Bermuda grass is a tough and resilient variety of grass that can handle a lot of traffic while still looking gorgeous – this makes it a great option for homes with pets and kids. However, lawn care can become a major chore if you have a Bermuda grass lawn and don’t have the right kind of lawn mower to tackle your lawn. Even though we’ve already listed the best lawn mowers in general, in this article we’re going to be focusing on those that really excel at this particular task – the best lawn mowers for Bermuda grass. But first, let’s learn a bit about Bermuda!
What is Bermuda Grass?
So, what is Bermuda grass? Bermuda grass was brought to the U.S. in the 18th century from Africa. It is a warm-season perennial that is extremely resilient. Bermuda grass can tolerate heat, drought and cold conditions, grow in a variety of soils and can withstand heavy use, which is why it is a popular choice of grass for lawns.
Bermuda grass grows very fast and packs very densely in the soil. While the Bermuda grass lawn can withstand high foot traffic, it must be mowed quite often to prevent overgrowth. Since it is dense, Bermuda grass lawns need to be aerated and fertilized at least twice a year.
There are many different kinds of Bermuda grass with different features and textures such as Rivera, Sahara and Princess 77. Some Bermuda grass varieties thrive in heat while others do well in colder climates. Often hybrid varieties are used in sports fields and golf courses.
Whatever type of Bermuda grass lawn you have, to keep it neat and tidy, mowing it is extremely important and the mowing height varies according to the type of Bermuda grass. In this article, we will discuss the best lawn mower for cutting Bermuda grass which is sure to keep your lawn tidy and well kept.
Best Types of Mowers for Bermuda Grass
There are basically 2 types of lawn mowers – reel and rotary lawn mowers.
These have a reel and a bed-knife which pinches the grass and cuts it in a scissor-type action. Reel mowers spin vertically and perpendicularly to the ground. Ideally, for low-cut lawns, you should use a reel mower because it will not damage the grass on uneven terrain. To mow a Bermuda grass lawn, the reel mower should have 7 blades or more.
The blades of a rotary mower rotate very fast and have a machete-like cutting action. The mowers spin horizontally and in a parallel direction to the ground. Rotary mowers have a single blade that rotates at a very high speed, sucking and cutting the grass blades. It is a good mower that works very well on a variety of different Bermuda grass.
You should ensure that the blades of the mower, whether it is a reel mower or a rotary one, are very sharp to prevent the grass blades from getting damaged and discolored. Both rotary mowers, as well as reel mowers, are available as gas-powered or electric models and also in walk-behind and riding models.
Both traditional, as well as zero-turn riding mowers, can help to simplify mowing your Bermuda grass lawn as they can handle large areas quickly and efficiently. However, a major drawback of riding mowers is that they can cause soil compaction which can cause the thinning of the Bermuda grass lawn. However, soil compaction can be prevented by aerating the lawn 1-2 times a year and this will ensure that your Bermuda grass is not stressed.
Best Mowing Height for Bermuda Grass
The mowing height depends on the type of Bermuda grass. Typically, for common Bermuda grass that has a coarse texture, the recommended height is around 1.5 to 2.5 inches. However, for Bermuda grass hybrids like Tifway 419, which is a fine-textured grass, the recommended height is closer to the ground at 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
Best Mowing Frequency for Bermuda Grass
Ideally, the first mowing of the Bermuda grass lawn should happen in spring before the grass becomes green. The blade of the mower should be set 0.5 inches lower than the recommended height for the Bermuda grass. The first mowing helps to remove the dead blades of grass. Once the Bermuda grass starts to turn green, you must reset the blade to the recommended height for the lawn and mow again. You should take care not to remove more than 1/3rd of the height of the leaf blade while mowing. You must not mow grass that is drought stressed or wet and you must continue mowing until fall when the grass stops growing.
Using the best lawn mower for Bermuda grass and mowing your grass frequently helps to promote a thick and healthy lawn that you and your family can enjoy all year round. However, deciding on the best lawn mower for Bermuda grass is a personal preference and while some swear that rotary mowers are the best, others prefer reel mowers. However, in the end, the process of cutting and the sharpness of the mower’s blades are the factors that will decide how to effectively mow your Bermuda lawn.