How does one identify Bermuda by type?

woodlandman(Z8-GA)May 3, 2010

My lawn is Bermuda. I have no idea what type of Bermuda it is. I don't even know if it is Common Bermuda or a hybrid. Is there any way to get a more definitive narrowing of the type?

The lawn was installed in the year 2000 when the house was built. The builder has left the area, so there is no way to contact him. I am the second owner of the home; and the original owner doesn't know what type of Bermuda was used. I do know that the lawn was sodded; because I have found the plastic netting when digging down through the roots. I know that hybrid Bermuda is sodded; but does that guarantee that I have hybrid and not common?

Other than the sparse information listed above, I don't know much about my lawn. Any suggestions about where I could go for help?

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bermudakid(9, Southern Cal)

There are a few ways to figure out which type it is. Definitively may be more time than it is worth. But....
First call the nearest sod supplier, ask what they supply. Get a picture of what they offer, compare it to what you have.
Second choice find a nursery that may have left over sod from a job or pallets they order to have some on stock for walk in small jobs. Make sure you cut out a small 5 inch by 5 inch piece of your sod to compare it.

look up sod farm/suppliers in the area on the net and give them a call.

I am in Cal so the variety might be smaller. I put a sight in for example. You might have many more choices. Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: sod

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:13AM
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Many of the Bermuda hybrids were bred for Athletic type turf -- meaning shorter stolons, shorter blades, more blades on the stolon, etc.... Think Golf Course greens....

Old Fashioned common Bermuda is much more coarse with long stolons and has longer blades... but can also be much more drought, disease, and bug resistant than the new Golf turf type varieties...

If you are really that curious.... I would take a hand full of sprigs over to the local Sod farm... Ask the sod farmer what sort of Bermuda it looks like. He will probably know.

While you are there, buy some fertilizer...



    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Thanks for the replies. The question of type entered my mind as I was reading TW's Bermuda Bible. Since the recommended cutting height differs for the hybrids and common Bermuda, I just figured it would be a nice thing to know.

Google tells me that Tifway 419 is, far and away, the most used Bermuda grass in Georgia. When I narrowed the search down to local sod suppliers (Columbus, GA area), the answer seemed to be the same.

My builder was from out of state and originally from a northern state where Bermuda would not have been used. I am going to assume that he would have been unfamiliar with southern grasses; and just used whatever was most prevalent among the sod suppliers in this area. Yes, I know what they say about "assume"; but in this instance I am going to bet with the odds.

Oh, there is one other indicator that I have discovered. My house is in a golf course community; and the grass used on the tee boxes appears to be identical to what I have. The groundskeeper tells me that the tee boxes are Tifway 419.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:09PM
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If it is a New Build home 99% chance it is Tif 419

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:29PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Common bermuda will send up seed heads that look like the fuzzy things in this picture.

The other bermuda types will not.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 3:33PM
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I grew up in a place that had a whole lot of old fashioned "Common" Bermuda grass all over the place... It definitely has a very different look than the "New" Bermudas out there. The "Old Stuff" isn't exactly the prettiest thing for a yard... Kinda sparse and really fluffy and stringy looking.. It reminds me of green, knotty hair laying on top of the ground...

The old Common Bermuda really never impresses you as something that grows particularly well... until you try to get rid of it.... Then you find out your yard has been assimilated... and the subsoil is actually now a Giant sandy colored Carpet-like Mat of Bermuda grass rhizomes..... To your horror, you discover your entire "yard" was actually living 18" under ground all along... The stuff up on top is superfluous... kinda like the Fruiting body of a mushroom....

My yard has that distinct "Golf course grass" look to it as well... Probably the same stuff as you got. You wouldn't believe it was the same grass as that "Old Fashioned" Real Bermuda....

It does seem to respond quite nicely to high Nitrogen fertilizer, though.... I think you could spread Miracle Grow right out of the box and it wouldn't be too much nitrogen...



    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 4:24PM
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I have hybrid Bermuda in my front lawn and am noticing in spots these seed heads like those provided in the above picture. What does that mean, that some common Bermuda has invaded my hybrid Bermuda and I am keeping my grass mowed short. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:58AM
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wrager(Z5 OH)

Hybrid Bermuda will also have seeds, it's just they are sterile. I noticed my 419 showing seeds yesterday...time to cut.

I have had 4 new homes in GA, starting in the early '90's.
Everyone had 419 installed by the builder.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:33AM
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david_tx(7a North Texas)

Seed heads are a sign of stress in hybrid Bermuda. When I start seeing them it usually because I need to water. I used to see them when I needed to fertilize but that stopped when I went organic. I'm so paranoid about underfeeding because I can't quickly apply nitrogen with cattle feed so I make a point to fertilize at least once per month.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:39PM
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I have hybrid Bermuda in my front lawn and am noticing in spots these seed heads like those provided in the above picture. What does that mean

All Bermuda grass will send up seed heads, even hybrids but the seeds are sterile. But yes it is common, or I should say normal there will be an invasion of common types in every hybrid sod lawn You can thank the birds, rain, and wind for that.

Seed heads in Hybrid lawns are cause from 2 things, infrequent or improper mowing techniques, or stress. It is a natural defense mechanism left in the genes.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:40PM
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What would be an example of improper mowing techniques as described /\ /\ /\

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:38PM
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That doesn't sound like Sod if there is plastic netting then I would guess it was seeded. Regarding mowing if you see seed heads its growing too long you should mow bermuda every 3-4 days 1" 1/2 in length or lower.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:45PM
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mistermango(7a East TN)

I'm bumping this conversation up with a hope that someone has an answer for the OP's question.

Sod farms in my area aren't that helpful, and I have no idea of the installation history of my lawn.

If I were to post a photo of my Bermuda lawn, would that be enough info for someone on this forum to ID it as either common or hybrid?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:34PM
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I'm trying to restore my St Augustine Lawn. It's filled with what looks like Tropical Crabgrass - but that also looks like your pictures of Bermuda Grass

How do I identify what I have?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:56PM
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