Summertime Bermuda Care


LANDSCAPING TIPS brought to you by the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, the Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) and Arizona Certified Landscape Professional (ACLP) programs

Bermudagrass forms the lush green foundation to many of our low desert landscapes. It provides a cooling effect to the microclimate as well as a base for our winter overseeded ryegrass. The care that is provided to Bermudagrass during its growing season is impactful to the overall health of the turf year-round.

·         Use cycle/soak if needed to prevent run-off and achieve watering to the entire depth of the root system- about 8-10”.

·         If turf looks dry, don’t just assume it actually is dry.  Probe the soil at least 8” deep to confirm if it is too wet or too dry.

·         Water early in the morning to:

o   Reduce the chance of fungi developing.

o   Cut down on evaporation – more water gets into the root zone.

·         Adjust the amount of water being applied at least monthly according to the evapotranspiration (ET) rate or by using a smart controller.

o   Water needs of Bermudagrass (and all plants) can vary significantly as we move from hot dry June into monsoon July.

·         Use a balanced fertilizer.  Nitrogen is great, but the P and the K help in overall health as well.

·         In areas where Bermudagrass is struggling (not due to shade), take a soil sample.  Likewise, take another soil sample at the same property where the turf is healthy and compare the analyses.

o   Use the results to implement a fertilization program and cultural practices that support healthy Bermudagrass.

·         Cut most varieties of Bermudagrass low and frequently to help stimulate growth.

o   Know your variety and its preferred mow height.

·         Remove thatch if it is greater than ½” during summertime, when Bermudagrass is actively growing, to stimulate water and fertilizer penetration into the soil.

·         If planning for overseeding this fall, it is important to grow robust Bermudagrass right now during the prime growing season.

o   Bermudagrass needs at least 100 days of strong growth before the trauma of the overseeding process, or next year’s spring transition could be spotty or delayed.



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