Bermuda Grass vs Crabgrass – Learn The Pros and Cons of Each Other

Bermuda grass and crabgrass are both considered warm season turfgrasses that can provide homeowners with lush green lawns throughout the summer months.

However, each has its own unique characteristics that could make one an ideal choice over the other depending on individual preferences and needs.

These details will be discussed further in order to give readers insight into how they can create beautiful spaces that offer freedom from maintenance while still providing an aesthetic appeal.

bermuda grass vs crabgrass

Comparison Of Appearance

Bermuda grass and crabgrass are two types of turf grasses that have distinct characteristics.

Bermuda is a warm-season, perennial grass that can be identified by its fine-bladed texture and vibrant green color. It grows in a dense carpet pattern and has an extensive root system that allows it to survive extreme conditions.

On the other hand, crabgrass is a summer annual with wide blades and dull grayish-green foliage. Crabgrass does not form as thick of a mat as Bermuda but will spread quickly if left unchecked in optimal growing conditions.

Both species require full sun for maximum growth and performance, however, due to its more aggressive nature, crabgrass typically outcompetes other plants for resources, making it very difficult to manage once established.

Prevalence And Hardiness

Bermuda grass and crabgrass differ significantly in terms of their prevalence and hardiness.

Bermuda grass is a warm-season turfgrass that grows most actively during the summer months while crabgrass is an annual weed that dies off with the first frost.

In terms of hardiness, Bermuda grass has deeper roots than crabgrass which allows it to remain green year-round even through periods of drought or heavy traffic from a foot or vehicle traffic.

Crabgrass on the other hand does not have deep root systems making it more susceptible to environmental stresses such as heat, cold, drought, and high levels of foot traffic.

Thus, when considering either species for landscaping purposes, one must take into account both its prevalence and hardiness before installation.

In order to ensure successful growth for any landscape project, soil, sun and water requirements should also be taken into consideration.

Soil, Sun And Water Requirements

Have you ever wondered about the differences between bermuda grass and crabgrass? Both are popular lawn choices, but one is more suitable for certain conditions than the other. Let’s explore their soil, sun and water requirements:

– Bermuda grass needs a warm climate with plenty of sunshine; at least 8 hours of sunlight per day to thrive.
– The ideal pH range for it is 6.0 – 7.5, making it an excellent choice for alkaline soils.
– It also requires regular watering and mowing in order to maintain its lush appearance.

On the other hand, crabgrass prefers full sun as well, but can tolerate some shade better than bermuda grass; 4 or 5 hours of direct sunlight should still be enough to keep this type of grass healthy. Additionally, it has greater adaptability when it comes to soil pH; while not thriving in acidic soils, there is a wider range that will still allow it to remain green (pH levels ranging from 5.3 – 7).

Due to its deeper root system and stronger stem structure, crabgrass only requires light watering once every few days during summer months compared to daily watering needed by other types of turfgrasses.

Tolerance Of Foot Traffic

Bermuda grass and crabgrass both have a strong tolerance to foot traffic, making them ideal for lawns that receive regular use. Bermuda is known for its ability to tolerate high levels of activity on it without showing any signs of damage or degradation. It can also recover quickly from heavy wear and tear due to its extensive root system.

Crabgrass, while not as hardy as Bermuda, has the advantage of being able to germinate in areas with low fertility such as compacted soils and those that experience frequent drought conditions. Its shallow roots make it more resistant than other types of grasses when faced with moderate foot traffic. This allows it to remain healthy under normal circumstances even when exposed to large amounts of pedestrian activity.

By comparison, Bermuda needs higher soil fertility and water content in order to thrive amidst heavier usage. The differences between bermuda grass and crabgrass become especially apparent when looking at their respective tolerances for foot traffic; whereas one type may be better suited for certain environments over others, both are capable of surviving relatively well given the right conditions.

Types Of Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is a warm season perennial turfgrass that is widely used for lawns and pastures. Its ability to adapt to harsh environmental conditions makes it an ideal choice in areas with hot, humid summers as well as drought-prone regions. It has excellent wear tolerance and can be mowed short or allowed to grow long depending on its use.

Bermuda grass also offers exceptional color retention throughout the growing season due to its deep green hues. Additionally, it features fast germination times and establishes quickly from seed or sod. To ensure optimal performance, Bermuda grass should be fertilized regularly during peak growth periods and watered deeply but infrequently.

In terms of weed control, Bermuda grass will aggressively crowd out most other species of grasses; however, crabgrass may still establish itself in certain situations such as low maintenance yards or shady areas with poor soil drainage. For this reason, proper preventive measures must be taken to prevent crabgrass establishment prior to seeding a new lawn or overseeding existing turf.

Types Of Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows commonly in lawns and gardens. It is a warm-season grass, with long stems that are prostrate or spreading at the base, while the top portion of the plant stands upright. Crabgrass germinates quickly during hot weather and can spread rapidly due to its shallow root system.

Here’s why crabgrass is so hard to control:

  1. Its seeds may remain viable for up to 5 years.
  2. Seeds sprout easily when soil temperatures reach above 55°F (13°C).
  3. Even small portions of turfgrass left untreated will harbor new infestations.
  4. Additional seedlings can be dispersed by wind, animals, and mowing equipment.

Controlling crabgrass requires pre-emergent herbicide applications and regular maintenance throughout the growing season. By consistently monitoring your lawn and removing any existing patches of crabgrass, you’ll have fewer problems with it in future seasons. Moreover, proper fertilization, aeration, and dethatching help promote healthy turf which better resists crabgrass invasions.

Growth Habits

Crabgrass is a warm season grass that thrives in full sun and prefers sandy soils. Its shallow root system allows it to germinate quickly when soil temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It can grow up to 6” tall but does not spread like Bermuda Grass, making it an ideal choice for controlling weeds due to its ability to crowd them out.

It has a rapid growth rate, becoming established within two weeks of germination; however, this also means crabgrass needs constant maintenance throughout the growing season as it will continue to produce seeds until frost begins.

As such, proper fertilization and mowing techniques must be employed in order to maintain optimum health. To prepare for these maintenance requirements, gardeners should take into account their local climate conditions and plan accordingly.

Maintenance Requirements

Bermuda grass and crabgrass may look alike, yet they require different levels of maintenance.

Bermuda grass has a fine texture with thin blades that need frequent mowing to stay healthy; in contrast, the thicker blades of crabgrass can get away with less regular attention.

The lushness of bermuda grass comes from its ability to spread quickly and thrive in full sun. It is important to pay close attention when watering bermuda as it tends towards shallow roots that can dry out easily in hot temperatures.

On the other hand, crabgrass requires little more than some nutrients and sunlight for growth – making it an ideal choice for those who don’t want to spend much time caring for their lawns. However, this opportunistic weed will take over if not managed properly due to its fast-growing nature.

The differences between these two types of turfgrasses are significant but both require proper care and management to keep them looking their best throughout the year.

Weed And Disease Control

Maintaining a healthy lawn requires more than just regular mowing and fertilization. Weed and disease control is essential to keep the grass in top condition.

Bermuda grass has an advantage over crabgrass when it comes to weed control, as its dense growth habit helps prevent many weeds from taking hold. Crabgrass can be controlled through pre-emergent herbicides applied in spring before the plant germinates, but this must be done consistently each year for effective prevention.

Both bermuda and crabgrass are susceptible to various diseases including rusts, leaf spots, and necrotic ring spots; however with proper maintenance and care these issues can often be prevented or managed without too much difficulty. With timely inspections of the turf along with preventive measures such as irrigation management and fungicide applications, both bermuda grass and crabgrass should remain relatively free of disease problems throughout the growing season.

Natural Predators

The battle between bermuda grass and crabgrass is legendary. Never before has a turf war been so intense and long-lasting, with both sides putting up an incredible fight to dominate the landscape.

Fortunately, Mother Nature provides some natural predators which can help control their populations.

Goats are one of the most effective natural solutions for controlling crabgrass growth in lawns and gardens. Their high metabolisms cause them to eat any vegetation they come across, including crabgrass. Chickens are also excellent at helping manage crabgrass because they love eating small seeds like those found on this weed species. By introducing these animals into your garden or yard, you can naturally reduce the amount of crabgrass present without needing to use chemical treatments.

In addition to these creatures, there are other methods that can be used to keep crabgrass from taking over areas where it’s not wanted. These include using mulch around plants and flowers, planting ground covers such as clover instead of traditional grasses, and removing weeds by hand when possible.

Benefits And Drawbacks

Having discussed the natural predators of bermuda grass and crabgrass, the benefits and drawbacks associated with these two types of grasses can now be evaluated.

Bermudagrass is a warm season perennial turfgrass that provides excellent wear tolerance, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Additionally, it is drought tolerant, has good salt toleration capabilities, and spreads quickly to form an even lawn.

On the other hand, crabgrass is an annual weed that thrives in hot weather conditions but cannot withstand cold temperatures or shade. Here are some important characteristics regarding both:

Bermuda Grass:

  • Grows well in full sunlight
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • Drought & Salt Tolerant


  • Quickly germinates during springtime months
  • Resistant to many herbicides
  • High fertility needs

Clearly, both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages when used as a lawn cover; however given their durability and ease of care compared to crabgrass alone, Bermuda grass may be the better option for homeowners looking for a low maintenance solution suitable for heavy use.

In terms of sustainability, it should also be noted that although crabgrass requires more fertilizer than Bermuda grass due to its short lifespan and rapid growth rate, this could result in greater potential environmental impacts over time.

Cost Comparison

The battle between bermuda grass and crabgrass is one that has raged for generations, with each side fighting hard to gain the upper hand. The stakes are high as both species have a lot at stake when it comes to the cost of maintenance.

As a horticultural expert, I can tell you that there are some distinct differences in the costs associated with these two types of turfgrasses.

When it comes to initial installation, bermuda grass tends to be more expensive than crabgrass. This is due mainly to the fact that bermuda grass requires more intensive labor during installation than does crabgrass. Additionally, bermuda grass may require additional fertilizers or herbicides prior to planting which can add significant costs upfront.

On the other hand, once established, maintaining bermuda grass is generally less expensive than maintaining crabgrass. Bermuda grass requires fewer applications of chemical weed control products throughout its growing season compared to crabgrass and often yields superior results even without them. Also, because bermuda grass can withstand drought-like conditions better than most varieties of crabgrass, it often needs significantly less water over time resulting in lower overall maintenance costs.

In comparison then, while there may be higher upfront expenses associated with installing and establishing a healthy stand of bermuda grass versus crabgrass, long term savings achieved through reduced maintenance requirements make this option an attractive choice for many homeowners and landscape professionals alike.

Seeding And Planting

The cost comparison between bermuda grass and crabgrass is significant. While crabgrass can be cheaper to purchase, the maintenance costs of upkeep are much higher due to its rapid growth rate. Bermuda grass requires more initial investment but offers long-term savings since it needs less mowing and fertilizer application than most other varieties including crabgrass.

When planting either type of grass seed, there are a few key factors to consider for successful germination. Soil pH must be tested first in order to determine if any amendments need to be added for optimal plant health. Additionally, proper seeding rates should be followed as too little or too much seed may lead to poor results.

Top dressing with compost before and after planting will help ensure good water retention and nutrient availability which will promote strong root development.

Seed Mixtures

Seed mixtures have become a popular way to tackle the issue of bermuda grass and crabgrass. By blending both varieties, it is possible to gain benefits from each while minimizing their drawbacks. The two can be used in harmony with one another by taking advantage of their distinct characteristics.

For example, bermuda grass offers superior drought resistance and quick establishment, while crabgrass provides better color retention during heat spells. When combined together into a single blend, these two types of grasses provide an ideal combination for many lawns.

Despite the potential advantages offered by such mixtures, there are some considerations one should take into account before deciding on any particular blend. These include factors such as climate conditions, soil type, budget constraints, and local laws governing turf use.

It may also be necessary to consider whether certain blends will require more maintenance than others over time or if certain seed mixes could potentially interfere with existing weed control methods already being employed on the property in question. Taking all of this into account can help ensure that the mixture chosen meets all applicable legal requirements while providing optimal performance in terms of aesthetics and cost-effectiveness.

Legal Considerations

When it comes to seed mixtures, the two most popular types of grass that can be found in many lawns are bermuda grass and crabgrass. It is important for homeowners to understand the legal considerations associated with seeding these types of grasses.

In some states, such as California, certain types of turfgrasses may require a permit prior to installation or planting. This requirement may apply to both bermuda and crabgrass depending on the specific cultivar being used and its intended purpose. In addition, there may also be restrictions on how much area an individual has planted with either type of grass within their property lines.

Homeowners should check with local authorities regarding any applicable regulations before starting a project involving either species of turfgrass.

Homeowners must ensure they are taking all necessary steps to comply with governing laws and regulations when selecting which type of seed mixture best suits their needs. Failure to do so could result in fines or other penalties from government entities if violations occur. By understanding the legal implications surrounding each variety of grass, homeowners can make informed decisions while avoiding potential issues down the road.