Bermuda … not just a destination
May 2, 2022
Your lawn is integral to your Ideal home’s total landscape. It provides a nice setting for an outdoor family activity, and a well-maintained lawn increases your home’s value. If you live in Oklahoma, you’ve seen, heard about, played on, fertilized, and mowed bermudagrass. It’s probably the most common yard landscape staple in the state.
Bermudagrass is a turfgrass that adapts well to Oklahoma’s wide fluctuations in temperature and moisture. It’s also pretty easily maintained, drought-tolerant, and grows in just about any soil condition, except shade. However, correct and timely fertilization, watering, mowing, and pest control for weeds, insects, and diseases, will ensure your bermudagrass reaches its potential for quality and adaptation. Keep your neighbors green with envy all summer long!
Establishing new lawns
When planning your lawn, soil preparation creates the best conditions for establishing healthy turfgrass. Properly soil test to make sure there is enough plant nutrition for establishment. Fertilize according to the results just before planting if needed.
Choose the right variety of bermudagrass to plant. Varieties differ in height, spread, and cold hardiness. Well-managed grasses can last for many years. The most important requirement for a bermudagrass variety for Oklahoma is its ability to survive the winters.
Soil and site preparation are similar whether you choose to establish your lawn by seeding, plugging, sprigging, or sodding. If you choose to seed a new lawn, wait until soil temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees (usually between May and mid-June); the seed will not germinate in cooler temperatures.
To manage your planting, control weeds, and avoid erosion and water if possible. Herbicides are available for controlling some of the broadleaf weeds found in new and established bermudagrass. Allow the bermudagrass to accumulate at least 4 to 6 inches of growth during the last 4 to 6 weeks of the growing season to improve its ability to survive the winter with minimal stress.
Fertilization improves grass density, color, and recuperative potential. A healthy, properly fertilized, dense bermudagrass resists weed invasion and can better tolerate heat, cold, drought, and wear.
Watering is one of the most often misunderstood aspects of turfgrass culture. Many times, watering is too frequent and too light. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow rooting, soil compaction, thatch accumulation, and weed germination.
Ideally, turf should not be watered on a regular schedule but only when needed. Many elements contribute to water needs: water-holding capacity of different soil types, temperature fluctuations, humidity, wind, precipitation, mowing, and fertilization.
The best time to water is when your grass shows the first visual symptoms of water need of wilt, characterized by “footprinting” and a blue-gray appearance. Early morning is an ideal time to water.
Bermudagrass is a warm-season turfgrass, which is cut higher in the fall to provide insulation for low temperatures. During the summer growing season, it is cut lower to promote lateral spread. Cutting too low may cause the turf to thin; cutting too high may produce a stemmy turf. If your yard is shady, cut slightly higher to increase leaf area to compensate for lower light levels.
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods offers sod and landscaping for each of our new homes.
For much more information on fertilizing, mowing, thatch, aerification, overseeding, weed control, insect, and disease control, check out the OSU Extension website listed here (OSUExtension). Using the great advice provided by Dennis Martin and David Hillock, every Oklahoma lawn can flourish into a lush green showpiece for your Ideal home.