How to make Bermuda Grass Thicker: All that you need to know

Thick Bermuda grass
Thick Bermuda grass

Is your patch of beautiful Bermuda Grass is thinning out? Is it still make you worry? Here, we bring you all the tips on how to make Bermuda Grass thicker. First of all, it is important to the main reason behind thinning out of Bermuda Grass is the topsoil issues. It is the path through which water, air, and basic nutrients reach the grassroots. Skimpy topsoil blocks this path due to various reasons and the essential ingredients fail to contact the roots. Therefore, solutions for Bermuda grass thinning depend on watering, mowing, aeration, specialized fertilizer, weed control, and insect and disease killers, etc. Addressing these problems helps you to make Bermuda Grass thicker, fuller and healthy resembling a professional golf course.

How to fix thin Bermuda Grass into Thicker

To thicken your greenly Bermuda grass lawns, proper maintenance and care is equally important. Sometimes, Bermuda grass becomes patchy and grows at a smaller pace. However, the more you care your lawn, the better and sooner you will see the results. In order to check the process of growth, it is important to follow a calendar and mark the progress. So let us begin with a step by step process to make Bermuda Grass thicker.  

Steps to fix patchy Bermuda Grass and make them thicker

1. Mowing/scalping the lawn

It is vital to mow the lawn and let the grass grow systematically. To make it better, make sure that you mow lower this time than the earlier times and do so more frequently. Now you may be puzzled at which exact length grass needs to be. First, mow it lower than 1 inch and it will be helpful if you use a good Reel mower like Scotts 2000-20-20-inch lawnmower to complete the task. In parallel to mowing, watering after mowing and checking and increasing the fertilizer levels are also beneficial.

How to make Bermuda Grass Thicker?
Photo by Petar Tonchev on Unsplash
How watering becomes important for Bermuda Grass

Even though Bermuda stands rough and hot climates, insufficient level of water decreases its growth drastically. You can supply 2.5-3cm of water per week for a better growth of grass. Watering deeply twice per week is more efficient than watering daily because deeper watering promotes strong roots and thicker growth of Bermuda grass. And also make sure watering takes place in the morning when the climate is fine and less evaporation takes place.  

Watering is important to keep Bermuda Grass green
Photo by Methi SOMÇAĞ on Unsplash

2. Applying fertilizer to Bermuda Grass

Obviously, fertilizer plays an important role in feeding any plant with essential nutrients. Similarly, Bermuda Grass requires fertilizing and this process becomes efficient when used in spring and early summer. Before applying fertilizer, it is important to follow the below steps.

Applying fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Test soil and determine the nutrient level suitable for Bermuda Grass

General-purpose fertilizer is vital for the growth of healthy plants. That is why testing the soil becomes helpful to determine the level of the soil. If the test shows a low level of nutrient level, you can decide to apply fertilizer to your lawn. You can keep pH value as a determinant that measures the level of the soil.

PH level of soilIndication
between 5.8 and 7.0The best range for growth of Bermuda grass  
below 5.8Soil is acidic and deadly for grass

You can easily and inexpensively do the pH test either using an at-home-kit or ending a sample of soil to the local extension and get test results. For an extremely acidic soil, you can use lime to reduce acidity.

Apply general purpose fertilizer (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium-NPK) in a ratio of 4:1:2

In some instances, conditions like too much shade and drought result in thinning out of the grass. Application of sufficient fertilizer prevents weeds and diseases and provides a supportive environment to Bermuda Grass. Apart from NPK, Milorganite, a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer releases additional nutrients to your lawn. You can turn your Bermuda lawn into a lush paradise by application of the right fertilizer. Finally make sure that you need to use a hose to water the lawn when fertilizer is in the forms of granular, powder, liquid, or water-soluble.

3. Pre-emergent weed herbicide for flourishing Bermuda Grass

Having weeds like crabgrass, quakgrass, and poa annua in a lawn often results in patches and thinning as long as proper care for the lawn is absent. Especially, quackgrass and crabgrass are serious threats for grass due to their invasive and dominant nature. Therefore, for a greener and thicker Bermuda grass lawn, you need to apply pre-emergent weed herbicide. For a larger area of lawn where there is a heavy infestation, you can apply this herbicide every 30 to 90 days. However, applying weed killers during summer (June, July, and August) has a negative impact on the growth of the lawn.

Post-emergent application on visible weeds

As mentioned earlier, weeds like crabgrass can damage the progress of Bermuda grass. You can either uproot or apply post-emergent herbicide to kill those threats. Using post-emergent herbicide only on the affected area is enough to prevent growing such weeds on your lawn.

The best time to use fertilizer to Bermuda Grass
SeasonApplication InstructionOther
Mid-Spring (mid-March and mid-April)1.5 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet which lasts 2-3 months.Bermuda grass turns green when soil temperature is 60-60 degrees.
Mid-Summer (June or early July)1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet2-3 months after spring application
Early-Fall (at the end of August at the beginning of September)1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.Use the same full fertilizer or a fertilizer with no phosphorus but higher potassium
WinterDo not fertilize 

4. Aerate the lawn for the lush Bermuda Grass

In the very beginning, I have mentioned to you how decisively the topsoil factor behaves in determining the thickness of Bermuda Grass. The hardness of topsoil is a burden for grass to absorb water and other nutrients. This results in a patchy lawn. Aerating is essential for lawns as it allows sufficient oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots. The best time to aerate is the springtime spanning from mid of March to late April. You can loosen soil using a core aerator.  After this process, you can apply lime/weed killers/fertilizer to get better results.

5. Overseeding the lawn to make Bermuda grass thicker

Apart from the above mentioned steps, over seeding is also a great way of making Bermuda Grass thicker. Similar to mowing period, over seeding gives the best result when it is done during the spring. Cast seeds on the lawn before 2-3 weeks of next mowing. During this period, new grass will grow and make the lawn abundant.

Bermuda Grass thickening procedure to be followed

As we have discussed today, Bermuda Grass requires enough mowing, watering, fertilizing and weed killers, and aeration.  If your Bermuda patch or lawn gets thinner or patchy, it must be due to the lack of the above requirements. Therefore, make sure you follow the steps we suggested and let us know your results in the comments section.  You can read interesting topics from us like how to unshrink linen? and stop expecting you from others.


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