Bermuda grasses (Cynodon dactylon) are well-known for their ability to thrive in hot and dry climates. This makes it a super popular choice for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields in places with tropical-Esque climates.
But while Bermuda grass is a hardy and low-maintenance grass, it can sometimes benefit from being mixed with other grasses to improve its overall health and appearance.
So, what grass mixes well with Bermuda, the answer will be St. Augustine.
Bermuda grass will give your lawn excellent drought and hot weather resistance, while the high shade tolerance of St. Augustine will keep your lawn lush and green even though cloudier weather.
This article will explore some grasses that work well with Bermuda grass. We’ll also show you all the benefits you can get by mixing Bermuda with other grass seeds!
Why You Should Mix Grasses
While designing a new lawn for the first time, most people only focus on finding one type of grass that suits the climate and soil conditions.
While there’s nothing wrong with planting only one kind of grass in your lawn, you’ll reap far more benefits by mixing different kinds of grasses.
One of the main benefits of grass mixing is that it can improve the health and appearance of the lawn.
Each kind of grass has different strengths and weaknesses.
So, by mixing them, your lawn can better withstand drought, diseases, and pests. When something happens to a certain kind of grass in your lawn, the greenscape of your lawn won’t be 100% wiped out.
Mixing different types of grasses can also create a more attractive and visually interesting lawn. Just look at some grass samples from different varieties, and you’ll find each one to have different colors and textures.
Their growth patterns can be different, too!
By mixing them together, you can create a lawn that has a more varied and interesting appearance.
If you want your lawn to stand out from the neighbors or you’re trying to drive up the value of your property, then grass-mixing is a great way to do it.
Last but not least, grass-mixing can improve your lawn’s overall ecosystem.
With different kinds of grasses, your lawn will be able to support a wider variety of wildlife, which, in turn, will create a more balanced and sustainable ecosystem on your property.
With all that said and done, let’s get to the heart of today’s article! Below, you’ll find a complete list of all the different grasses you can mix with Bermuda.
What Grass Mixes Well With Bermuda
Looking for the best grass to mix with Bermuda? There are plenty! Depending on the soil condition and climate in your area, consider one of the following species.
When it comes to the question of “best grass to mix with Bermuda in shade,” … then the top answer will always be St. Augustine.
St. Augustine is the most popular type of grass to pair with Bermuda because each of its strengths complements one other. Overseeding St Augustine with Bermuda is also a very common practice among gardeners.
As we said earlier, Bermuda grass is known for its ability to thrive in hot, dry, and humid climates. St. Augustine grass also grows well in hot weather with a lot of precipitation, which is why St. Augustine and Bermuda grass mix can co-exist very well.
But you’ll also need to note a couple of characteristics between them.
St. Augustine grass is the most shade-tolerant grass available today. In contrast, Bermuda hates shades. It will refuse to grow in patches of the lawn with a lot of shading, leaving behind exposed soil that looks terrible.
St. Augustine can make for an excellent Bermuda shade mix if you want to fill these bare spots.
Do note that these two types of grasses require vastly different growing conditions. St. Augustine needs twice as much water as Bermuda, around 1 to 1.5 inches weekly.
It also consumes twice as much nitrogen as Bermuda, so you’ll have to pay attention to how you fertilize your lawn (particularly around the patches where St. Augustine’s sod has grown in.)
And unlike Bermuda, which needs to be mowed short so it can soak up sunlight, St. Augustine needs longer blades to grow well.
We recommend mowing the lawn once or twice a week at higher settings to ensure consistent growth for both kinds of grass.
A different answer to the question of “What grass blends well with Bermuda?” is Kentucky Bluegrass!
Bermuda — a warm-season grass — can make a pretty good pair with Kentucky Bluegrass, a cool-season grass. This pair is quite popular in transition zones.
These are areas of the countries where both warm and cool-season types of grass can struggle to grow because the temperature gradient and climate conditions are too unpredictable.
Kentucky Bluegrass can withstand the coldness of winter very well, but their low shade tolerance and tendency to die off from stress damage make them very vulnerable to droughts and heat.
On the other hand, Bermuda grass is the complete opposite. It thrives in warm weather and loves the sun … but it requires a lot of maintenance and babying.
Mixing these two will make your lawn green across all four seasons. Kentucky Bluegrass will grow lushly from winter to springtime, thanks to their winter tolerance.
And as the heat of summer approaches and through fall, Bermuda will cover up your lawn.
Ryegrass is considered the suitable grass to overseed Bermuda.
And if you grow your Bermuda on sports fields and golf courses or are trying to fill in a patch of land with very high traffic … ryegrass plus Bermuda will also make for an excellent grass mix!
Both types of grasses are regularly used for high-traffic areas, but the thing that ties them together is that ryegrass won’t die if you mow it short.
That’s great news for Bermuda growers, a type of grass that must be mowed short to live long.
Winter ryegrass is a good alternative to Kentucky Bluegrass if you need something to green up your lawn, while Bermuda’s growth is limited due to the cold temperature.
Mixing them makes your lawn look green through all 12 months of the year!
Do note that ryegrass will die off as soon as the temperature rises at the end of spring. But worry not. That’s when Bermuda will kick in and repopulate your lawn.
If you need another option to keep your lawn green through the seasons, consider fescues grass, too!
Fescue is known for its cold tolerance and drought resistance, while Bermuda grass is known for its durability and heat tolerance. Mixing these grasses will give you the versatile, hardy, all-season turf of your dream!
This mix can help prevent soil compaction and weeds, reducing the need for chemical applications. The mixture also helps to create a softer, more lush lawn that is less likely to need frequent mowing.
To mix fescue with Bermuda grass, the process should begin late in the summer, during the last days of summer. Once conditions indicate a seedbed is ready, the Fescue seed mix should be spread over the Bermuda grass.
This can be achieved with a drop spreader or rotary and should be done when air temperatures are between 60-75 degrees F and soil temperatures are 50-65 degrees F.
After spreading the seeds, the lawn must be watered thoroughly and kept slightly moistened one to two times a day until the seeds have germinated. Finally, mow the Bermuda grass, bagging the clippings.
Common fescues mixed with Bermuda are turf-type tall fescue, red fescue, and chewings fescue.
The Bermuda-Bentgrass couple has been used for a long time. A research journal note dated back to 1953 pointed out that the pairing of Bermuda and Bentgrass is excellent for public parks and recreational areas.
Bermuda and Bentgrass are hardy enough not to suffer much damage from high traffic and require little maintenance to maintain their appearance.
The texture of a patch populated by a mixture of Bentgrass and Bermuda is also interesting!
As a result, if you’re seeking a pairing to grow in places like golf courses, sportsfields, and pathways, consider growing these two together on top of the sod.
Common kinds of Bentgrass that are grown together with Bermuda are Creeping Bentgrass and Colonial Bentgrass.
Many gardeners choose this combination to create low-maintenance, hardy, lush lawns with minimal work.
Due to its deep root system, Zoysia grass is extremely water efficient. It can go for extended periods without water and not wilt or turn brown. As a result, Zoysia grass is a favorite seed type for areas with warm weather.
But unlike Bermuda grass, which becomes dormant during the winter, Zoysia can live durably even through the colder months.
However, do note that Zoysia — after one or two seasons — will begin to overtake Bermuda due to its aggressive growth rate.
As a result, even though it mixes well with Bermuda for one or two seasons, after that, you’ll have to re-seed your lawn if you still want to keep Bermuda around.
Hybrid Bermuda Grass
Did you know that there are two variants of Bermuda?
The one we’ve been talking about for most of this article is called common Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon). The other type is called hybrid Bermuda grass (Cynodon transvaalianus).
Hybrid Bermuda grass is made by crossing common Bermuda with strains of perennial ryegrasses. It’s becoming increasingly popular due to its improved shade tolerance, increased pest resistance, and faster growth rate.
Combining common and hybrid Bermuda can help create an attractive, resilient lawn.
You’ll get the best of both worlds when using this mix — the drought tolerance of common Bermuda combined with the improved shade tolerance and disease resistance of hybrid Bermuda.
You’ll be able to keep your lawn green without having to expend as much water or effort as traditional turfs require.
Things to Consider When Mixing Grasses
Prepping the soil before sowing your seeds will ensure that the new grasses will have the optimal environment to develop their roots and grow properly.
And if you’re planning to mix grasses, prepping the soil will loosen it up, making it easier for the different grass types to co-mingle and mix.
Preparation involves loosening and aerating the soil, removing weeds, adding organic matter such as compost, and adjusting the pH (acidity) of the soil to an ideal range for grass growth.
Once the grasses have grown in, you’ll need to monitor them closely, specifically by doing maintenance.
Lawn maintenance includes practices such as mowing, fertilizing, aeration, weed control, and watering. These practices help to promote healthy soil that is well-aerated and free from weeds.
The result is strong, healthy grasses, which, of course, will lead to a beautiful lawn!
Climate & Region
Different varieties of grass grow best in different weather and soils. Your “success rate” with growing grasses will differ based on the temperature variations, moisture levels, and soil types in your area.
If you live in hot or drought-prone regions, picking out grasses that can tolerate extreme temperatures and drought are essential for drought-prone areas.
In comparison, regions that experience ample rain can opt for more shade-tolerant or cold-tolerant varieties. Living in transition zones, you can pick a mixture of both types of grasses (like Ryegrass and Bermuda!)
Bermuda is a hardy and versatile type of grass, but it’s not perfect. It doesn’t grow well in cold weather for once, and it doesn’t play very nicely with shades.
Fortunately, there are species of grasses out there that fit these descriptions and also grow alongside Bermuda quite well.
After learning all of their names in this article, we hope you now have a better idea of what grass mixes well with Bermuda and how to set up your lawn!
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them via my contact page.