5 Things You Should Know About the Best Bermuda Grass for California (2022)
Sod and Seed Inc. has always believed in grounding ourselves in the researching and testing behind the best grass types, especially in our home state of California! We will share the top things you should know about the types of ratings we use to provide you with the best Bermuda grasses. We apply over 20 years of knowledge and expertise to give you the most advanced types of bermuda grass, helping you match the best turf type that will suit your needs. Some factors we consider are adaptability to the various climates, types of soil, and conditions.
Top 5 Ratings for the Best Bermuda Grass in California
Our rating system is based on proven standards for a healthy Bermuda grass lawn. These standards are based on two things: what each grass needs to thrive and the conditions lawns are most commonly exposed to. Each type of Bermuda grass for California is based on the 5 factors explained below, which are drought tolerance, heat tolerance, disease resistance, wear and tear recovery, and shade tolerance.
Bermuda Grass Drought Tolerance
Between climate change and the growing scarcity of water, drought tolerance is a critical factor to consider when choosing a grass lawn. In fact, the level of water use is a wise consideration to make when choosing any plant or making a home investment (this extends to commercial uses and athletics fields as well). Bermuda grasses are notorious for their drought tolerance, meaning they require less water than other turf types and can remain alive for extended periods of time without being watered or being watered less. If you are looking for a lawn that will require less watering for both environmental and/or cost-efficient reasons, we have them! Our top 5 Bermuda grasses for drought tolerance in California are our Celebration Bermuda, Tifway 2, Tifway II and Tifway 419. In fact, as we previously shared in our blog, “Celebration Bermuda Turf Grass”, our Celebration Bermuda has been researched over the past 15 years by institutions such as North Carolina State University (NCSU), Clemson University, and Texas A & M, giving us the research and evidence that the Celebration Bermuda is a top performer for drought tolerance. So, turn down the sprinkler settings and worry less about that high water bill! Have the best of both worlds, a beautiful lawn and lower water usage.
Bermuda Grass Disease Resistance
Disease resistance is a costly and frustrating factor lawn owners should pay close attention to, but thankfully, one factor Bermuda grass lawn owners don’t need to worry about too much. A Bermuda’s natural structure is resistant to disease itself because it is dense and makes it hard to penetrate. Disease like weeds will have a hard time creeping into a Bermuda grass lawn, making them high performing in disease resistance ratings. Once again, our Celebration Bermuda takes the lead in disease resistance with the highest possible rating of 10. It is followed with equal ratings of 9.5 by our Latitude 36, Tifway 419, Tifway 2 and Tifway II. We should warn you, no grass is truly and 100% resistant to disease because we cannot control every single factor affecting our sod lawn. However, there are precautions we can take to decrease the likelihood of disease infesting lawns with proper lawn care. For example, as shared in Bob Vila’s blog, “Solved! What to Do About Lawn Fungus”, brown patching is often an indicator of fungus in your lawn. Quick science lesson: fungus forms in and loves humidity; heat evaporates water; and cooler temperatures foster conditions humidity thrives in. So, if you water your lawn in the morning, it has the whole day to absorb the water it needs and evaporate excess humidity. However, if you water your lawn later in the day or at night, the cooler night temperatures will cause the humidity to remain on your lawn overnight, increasing your chances of developing fungus. What is the lesson here? Water your lawn early in the morning to help prevent the growth of fungus. Although California generally has moderate weather (call us biased, but in our opinion California has the best weather!), there are those occasional nights that are exceptionally cold, along with generally cool night climate during fall and winter that make your lawn susceptible (there are proven reasons why this is a top factor to consider in California). However, with timely precautions and intentional lawn care on our end, and the variety of turf types cultivated to resist factors such as disease, A California bermuda sod lawn that is well tended to has an above average ability to resist disease.
Bermuda Grass Wear Recovery
Bermuda grasses are widely known for their top-notch wear recovery. Have you ever seen those golf courses with grass that looks like carpet? It’s probably a Bermuda grass. That’s why Bermuda grass is a top choice for athletic fields or sports fields, because they have an amazing ability to recover from wear and tear. Did you know that that our Celebration Bemruda was used for the 2016 Olympics? This Bermuda is literally an Olympic bermuda grass! Although a Bermuda grass’ blades are generally smaller, thinner and finer, they have an incredible ability to recover from wear and tear from things like foot traffic. Are you looking for a natural ground cover to have your kids play in? A bermuda grass would be a good choice. They can play their favorite games without worrying about damaging the sod - tag, soccer, or tumble time for the little ones! Rest assured, a Bermuda grass will recover from those social events and playful activities - from both kids and adults!
Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerance
Although a bermuda grass lawn is at its best during summer, it can often still be exposed to shady conditions. Actually, it makes a lot of sense to prepare for the summer heat with things like tress or canopies for shade. No surprise, bermudagrasses are also shade-tolerant. In California, some shade is inevitable, with high buildings in cities casting shade. For example, San Francisco has those tall skyscrapers and the classic, tall Victorian homes casting shade all around them. Our Celebration Bermuda is in the lead yet again with the highest shade tolerance rating, followed by our Latitude 36, Tifway 419, Tifway 2 and Tifway II.
Bermuda Grass Heat Tolerance
Before we go into heat tolerance of our bermudagrasses, let's quickly make the distinction between drought tolerance and heat tolerance. Drought tolerance refers to the ability to tolerate conditions with less water, while heat tolerance refers to the ability to tolerate higher temperatures. Great, now that we’ve established that, let's move on. Although California isn’t a hot, high-heat state, we do get our occasional heat waves, or extra hot summers. With climate change, temperatures in general are getting hotter. Remember that heat wave in 2017 when San Francisco hit its record high temperature of 106 degrees? San Francisco was literally a “hot mess.” We bet the bermudagrass lawns did just fine during this heat wave! So whether you live in the hot hills of San Jose, Oakland, or notoriously hot cities like Concord, Oakley, Napa, Sacramento, Stockton, Bakersfield, Fresno or even Las Vegas, a bermuda grass lawn is a smart choice. For heat tolerance, our Celebration Bermuda and Latitude 36 are actually tied with the highest possible rating of 10, followed by the Tifway 419, Tifway 2 and Tifway II with ratings of 8 (still excellent!).
Let's wrap things up! There are many reasons why bermudagrasses make great lawns, and for California, we look at 5 top factors: drought tolerance, disease resistance, shade tolerance, wear recovery and heat tolerance. What would be the main reason you would choose a bermuda grass lawn? Whenever you feel ready for your new Bermuda sod lawn, you know where to find them! Whether you go with our Celebration Bermuda, Latitude 36, Tifway’s or some of our other bermudagrasses like our Santa Ana Bermuda, rest assured we offer you the highest quality and research based Bermuda grasses.
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