It’s early in spring but your lawn grass is still brown and you wonder when will it be out of dormancy. This might depend on the type of grass you have. So, when does Bermuda grass turn green?
In regions where Bermuda grass enters into winter dormancy, it greens up in early spring when the ground temperature rises above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) consistently for several days. This can happen anywhere between February and April depending on climate and weather patterns of your region.
When does Bermuda Grass Turn Green
Bermuda is a warm-season grass that enter winter dormancy when planted in regions that receive cool temperatures. The grass will turn green in spring when ground temperature start warm up above 65 degrees Fahrenheit consistently for at least 5 days.
Greening can happen anywhere between the month of February and April in spring depending on climatic conditions and weather patterns of your region. This is when temperature rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit during daytime and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Being a warm-season grass, Bermuda will struggle to produce chlorophyll when soil temperature drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius). Therefore, it will lose its green color to brown gradually as it enter winter dormancy.
It’s important to understand that dormant Bermuda grass is not dead. It still require care and maintenance. Most grasses will need less water during winter due to low temperature and high precipitation. However, be sure to check soil moisture content of your lawn regularly. Winter drought can cause your grass to desiccate.
Fertilizing early in spring after dormancy can also help to green up fast. Once the lawn has begun to turn green, supply them with a slow-release fertilizer containing high nitrogen ratio to promote a lush green color growth.
How to Keep Bermuda Grass Green in Winter
As a warm-season grass, Bermuda will enter dormancy when ground temperatures drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 degrees Celsius). Fortunately, in most areas where this grass is planted, they don’t experience long freezes. Therefore, it’s possible to keep your lawn grass green throughout the year. Here is how to do so.
1. Over-seed with a cool-season grass
Bermuda grass will go dormant during winter in area that receive cool temperature. Over-seeding with a cool-season grass early in the fall will guarantee a green lawn in winter. As warm-season Bermuda grass enter dormancy, the cool-season grass will be flourishing. Ryegrass is the best choice to over-seed with Bermuda.
2. Know when to water
Knowing when to water your grass is critical when intending to keep it green throughout the winter. Be sure to water your lawn once a month in case of a winter drought.
3. Fertilize your lawn
Fertilizing in fall will keep the grass in good condition through winter. Choose a slow-release fertilizer containing high percentage of nitrogen and potassium. Nitrogen will help the grass to maintain green color while potassium will boost resilience against tough winter conditions.
4. Aerate the soil
Summer weather conditions drive moisture out of the soil to become compact. It’s difficult for grass to develop roots and penetrate properly in such soil. Aerating the lawn will help to de-compacts the soil and allow better root penetration for a greener growth.
5. Keep your lawn clean
To maintain a green lawn grass through the winter months, it is essential to keep it clean. Pick or rake fallen tree leaves, branches and other debris that choke off sunlight to your grass. Allowing them to pile up can introduce harmful moisture and mold.
6. Use lawn-safe deicer
Use a lawn-safe deicer to get rid of ice on the footpaths or driveway. Using salt as a deicer is not good for lawn. Runoff from deicing can burn grasses along the paved areas. This can cause brown patches or dead grass in your lawn during winter.
Why is my Bermuda not Turning Green?
In some circumstances, Bermuda grass may fail to turn green even after exiting winter period due to two reasons. First, the grass is still dormant. The soil temperature may still be too cold for Bermuda grass to come out of dormancy. Secondly, it may be suffering from winter desiccation.
In areas where Bermuda grass enter dormancy in winter season, you will expect the grass to start greening up early in spring. However, this process can delay if the soil temperature is still too cold for the grass to be active. The grass will tend to green up when ground temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The second reason usually happen when your lawn grass is affected by winter drought. Dry winter weather can damage grass roots and prevent it from greening up fast in spring. In rare occasions, this condition can also kill your grass. Fortunately, there are ways you can overcome this situation.
In dry winter conditions keep on checking the soil moisture content of your lawn. If the soil feels dry, water your lawn for at least an inch once a month. This will guarantee a greener lawn early in spring.
How to wake up Bermuda Grass (Bring it out of dormancy)
After long months of winter, Bermuda grass is sluggish and require special care to bring it out of dormancy. With proper maintenance and care, your grass will be ready to grow green and flourish again. Here is how to kick start your lawn’s growth out of dormancy.
1. Mow the Grass
It’s okay to mow your grass early in spring to wake it up from winter slumber. Be sure not to scalp your lawn, set the mower blade to 3½ inches. New green grass blades should be able to grow around the older brown leaves. You can use a mulching blade to incorporate the grass clippings back into the lawn.
Once the grass starts to grow again, it’s okay to fertilize your lawn. Choose quality slow-release N-P-K fertilizer containing high nitrogen ratio. For instance, a 29-3-4 N-P-K fertilizer is ideal for bringing grass out of dormancy. It contain high percentage of nitrogen to boost a lush green growth.
3. Water the Grass
Naturally, rain will bring Bermuda grass out of dormancy. However, if rainfall is insufficient, water your lawn even and deeply at least once a week. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning when the weather is cool and less windy.
4. Apply Pre-Emergent Weed Killer
When the soil is fertilized and rehydrated, the grass will grow vigorously and so will be the weeds. Therefore, it’s ideal to apply a pre-emergent weed killer to prevent them from germinating. Allowing weeds to grow will compete for nutrients and other natural resources with grass.
5. Re-Seed Bare Spots
Identify bare spots in your lawn and re-seed them as first as possible. Crabgrass and other weeds will take advantage of the bare spots to grow and smother your grass. Bare spots in your lawn can also expose the soil to erosion.
Bermuda grass will start to come out of dormancy when ground temperature warms up and there is no overnight frost. Mowing, fertilizing, watering and controlling the weeds will help the grass to come out of dormancy quickly. It will also help the grass to green up fast.