When To Plant Bermuda Grass Seed In Texas

As a warm-season grass, Bermuda grass thrives during the hot summers in Texas. But timing is crucial when planting Bermuda grass seed to ensure proper germination and establishment before the heat arrives.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: the optimal time to plant Bermuda grass seed in Texas is late spring, from mid April through May. This gives the new grass several weeks to get established before summer.

Spring Planting for Warm-Season Grasses

Bermuda Grass Needs Warm Soil

When it comes to planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas, timing is crucial. Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that thrives in hot temperatures and requires warm soil to germinate and establish properly.

Spring is the ideal time to plant Bermuda grass in Texas because the soil temperature begins to warm up, providing the perfect conditions for the seeds to sprout and grow.

According to experts at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Bermuda grass seed should be planted when the soil temperature reaches around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the seeds have enough warmth to germinate and grow into a healthy lawn.

Planting Bermuda grass seed too early, when the soil is still cold, can result in poor germination and weak growth.

Plant After Chance of Frost Passes

Another important factor to consider when planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas is the risk of frost. While Bermuda grass is known for its resilience and ability to withstand hot summers, it is not frost-tolerant.

Therefore, it is recommended to wait until the chance of frost has passed before planting Bermuda grass seed.

In Texas, the last frost date varies depending on the region. In general, the risk of frost decreases as spring progresses, with most areas experiencing their last frost around mid to late March. However, it is always a good idea to check the local weather forecast and consult with local gardening experts to determine the best time to plant Bermuda grass seed in your specific area.

Seed by Mid-May at Latest

Timing is everything when it comes to planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas. It is important to give the seeds enough time to germinate and establish before the hot summer months. Planting Bermuda grass seed too late in the spring can result in a weaker lawn that may struggle to survive the intense heat.

Experts recommend seeding Bermuda grass no later than mid-May to ensure optimal growth and establishment. This allows the grass to develop a healthy root system and withstand the summer heat. Waiting too long to plant Bermuda grass seed can lead to a less successful establishment, as the hot temperatures can hinder germination and growth.

Steps for Planting Bermuda Grass Seed

Prepare Soil and Eliminate Weeds

Before planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas, it is crucial to prepare the soil properly and eliminate any existing weeds. Start by removing any debris, rocks, or large clumps of soil from the area where you plan to plant the seed.

Next, use a garden rake or tiller to loosen the soil and create a smooth surface. This will help the seeds establish strong root systems and promote healthy growth.

It is also important to eliminate any weeds that may compete with the Bermuda grass for nutrients and space. You can manually remove the weeds by hand or use an herbicide specifically designed to target weeds without harming the grass.

Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully when using herbicides to ensure the safety of your Bermuda grass seed and the surrounding environment.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about the quality of your soil, consider getting a soil test done. This will provide you with valuable information about the pH level, nutrient content, and overall health of your soil, allowing you to make any necessary amendments before planting.

Spread Seed at Recommended Rates

Once your soil is prepared, it’s time to spread the Bermuda grass seed. It is important to follow the recommended seeding rates for your specific type of Bermuda grass and the area you are planting. These rates are typically provided by the seed manufacturer and may vary depending on the specific cultivar.

Using a spreader or by hand, evenly distribute the seed across the prepared soil. Be sure to cover the entire area, paying extra attention to any bare spots or areas that may need additional coverage. Avoid applying the seed too thickly as this can lead to overcrowding and poor germination.

Pro tip: To ensure even distribution, consider splitting the seed into two batches and spreading them in different directions. This will help achieve uniform coverage and prevent any missed spots.

Lightly Rake Seed into Soil Surface

After spreading the Bermuda grass seed, use a garden rake or a lawn roller to lightly rake the seed into the soil surface. This will help ensure good seed-to-soil contact and improve germination rates. Avoid burying the seed too deeply, as this can hinder germination.

Once the seed is lightly raked into the soil, water the area thoroughly but gently. This will help settle the seed into the soil and initiate the germination process. It is crucial to keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period, which typically takes about 7-10 days.

Pro tip: Consider covering the seeded area with a thin layer of straw or mulch to help retain moisture and protect the seeds from birds or other animals.

Caring for Newly Planted Bermuda Grass

Once you have planted your Bermuda grass seed in Texas, it is important to provide proper care to ensure its healthy growth and establishment. Here are some essential tips for caring for newly planted Bermuda grass:

Water Daily to Keep Top Inch Moist

Watering is crucial during the early stages of Bermuda grass growth. It is recommended to water the newly planted seed daily to keep the top inch of soil moist. This will help the seeds germinate and establish strong roots.

However, be careful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can lead to disease and shallow root development. A good rule of thumb is to water in the morning to allow the grass to dry before nightfall, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

Apply Starter Fertilizer

Applying a starter fertilizer after planting Bermuda grass can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Starter fertilizers are specifically formulated to promote root development and overall grass establishment.

Look for a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content, as this nutrient is essential for root growth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates and timing.

Mow When Grass Reaches 3 Inches

Once your Bermuda grass reaches a height of around 3 inches, it is time to mow. Regular mowing helps promote a denser turf and discourages weed growth. Set your mower to a height of about 1.5 to 2 inches for Bermuda grass.

Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time to prevent stress on the plants. Keep your mower blades sharp for clean cuts and avoid mowing when the grass is wet to prevent clumping.

By following these care tips, you can ensure the successful establishment of your newly planted Bermuda grass in Texas. Remember to adjust your care routine based on the specific needs of your lawn and consult with local resources, such as the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, for additional guidance.

Overseeding Bermuda Grass in Fall

Overseeding Bermuda grass in the fall is a popular practice in Texas for maintaining a lush and green lawn year-round. This process involves planting cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, over the existing Bermuda grass to provide a green color during the winter months when Bermuda grass goes dormant.

Let’s explore the benefits and considerations of overseeding Bermuda grass in the fall.

Dormant Bermuda Can Be Overseeded

When Bermuda grass enters its dormant state during the colder months, it turns brown and loses its vibrant green color. However, by overseeding with cool-season grasses like ryegrass, homeowners can maintain a visually appealing lawn throughout the winter.

The dormant Bermuda grass acts as a base, providing a strong foundation for the new grass to grow and thrive. Once the warmer temperatures return in the spring, the Bermuda grass will naturally come out of dormancy and replace the cool-season grasses.

Ryegrass and Other Cool-Season Grasses

Ryegrass is a popular choice for overseeding Bermuda grass in Texas due to its ability to establish quickly and provide a dense, green cover. It is important to choose a high-quality ryegrass seed that is suited for your specific region in Texas.

Other cool-season grasses, such as fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, can also be used for overseeding depending on your preferences and local climate conditions. Consulting with a local lawn care professional or extension service can help you make the best choice for your lawn.

Provides Green Color in Winter

One of the main reasons homeowners choose to overseed Bermuda grass in the fall is to maintain a green and visually appealing lawn during the winter months. The cool-season grasses, like ryegrass, provide a vibrant green color that contrasts with the dormant Bermuda grass.

This not only enhances the overall aesthetics of the lawn but also provides a welcoming space for outdoor activities and gatherings during the winter season.

It’s important to note that overseeding Bermuda grass in the fall requires proper preparation and maintenance. This includes mowing the existing Bermuda grass short, dethatching if necessary, and ensuring proper seed-to-soil contact for successful germination.

Following recommended watering and fertilization schedules will also help the new grass establish and thrive.

For more information on overseeding Bermuda grass in Texas, you can visit the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension website at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/. They provide valuable resources and guidance on lawn care practices specific to Texas.

Avoid Summer Planting for Bermuda Grass

When it comes to planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas, it is essential to choose the right time of year for optimal growth and success. One crucial factor to consider is avoiding summer planting. While Bermuda grass is known for its heat tolerance, planting during the scorching summer months can pose several challenges and increase the risk of failure.

Heat and Drought Stress Seedlings

Planting Bermuda grass seedlings during the summer exposes them to intense heat and drought conditions. The high temperatures and limited rainfall can put significant stress on the young plants, making it difficult for them to establish strong root systems.

This can lead to stunted growth and a higher likelihood of the seedlings not surviving.

According to experts at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, it is best to plant Bermuda grass seed when the soil temperatures consistently reach around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This typically occurs in late spring or early fall, providing the seedlings with a more favorable environment for growth.

Less Time to Mature Before Dormancy

Another reason to avoid summer planting is that Bermuda grass goes dormant during the colder months. By planting in the summer, you are giving the seedlings less time to mature and establish themselves before they enter this dormant period.

This can result in a weaker turf that is more susceptible to damage from frost, pests, and diseases.

Planting Bermuda grass seed in the recommended seasons allows the turf to develop a robust root system and sufficient top growth before going dormant. This ensures that the grass is better equipped to withstand the challenges of winter and come back strong in the following spring.

Higher Risk of Failure

Planting Bermuda grass seed during the summer increases the risk of failure due to the harsh environmental conditions. The combination of scorching heat, limited water availability, and potential pest infestations can make it challenging for the seedlings to survive and establish a healthy lawn.

By waiting for the optimal planting time, you give your Bermuda grass seedlings the best chance to thrive. Following the recommended planting guidelines will help to minimize the risk of failure and increase the chances of a beautiful and resilient lawn.


Timing is critical when planting Bermuda grass seed in Texas. For the highest chance of success, plant in spring once soil temperatures rise and the last frost has passed. Proper seedbed preparation, watering, and care will give your new Bermuda grass the best start before the intense Texas summer arrives.

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