Bermuda grass has the potential to grow across your lawn fast and reach an acceptable density within a short period. But sometimes a Bermuda lawn will suffer from bare spots, thin patches, and other inconsistencies in the grass cover that need to be remedied.
Fortunately, there are ways to get Bermuda grass to grow even faster!
After placing the seeds, you should water your lawn twice a day and make sure the water penetrates one inch under the ground. To encourage the spread of your grass, grow it in late spring in a soil with pH level between 5.8 and 7.0, mow your lawn more often and use nitrogen fertilizer to accelerate the growth of your lawn.
How Bermuda Grass Grows
Let’s start with how Bermuda grass typically grows for those of you who are starting out. After placing the seeds, you should water your lawn twice a day and make sure the water penetrates one inch under the ground. This ensures that the roots will grow deeper into the ground, which will also enable the grass shoots to grow upwards even faster.
Before we get into how you can speed up the Bermuda grass growth process, you need to know what standard growth and spread look like.
How Bermuda Grass Spreads
With the growing process understood, we should also detail how Bermuda grass naturally spreads. Knowing about this process makes it easier to accelerate its growth across your lawn space.
The process takes place by way of two parts of the plant – stolons, and rhizomes. Stolons are shoots that grow above ground and expand outwards, laterally, from the plant. At certain intervals, a new plant may grow from nodes that develop in the stolons, allowing the grass to spread. Stolons are also called runners, they’re one and the same.
Rhizomes are similar to stolons but instead, they are underground. They can develop as deep as six inches beneath the ground and also work to spread grass across the lawn. Where a stolon may face resistance on the surface of your lawn, a rhizome can get under and continue the propagation of the grass.
As we mentioned, Bermuda is specifically chosen for its fast-spreading abilities. Thanks to the double-action of its stolons and rhizomes working together, Bermuda can grow fast and thick, perfect for covering up any bald spots on your lawn.
How To Encourage Spread
Now that we know how Bermuda grass functions, let’s focus on how you can encourage its spread across your lawn. By using the following strategies, you can create a dense and fully covered Bermuda grass lawn within a few short months.
Grow Bermuda Grass In Late Spring
Like most other plants, timing is key when first growing Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass is best planted during its peak growing season, which is spring, more specifically the end of spring. This is the time when Bermuda grass will grow and spread faster than any other time of the year.
Don’t plant in winter, because the weather is too frosty and will stop the plant from growing and can even kill it before it grows properly. Similarly, high-heat environments typically found during summer will stop the plant from growing.
Note that Bermuda grass grows fastest when it’s being grown from the seed, instead of any other methods like sprigging. Seeding is as easy as raking the seeds into the soil and then watering them.
However, you may need to consider which soil you’re growing the grass on…
Consider Changing Soil
Slow Bermuda grass growth may be caused if you’re growing it in an incompatible soil type. If you find your soil becomes clogged or compacted, you should try out other types of soil that drain well and avoid compaction issues. Make sure any soil you use is neutral-alkaline and has a pH level between 5.8 and 7.0.
You may not require a change of soil, which takes a lot of work, instead, you can use soil amendments that can help aerate the soil and improve its general quality.
For example, adding lime to acidic soil can turn it alkaline enough to support the growth of Bermuda grass. Once those problems are taken care of, you can create the best possible environment for Bermuda grass to grow, and that’ll allow the grass to grow faster and spread further to cover your lawn.
Water The Lawn Properly
Once you’ve planted Bermuda grass and the soil conditions are right, you need to water the grass so that roots get established. Allowing the grassroots to anchor will create healthier sprouting plants that grow faster and further, so proper watering is important.
When compared to other grasses and lawn plants, Bermuda grass needs a lot of water so that the roots can dig into the ground. Try to water your growing lawn twice a day, if possible. Do this until the plants reach approximately one inch tall, then water them once a day moving forward.
As I mentioned earlier, making sure the water penetrates about an inch into the ground is important to make sure the roots establish themselves deep underground.
Watering too much will also stunt the growth of the grass and open the door for plant diseases, such as yellow grass blades, and pests.
Mow The Lawn Often
To guarantee a healthy, speedy spread of Bermuda grass, you’ll want to prioritize lateral growth over vertical growth.
Just like you and me, plants have limited energy, and any energy spent on vertical growth is energy that could have been spent on lateral growth. That’s why you should mow the grass, so the plant doesn’t waste energy on vertical growth and focuses on lateral growth instead.
You need to wait a while before taking a mower to your Bermuda grass. If you do it when the plants are too young, they might never recover. Instead, wait until they’re at least two inches long vertically. By then, they should have achieved root anchorage and now it’s safe to mow.
Mow the grass down to one inch twice a week, without ever removing more than one-third of the grass so that there’s enough surface area left for photosynthesis to take place.
Sometimes your lawn soil isn’t enough, especially when you want the plant to grow fast and strong. Fertilizers add more nutrients into the soil, allowing the plants inside to gorge themselves on the substances so they grow healthier and faster. Nitrogen fertilizer is a recommended option when trying to make Bermuda grass spread faster.
Apply fertilizer during the Bermuda grass’ growth season. When you do, replace it at six to eight weeks depending on the climate you’re growing in. When the grass enters its dormancy period, which is in fall, natural growth slows down, so you shouldn’t waste fertilizer during that time.
See also: 8 Best Fertilizers for Bermuda Grass
Provide Enough Sunlight
Lastly, you need to have ample light for many plants to grow, and Bermuda grass is no exception. When subjected to daily sunlight exposure, Bermuda grass will spread quickly and fill in any bald spots on your lawn.
Take a look at your lawn and minimize shaded areas as much as possible. The grass will spread slower in those areas, so make certain temporary or permanent changes to your lawn landscape to help the Bermuda grass spread faster.
What To Look Out For
Once you’ve done all of the above, you should look out for the signs of success. You’ll know your Bermuda has germinated within the first seven days of planting, after which it should take over the average-sized lawn within six weeks, give or take a week.
Naturally, the exact time it takes depends on your lawn, climate, and the health of both the plant and the soil.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.