The versatile Bermuda grass has numerous turf uses. From manicured lawns and athletic fields, grown to thrive in the southern heat, versatile and durable bermuda grass is also used to prevent soil erosion, to stabilize ditch banks, roadsides and airfields, to beautify landscapes and to provide a smooth, resilient playing surface for sports fields and playgrounds. Bermuda grass also provides hay and pasture for livestock throughout the tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
Bermuda grass is a warm season perennial species adapted to tropical and subtropical climates. It is sometimes referred to as the “sports turf of the south”. In warm frost-free climates bermuda grass remains green throughout the year, but growth is significantly reduced at the onset of cool nights.
The bermuda grass species makes the best growth where average daily temperatures are above 75°F. Optimum daytime temperature for bermuda grass is between 95° and 100°F.
Bermuda grass grows best under extended periods of high temperatures, mild winters and moderate to high rainfall. Temperature is the main environmental factor that limits its adaptability to tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Research has demonstrated that bermuda grass will continue to grow with night temperatures as low as 34°F if day temperatures are near 70°F. (Texas A&M University Extension Service)
Soil temperature, as influenced by air temperature, is also important to the growth and development of bermuda grass turf. Soil temperatures above 65°F are required for significant growth of rhizomes, roots and stolons. Optimum soil temperature for root growth is around 80°F.
Bermuda grass has a high light requirement and does not grow well under shaded conditions. The duration of the light period also influences growth and development of bermuda grass. Both increased light intensity and day length increase rhizome, stolon and leaf growth in bermuda grass.
The species is found in tropical and subtropical climates with 25 to 100 inches of annual rainfall, but it also survives in arid climates along waterways and in irrigated areas. Where annual rainfall is below 20 inches per year, bermuda grass requires irrigation to survive. Bermuda develops into a semi-dormant state during very dry conditions, but has the capability of surviving extreme droughts. Rhizomes of bermuda grass can lose 50% or more of their weight and still recover when favorable moisture develops.
Common bermuda grass also has the characteristic of producing seed heads under stress conditions such as drought. Thus, the seeds provide another method by which the species can survive extreme drought.
Bermuda grass grows well on a wide variety of soils from heavy clays to deep sands, provided fertility is not limiting. It tolerates both acid and alkaline soil conditions and is highly tolerant to saline conditions. Bermuda grass survives some flooding but does best on well-drained sites. Although it may persist under low fertility, bermuda grass has a high nitrogen requirement for good quality turf.
You can check out more on delivery of River View Turf Farm’s bermuda grass here on our Ordering & Delivery Page.