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How Short Should You Cut Bermuda Grass? Get the Pro Tips Here! (2023)

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You’ve worked hard for a lush, green bermudagrass lawn. But how short is too short when it comes to mowing? Knowing the ideal height and understanding best practices for achieving it will help keep your lawn looking its best.

A few simple tips will give you all the knowledge needed to maintain and care for an impeccable landscape. From sharpening blades before every cut to removing clippings after each session, here’s what you need to do to get perfect-length turfgrass every time.

Understanding Bermuda Grass

how short to cut bermuda grass
Knowing the best mowing height for your bermudagrass and keeping it maintained will help keep your lawn looking sharp! Irrigation techniques, soil aeration, weed prevention, and disease prevention are important factors in maintaining a healthy bermudagrass lawn.

The OSU-developed Tahoma 31 variety is adapted to mowing heights between 0.38 inches and 1.5 inches; however, popular varieties like TifTuf Latitude 36 Northbridge Iron Cutter Monaco Riviera Yukon Tifway Astro U-3 Common Bermudagrass have different recommended heights ranging from 1/4 inch to 3/4 of an inch depending on the type of grass you choose.

If growing under shady conditions, maintain at slightly higher cut than normal, as shade tolerance is reduced with shorter cuts, while large patch can be caused by too low of a cutting height or not using a sharp enough blade on the mower, which means more maintenance for those high-maintenance lawns!

Improved turf-type Bermuda grass offers better winter hardiness but still requires proper care during the establishment phase, such as regular fertilization, watering, and frequent light topdressing with composted organic matter, along with proper irrigation techniques and soil aeration when needed.

Proper mowing also plays an important role – always raise the cutting height in summer months, allowing deeper rooting, while avoiding scalping that can cause uneven browning, leading to recovery time before being able to enjoy improved turf appearance again!

The Ideal Mowing Height for Bermuda Grass

The Ideal Mowing Height for Bermuda Grass
To maintain a lush lawn of bermudagrass, the perfect mowing height should be properly picked and practiced. The ideal height for mowing bermuda grass is between 0.38 and 1.5 inches, depending on the variety grownu2014this can vary from season to season.

Factors like shade tolerance, soil fertility levels, irrigation scheduling or weed control measures can also affect the ideal mowing height. To avoid over-mowing or scalping, it’s important to adjust your mower setting and keep blades sharp. This will prevent tearing leaves off while making turns on sidewalks or driveways, which can lead to reduced plant health and an ugly browning of the turf.

Fertilization and insect control treatments should also be used to keep the lawn looking great year round.

The Best Time to Mow Bermuda Grass

The Best Time to Mow Bermuda Grass
Now is the perfect time to ensure your bermudagrass lawn looks its best. Mow it at the recommended height. The OSU-developed Tahoma 31 variety grows best between 0.38 and 1.5 inches. Other varieties may require different heights, depending on their sunlight requirements, soil pH, and watering frequency.

Raise the cut slightly during warm months for deeper rooting. Don’t remove more than one third at a time though! Consider pre-emergent herbicide and lawn insecticide applications for optimal weed control. Fungal prevention can help too, with regular fertilization that matches each variety’s needs.

Tips for Mowing Bermuda Grass

Tips for Mowing Bermuda Grass

Mowing your Bermuda grass correctly is key for a healthy and attractive lawn. To start, make sure your mower blade is sharp to ensure the cleanest cut possible.
Adjust the setting on your mower so that you’re cutting no more than one-third of the plant at each pass. This’ll help keep it looking lush and green!
Remember to remove clippings after each session, and vary directions each time you mow to avoid compaction or scalping of turfgrass.

Use a Sharp Mower Blade

To ensure your bermudagrass lawn looks its best, sharpen your mower blade for a neat and clean trim. Properly maintained blades will cut the grass at an even height and help keep weeds from germinating by cutting weed seeds in half before they can take root.

Mulching benefits of clippings also increase when using sharp blades, as finely-chopped bits are returned to the soil providing valuable nutrients while reducing irrigation needs over time.

Sharpening should be done on a regular basis during peak summer mole cricket activity or whenever you notice frayed leaf tips on the grass plants – both signs that it’s time to sharpen up!

Regular use of any herbicide may require additional frequent sharpening as well; always follow instructions closely when using chemicals around turfgrasses!

To achieve optimal results with Bermuda Grass management, make sure to invest in proper soil amendments and disease prevention measures along with following recommended cutting frequency guidelines set forth by OSU Extension experts for this variety type. Keeping those blades nice and sharp is key for success no matter what kind of lawn you have!

Adjust Mower Setting

Adjust the mower settings to match the recommended cutting height for your bermudagrass variety type. It’s an ideal time to adjust irrigation schedules and consider starting a disease control program or long-term turfgrass maintenance plan. Popular bermuda grass varieties for Oklahoma lawns include Tahoma 31, TifTuf, Latitude 36, Northbridge, Iron Cutter and more; each of these have specific mowing frequency and cutting heights. Keep blades sharpened to maintain optimal height during hot summers. Cutting too low may thin out areas and cause weeds/disease, so raise the cut but don’t go overboard. Avoid scalping late in summer due to longer growth cycles.

Remove Clippings

Maintain a healthy lawn and reduce clutter by properly disposing of clippings after mowing.

To keep your bermudagrass looking its best, here are some important maintenance tips:

Watering – Most turfgrasses need an inch or more of water per week to stay green and healthy.

Dethatching – If needed, dethatch in late winter before the herbicide application date.

Edging – Regular edging helps give the lawn a neat appearance.

Mulching/Aerating – Aeration can help with disease resistance and compaction issues. Mulching square foot pieces of sod into place is beneficial for nutrient uptake as well as weed control.

Mow in Different Directions

Vary your mowing pattern throughout the season to keep your lawn looking its bestu2014try alternating cutting directions for a neat, professional look. This is especially important when it comes to Bermuda grass since it requires extra care and attention.

Mow in different directions every week or two; if you usually go north-south, switch up east-west occasionally. Doing so will help prevent soil compaction problems from forming due to excessive wear on one area of turfgrass. It also promotes better aeration of the soil underneath by allowing water, sunlight and air into deeper layers of root growth more easily than if you just went over each section multiple times in one direction only.

Not only that, but this technique helps reduce broadleaf weed infestations, which can occur faster with repeated same-direction mowing patterns. It also avoids scalping issues later in summer months when raising height cut should be done judiciously prior to an herbicide application date being set.

This should be done according to local recommendations for optimum turf health benefits or disease prevention measures set forth by leading universities like OSU’s Extension Services. They have decades worth of researched data available regarding proper pruning practices, specific for certain varieties grown within their region such as Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass. This is used extensively on Major League Baseball fields across America, including Oklahoma’s own home teams!

Additional Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Bermuda Grass Lawn

Additional Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Bermuda Grass Lawn
Maintaining a healthy Bermuda grass lawn requires more than just mowing. You must also pay attention to soil health, fertilization, weed control, insect control, and disease control.

To keep your lawn looking its best, the right amount of upkeep and care is needed. Cutting the grass at the perfect height for optimal growth will ensure it stays green and lush all year round.

Soil Health

Keep your turfgrass healthy and lush by ensuring the soil beneath is in optimal condition! Perform a soil test first. It’ll help ensure proper pH balance, weed prevention, irrigation methods, and organic fertilizers are used correctly. Identify what amendments are needed based on the results, then use them wisely – e.g. apply 2-3 lbs of actual nitrogen per 1 thousand square feet no more than four times a year, with applications spaced about six weeks apart.

Fertilize bermudagrass late winter/early spring before growth begins and mid summer when active growth slows. Aeration can increase water movement into deeper parts of soils, promoting root development and reducing compaction from heavy traffic.

Following these management practices allows for better absorption of nutrients, providing stronger disease resistance, improved drought tolerance, increased stress relief, and greater overall health benefits.


Fertilizing your bermudagrass regularly is like giving it a vitamin boost, helping ensure its health and resilience against environmental stresses. Watering strategies should be addressed to provide water without causing runoff or puddles. Organic options are available for those looking for an alternative to synthetic fertilizers; however, take caution not to over-fertilize as this can cause large pH changes in the soil.

If composting benefits are desired, mulching alternatives may also be considered, such as using shredded leaves instead of grass clippings, which have more nutrients than tree leaves do.

The most important management practices that will result in improved turfgrass performance include:

  • Proper watering techniques
  • Correct fertilizer application methods at the right times
  • Appropriate amounts of nitrogen applied throughout the season.

Proper maintenance is necessary for achieving optimal growth conditions, while avoiding insect damage due to lack of control measures implemented before any infestation takes place. This will result in the best results overall, if done correctly on a regular basis.

Weed Control

Weed control is key for a healthy bermudagrass lawn, so make sure to keep on top of it! Water deeply and evenly and provide adequate sunlight. Fungicides can help treat common diseases like brown patch or root rot.

Aerate to reduce compaction and have your soil tested annually for nutrient levels. Be careful when using granular fertilizer; too much can encourage weed growth.

Do pre-emergent herbicide applications around the same date each year, varying by location. This provides protection against annual weeds before they emerge.

Common bermuda grass diseases include large patch (Rhizoctonia solani) and dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa). Treat these early in fall when temperatures drop below 80°F during the day, and mow often at recommended heights during late summer.

Insect Control

Protect your bermudagrass from pesky insects with regular insect control treatments! Biological controls such as beneficial insects, neem oil and other organic sprays can be used to naturally reduce the number of pests in a lawn.

If chemical control is necessary, use only EPA-registered products for turfgrass applications. Be sure to follow all label instructions when applying any pesticide or herbicide product.

Plus, note the next pre-emergent herbicide application date based on warmer temperatures; this will help prevent weed germination before fine bladed turf develops during cooler spring months followed by first frosts following summer heat waves.

With careful attention and proper maintenance practices you’ll have a healthy bermuda grass lawn throughout the growing season!

Disease Control

To help protect your bermudagrass from diseases, stay on top of regular treatments and applications. For example, if you notice brown patches forming, applying fungicides may be necessary. Aerate soil every two years to reduce compaction and encourage healthy root growth.

Watering is important. Avoid overwatering, but keep the grass well hydrated during dry spells. Follow local watering guidelines or use a timer-controlled sprinkler system.

Pruning should be done sparingly but regularly. Emphasize airflow around plants to keep them disease free and prevent shade from developing under trees and shrubs. This can lead to turfgrass disease problems, such as red thread fungus infections caused by waterlogging due to lack of sun exposure.

Mulch for aesthetic appeal and to suppress weeds without adding chemical herbicides into the environment. This helps beneficial insects like bees and butterflies that are essential pollinators.

Thatch (remove excess dead material) to improve drainage. This is especially helpful in coastal areas of South Carolina where soils tend toward clayey composition. It can become compacted easily and lead to poor plant health due to improper water flow.

Remember, no matter what variety you have planted, never cut more than one third off any given blade lengthwise at any given time. Otherwise scalping will become inevitable come summertime, damaging weakened grass blades. Maintain mowing heights between 038” and 1/2 inch, depending on the variety grown. Follow OSU Extension fact sheets for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of mower should I use for my Bermuda grass?

When it comes to maintaining a beautiful Bermuda grass lawn, the type of mower you use is just as important as aerating, over seeding, watering and mulching. Think of your mower like an artist’s brush – it needs to be sharp and in good condition for maximum effect.

It should also match the variety grown; popular varieties include Tahoma 31, TifTuf and Northbridge.

The key is never to cut more than one-third off at any given time – think about using wide turns so you don’t tear up the turf or scalp too low during summer months when grass growth slows down.

With these tips in mind you’ll have your Bermuda looking like a masterpiece!

Is Bermuda grass suitable for areas with a lot of shade?

Yes, Bermuda grass is suitable for areas with a lot of shade. Adjust the mowing height to 1-1/2 inches in shaded areas to help your lawn thrive and stay healthy. Provide adequate watering and sunlight exposure, and maintain quality soil conditions free of weeds or fungal infections. With proper maintenance and care, your bermuda grass will stay green even under shady conditions!

How often should I fertilize my Bermuda grass?

Fertilizing your Bermuda grass is an important part of keeping it healthy and lush. The amount of fertilizer you use and the timing should depend on a few factors, including how much sunlight your lawn gets, what type of soil it’s planted in, whether or not weed prevention is necessary, as well as regular aeration practices.

For optimal growth, apply fertilizer to newly established lawns every 4-8 weeks during the growing season with a balanced formula that contains nitrogen for leafy green growth; phosphorus for root development; and potassium to build disease resistance.

Watering frequency will also need to be taken into account when fertilizing – water deeply before applying any fertilizer so that its nutrients can reach deep down into the roots!

What type of fertilizer should I use on my Bermuda grass?

When it comes to your Bermuda grass, proper fertilization is essential for a healthy lawn. The type of fertilizer you should use depends on the soil pH level and light exposure of your lawn. Generally, applying a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen will help maintain healthy growth in sunny areas with neutral or slightly acidic soil. For shadier spots or more acidic soils, choose an organic fertilizer with higher phosphorous content to promote root growth and disease resistance without overfeeding the grass blades.

Watering according to seasonality is also important. In summer months water deeply but less often; in cooler climates, water lightly multiple times a week when needed. Aerating once every two years can further improve absorption, as well as reduce compaction from foot traffic, if applicable. Don’t forget about fungicides, which may be necessary depending on climate conditions.

Are there any special techniques that I should use when mowing Bermuda grass?

Mowing your Bermuda grass lawn properly is essential for optimum health and appearance. Always follow the recommended mowing height for your variety; OSU-developed Tahoma 31 should be kept at 38-5 inches, while other varieties like TifTuf or Latitude 36 may need slightly higher cuts in shadier conditions. Never remove more than a third of the grass plant at any one time, and keep blades sharp and equipment in good condition; otherwise you risk scalping and an uneven browning of the lawn.

Vary your mowing pattern throughout the season to reduce soil compaction and distribute wear evenly. Don’t forget to overseed, aerate, water according to sunlight exposure levels, and mow at a suitable frequency that works with all of these components combined.


Maintaining a healthy Bermuda grass lawn takes dedication and regular attention, but the rewards are worth it. To keep your lawn looking its best, mow at the ideal height, remove clippings, and mow in different directions. Additionally, keep your soil healthy, fertilize as necessary, and control weeds, insects, and diseases. Statistics show that Bermudagrass lawns with proper management practices can reduce water usage by up to 50%. With a little effort, you can have a gorgeous lawn that you can be proud of.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.