There are some excellent reasons why couch grass, also known as bermuda grass, is great for lawns in certain climates. If you’ve chosen this as the grass for your property, you’ve made a great choice. That said, maintaining couch grass so that it grows into a healthy lawn will require some consistent work.
If you’re reading this, you probably already have some sort of inclination to of all of the challenges that come with maintaining a good lawn. For those who are yet to try it, you may be surprised. Far more work than you realize goes into the growth and upkeep of that beautiful, green, and healthy-looking lawn you were admiring at your friend’s place. But it can be well worth the effort.
By the end of this article, you’ll have six tips that’ll help you grow a healthy and thriving couch grass lawn.
In this article:
What is couch grass?
Couch grass is fine-leafed, evergreen grass. It’s known for thriving in warmer climates that receive lots of sunlight. It’s also known to spread across other areas relatively quickly. Furthermore, couch grass is considered rather tough or wear-resistant.
Thanks to these properties, this grass has become one of the most popular types of lawns for homes and sports fields in Australia and other areas with a warm, dry climate.
Couch grass is widespread throughout the world and is often considered an invasive species in most places it’s found, particularly in countries outside of Europe and Asia. These species have both underground stems and runners, enabling them to take root and spread across an area. (1)
How to grow your couch grass
Now that you’ve had a brief introduction on what couch grass is, it’s time to get into the tips for growing it.
Find a good supplier
Adding onto that, a good supplier will be able to offer you a strain of couch grass that’s been bred to produce a lawn with your optimal qualities. For example, myhomeTURF’s couch grass varieties offer the well-known wear resistance and drought tolerance of couch grass along with a beautiful green color.
Finding a good supplier will help you get the couch grass you want. More importantly, they may be able to suggest the best variant for your particular needs. This can include taking your climate and environment into consideration. Your supplier should also be able to give you advice on how you should care for any grass they’ve supplied you.
Know the ideal environment for couch grass
Growing the ideal type of grass for your climate is one of the most significant contributing factors to a healthy lawn. There are various types of grass, all having different properties and suited to different climates. Ensure that your grass will suit your environment before you even start growing it.
As you already know, couch grass does best in warmer climates with more sun exposure. That said, there are numerous couch grass variations. Some strains may be more suited to certain conditions than others. For example, you may be looking for couch grass that’s more capable of handling shade than many other strains.
Take your climate and area into consideration when choosing the grass to plant. If you can find a supplier of couch grass near to you, the chances are that what they’re offering has the optimum growth conditions for your general region.
Choose a spot with lots of sunlight
Couch grass needs to receive sunlight—lots of it. These grasses thrive under the sun but suffer in the shade. Too much shade is one of the top reasons lawns fail. This fact is particularly significant for couch grass.
The fine leaves on all the different breeds of couch grass result in less efficient light absorption than wide-leafed grass. This means it takes longer for these leaves to absorb all of the nutrients they need from the sunlight. If you want your couch grass to grow into a healthy lawn, ensure the area you plant it has as little obscuring it from the sunlight as possible.
Don’t fertilize too much
It’s recommended to fertilize every 10 to 12 days if your lawn is already established. If you’re growing from seed, it’s best to use a fertilizing regimen suited to your grass. The place that supplied you with seeds should tell you how to care for your new sprouts until they grow.
Couch grass is known to respond well to slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. It would be in your best interest to use organic fertilizer instead of commercial or chemical fertilizers.
Don’t water too much or too little
Perhaps one of the most desirable traits of couch grass is that it’s very water-efficient. You don’t need to water your lawn too often. In the summer, you can water about once a week. In some seasons, like when it rains in winter, you may not need water at all.
Depending on how resilient your particular strain is, it may suffice to water only once you notice your lawn drying out. Of course, avoid over-watering. An over-watered lawn is prone to insect damage and diseases, while an under-watered lawn could cause the lawn to be dormant. Hence, knowing the right amount of water will sustain your lawn and can help save your resources. (2)
Mow your lawn regularly
Being one of the more aggressive types of lawn, couch grass will need regular mowing if you want to keep it looking healthy and presentable. It would be best if you try to mow your lawn around every five days. However, during winter, when the couch grass is dormant, it’s best to mow your lawn every two weeks depending on its growth. Moreover, an ideal mowing height for these grasses is around 0.5 inches to at least 2.5 inches. (3)
After you mow, you should rake up all of the excesses. Remember that couch grass needs lots of exposure to sunlight. Leaving the layer of clippings on your lawn will interfere with sun exposure to your cut grass. Doing so has the potential to negatively affect the health of your lawn.
It’s best to stay on the side of caution when mowing. If you cut the leaves too short, it can damage the crown on your grass leaves. As a result, the plant is likely to put more energy into recovering the damaged crown. This isn’t ideal. Diseases, insects, and weeds are always waiting to take over, and a weakened lawn opens up that opportunity.
Couch grass is terrific to grow in warm, dry climates. Its thin leaves and resilience make for a soft lawn that’s wear-resistant. Growing any lawn requires consistent maintenance. Luckily, couch grass grows strongly if you take care of it. Pick the grass strain that’s right for you. If you follow the tips listed in this article, you’ll be on your way to keeping a healthy green lawn.
- “Couch Grass | VRO | Agriculture Victoria”, Source: http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/water_sss_couch
- “Avoid Over-Watering Your Lawn”, Source: https://www.thespruce.com/over-watering-the-lawn-2152899
- “How To Determine The Ideal Mowing Height”, Source: https://turfmagazine.com/lawn-care/determining-ideal-mowing-height/?msclkid=4f0167dcaaaf11ecad7c57e37b7b26ce