How to Grow Coastal Bermudagrass in Texas

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Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a hybrid bermudagrass, which means it is an improved variety that does not produce viable seed. Therefore, grow it via planting sprigs, which are small, viable sections of coastal bermudagrass turf with roots and top growth attached. Coastal bermudagrass is an acceptable grass for lawns and sports turfs because it has lower water requirements and recovers from traffic wear faster than other popular turf grasses, such as St. Augustinegrass. Coastal bermudagrass is appropriate for growing in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 to 10, which includes all of Texas except the northernmost counties.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test results
  • Recommended soil amendments
  • Coastal bermudagrass sprigs
  • Garden trowel
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Begin preparation of the planting area for the coastal bermudagrass in February or March. This is when the sprigs are dormant. They won't start growing until nighttime temperatures remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Choose a location to grow coastal bermudagrass that is well-drained and receives at least six hours of sun each day. Coastal bermudagrass is not shade-tolerant.

  • Take a soil test to find out what amendments are needed to grow coastal bermudagrass in the location you have chosen. Without the proper soil amendments, coastal bermudagrass will perform poorly and cannot compete with weeds. For assistance with a soil test, contact your local county agricultural extension office or the Texas A&M University soil, water and forage testing laboratory.

  • Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches to loosen the soil and remove all perennial vegetation that will compete with the coastal bermudagrass. Remove all vegetation with a rake, hoe or mechanical device.

  • Add all soil amendments that the soil test results recommend, over the top of the soil. Till the soil amendments into the top 6 inches of soil. Rake the area smooth.

  • Order certified fresh sprigs of coastal bermudagrass from a reputable dealer. The sprigs must be certified to avoid contamination of the sprigs with noxious weeds and must be fresh. Sprigs are ordered by the bushel. Four bushels will plant an acre with sprigs planted 2 feet apart. The sprigs spread by underground rhizomes and overground stolons during the growing season. For faster coverage, simply order more sprigs for planting.

  • Plant the sprigs 1 to 2 feet apart depending on the number of sprigs you have available by hand or with a garden trowel. Sprigs are planted 2 inches deep with the roots in the ground and some of the top above the ground. Firm the soil around the roots of the sprigs, but don't cover the top of the sprigs with soil.

  • Water the sprigs once they are planted and keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, until the coastal bermudagrass is established. Then water as needed to keep it from going dormant in hot weather. Withhold water during the winter unless the winter is unusually dry.

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