Management and Maintenance
Bermudagrasses are very aggressive, low-growing and wear-tolerant turfgrasses that provide a dense, resilient sports turf. They grow best at air temperatures from 80 to 95 F. In Tennessee, bermudagrasses are most often dormant in late fall, winter and early spring. Unless plants are severely injured during this dormancy period, they are capable of resuming growth as temperatures rise in the spring.
Bermudagrass varieties may vary in color, texture, density, vertical and lateral growth rate, low-temperature hardiness, disease resistance and method of establishment. Clonal, hybrid [e.g., interspecific cross between ‘Common’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and ‘African’ bermudagrass (C. transvaalensis)] bermudagrasses do not produce viable seeds and must be established from sprigs, plugs or sod. Improved, common bermudagrasses such as ‘Jackpot,’ ‘Mirage,’ ‘Pyramid,’ ‘Riviera,’ ‘Sundevil II’ and ‘Yukon’ can be seeded. ‘Quickstand’ and ‘Vamont’ are low-temperature-tolerant, vegetatively established varieties. Because of its openness, the clonal variety Vamont is easily overseeded. The overall turf quality of Quickstand is similar to Vamont, but finer in texture. Quickstand has also demonstrated a very low incidence of spring dead spot. Although the low-temperature tolerance of ‘Tifway’ (Tifton 419) is limited and ‘winterkill’ tendency is quite high, this hybrid remains a popular choice for many newly constructed athletic fields. Tifway has cold hardiness superior to ‘Tifgreen.’ The hybrid Tifgreen (Tifton 328) is very dense, withstands very short mowing heights and often requires intensive management. ‘Tifsport,’ a dark-green, vegetatively established hybrid bermudagrass released for sod production in 1995 and adapted as far north as Stillwater, OK and Lexington, KY, is maintained on several newer athletic fields throughout the state. ‘GN-1,’ a recent introduction with patents in the U. S. and Australia, is darker green and has wider leaves than Tifway. ‘Tifton 10,’ a drought-resistant, high-temperature- tolerant variety was originally collected in Shanghai, China in 1974. Plants are coarse-textured and have dark bluish-green foliage. ‘Patriot,’ recently released by Oklahoma State University, is another vegetatively established variety being evaluated for potential use on athletic fields in Tennessee.
Location, soils and management influence bermudagrass performance. Climatic conditions, weed competition and pest activity often vary from year to year. Management programs may be adjusted annually, based on observed results. This management calendar is intended to serve as a quick reference and guide for the monthly care of bermudagrass athletic fields in Tennessee.
"PB1632-Bermudagrass Athletic Field Management Calendar," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, PB1632-2M-6/07 E12-5115-00-016-07 07-0238, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexturf/1