Bermudagrass Lawns

Source(s): Gil Landry, PhD., Coordinator – UGA Center for Urban Agriculture, The University of Georgia

Bermudagrass lawns are grown throughout Georgia. Bermudagrasses (also called Bermudas) grow vigorously during the warm months (80 degrees-95 degrees F) of spring, summer and early fall and become brown and dormant in winter.

Bermudagrasses(Cynodon Spp). All bermudas thrive in hot weather but perform poorly in shade. Bermudas spread so rapidly by both above-and-below-ground runners that they are difficult to control around flower beds, walks and borders. If fertilized adequately, they require frequent mowing. The bermudagrasses are adapted to the entire state and tolerate a wide soil pH.

Common Bermudagrass(Cynodon dactylon). Common bermudagrass,commonly planted by seed, is drought resistant, grows on many soils, and it makes a good turf if fertilized and mowed right. Common bermudagrass produces many unsightly seedheads, but in spite of this fault, it is frequently used on home lawns due to the ease and economy of establishment. Common bermuda may be planted from either seed or sprigs and with intensive management will provide a high quality turf. However, the newer hybrid bermudas are generally far superior. Newer and improved seeded bermudagrasses include Princess 77, Riviera, Yukon and many others.

Hybrid Bermudagrasses. Compared with common bermuda, these grasses have more disease resistance, greater turf density, better weed resistance, fewer seedheads, finer and softer texture and more favorable color. They also produce no viable seed and must be planted by vegetative means.

The hybrids also require more intensive maintenance for best appearance. Frequent fertilization and close mowing, edging, and dethatching are needed to keep them attractive.

All of the improved bermudas described here have been developed and released cooperatively by the University of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station and U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are products of the grass breeding program of Dr. Glenn W. Burton, Principal Geneticist.

Tifway(Tifton 419) Bermudagrass. Tifway has several outstanding features that make it an ideal turf for lawns and golf fairways and tees. It has a dark green color and stiffer leaves than Tifgreen. Tifway is more frost resistant than other bermudagrasses. Therefore, it will usually remain growing and green longer in the fall and will develop color earlier in the spring. This trait, along with its ruggedness, has led to its use on football fields.

TifSport is an improved hybrid with similar texture and color of Tifway. However, TifSport has superior cold hardiness when compared to other available hybrids and provides a high-density grass when mowed at 1/2 inch. The variety has shown mole cricket non-preference in side-by-side comparisons to Tifway.

Tifton 10 is a bermudagrass that originated in Shanghai, China. It is vegetatively propagated, sheds pollen but produces few seed. Foliage is coarse texture with a natural dark bluish-green color. It rapidly reproduces from stolons and above ground stems which limits weed invasion. Tifton 10 is suited for roughs, roadsides, athletic fields, commercial landscape areas and lawns.

Other older varieties of bermudagrass include Tifgreen, Tifdwarf, and Tifway II.

Resource(s): Lawns in Georgia

Reviewer(s): Ellen Bauske, PhD., Program Coordinator and Randy Drinkard, Technical Writer – UGA Center for Urban Agriculture, The University of Georgia. April 2008.

Center Publication Number: 125

Gil Landry
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