Q. After I plant this variety, will it “go back”, “mutate” or “revert” to
A. No, the varieties from Pennington Seed are very stable and uniform varieties
that have been carefully produced to maintain genetic purity and stability.
Q. How do I select the proper
fertilizers and other chemical treatments that I may require?
A. These varieties of bermudagrass require regular maintenance and care to
look their best. We recommend that you always follow label recommendations.
If in doubt, you may try using the material at half strength over a small
area. Please consult your local turf adviser or University specialist regarding
specific instructions for your needs.
Q. Can I improve my vegetative bermudagrass by overseeding with an improved
turf-type bermudagrass variety?
A. & A. Yes! and Yes! Depending on the general
condition of your existing lawn, an overseeding rate of 1/2 to 1 pound
per 1000 square feet (0.25 to 0.5 kg /100 sq m) should be sufficient to
attain improvement. However for
maximum uniformity and turf performance, you may want to consider completely
renovating or converting your stand to one of the advanced turf-type bermudagrass
Q. What is the seeding rate for new turf?
A. Recommended planting rate is 2 to 3
pounds per 1000 sq. ft. (0.5 to 1.5 kg /100 sq m) of Certified
bermudagrass seed (hulled, Penkoted®) with the exception of
Princess-77, which can be planted at 1 to 2 pounds per 1000 sq
ft. (0.25 to 0.5 kg /100 sq m). With bermudagrass seed, if a little
is good, a lot is not necessarily better, these seeding rates are
the maximum planting rates recommended. You may get by with planting
the lower rates if you are planting in midseason when the temperatures
are nice and hot. Likewise, you may need to plant at the higher
rates if you seed early or late in the season to obtain optimum
coverage. The recommended rates are calculated to give the best
coverage under a range of conditions, early to late season.
Q. I just need
to repair some small areas. How much seed will I need?
A. For small repairs, 0.5 to 1 pound per 1000 square feet is
needed (0.13 to 0.25 kg /100 sq m). Be sure and prepare the areas
to receive the seed. Prior to seeding, rake the bare areas vigorously
and remove existing plant material and debris so the new seed will
make proper seed-to-soil contact.
Q. When should I plant?
A. Seed bermudagrass when soil temperatures
are stabilized and consistently above 65º F (18º C). Nighttime low temperatures
are similar to soil temperatures and you can use them as a reference
point for soil temperatures. If you plant too early or late,
when the temperatures are not consistently above 65º F (18º C),
germination may be delayed or the seed may fail to come up at
Q. Where should I seed bermudagrass?
A. For best results bermudagrass should be planted in full sun
on well-drained soil. Proper seedbed preparation including preparations
for adequate drainage is essential to the development of mature,
Q. Do you recommend using a pre-plant application
A. We always recommend doing a soil test first before seeding.
If you are unable to have a soil test, then a pre-plant application
of fertilizer might be advised, especially if you have any doubts
about the soil fertility. Select
something balanced and recommended for the establishment of new turf from
seed, i.e. something with an N-P-K formula of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15.
about soil pH? Is that important with bermudagrass?
A. The soil pH is important. While bermudagrass is widely adapted to
a broad range of soil types and soil pH, it does have a minimum soil
pH requirement of 5.5 to 6.0, performing best around 7.0. A lower soil
pH may result in much slower establishment or a total failure to establish.
careful what types of soil additives you bring in or soil amendments
you use for top-dressing the newly seeded area in this regards. Your
soil pH may be fine for bermudagrass, but the material you bring
in may have a very low soil pH and become a barrier to germination.
Q. Should I cover the seed
after I plant it?
A. Bermudagrass seed may be raked lightly after seeding to help ensure
seed-to-soil contact. Topdressing may be used, but care should be
taken to make sure that no more than 1/4 inch (6 mm) of material
covers the seed.
Bermudagrass seed likes to be on the soil surface. The top dressing
serves to keep the seed from drying out between watering cycles and
keep it from moving across the surface during watering.
Q. How long
will it take for the bermudagrass seed to germinate?
A. Under ideal conditions, hulled, Penkoted® bermudagrass
seed will begin to germinate within 3 to 7 days. Germination is
a process that sometimes takes several days to complete. Allow
14 to 21 days for full germination
to be complete especially when temperatures may not be quite as
stable, early or late in the season. The seedlings are very small.
To see them at 3 to 7 days takes a little doing. You may need to
remove sunglasses and catch the sun’s light just right to
Q. How soon after
seeding will I be able to use my bermudagrass turf?
A. For full usage and under ideal conditions,
coverage may be attained in 4 to 6 weeks and the new bermudagrass
turf is ready to use. If planting is occurring either early or
late in the season, more time may be required.
Q. How much water is necessary for the maintenance of
A. Exactly how little water is necessary has not been quantified
by turfgrass scientists. Some projects are underway now to get
a better idea. However, they do know that in general, bermudagrass
will normally use all the water it is provided. Established bermudagrass
can go for extended periods of time (60 to 90 days) without irrigation.
They may go off-color and become dormant under such a prolonged
period, but when they are watered
again, new growth will emerge.
During germination and early establishment,
the seedbed should be kept moist. This period lasts normally 1
to 2 weeks. Later, you should strive for less frequent, deep watering.
This practice will encourage the bermudagrass to send down deep
roots and result in a healthier turf. Mature bermudagrass can have
roots 6 to 12 feet (234 – 498 cm) deep. During periods of
drought and stress, these deep roots can save your stand.
does bermudagrass compare with other turf species for drought tolerance?
A. Bermudagrass is one of the most drought tolerant of the turfgrass
species. Here is how it compares:
|Buffalograss (St. Augustine)
|Turf-type Tall Fescue
|Fine Leaf Perennial Ryegrass
*Tall fescue is
often touted for being very drought tolerant. It is when compared
to other cool season turfgrass species and most importantly; it
is established properly so that it develops a strong root system.
If it is irrigated often by sprinkler, the roots will not go down
deep in the soil and it will suffer with the first heat wave.
Q. Can I water bermudagrass
with reclaimed, recycled or effluent water?
A. Yes, bermudagrass does very well with
this type of water. The parks department of the city of Los Angeles
waters all their bermudagrass with reclaimed water. Their maintenance
supervisor maintains that he uses very little Nitrogen fertilizer
to maintain good color. However, bermudagrass watered in this manner
needs to be monitored to make sure that there is not an unusual
accumulation of heavy metals or salts. A program of occasionally
leaching the turf with a very deep watering is sometimes helpful.
Is bermudagrass salt tolerant? How much?
A. Yes, bermudagrass is salt tolerant. It is actually one of the
most salt tolerant turfgrass species. Following is a chart of relative
||Very Good to Excellent
|Buffalograss (St. Augustine)
|Turf-type Tall Fescue
|Fine Leaf Perennial Ryegrass
Q. How soon after seeding will I be able to mow my new bermudagrass
A. Approximately 3 weeks after seeding,
depending on conditions at the time of establishment. In some cases,
you may need to mow 2 weeks after seeding. Thereafter, every 3
to 7 days, subject to your management program and use requirements.
Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at any one mowing
to avoid scalping or removing too much green material from the
plant. Scalping is not only unsightly, but it stresses the turf
when too much of the green matter is removed. The above ground
portion of the grass, leaves and stems, are needed for converting
energy to food for the plant.
Q. What is the recommended mowing
height for bermudagrass?
A. As a general recommendation, we recommend
a minimum height of 1/2 to 3/4 inch (12.7 – 19.1 mm). Princess-77
one of the newer varieties with increased turf density may be mowed
just a bit shorter at 3/16 inch (5
mm). This is a minimum. You may prefer to let it grow to a bit
longer and keep it at 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches (12.7 – 38.1 mm).
It is a matter of personal preference.
However, there are some tips
to establishing seeded bermudagrass if you want to keep it short.
The first tip is to keep it short from the beginning. Do not let
it get long and stemmy before the first mowing. Keep it clipped
from the beginning. Second, be aware that lower or shorter mowing
heights do stress the plant somewhat. Care should be taken to provide
adequate water and fertilizer for the turf. Lastly, if you are
going to keep the bermudagrass mowed short, we recommend a reel
mower to minimize the damage to the leaf blades.
Q. Which type of
mower is recommended for bermudagrass?
A. These advance bermudagrass varieties may be mowed by rotary
mower. If you plan to keep them very short, you may wish to use
a reel mower instead to minimize damage to the leaf blade.
am in an area that gets cool during the winter months and my bermudagrass
will go into winter dormancy. May I overseed with cool season grasses
for year round green color?
A. Yes, however, it is usually not recommended
on immature bermudagrass or turf less than 6 to 8 months of age.
The mechanical processes involved in the overseeding process, scalping
and verticutting, can be detrimental to the young stand of bermudagrass.
In addition, if the underlying bermudagrass stand is damaged during
the process and the cool season grass takes hold, it may be very
hard for the damaged, stressed bermudagrass to recover and compete
when warm weather returns. If you must overseed with cool season
grass on a relatively young stand of bermudagrass, please be mindful
of the situation. Do not overseed too heavily with the cool season
grass. Use a moderate planting rate. It may also be helpful to
plan on some cultural maintenance in the spring to encourage the
bermudagrass regrowth with a possible light overseeding of bermudagrass
in the spring to increase the bermudagrass plant population.
Q. What does cold tolerant mean in
bermudagrass? Isn’t this
A. Yes and no. Bermudagrass is not generally
known for its ability to withstand cold temperatures. However,
we have found that some varieties of bermudagrass are better able
to withstand cold winter conditions than others. In addition, researchers
are taking these cold tolerant varieties and doing intensive research
to develop varieties that can survive even colder temperatures.
There are lots of areas in the world that are quite hot in the
summer allowing bermudagrass to become established, yet the winter
temperatures are not conducive to winter survival.
Cold tolerant does not mean that it will not go dormant.
It means it is better able to withstand low temperatures that
may kill common and other bermudagrass varieties. However, even
cold tolerant species can be winterkilled. Cold tolerant is not
cold proof. The cold tolerant varieties like Mohawk bermudagrass
generally tend to hold or retain their green color a little longer
when fall approaches and usually green up 2 to 4 weeks earlier
in the spring when the temperatures warm up.
Q. Will these new seeded
bermudagrass varieties go to seed in my stand of turfgrass?
A. Under good turf management, these varieties will not be inclined
to produce seedheads. Seedhead production in bermudagrasses, whether
in stands of seeded bermudagrass or vegetative bermudagrass from
and turf, is a sign of stress in the plant for adequate nutrients,
most commonly, Nitrogen and water. It sometimes occurs when the
bermudagrass is kept very closely mowed and Nitrogen levels are
Seedhead production is one thing and actual
seed production is quite another. Even when seedheads are produced,
their likelihood of making viable seed that could germinate is
very slim. In order for the bermudagrass plant to produce viable
seed, it needs to have water and fertilizer withheld at the proper
times with warm dry (relatively low humidity, 10 to 20 % maximum)
temperatures that encourage flowering and pollen set. The likelihood
of bermudagrass spreading itself from lawn clippings or by the
growth of its aboveground stolons or below ground rhizomes or roots
is much greater.