Planting bermuda grass lawns

  1. Spray existing weeds. The first step in planting a new Bermuda Grass lawn is to eliminate all weeds from the lawn area. Use a non selective weed control like Round-Up. Plan ahead since you will need to wait approximately two weeks (check product label) after sprayer before you seed. Do not apply a pre-emergence weed control any time within three months of seeding a Bermuda Grass lawn.
  2. Establish the grade. One of the best ways to guarantee a beautiful lawn is to establish the proper grade before you begin. This may be more than most of us can afford, but consider it nonetheless. The proper slope has the potential to prevent both drought and poor drainage. It also makes mowing easier. In general, a 2-6% grade is optimal.
  3. Cultivate the soil as deeply as possible. The deeper you can cultivate the soil, the more quickly your lawn will establish and thrive. Remember to wait the allotted time after spraying your herbicide before cultivating. Begin by removing debris like dead weeds, leaves and rocks from the area. Next, cultivate the soil with a rear-tine roto-tiller. If you don't have a roto-tiller consider renting one from a tool rental store. Rototill the entire area lengthwise, then again crosswise. Try to work at least 4-6 inches of soil into a nice pulverized soil mix. If you prefer not to till, cultivate as much of the area as you can with a hoe, garden rake, or shovel. The deeper you work the soil the better. Once you have cultivated the soil you will want to water this area for approximately 1 month if time allows and wait for new weeds to sprout then spray those out before seeding.
  4. Amend the soil. Most soil will need to be amended with humus before you plant. In almost all cases it is cases, it is better to spend the time amending the current soil with humus rather than hauling in new topsoil. Humus is a general term for organic material that naturally occurs in the top layer of soil. Unfortunately, most lawn areas are graded during home construction and the top layer of soil is buries or removed. Adding humus will renovate these soils by improving drainage in clay soils and improving water retention in sandy soil.
  5. Seeding Bermuda grass. If you are seeding a Bermuda grass lawn, plan on using 1 pound of hulled Bermuda grass per 1000 square feet. Do not buy unhulled Bermuda grass and do not buy a mix that contains other types of grass. If you are unsure, check the seed label for the exact percentage of each ingredient. Also, make sure the seed is fresh by checking the germination test date is within the last year.

    Begin by raking the area to create as smooth a soil surface as possible. Bermuda grass is small and can be mixed with an equal amount of dry sand before sowing. This mixture can be spread using a broadcast spreader or done by hand. When using a spreader, distribute half the allotted mix lengthwise and the second half crosswise to avoid any skips. Since Bermuda grass seed is small rake the area very carefully do not buy more than .25 inches of soil. Water the entire area to work the seed into the soil but do not water so much that the seed begins to wash. Bermuda grass seed will usually germinate in 7-14 days under ideal conditions.
  6. Irrigation during establishment. Begin by watering lightly every day always keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Once your grass is established decrease the frequency of irrigation but increase the amount of water you apply. You should be apply an inch of water per week, in one application, if there has been no significant rainfall.
  7. Mowing during establishment. Newly seeded Bermuda grass should be mowed as soon as it reaches 2 inches (unless you are using hybrid types). Use a mower with a sharp blade and cut frequently. Mowing will encourage the grass blades to toughen and spread.
  8. Fertilizing during establishment. Fertilize 6 weeks after planting with a complete fertilizer that contains slow release nitrogen. Apply at the rate of 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet. This application will last until you fertilize again in the fall (see fertilizing).
  9. Weed control during establishment. Weeds are especially troublesome in seeded and plugs Bermuda grass lawns. Wait until you have mowed 2-3 times before you begin spraying with pre-emergence weed controls. Check the product label for specific instructions. In all cases, do not use pre emergence weed control products when you plant as this will prevent the Bermuda grass seed from germinating. Wait until fall to begin apply pre-emergence weed control.