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Bermuda grass Vs Zoysia grass in USA and their performances in lawn

Before selecting the variety of lawn grass, we have many questions in mind that how ideal the grass is according to the particular climate conditions. Sometimes, we want to grow grass that has qualities of low maintenance, easy growing, thick, shiny, easy mowing, healing capacity, etc. 

Many people compare Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass for the lawn in the USA. Here, we are going to understand the differences and similarities between Bermuda and Zoysia so you can select one of them for your lawn.

Bermuda grass Vs Zoysia grass in USA

Let's understand what are the differences and similarities between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass. 

Major differences between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass

Following are some of the major differences between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass-

  • Aeration 

Aeration is very important on every lawn. Zoysia grass asks for more aeration in the summer season. Zoysia grass grows slowly initially. So it needs a boost in growth by aeration. You should not aerate the Zoysia lawn in winter. 

Bermuda grass Vs Zoysia grass in USA

Bermuda grass needs less aeration comparatively zoysia grass. It grows a bit faster. It is good to aerate Bermuda grass lawn 1 month before starting winter.

It is not good to aerate both types of grasses during winters after the grass becomes brown and dry.

  • Traffic handling capacity

In a well-maintained zoysia grass lawn, it is not good to have extra walking or running. Extra traffic doesn't encourage the growth of Zoysia grass. 

On the other side, Bermuda grass can handle more humans and animals walking on the lawn. It allows more traffic comparatively Zoysia grass. 

  • Maintenance cost

Zoysia grass grows at a low maintenance cost. It doesn't ask for regular fertilizers but irrigation. Zoysia lawn stays in very good condition through all the summer just with basic care. 

Bermuda grass maintenance cost is slightly higher(low compared to others) than Zoysia grass. We need proper fertilizers for Bermuda grass for the period after. We have to weed Bermuda lawns once in a while. 

  • Nature of grass

Zoysia grass is dominating and invading nature. It invades all the other plants that grow in its area. It covers all the areas it gets. Sometimes, it disturbs other grass lawn growth, and is not easy to rid of it. 

Bermuda grass is not dominating other plants but invades the area it gets. It is important to clean the spontaneous plants during the initial growth of Bermuda grass. 

  • Performance in summer

Zoysia grass admires full sunlight for 4 to 5 hours in a day. It grows and keeps in healthy condition in 30% sunlight in a day for at least 7 hours. In even climate conditions, they grow without any arrangement in the summer season. 

Also read St Augustine grass vs Bermuda grass  

Bermuda grass can handle 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight in the summer season. With 40% shade, it can grow decently. 

In even summer climates, Bermuda grass grows the same throughout the year.  

  • Performance in winter

Zoysia grass performance rate is very low in winter. It slows down the growth rate to 5% in winter. Zoysia grass converts into golden brown color in winters. In an odd winter climate(too cold), it can't survive for a long period of snowfall.

Bermuda grass is more sensitive than Zoysia grass in winter. It almost stops growth in winter and turns into brown color and looks dry. In odd winters(snowfall), Bermuda grass can't survive even a season.    

  • Overseeding

Overseeding is required to cover the blank spots and increase the overall thickness of the grass. 

If zoysia grass seeds don't get properly germinate initially, then the overseeding method is applicable. But when Zoysia grass gets strong roots and starts growth rate, it doesn't require any turf or overseeding in the entire summer season. Although, in winter, if you see any blank spots on your lawn, then you need overseeding sometimes to recover the area or wait too long to let the grass naturally cover the spot. 

Bermuda grass needs overseeding sometimes. It helps to get it thicker. Generally, we overseed Bermuda grass during seed germination. In between, if you see any uncovered spots, then you can overseed the area. Even if your lawn grass is not thick with Bermuda grass in summer, you should overseed in the spring season. 

  • Soil type and pH requirement

Bermuda grass can grow in alkali and acidic soil both. But too acidic or too alkaline soil is bad for Bermuda grass. If soil is alkali then you can reduce its pH by using sulfur. The ideal pH for Bermuda grass is 5.9 to 6.4.

Zoysia grass grows better in acidic soil. The soil pH should be 6.1 to 6.7 initially. 

Similarities between Bermuda and Zoysia grass

Despite many differences between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass, there are some similarities in them. Let's understand their similarities by following points-

  • Season of growing

Both Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass plantations start in the spring season. Whether it is from developed turfs or seeds, the best time to grow Bermuda and Zoysia grass on the lawn is in the spring season in March and April.

  • Origin climate conditions

Both Bermuda and Zoysia like warm summer conditions. Although they may dry without water after a limit but still, direct sunlight is good for their growth.

With proper moisture, mowing, sunlight, and aeration, in even climate conditions throughout the year, these grasses don't get dead in winters. 

In an odd climate(too cold in winters and too hot in summer) both types of grasses turn into brown and sometimes golden brown. In snowfall, they may die if it lasts for a long time. 

  • Invading nature

Both Bermuda and Zoysia kinds of grasses are invading nature. Once they germinate initially, they grow faster in the later period. Both types of grasses cover all the areas they find in their reach. Their invading nature is slightly different from each other but they are similar as they are called 'invader lawn grass.'

Which is best for the lawn between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass?

Till now, you understand all the basic differences and similarities between Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass. So if one can conclude the point of selection between both, they should care according to their lifestyle.

If you can care for your lawn by yourself, then it is good to start with Bermuda grass. It will slightly reduce your maintenance cost. But you have to mow your lawn every 7 to 10 days. 

If you can manage a caretaker for your lawn, then you can go with Zoysia grass. Although caretaker cost is much higher than Bermuda maintenance cost Zoysia grass is better in sensitivity term in winter. Bermuda grass gets affected easily by season change. 

If you don't think so much and can manage all the challenges, then you can go with any of these. Just follow the right process and care for your lawn properly. 

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