Bermuda Grass - Invasive or not?

Is Bermuda Grass Inviting or Invasive?

The aggressive manner in which Bermuda grass is known to grow has wound up doing more harm than good in many different scenarios.  So, this section is an examination of the way Bermuda grass is viewed.  Is it a friend?  Or is it a foe?  

Let's take a look.

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Pros for Bermuda Grass

● There are environments across this country that are simply too damn hot and dry for most other desirable grasses to grow and thrive.  Bermuda grass is the exception to that rule.  Its fibrous roots grow to an astounding depth and can utilize water that is simply not available to other plants.  Bermuda grass can survive and repair itself in the face of extremely hot and dry conditions.

● Bermuda grass is versatile in the ways it can be cultivated.  Bermuda grass can be planted as a seed, installed as sod, through plugs, sprigging, and through hydro-mulching.  Its versatility makes it readily available to be transported to areas too far to travel with slabs of sod.  The sprigs or the plugs offer another way to move the grass over large distances.

● The dense, vigorous growth habit of Bermuda grass in combination with its long stems and narrow grass blades give lawns covered in these grass plants the appearance that they are fuller, more vibrant, and softer than other desirable broadleaf grasses.

● The drought tolerance of Bermuda grass is well documented.  It does not require as much water to maintain optimal growing activity.  Provided that Bermuda grass holds a sufficient amount of moisture within its cells it will recover and repair itself after being mowed haphazardly in higher temperatures.

● Bermuda grass grows aggressively, much like the grassy weeds that try to compete with it by utilizing its rhizomes and stolons.  This aggressive nature is beneficial because Bermuda grass will naturally fill in bare or thinned areas of grass.  A homeowner's intervention will not be necessary to fill in the weakened patches of grass.

Cons for Bermuda Grass

● Bermuda grass does not hold its color well once soil temperatures begin to cool down.  It enters dormancy relatively early in the cold season and turns entire lawns brown before the first frost has even arrived.

● If Bermuda grass encroaches into areas or lawns where it is not the chosen grass, it can overtake and outgrow almost any other desirable grass variety.  It is resilient and hardy and able to withstand a lot of abuse.  Its tolerances for heat outlast most of the other warm-season grasses, and it can withstand a long battle in its bid for supremacy.

● Bermuda grass is not shade tolerant, nor is it cold tolerant.  Once the weather turns for the cool side of things, Bermuda grass tucks tail and runs.  However, in the warmer weather, Bermuda grass is nearly impossible to control.  It can overrun your neighbor's lawn.  It can creep up through cracks in your sidewalk and driveway.  It can even overtake the flower beds you work so diligently to curate.  

You can decide for yourself if Bermuda grass is a villain or a victim of circumstance.  Personally, I think if you're being diligent and vigilant about your lawn care practices and you address the problems that arise as they show up and don't let them snowball out of control, then there is no reason in the world you should worry about losing control of Bermuda grass.  

Proper practices and preventative maintenance.  Always the right answer.  No matter what the lawn care question might be.