Is it worth converting common bermuda to TifGrand

July 7, 2017

Hi All,

I have been looking into the forums lately and thanks to Texas_Weed, david_tx, dchall_san_antonio and many othes who have put in a lot of effort educating others.

I live in Raleigh (Zone 7B)I have a common bermuda lawn. This was orignally a fescue lawn but fescue couldn't survive and some how common bermuda came and took over. Now over 95% of the lawn is common bermuda.

I am planning to level the lawn by adding sand either this year in late July or next year in May/June time. I have read other threads on leveling and I think I have whats needed to start the leveling project. I have a gas powered reel mower which can go upto 1/4 inch. Basically by next year I should be able to move at 1/2".

I am satisfied with the lawn as is but looking at other pictures of hybrid I am getting little tempted. I have access to Tifway and TifGrand but I like TifGrand.

I do not want to tear down common bermuda and install Tifway/Tifgrand sod because of the cost involved and I am not sure if I will ever be able to kill the common bermuda by applying one round of roundup. I would love to hear if there are ways to slowly convert common bermuda to TifGrand.

I have a lawn plugger and I can plug in TifGrand into common bermuda at 12" interval.

If I plug TifGrand and mow low at 1/2" would TifGrand eventually take over common bermuda? or would it look odd with two types of grass blades?

Is there any other way to convert the common bermuda to Tifgrand?

Thanks in advance,


Comments (11)

  • Gary (Zone 6B)

    The best way is to do it correctly would be to treat it like you're installing sod.

    One of the best ways is to to spray it with roundup, wait a little while, spray it again etc - rent a sod cutter and remove it all and have someone come get the sod via dump truck (be sure there's nothing left behind on the yard). Then, after you have done that, you could technically plug whatever you want, provided you have the time.

    Do you know if your neighbors have common bermuda in their lawns? It might not be worthwhile to even do anything OTHER than resodding it.

  • reeljake

    I just laid celebration Bermuda sod over top of my old 419 Bermuda when I did mine last year. Worked like a charm, no roundup required. If you plug it a few at a time, you'll see the difference but it's not that obvious--only you will notice

  • jan1980steve

    @Gary, thanks for the info but for now I am not planning to tear this lawn. My neighbor has fescue, I think it was from seeds by birds or wind. It started in one corner and now covers almost entire lawn. I tried killing common bermuda in another spot and I always failed.

    @reeljake, It's good news if no one can see the difference between common bermuda and TifGrand, I will plug it and will mow it low. There's nothing to loose other than my effort to plug in Tifgrand. I am surprised that 419 didn't come up after laying sod on top of it. In the past, I have used roundup, digged 3-4 inches of soil and still common bermuda always came up.

  • reeljake

    I didn't say nobody would notice the difference, YOU will definitely notice because it's your lawn. Other people won't notice, especially if they're 10 feet away or more. Tifgrand is probably only available by the pallet, so you'll get plenty of plugs out of one order

  • jan1980steve


    "I didn't say nobody would notice the difference, YOU will definitely notice because it's your lawn. "

    Sorry, that's exact what I meant. I should have typed "If no one else will notice".

    Yes, I spoke to super sod and they have single rolls of sod for sale.

  • dchall_san_antonio

    I don't know if I have anything to add to this. Just wanted to let you know I'm not ignoring it - just can't help. My suggestion would be to kill it twice and then do the sod, but that's not going to work for you. Have you looked into sprigging bermuda? Search this forum.

  • PRO

    It looks like you may already have Tifway Bermuda. The "common" seeded Bermuda has a coarse leaf texture and from the picture it looks like you have a fine leaf texture that indicates it may be Tifway (also referred to as "common" Bermuda). TifGrand looks different than Tifway and you will see a difference, especially when there's dew on the grass, which brings out the slightly different colors. TifGrand is darker green.

    There is a new exceptionally drought tolerant Bermuda on the market called "TifTuf." It is now available throughout the US and we have it too. It will match the color of Tifway better than TifGrand will match. In fact, you won't be able to tell the difference, except when there's a drought - Tifway will go dormant and TifTuf will still be green.

    Because it is hard to identify a grass type via pictures (even via your very good pictures), you are welcome to bring a sample of your grass to Super-Sod and compare it with Tifway plots at both our Raleigh and Cary stores. One of our staff will be happy to assist. Bring in a good sample, a couple inches wide, so they can really get a good look at it. Like I mentioned, you may already have Tifway and they can help you bring it to the next level of health and beauty (we have compost-sand mix for leveling - the compost component adds nutrition for the lawn and beneficial bacterial to your soil.)

    With all this said, I have to mention that your pictures show a beautiful lawn! You've done a pro job with "common" Bermuda. I am curious, what are you dissatisfied about in your lawn and what features portrayed in pictures of other types are making you want to change?


    Hillary Thompson

  • jan1980steve

    @dchall_san_antonio, thanks dchall, your posts have a lot of weight and I respect your interest to help others. I did not look at springging because I didn't want to kill the existing lawn. Incase if I end up plugging, I will share how that goes.

    @super-sod: thank you for the wonderful information about various bermuda types. The reason I thought this is common bermuda is because (1) I had never seen this in any other communities (I guess tifway is very common). (2) This grass produces seed heads if I don't mow of a week. (3) the nodes are very far away from each other. (4) It spreads super fats (4) none of my neighbours have bermuda, so it could have starting via wind or birds dropping.

    I started liking the look of low mowing and I read common bermuda has to be kept @ 1". I am trying to see if it's really worth a try to go below 1" height and that's the primary reason for mixing a hybrid. I still don't know if it's really worth trying to mix a hybrid. I am trying to get a opinion on what other experts think. That's a good idea to take a sample to super-sod to check out, I will take a good sized sample to check against tifway/Tifgrand.

  • PRO

    I like a low mow height on warm season grasses too and both TifGrand and TifTuf can go lower than Tifway. Tifway is recommended at 1" while TifGrand and Tiftuf can be maintained at .5"

    Truly, you've done beautiful work with your lawn. I believe that since you are so observant, you will definitely see a difference in different types of Bermuda growing together.

  • jan1980steve

    What I have is common bermuda. Super Sod staffs identified it right away that this is a common bermuda.

    Like Hillary Thompson pointed, the leaves looked very similar to TifWay but the nodes were further apart.

    Here it is from left. Common Bermuda, TifWay & TifGrand.

  • tech biker

    Hi Nirmal,

    I just responded to your comment on my thread. Really fascinating! What happens to your common Bermuda when you don't mow for 2 weeks? Do you have a picture of the seed stalks after 2 weeks? How many are there?

    I ask because we have some true common Bermuda that germinated from wild seed. When we mow after 2 weeks in the summer there is little volume left in the true common. Only brown stalks are left.

    On the other hand, our mystery blue/green Bermuda can survive 2 week mowing intervals without a problem (although it is a bad practice). It grows prostrate and voraciously. Most adjacent lawns are pure Dallisgrass so we need the vigor. I've never seen such a fast-growing (horizontal) Bermuda.

    Have you considered planting "Celebration" Bermuda? Great shade tolerance.

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