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Planting Bermuda Grass Seed

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EasySeed 1-2-3 Steps To Planting Bermuda Grass Lawns

1-2-3 EasySeed Bermudagrass Lawns | Seeding Pastures

The first question that must be answered is will you be "starting from scratch"? A decision must be made to either plant within an existing lawn  or to till up your lawn  area so that no weeds or grasses are left living in the area to be planted. The ideal situation is to have tilled soil for the area where you wish to establish a grass from seed.

Why is this the ideal solution? Because existing plants that are directly next to (6 inches or closer) of where you are trying to establish other grass plants from seed, provide competition to your seeds by consuming sunlight & plant nutrients.

Competition by existing plants means some plants (seedlings) simply won't survive the additional stress imposed by these adult plants. This is not to say you can't establish a lawn within other plants, just that it is more difficult to do so.

BERMUDA DOES BEST IN FULL SUN! It does not tolerate shade very well. So keep that sunlight coming for a great lawn.

The Types of Bermuda Grass Seed & Germination Rates

Bermudagrass seeds have a tough outer hull that can increase germination time. Hulled seed have this seed coat removed and will germinate quicker than un-hulled seed in a lawn, pasture or hay field. Sometimes hulled and un-hulled seed will be sown together to insure a more successful and surer establishment. Most lawn varieties sold of Bermuda seed are coated and a mixture of hulled and un-hulled seed. The coating is a clay based product applied with a fungicide and dye. The fungicide helps control seed and soil borne pathogens, while the coating material itself allows for more acceptable pricing of expensive seed. Coated seeds are also easier to broadcast when planting. Raw seeds are seeds that have NOT been coated. Other than the lack of a fungicide there is nothing wrong with raw seeds.

*Germination Rates: Bermudagrass seed is available in three forms - hulled, un-hulled and coated. Un-hulled seed is the natural seed form, which will germinate in 7 - 14 days. Hulled seed has had the outer skin (hull) removed for faster germination, 5-10 days to germinate. Coated seed has been pelleted with clay containing nutrients to improve ease of planting and establishment -- this does NOT affect germination rates. In all 3 forms, minimum germination of quality seed is 80% or higher.

*Germination rates will also depend upon environmental factors such as soil temperatures, available moisture, seedbed and soil type. Also keep in mind planting depth of seed which should not exceed 1/4 inch.

Common Bermuda grass is also traditionally available for establishment by seed. Most seeded types of Bermuda Grass are "improvements" of common Bermuda with similar but improved genetic characteristics depending on the breeder's goal for the particular variety.

Resources To Help You Plant Bermuda Grass

To Improve An Existing Bermuda Grass Lawn

Many times the purpose of planting Bermuda Grass Seed is to improve the existing stand of Bermudagrass. In the case of Bermuda Grass --- this is done to increase a stand density of Bermuda sod and to try and help reduce or eliminate weeds. Some of this can be achieved through cultural maintenance practices, but in cases where the grass is very thin, you may need to re-seed (overseed) those sparse areas.

EASYSEED: The 1-2-3 Steps

First: Decide if you will till the soil (kill the existing plants by plowing up your site!) or just plant within the existing grass. Also decide on the type of Bermuda grass to plant.

I will TILL my site and start Fresh!

I will NOT TILL my site - I want to overseed my existing lawn.

NOT TILLING

You are not tilling the soil - and are planting seeds within the existing grass & weeds

(1) Mow the area low in spring or fall, remove the excess plant material - Then Sow (broadcast) your Bermudagrass seeds on the area to be planted generally in the spring for best results. Planting in the fall at the same time you use a cover crop such as ryegrass can be used, but the odds of successful establishment are lower. Use un-hulled Bermuda if seeding in the fall. Bermuda seeds require a soil temperature of above 65 degrees to germinate and will not start germinating until this temp coupled with adequate soil moisture is present.. Optimum outside air planting temps should be 75-90 degrees.

(2) Rake the area sowed with a hand rake so that scratch marks in the soil between plants allow some seeds to fall into these valleys and become covered by soil over time (from your rake action and later from rains). Bermudagrass seeds must have a thin soil covering to germinate (1/4 inch ideal) - They DO NOT germinate when thrown on top of the ground. Use the correct rate of seed for Bermudagrass lawns. It is best to rake before and after broadcasting the seed to achieve best soil contact.

(3) Follow your normal water, fertilizing and mowing practices for the area you have planted on a regular basis. That's all! Eventually - (After several months of growing season time has gone bye - usually 60 to 90 days)-you should have an improved, more lush and thick Bermudagrass lawn. - Note: freshly seeded lawns require more frequent watering, usually daily.

Picture of Bermuda Seedling - 21 days old

Seeding Rate For Overseeding Existing Bermuda Grass Lawns

The seeding rate for overseeding an existing Bermudagrass lawn is  -- 1 -2 LBS per 1,000 sq. ft. or 45-90 lbs. per acre.

Planting Bermuda Grass In EROSION AREAS

On erosion areas such as banks more seed will have to be added and can be seeded with rye grasses (only in the cool season) that grow early and fast while the Bermuda takes hold. Rate for new lawns (hulled / coated seeds) is 2 to 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

Visit our www.lawngrasses.com for more about seeding rates for grasses. - Also read the rates listed below.

TILLING -  Planting on correctly prepared and tilled soil.

(1) Till the area to be planted. This can be done with either a garden tiller or a tractor harrow/tiller (Or even a shovel if you have a good back!). Once the area is returned to soil, level the ground by raking or dragging something over the surface until it is smooth and level. Now is the time to remove hills and depressions so that you have a nice smooth lawn.

(2) Plant the seeds. You can use a commercial turf grass planter or sow the seeds by hand, or just as easy and much preferred, buy a broadcast seeder (hand held models are available for $8-30) like the one above. Once your seeds are sowed, rake or drag the seeded area, so that as many of the seeds as possible are lightly covered (1/4 inch is ideal covering). Be sure and use the correct rate for seeding Bermuda's.

(3) Water the area you have planted as needed. Apply fertilizer in intervals through the growing season, and practice a regular mowing schedule. Mowing the weeds that will grow in your new lawn area faster than the grass, allows the grass to compete better for scarce nutrients and sunlight. - Mow regular and at the correct height. - Note: freshly seeded lawns require more frequent watering, usually daily.

Seeding Rate For NEW Bermudagrass Lawns

Seeding Rate: Plant 2 to 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. (coated seed) or at a rate of 90-135 lbs per Acre.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not exceed 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. with the improved bermuda grass varieties.

Visit our www.lawngrasses.com for more about seeding rates for grasses. For pasture seeding the rate is different. Keep in mind that the seeding rate is purposely higher for lawns so that the higher plant density needed for lush lawns is achieved.

A good final finish to planting a Bermudagrass lawn is to roll your planted lawn area with a hand roller. You can rent these implements from rental stores in your area. This compacts the soil around the seed, creating a more favorable environment for Bermudagrass seed germination. The rolling also smoothes the soil providing for a more level lawn.

Establishment of Bermuda Grass Seed

ESTABLISHMENT: Seed or sprig on a well-prepared surface for maximum germination and growth.   For pasture use, Bermudagrass can be seeded or sprigged on a well-prepared seedbed with or without legumes or cover crops.  Mulching (hay / mulch) will help to conserve moistures, but be careful not to apply too thick of a mulch cover to inhibit germination.

Bermuda Grass Takes Time To Establish From Seed

Keep in mind that establishing a bermudagrass lawn from seed takes time! So be patient and do not expect an "instant lawn".

Your lawn will grow to be beautiful over time! If you can't wait..... consider SODDING

Quite regularly I get emails from individuals saying the following:

"I just planted my Bermudagrass seed two weeks ago
and I don't see any grass."

--- First of all, Bermudagrass takes 10-30 days to germinate under ideal situations (adequate warm-moist 70+ degree soil conditions). Some seeds germinate faster and some take months longer. Hulled seed generally germinate faster than un-hulled Bermuda seed. It all depends on the soil and climate for the period after you plant. Bermudagrass loves hot moist soil to germinate. That is when it will germinate the fastest. Keeping adequate moisture throughout the day is also a critical factor. Watering more than once a day may be a requirement of your lawns soil & weather.

PICTURE OF BERMUDA GRASS SEEDLING (21 Days Old)

--- Secondly, keep in mind that these plants are much like a child. When a child is conceived it generally takes 9 months to emerge. Same with Bermudagrass, except it only takes 2-4 weeks if conditions are right. Then it starts the long process of maturing into an adult Bermuda plant (if conditions aren't right it wont even start!). Once it has germinated and emerged, it is only a baby in the plant world. It will be a very tiny needle looking plant, hiding under and around all the other weeds & plants that may be present in the neighborhood. Bermudas when they first emerge look more like a weed than a grass. Check the picture link above to see what to look for. Seedling color is often brown / purplish.

 


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