Bermuda grass is one of the easiest grasses to grow, but when it comes to growing it in the shade, it might give you a headache. Bermuda is not a particularly shade-tolerant grass. If your lawn has trees or structures that block sunlight, the Bermuda grass could grow in patchy or unwell.
Bermuda grass can create a gorgeous lawn, but typically with a recommended six hours of sunlight. So how do you grow Bermuda grass in the shade?
How to Master Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerance – 2023 Edition
Bermuda grass has a reputation for being one of the sturdiest grass cultivators, but the grass doesn’t do very well on a shaded lawn. It tends to require hours of sunlight. If it lacks sunlight, it starts to thin.
Only hybrid Bermuda grass can grow under the shade undisrupted. The grass is developed in the lab to give it characteristics the natural one doesn’t have. Therefore, to master the shade tolerance of this grass, you must find its hybrid and improved version.
Is Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerant?
Bermuda grass is very much capable of growing in different environments. It will expand beyond control and extend beyond your lawn. Under the shade is where it draws the line. The grass performs poorly under the shade resulting in poor turf quality.
Factors Affecting Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerance
These factors affect Bermuda grass shade tolerance and make the grass grow poorly under the shade.
Genetics and Variety
Genetic transformation is critical for the study of gene function. Through the study of grass genetics, scientists have learned how to improve different grass varieties, including the Bermuda grass. The genetic manipulation of Bermuda grass helps increase its shade tolerance.
Soil and Nutrient Conditions
Bermuda grass thrives in slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6 to 7. It also tolerates slightly alkaline soil. The grass needs three critical nutrients: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are available in most soils.
Light Intensity and Duration
Bermuda grass thrives in sites with direct sun and good drainage. Regular Bermuda grass requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to flourish. The grass thrives in the southern United States because it’s a warm-season grass.
Temperature and Humidity
The average daytime temperature for Bermuda grass is between 95° and 100°F. The soil temperature should be above 65°F for proper growth of the roots, stolons, and rhizomes.
Competition from Other Plants
Bermuda grass is a competitive specie. It chokes its competition by forming a canopy over them. The grass is so dominant it’s considered a weed in over 80 countries. Getting rid of Bermuda grass is not easy, either.
How Do I Grow Bermuda Grass In Shade?
Growing turf under a shade or canopy can be a challenge. It will look thin and patchy even when it gets enough water. Here are some tips on how to grow Bermuda grass in the shade.
Choose a Shade-Tolerant Variety of Bermuda Grass
There’s a shade variety of Bermuda grass that you can choose. It has thin leaves and does well under shady conditions. It features finer and more leaves to help capture limited sunlight. Choose this variety if you intend to grow it under the shade.
Prepare the Soil with Proper Drainage and Nutrients
Even though Bermuda grass is highly tolerant to desert conditions, you should prep the soil with proper drainage and nutrients before planting the seeds. Make sure to use appropriate fertilizer to facilitate healthy growth.
Prune or Remove Nearby Trees and Shrubs that Block Sunlight
Depending on the tree’s height and how wide the branches extend, you can decide to prune the trees or cut some of them down. The latter should be the last resort, but we recommend pruning. Doing so will help improve sunlight penetration.
Use Reflective Mulch To Increase Light Reflection And Reduce Heat Stress
Reflective mulch helps increase light reflection for your Bermuda grass and reduce heat stress on the plant. This gives your plant the essential light required to boost its growth.
Pest and Disease Control
You should fight off insects and pests to keep your Bermuda grass healthy. Grass mites and bugs eat the blades and roots. The most common insects that feed on your Bermuda grass are grub works, cutworms, armyworms, billbugs, fire ants, and Bermuda grass mites.
Aeration and Overseeding
Aeration of the Bermuda grass should be done once or twice a year to help the grass form stronger roots. The roots are good in helping suck water and nutrients for your grass to thrive. After aerating your Bermuda grass, it’s good to overseed into the lawn in the deep holes. Overseeding will help keep your Bermuda grass thick, lush, and healthy.
Make Your Turfgrass Shade-Tolerant!
Bermuda grass may be one of the toughest grass for your lawn, but the jealous type doesn’t like anything getting on its way toward direct sunlight. To overcome this hurdle, grow shade-tolerant Bermuda grass. Where to get it? The Turfgrass Group has it! Our experts have developed the most suitable grass for your lawn because they know how it matters. If you want a special kind of Bermuda grass that can grow under the shade, call us!