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The Types of Bermuda Grass Seed & Germination Rates
SEED TYPES: Bermudagrass seed is
available in several 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, 4 - 7 days to germinate. Coated seed has
been pelleted with clay containing nutrients to improve ease of
planting and establishment, germination in 5 - 10 days. In all 3
forms, minimum germination of quality seed is 80%, with seed
counts ranging from 1 to 2 million seeds per pound.
Read More on
"HOW TO PLANT"
Seeded Bermuda Lawns
SOIL PREPARATION: Remove old turf and weeds. Do not
plow these under as they take too long to decompose. If soil is
light and sandy, add sterilized manure or a composted mulch
material to the top few inches of soil. If soil is heavy or
clay, add gypsum or lime (ask your local nursery for advice and
application rates for your area) to the soil and mix in well
with some mulch and sand. Cultivate your soil to a depth of 6
inches, incorporating lime, any organic soil amendments and
pre-plant fertilizers as needed or based on soil tests. Prepare a
medium-fine, firm seedbed - using a light roller on the finished
seedbed is beneficial to level and firm the area.
Any lawn planted in Bermuda needs to be as completely level as possible due to the damage caused by "scalping" the grass with a lawn mower and damaging the roots.
SEEDING AND IRRIGATION: Bermudagrass seed should be
planted in late spring or early summer when night time
temperatures are consistently above 65 deg F (18 deg C). Plant 2
to 3 pounds of hulled seed, or 3 to 5 pounds of un-hulled seed,
or 3 pounds of coated seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Sow
half of the seed in one direction, and the other half at right
angles to the first half. Rake the seed in lightly, covering no
more than 1/8 inch with pulverized manure, peat moss or another
fine soil material and then firm the seedbed. Apply water evenly
and with a fine spray in order not to disturb the newly planted
seed. Keep the soil continually moist for 10 to 14 days or until
the new lawn is well sprouted and has had a chance to get
established. After the seedlings are well established, start
reducing the frequency of watering, while increasing the amount
of water applied to encourage deep root growth. Once fully
established, properly maintained bermudagrass turf will use far
less water than many other turf grass species.
FERTILIZATION: Only fertilize the young lawn if the
early growth is weak or yellow. Approximately four weeks after
seeding, apply a complete, balanced fertilizer to the newly
established turf area. For faster coverage during the
establishment year, a rate of 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000
square feet is recommended every month during the growing
season. Bermudagrass responds well to regular applications of
nitrogen. Consult your fertilizer dealer for specific
MOWING MAINTENANCE: NO SPECIAL MOWER IS NEEDED FOR
BERMUDAGRASS. Results are best when blades
are kept sharp. Recommended mowing height is 1/2 to 1-1/2
inches. Don't mow the new lawn until it is at least two inches
high and make sure that the mower is especially sharp for this
first cutting to reduce damage to the young grass. The first 2
or 3 cuttings should not be shorter than 1-1/2 inches.
Subsequent cuttings should be about 3/4 of an inch to promote
the best growth possible, although bermuda can be kept at a 2"
height with satisfactory results. Grass clippings can generally
be left on the grass, as long as they are not excessive - they
will decompose and add nutrients to the root zone.
PEST AND WEED CONTROL: Several weed control products
are labeled for bermudagrass turf during establishment, as well
as for later maintenance. Occasionally bermudagrass turf can
suffer minor damage from turf diseases and insect pests.
Overall, well maintained seeded bermuda turf is resistant or
tolerant to most turf insects and diseases. This environmentally
friendly turf species requires few chemicals for good growth.
Consult your local extension office or turf chemical dealer for
appropriate control recommendations in your area.
WINTER OVERSEEDING: In temperate and transition
growing regions, both seeded & vegetative bermudagrass turf goes
dormant during winter, turning brown until warm temperatures
return the following spring. Winter overseeding with cool
climate turf species is generally not recommended on a newly
established bermudagrass turf. If you must overseed your new
stands of bermuda, then plant the ryegrass at half the normal
seeding rate. Too heavy of a seed rate application or too
invasive of preparation method can severely damage any bermuda
stand, especially a newly established stand. On mature healthy
bermudagrass, a fall overseeding application of perennial
ryegrass seed such as Champion or Magnum can produce good
results. Due to the density of bermuda turf, the ryegrass seeds
must be raked in well for good soil contact.
ANNUAL SPRING / SUMMER BERMUDA OVERSEED: To improve
your bermudagrass stand and for better transition results each
year, an annual light seeding with a Certified Turf Type
Bermudagrass is recommended in late spring/early summer.
Information provided courtesy of Seed Research of Oregon
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