Is there a suggested protocol for planting seeded bermudagrass in fields with a history of weed
Competition from other grasses and weeds is the number one reason for bermudagrass stand failure.
Taking steps upfront to reduce this competition will increase your chance of successful establishment.
When planting in fields or paddocks with a history of weeds, don’t get in a hurry to plant. If soil
temperature is not consistently 65○
For higher at a depth of 4”, bermudagrass will not germinate. When the seed does germinate it will be weaker and more susceptible to competition. Prepare the seedbed well
in advance to allow the first flush of crabgrass and other weed and grass competition to emerge. Use a
non-selective, non-residual herbicide such as glyphosate to kill this flush of weeds before planting
seeded varieties of bermuda like Cheyenne II, Ranchero Frio or Mohawk. Once the bermuda becomes
established, there are several herbicides that can be used to control many weed species.
Are there management techniques that can help insure successful seeded bermudagrass stand
Yes. For quicker germination and more vigorous seedlings, seeded bermudagrass planting should be delayed
until late spring when soil temperatures have stabilized at 65 degrees or higher. After the bermuda germinates
and begins to tiller (develop runners), apply 30-40 lbs nitrogen/ac. Monitor broadleaf weed and summer annual
grass emergence. If broadleaf weeds become troublesome, a low dose (1-1½ pts/A) of 2,4-D amine may be
applied when the bermuda begins to develop runners. If broadleaf weeds become a problem before runners
develop, mow the area as needed to reduce weed competition and shading of the seedling bermuda plants. Keep
annual grasses and johnsongrass periodically mowed until the bermuda is well established. Do not graze or
harvest for hay until the bermuda is 6-8” or more in height. If harvested for hay, leave at least a 2.0” - 2.5” of
stubble height. Allow the bermuda to obtain a minimum of 3-4” of re-growth prior to a killing frost.
Can a field planted in seeded bermudagrass in late spring or early summer be overseeded with
ryegrass in the fall?
Pennington forage experts do not recommend overseeding newly established bermuda with winter
annuals or clover the fall following spring planting. Bermuda roots and stolons need time to establish
and mature prior to introducing competitive forages. In fact, if weather or other circumstances prevent
the bermuda from becoming fully established during year one, it may be necessary to delay overseeding
the field until the 3rd fall after planting.
Will Cheyenne II seeded-type forage bermudagrass revert back to common after only a few years
No. Cheyenne II is a certified, stable variety. It is not a mixture or blend of seed containing common
bermuda. As such, it remains as is; i.e. an excellent yielding, highly digestible, improved forage
bermudagrass year after year.
What management practices are necessary to keep a bermuda stand thick and productive?
To begin, take a soil sample to determine soil pH, phosphorus and potassium levels. While bermudagrass is
considered a hardy and low maintenance forage, it cannot tolerate low soil fertility over long periods of time. To
cut costs, farmers often apply ample amounts of nitrogen but fail to maintain proper soil pH and adequate soil
levels of phosphorus and potassium. This leads to poor yields, plant decline and thinning stands. According to
forage specialists, for every ton of bermuda hay taken per acre, approximately 45 lbs. of nitrogen, 10 lbs. of
phosphorus and 48 lbs. of potash per acre are removed with it. Potassium is of particular importance because it
is a key component of cell wall structure giving the plant improved winter hardiness and disease resistance.
Potassium also increases rhizome and stolon production which allows bermuda stands to remain thick and