Common Bermuda Grass Problems

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common bermuda grass problems

Bermuda grass is a popular warm-season grass that is known for its excellent heat tolerance, vigorous growth, and durability, making it a favorite choice for lawns, sports fields, and golf courses throughout the southern United States.

However, despite its resilience, Bermuda grass can still face challenges that can cause it to decline and lose its lush green appearance. Here are some common Bermuda grass problems and how to address them.

Bermuda Grass Common Problems and Diseases:

  • Shade tolerance
  • Inadequate watering
  • Soil Deficiencies
  • Weeds
  • Compaction and thatch build-up
  • Large patch
  • Dollar spot
  • Leaf spot and melting out
  • Rust
  • Spring dead spot

Shade Tolerance

Bermuda grass requires full sun and struggles to thrive in areas that receive less than six hours of direct sunlight per day. Consider removing trees or vegetation that are obstructing sunlight from your grass.

Or prune them to allow more sunlight to reach the lawn. If removing obstacles is not an option, consider overseeding with a shade-tolerant grass or considering an alternative ground cover.

Inadequate Watering

Bermuda grass has a moderate water requirement; however, inadequate watering causes a decline in its health. When water is insufficient, Bermuda grass begins to wilt, turn brown and become vulnerable to damage.

Overwatering also leads to problems, such as waterlogged soil, which suffocates the roots of grass. If you notice that your Bermuda grass is drying out, consider increasing the watering frequency while reducing the time per session, and allowing the water to penetrate deep to the roots.

Contact us today for details on our irrigation maintenance service. 

Soil Deficiencies

Bermuda grass thrives in well-draining soils that are rich in nutrients. If your soil has deficiencies in essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, this causes Bermuda to turn yellow or brown.

Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels and apply appropriate amendments or fertilizers to improve soil quality and add in the needed nutrients.

Weeds

crabgrass- a problem for bermuda grass
Crabgrass

Some of the common weeds that can affect Bermuda grass include crabgrass, clover, dallisgrass, and nutsedge. Of these, crabgrass is the most common and troublesome weed to affect Bermuda grass lawns. Read one of our other articles titled, “Weed Control for Bermuda Grass.”

Clover is also problematic as it has the capability to develop an established root system that enables spreading quickly, and it thrives well in poor, dry soils. Dallisgrass, on the other hand, tends to develop unsightly clumps of weed with thick blades, and it develops shallow root systems.

Nutsedge often presents as small, brownish, grassy growths that don’t fit well with Bermuda grass, and it quickly spreads throughout the lawn, forming a dense, difficult-to-remove mat of weeds.

It is often recommended to seek professional lawn care services for weed control to prevent extensive damage to your Bermuda grass lawn. Properly designed and executed treatment programs are required, inspecting the lawn and determine the best plan for controlling the weeds while minimizing damage to your Bermuda grass.

If you notice a problem with weeds, call us quickly. We offer the best weed control service.

thatch build-up is a problem for bermuda grass
Get your lawn aerated to prevent thatch build-up.

Compaction and Thatch Buildup

Heavy foot traffic or neglectful lawn care causes soil compaction and an accumulation of thatch, a layer of dead leaves and stems that accumulates at the surface of the soil.

This can restrict the movement of air, water, and nutrients to the roots of the grass, which can cause it to decline and die.

Aerate the soil regularly as recommended by your lawn care professional to improve drainage and avoid a buildup of thatch.

Large patch

Large patch is a fungal disease that affects Bermuda grass during the cooler months of fall and spring. The disease manifests as large, circular patches of brown or yellow grass that appear to be sunken into the soil.

Large patch spreads rapidly through the lawn. To control large patch, maintain proper lawn care practices, including regular aeration, proper fertilizer applications, and appropriate irrigation levels.

Dollar spot

Dollar spot is a common fungal disease that affects Bermuda grass, especially during the warmer months of spring, summer, and fall. The disease appears as small, circular, straw-colored patches throughout the lawn that gradually expand and form a silver dollar-sized spot.

This disease is favored by high humidity levels and wet foliage. Which makes it essential to practice proper grass care maintenance and watering practices. Fungicides and increased nitrogen fertilization can be applied to control dollar spot.

Leaf spot and melting out

Both leaf spot and melting out are fungal diseases that affect Bermuda grass, when the weather is humid and hot. Leaf spot presents as small, brown irregularly shaped blots on blades of grass. Melting out causes a bleached appearance of leaves and yellowing of the plant due to crown and root rot.

Both diseases lead to thinning of grass and bare spots. Preventative measures include minimizing watering during humid and hot weather, mowing at the correct height to minimize stress, and avoiding excessive grass growth. Fungicidal treatments are also helpful in managing these diseases.

Rust

This is a fungal disease that affects Bermuda grass, especially during the cooler months of fall. It shows up as orange or yellow rust-colored powder that appears on grass blades or produce pustules that look like blisters on leaves. The disease will weaken and yellow blades of grass, eventually leading to death.

Spring dead spot

Spring dead spot is a disease that affects Bermuda grass primarily during the spring season. It presents as circular patches where the grass looks dead or dormant, and the blades look yellow or brown.

Spring dead spot affects the root and crown of the grass plants, leading to significant damage. Best practices in preventing spring dead spot includes avoiding excess nitrogen application, regular soil testing to check the right quantity of nutrients, overseeding with disease-resistant Bermuda varieties, and improving soil health. Fungicidal treatment is also be useful when applied during early stages of the disease.

Wrapping Up

fertilize your lawn to achieve healthy deep grass roots
Healthy, robust lawn.

Addressing these common Bermuda grass problems will help maintain your lawn’s appearance and health.

Consult a professional lawn care service, such as JC’s Landscaping, for guidance on proper lawn care practices to avoid problems before they arise and take the necessary steps to restore your Bermuda grass.

With proper care and timely maintenance, your Bermuda grass will remain strong, resilient and vibrant throughout the growing season.

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