By the calendar, May is the time to start planting Hulled Bermuda grass. Bermuda seed germinates best when soil temperatures are above 75 degrees. After the soil is prepared, sow the seeds. The seeds should be covered with no more than .25 inches of soil. It will help if the cover soil is then lightly compacted (rolled). Keep the seedbed moist even if it requires watering several times a day. With ideal conditions, Bermuda usually germinates within several weeks. But there are many factors that can slow the germination; soil characteristics, temperature, and moisture being the top three. The above method applies whether you have bare dirt or you are overseeding an existing lawn. If you are overseeding a lawn, you must first mow the lawn very short and remove as much thatch as possible before planting.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it isn’t. Preparing the soil means removing all unwanted plant growth and roughing up the surface. Sow the seeds with either a spreader or by hand (as evenly as you can). Cover the seed (.25 inch max) with compost or you can rake the seeds into the soil. Keeping the seedbed moist can be the hardest part of this task. If the seedbed dries out germination will be delayed.
Application rates for Bermuda grass seed range from 1/2# to 3# per 1,000 square feet. My rule of thumb is 1# for every 500 to 750 square feet. (If you are not pressed for time, you can use one seed per acre!). When you buy Bermuda seed (or any other seed) look at the seed tag for the “Pure Seed” and “Germination” ratings. Our common Bermuda seed is listed as 95/85. That means it’s 95% pure seed and 85 seeds out of 100 will germinate. Bermuda seed is expensive, so know what you are buying and the square footage of the area to be planted.
Wells Brothers handles 4 types of Bermuda grass seed. The most popular is hulled Common Bermuda. It is available in a 50# bag for $425.00 and by the pound for $17.00. Arden 15 is a hulled and coated fairway type Bermuda that sells for $28.00 a pound. Blackjack is a hulled and coated lawn Bermuda that grows dense and is a dark green that sells for $11.75 a pound. Buckaroo is a pasture-type Bermuda that sells for $13.25 a pound.
*Prices subject to change.