and will provide a green lawn throughout the winter. It is challenging to keep alive year-round, however. They will often decline or fail in the summer and must be reseeded in the early to late spring. Many homeowners opt not to seed cool-season grasses to save the hassle of maintaining a lawn through the winter.
Friend Or Foe?
Looking around your neighborhood, you’ll find many lawns composed of Bermuda grass, and has proven to be a versatile and resilient grass type for our North Texas climate – much like the average Texan! So the next time you are raising a glass, give a little shout out to our friend, Bermuda grass. If you are thinking about installing Bermuda Grass in North Texas, our team of experts are here to ensure your home is glowing all year round.