Bermuda grass Varieties and Uses

Uses and Applications

Bermuda grass grows rapidly and is resilient to large amounts of traffic and wear and tear.  It has been shown to recover quickly from injury and is extremely drought tolerant.  All of these factors combine to make this a very low maintenance grass.

The extensive and deep growth of the roots of the Bermuda grass plant has made it a popular choice in roadsides, embankments, ditches, and airfields to prevent soil erosion while beautifying the landscape at the same time.

In tropical and subtropical regions, this narrow-leafed cultivar has been shown to work well as hay and pastureland for grazing animals and foragers.

Bermuda grass and its extensive network of hybrid cultivars are commonly used as the desired grass on residential home lawns, playgrounds, parks, fairways, tennis courts, and, of course, golf courses and athletic fields.

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Different Varieties

There are two primary classifications for the different types of Bermuda grass.  These broad categorizations are broken down into:

1. Common Bermuda Grass

2. Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Let's examine the differences between the two different groupings.

Common Bermuda Grass Types

Common Bermuda grass is also referred to as seeded Bermuda grass because it consists of mainly seeded varieties.  Although the common grass plants are less dense than their hybrid counterparts, it is more nutrient-dense and provides livestock with a healthier plant to forage on.

The thick and strong growth habit and the deep roots of grass plants in the common category can withstand heavy foot traffic.  The grass blades in the common designation are rougher to the touch than the hybrid varieties.  Also, this group exhibits a lighter green color than do the hybrids.  

Last, the common Bermuda grass varieties are cheaper to maintain than their hybrid relatives.

Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Formally, plants in this category are called "sterile vegetative hybrids." The hybrid variety is a result of crossbreeding two different species of grass:  common Bermuda grass and African Bermuda grass.  The hybrid variety does not produce Bermuda grass seed and can only be cultivated through the following vegetative methods:

1. Sod

Patches of mature grass are harvested and then planted in the desired area.

2. Sprigging

Smaller sections of living grass plants are installed into the earth.  Usually done in small sections.

3. Plugs

Grass seedlings are grown in trays, transported to the desired location, and then transplanted from the tray into the desired bedding.