You might be surprised to find out that Bermuda grass is not actually native to Bermuda and has many aliases such as scutch grass, Bahama grass, and couch grass. It is native to tropical conditions which mean that it can grow in most areas of North Carolina.
What Is Bermuda Grass?
You might be surprised to know that my wife is from Bermuda. The natives there refer to Bermuda grass as crabgrass which I’ll be using interchangeably through this article. My wife always comments on how it’s like an itchy pillow because it is short and thick which gives a buoyant effect yet it is very itchy to lay on (to her).
If you want to know where Bermuda grass can grow click here now.
Bermuda grass stays pretty short only growing between 2 to15 cm (0.79-5.91in) long and 1 to 30 cm (0.39 – 11.81 in) tall. The seed heads form in clusters of 2 to 6 spikes at the top of each stem, measuring between 2 to 5 cm (0.79 – 1.97 in) long. So while it won’t get taller than you, you can see that it will still need some maintenance and cut from time to time.
Parts of its root system grow up to 2 meters (6.6 ft; wow! That’s taller than me! I’m 6ft) into the soil but most of its roots are about 60 cm (24 in) deep on average which is still a pretty good depth.
This grass is very dense. That is because it will grow anywhere a node touches. Nodes are basically parts of the root system where grass grows from much like branches branch off from trees.
How To Grow Bermuda Grass: Optimal Conditions
Crabgrass becomes active in temperatures over 15°C (59°F ) but thrives best in temperatures between 24°C and 37°C (75°F and 99°F ). It needs to be directly in sunlight to grow and becomes dormant in shady areas where it will also turn brown.
This grass doesn’t need an extremely lot of water to flourish so places that have between 6 cm and 17.5 cm (24.6 to 69 in) receive enough moisture for it to be happy. Having a high tolerance to heat also makes it perfect for hot, dry climates like tropical islands, southern states, and other high-temperature locations.
Bermuda grass is very tough and robust so it is typically used for high traffic areas that receive a lot of wear and tear like golf courses or sports fields. It is also very flexible and can grow in just about any soil condition even if other plants can’t survive in soil with high salt levels.
Grow This Grass With Caution
My wife loves morning glories. One year, she grew them and they overtook the whole yard, creeping and submerging every fence, tree, and structure in our yard. The sad thing is that there was nothing we could do about it because morning glories are highly invasive. Well, in this case, my wife absolutely loves them so she was happy but in terms of the environment, I’m not sure if it was the best thing to happen, lol.
How Is This Related To Learning How To Grow Bermuda Grass?
Well, Bermuda grass is very much the same way. It is very invasive and can survive in harsh conditions much like weeds do. (Side note: Morning glories are actually weeds!)
This is important to note if you have a garden, farm, or other plant-life growing in your yard. It’s next to impossible to kill crabgrass once it has taken root because it is immune to herbicides.
For this reason, many farmers and gardeners nickname it the devil’s grass because it will also kill other plant life.
The good thing about this robust grass is that it can be used to graze cattle in areas where other grasses have trouble growing like California and other dessert states in the United States. Do not try this without proper knowledge of the grass because there is a hybrid that actually poisons cattle since it produces cyanide. This can also be harmful to farmers as well.
How to Control Crabgrass
As previously mentioned, Bermuda grass is immune to herbicides, however, if you have an unwanted infestation, there are a couple of things you can try to control it. The likelihood of complete eradication is slim to none so you will have to continuously apply some type of method to keep it under manners.
- Triclopyr – a common fungicide used in gardening. Garlon and Release are two common brands in the United States.
- Mesotrine – a synthetic herbicide made sold under the name of Callisto and Tenacity.
- Fluazifop-p-butyl – this chemical is not allowed in the United States but if you are in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, it is available.
- Glyphosate – a broad spectrum herbicide patented under the name Roundup.
Where Can Bermuda Grass Grow In North Carolina?
Since North Carolina is a southern state on the East Coast, it has a couple of different climate environments. This is because it is bordered on its western side by the Blue Ridge Mountain Range and on its eastern side by the Atlantic Ocean.
Because the western side is covered by the mountain range, you may find it difficult to grow Bermuda grass. This will be because of the higher elevation and cooler temperatures.
On the other hand, the coastal regions of North Carolina will be no problem for crabgrass to grow.
If you are in other regions of the world, this principle will still apply. Bermuda grass grows in warm, lower elevation climates. You can say the climate is the determining factor rather than soil condition when considering what environment crabgrass will thrive in.
Unless you have a sports field or a similar location that sees high impact traffic and it is necessary for this type of grass to be present, our experts at MVP Lawn Care Services NC do not recommend that you grow crabgrass. Even if you are considering it for your home and don’t garden or anything, you might also want to consider future owners or residents of your property.
If you need to speak with a professional about some of your options for grass, you can reach out to us by leaving a comment below or using our contact page. If you have any questions, comments or requests, don’t hesitate to leave them below in the comments box below.