If you’re looking to ditch the dead patches of grass in your lawn, then you need to overseed. But while it can be tempting to just head out there right away and start spreading seeds, if you really want to get the problem under control then you need to take the time to do it right.
And that process all starts with deciding when to overseed Bermuda grass. Luckily for you we’ll break down when that time is, and we’ll even let you know what you can do if you missed the ideal window!
It’s all about getting a pristine lawn, and with this guide we’ll get you there in no time.
When to Overseed Bermuda Grass
Since Bermuda grass is a grass seed that thrives in warmer weather, you want to plant in the spring to give it the most time to grow and take root before the harsh winter weather comes.
Ideally, you’re looking for mid to late spring, but for most regions you can get by with overseeding in the early summer too.
And when you’re looking at overseeding it’s not all about avoiding frost. While that’s a critical part of the process, it has to do with the germination rate and how long it takes for them to germinate in the first place.
When you overseed Bermuda grass at the right time it can germinate in as little as one week! Meanwhile if you overseed in less than ideal conditions then it can take three to four times as long.
This is an even bigger deal if you’re overseeding later in the year, because you need the seeds to settle in and get fully established before the first frost comes. If that doesn’t happen then all the new seedlings will quickly die off.
Finally, don’t overseed lawns until they’ve had at least 90-days to take root. We completely understand that this means you might not be able to overseed until next season, but if you overseed too soon then you’re not going to get the results you want anyway – which means you’re just wasting your time and money.
How to Overseed Bermuda Grass
If you’re looking to overseed Bermuda grass then the good news is that it’s a fairly easy process. You’ll need to invest in a spreader, but they’re not overly expensive, and if you get the right one they can last a long time.
From there start by mowing your lawn. This does two things to help your Bermuda grass take root. First, you shouldn’t mow your lawn for about a month after overseeding. If your grass already needs mowed when you’re overseeding, then there’s a good chance you’ll have grass that’s way too long by the end of the month.
And of course, if you mow your lawn during this time you’re risking the overseeding not giving you ideal results! The second reason you should mow your lawn before overseeding is that as much sunlight as possible can reach the seeds and young saplings.
Towering grass can block out the saplings from getting the sunlight they need, and this means you won’t get optimal results.
Once you’ve mowed your grass and have your spreader, all you need to do is set it the rate recommended on the bag of Bermuda seed you have and walk it over the bare areas. You need to spread seeds in more than one direction to get the best results, so keep in mind the number of passes you need to complete when setting the spreading rate.
Once you make the necessary passes you should water your lawn and move onto the other instructions and tips we have for caring for your newly seeded Bermuda grass for the next month!
Caring for Newly Seeded Bermuda Grass
Just because you shouldn’t mow your lawn for about a month after overseeding doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to do to care for newly seeded Bermuda grass.
For starters, don’t be scared to water your lawn. New seeds need water, and it’s the only way to get the best results. And if you’re worried that too much watering will lead the rest of your lawn to grow too fast, to be honest, it might do just that.
If the grass gets too high though, then you can mow a little bit sooner than a full month, but you’ll want to push it off as long as possible. Just keep in mind that if the rest of your lawn is growing too fast that’s a pretty good sign that you’re creating optimal conditions for the Bermuda grass seeds as well.
Additionally, avoid fertilizing your lawn until about a month after you overseed. While fertilization is great for Bermuda grass, the seedlings can’t take full advantage of it yet.
However, the existing Bermuda grass can, and this leads to the existing grass growing too fast and towering over the young seedlings. This robs them of much needed sunlight, and that’s the last thing you want to do.
Once everything is well-established and good to go you want to set your lawn mower’s height to about ½”, and mow to this height. It’s the ideal height for Bermuda grass, will significantly reduce your chances of needing to overseed next year, and helps to keep the overall lawn maintenance to a reasonable level.
Mixing Bermuda Grass
While there are tons of grass varieties out there, just know that there’s nothing wrong with mixing Bermuda grass with other varieties to get the best results for your area. Mixing with other grass types can help your lawn handle cooler temperatures, slow down the growth rate, and so much more!
Just keep in mind that other grass varieties have different care requirements than Bermuda grass, so it can easily change the best time to overseed and other care requirements.
For instance, if you have a lawn mixed with a grass type that thrives in cooler weather, it might be a good idea to overseed both in the winter and the spring so both grass types have time to take root and thrive!
If you still have a few questions after reading through the guide you’re not alone. That’s why we took the time here to highlight some of the most frequently asked questions about when to overseed Bermuda grass.
How Late Can You Seed Bermuda?
While you ideally want to overseed Bermuda grass in the spring, that doesn’t mean once summer rolls around you’re completely out of luck. And while we’d love to give you an exact date that it’s too late to overseed, the truth is that it’s a bit more complicated.
It largely depends on where you live, and a bit still comes down to luck. Because of this, we recommend seeding no later than 1-month into summer. But it’s essential to note that if you go through an unusually warm spell before the seed has time to take root then you still might not get the best results.
Finally, if you missed that window, you can always feel free to try overseeding later in the summer, but you likely won’t get optimal results. And once you’re approaching fall it’s simply too late, as the cooler weather followed by the cold winter won’t allow the seeds to take root like they should.
What Month Should You Overseed?
While spring is the best time to overseed, that doesn’t mean you can’t narrow it down any more than that. We recommend overseeding in either April or May, and it largely comes down to your climate.
If you live in a warmer region you might get best results by overseeding in April, but if you live in a cooler climate you might need to wait a few more weeks to reach the same temperatures.
How Many Times a Year Should You Overseed?
When you do it right you should only need to overseed once a year – and even then, you only need to do it if your grass has dead spots. Overseeding multiple times throughout the year will not give you any better results.
How Long Does Bermuda Grass Take to Grow From Seed?
If conditions are right and everything takes properly, your Bermuda grass should have fully developed roots after three to four weeks. From there it depends on how high you want your grass to grow!
Of course, this is when you overseed in the right conditions. If you’re looking to overseed in harsher conditions then you can expect the Bermuda grass to have fully developed roots anywhere from six to seven weeks after overseeding.
But once the roots are fully established you can fertilize like normal and it’s back to regular lawn care routines.
What Is the Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass?
While there are plenty of great choices to fertilize your lawn, our favorites is Scott’s Southern Turf Builder. It helps Bermuda grass absorb water, and it’s a fertilizer specifically formulated for warm-weather grass.
While there are other great choices out there, it’s going to be hard for you to beat everything Scott’s Southern Turf Builder has to offer for Bermuda grass.
Just because you have dead spots on your lawn doesn’t mean you need to accept it as inevitable. With a little hard work and planning, there’s no reason you can’t get those dead patches under control once and for all!
Of course, if you still have any other lawn care questions or you need a little more clarification on how to care for your Bermuda grass lawn, be sure to check out the rest of the great content we have to help you out here!
So, while there are other great choices out there, it’s going to be hard for you to beat everything Scott’s Southern Turf Builder has to offer for Bermuda grass.