Hybrid Bermuda Grass
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What is Hybrid Bermuda Grass?
As the name suggests, hybrid Bermuda grasses are a mixed breed of common Bermuda and another type of grass, and this is done in order to get certain desired traits out of the resulting hybrid grass such as its disease and pest tolerance, color, compact growth, shade tolerance etc.
Hybrid Bermuda Grass (Tifway)
Photo: cultivar413, flickr, cc by 2.0
In what forms the hybrids are available?
unlike the Common Bermuda Grass, Hybrid Bermuda Grasses do not produce seeds, so you won't get their seeds in the market. They are available in the market in the following forms:
Sods - These are cut-outs of existing grass bed that have patches of the grass along with a layer of soil below which is held by the root system. Sods usually come in sizes such as 3 square feet. You can also get Rolls (around 10 square feet each) and even Pallets (450 square feet). Hybrid Bermuda Grass is mainly used to create sods which you can lay to create a beautiful lawn. They are dense and used to create lush green fine textured stretches. Read Bermuda Sods to know all about the Sods.
Plugs - These are usually 2 to 4-inch chunks of sod that may be round or square in shape, and are produced using seedlings that are grown on trays.
Sprigs - These are 3 to 6-inch pieces of grass runners without soil.
Hybrid Bermuda Grass Characteristics
Hybrid Bermuda grass has fine textures. While the improved common Bermuda varieties are also good for lawns, the hybrid Bermuda grasses are popular for their sheer quality. The hybrid varieties are also insect and disease resistant. At lower heights, the hybrids need an extra care and maintenance to grow well.
Hybrid Bermuda grass needs frequent fertilization and over-seeding management techniques with accurate irrigation and drying procedures. If you observe that your hybrid Bermuda lawn is not compact enough and you want to thicken it further, do not simply try to purchase common Bermuda seeds and throw them over the yard. If there are shades on your lawn, the grass will always struggle to grow properly and this technique will not work. However, if there is enough sunlight and no shades, then you need to consider proper aeration of your lawn.
Types of Hybrid Bermuda Grass
Here are the most well known and popular types of hybrid Bermuda grass, their characteristics and applications.
Sunturf is a natural hybrid of C. dactylon and C. transvaalensis. It is originated in S. Africa and introduced in USA in 1949. The color of this hybrid is dark green. It forms a very dense turf with fine textures. It's a low growing variety. This is commonly used in lawns.
Tifgreen Bermuda grass is a hybrid of Cynodon dactylon and C. transvaalensis. This hybrid has the capacity to resists disease, poor irrigation circumstances, high traffic and droughts. It is low growing, dark green grass and spreads quickly. This grass can regenerate quickly as well.
Tifgreen Bermuda grass
It is for this reason that it's quite extensively used in Golf course greens, tees, lawns and commercial landscapes. Weed control chemicals do not damage Tifgreen grass.
Tifdwarf (C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis), this variety is a vegetative mutant of Tifgreen. Tifdwarf is mostly similar with Tifgreen but its leaves and internodes are much shorter than Tifgreen. The green color is also darker than Tifgreen. Tifdwarf becomes reddish-purple in color immediately after the winter. For its superior putting quality it is popularly used for golf greens, tennis courts and bowling greens and such.
Pee Dee (C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis) is also a mutant of Tifgreen. It is a dark green dwarf variety. The texture is very fine and can spread rapidly. For its fast growth, it is quite popular for use in golf greens.
Tifway type is the combination of nice looks and toughness. It is the product of cross between Cynodon dactylon and C. transvalensis germplasma. It is dark green in color with fine textured leaves. The specialty of this grass is that it is persistent, and can grow and spread quickly.
Tifway Bermuda Grass (Close Up)
It also has a property to recover quickly from injury. It is a high quality Bermuda hybrid. Tifway is primarily used for sports fields, golf course fairways, commercial and residential lawns. During winter, Tifway becomes dormant but can recover quickly when temperatures rise. This grass can also survive in shallow waters.
Tifway II is the next improved variety of Tifway. This variety has a better resistant capacity to nematode infestations. It can tolerate the cooler temperatures. But it is not as persistent as Tiflawn. It needs a extra maintenance care for keeping the lawn attractive.
Santa Ana is a thick grass with broader leaves. It can survive even in dry desert but need continuous mowing for maintenance. One of the unique characteristics of this grass is that it can resist smog. The main application of this grass is in the golf field, home lawns, tennis courts, sports fields etc. This type of grass can also be planted in low desert valleys.
Tiflawn is a very old variety. It is a dense turf with good texture. It has a good tolerance to drought. The growth is very fast and recovers quickly from adverse situations. It is an excellent choice for athletic fields, lawns with high traffic areas and parks.
FloraTex is an improved variety of common Bermuda hybrids. Its developed in Texas and Florida. It has a medium texture and has drought resistance capacity. It comparatively requires less fertilizer for growth and development. The mode of plantation of this variety is vegetative. It's commonly used in lawns.
How to buy Hybrid Bermuda?
Bermuda Hybrid varieties are generally developed in form of either plugs, sprigs or sod. You can contact a local landscape or sodding company in order to get information about availability of these varieties. If you are based in the USA, you can visit this Amazon Online Store
to scan through the products related to Bermuda grass including seeded and sodded varieties, check out the reviews, and purchase online.
2) Check out Bermuda Grass
for a complete guide on Bermuda Grass and Lawn Care.