Bermudagrass is a major turf species in our area of Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas.
Common bermudagrass naturalized throughout the warmer regions of the United States and was introduced during colonial times from Africa and India. While earliest introductions are not recorded it was listed as a principle Southern grass in the Mease’s Geological Account of the United States published in 1807.
One of the problems we are seeing this Spring is bermudagrass coming out of dormancy more slowly due to the extreme heat stress from the Summer of 2011. Where proper mowing and water management was used this is not as much a problem , however, on thin soils and turf that was maintained too short or improperly watered it is a problem. With proper , balanced fertilization
and a little time the bermudagrass should fully recover. In areas where the bermudagrass became fully desiccated it may well be necessary for you to re-sod for quicker recovery of your lawn.
Soil temperatures is important for growth and development. Soil temperatures above 65 F are required for significant growth and optimum soil temperature is around 80 F. Note, crabgrass begins to germinate when soil temperatures are 55 F which signifies the importance of pre-emergent herbicides during the Spring green up period.
Bermudagrass has a high light requirement and will not flourish under shaded conditions.
Soil pH between 6.5 and 8.0 is optimal range with levels below 6.5 pH requiring lime which should be applied according to soil test recommendations.
Weeds are a serious pest in bermudagrass turf. A vigorous, healthy turf that is properly maintained provides the best means of weed control. When bermudagrass thins due to environmental stress, poor mowing or watering practices then weeds can rapidly invade. Again, a good, timely weed control and fertilization program done properly by the home owner or professionally will help alleviates these problems.