On golf courses and in lawns across the South and Southwest, bermudagrass is king. This creeping turfgrass is easily grown in most soils and provides a dense, uniform turf with good ability to withstand wear and tear. The most popular bermudas are common bermudagrass and hybrids between common and African bermudagrass.
Common bermudagrass is coarse-textured, but more drought-tolerant than hybrids. Another advantage is that it can be seeded. Look for quality seed, such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Bermudagrass, with improved varieties.
Softer, denser, and finer-textured than common bermudagrass, hybrid varieties are fast-growing, durable, heat-loving grasses. Hybrids are especially tolerant of low mowing heights, making them a favorite for golf courses, sports fields, and finely manicured home lawns in warm climates. However, they also require more sun, more water, and more frequent mowing. Hybrid bermudas should be mowed twice a week during their peak growth period in summer. Because they do not produce viable seed, hybrid bermudagrasses must be planted as sod, sprigs, or stolons.
Both common and hybrid bermudagrasses should be fed 4-6 times per year. Scotts® Southern Turf Builder® with 2% Iron is a good fertilizer choice; it feeds and strengthens Southern lawns to help withstand heat and drought. To help your bermudagrass lawn maintain its color during the hot summer months, water regularly and deeply.
Bermudagrass goes dormant when the temperature drops. Many golf courses and homeowners overseed with perennial ryegrass for the cooler months. This keeps the lawn nice and green instead of brown. The ryegrass dies off when the temperature climbs back up again, letting the bermudagrass take over.
Homeowners with bermudagrass lawns should be on the lookout for armyworms, mole crickets, and sod webworms and if necessary treat the lawn with appropriate controls. Dollar spot and spring dead spot may also appear and require fungicide treatment.