As a homeowner, there’s nothing like being able to walk into your backyard on a nice summer evening and step out onto your lawn comfortably in your bare feet. Perhaps play with your kids or pets, not worrying about your feet getting muddy. Or just enjoy a leisurely stroll through your yard, and not walk away with minor skin irritations that prickly blades of grass can give you. If you’re looking into grasses to seed your backyard lawn with, you might be wondering if Bermuda grass is the right choice to achieve this level of softness.
- Why Choose Bermuda grass?
- What Is It That Makes a Lawn Soft
- How to make Bermuda Grass Softer
- A Soft Alternative to Bermuda Grass
As far as softness goes, Bermuda grass falls into the middle range when compared to other grasses used for home lawns. It’s a popular choice for lawns and golf courses, but not necessarily because of it’s softness.
Why Choose Bermuda grass?
Bermuda grass is known for being low maintenance and fairly resistant to wear and tear, so you can expect it to last for years with regular care. Plus, its attractive emerald green color and vibrant growth make it a great option for adding visual interest to any outdoor space. It’s also salt tolerant, making it a great choice for coastal properties. With proper maintenance and care, you can enjoy a lush green lawn or golf course with Bermuda grass.
It’s not uncomfortable on bare-feet, per se. Its blades are waxy and smooth to the touch, making it pleasant to walk or play sports on. It’s not overly spongy or cushion-like like many other types of grass, but it does offer some softness and shock absorption.
What Is It That Makes a Lawn Soft
Have you ever noticed that not all grass feels the same? Some grass is soft and luxurious, while other grass is stiff and prickly. It turns out that there are a few reasons why some grass is softer than others.
One reason has to do with the length of the blades. Longer blades of grass are able to trap more moisture, which makes them softer and more pleasant to the touch.
Certain types of grass, such as Bermuda or Fescue, have narrower blades than other types of grass. This also allows them to trap more moisture, resulting in a softer feel.
The Underlying Soil
Finally, soil composition can also affect the softness of grass. Soil that is high in clay content tends to hold onto moisture better than sandy soil, making for a softer lawn. So next time you’re enjoying a walk on a soft lawn, take a moment to appreciate all the factors that went into making it so lovely and plush.
How to make Bermuda Grass Softer
If you have ever walked barefoot on a Bermuda grass lawn, you know that the experience can sometimes be less than enjoyable. The blades of grass are sharp and can often cause irritation. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make your lawn more foot-friendly.
First, consider mowing your grass a little higher than usual. Longer blades of grass will be softer and less likely to cut skin. Almost all lawnmowers have an adjustable setting that allows you to control the height at which you trim your lawn. Inspect your mower and consult the instructions if necessary
Care For Your Soil
Secondly, make sure to fertilize your Bermuda grass regularly. A healthy lawn is a softer lawn. However, be sure not to over-fertilize as this can have the opposite effect. For most home lawns, fertilizer should be applied once or twice a year. During the growing season, applying fertilizer every six weeks is generally sufficient.
De-thatch Your Bermuda Grass When Necessary
Lastly, look into getting a thatching machine to soften your Bermuda grass. Thatch is the layer of dead grass just above the soil. It can cause your lawn to feel prickly and uncomfortable. By removing thatch, you will make your lawn much softer and more comfortable to walk on barefoot.
It goes without saying that sufficient water will keep your grass and underlying soil healthy and soft. In the spring & summer when Bermuda grass is thriving, water it 3-4 times per week early in the morning for about 15 minutes. During the winter, when it is dormant, you can scale that back to 1-2 times per week.
You should also avoid walking on the grass when it is wet, as this can damage the blades and compact the soil. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your home lawn looking great while also preventing soil erosion.
A Soft Alternative to Bermuda Grass
If you’re still searching for a soft grass, you might be looking for alternatives to Bermuda grass. You want the characteristics of Bermuda grass: it’s hardiness, it’s ability to crowd out weeds, it’s low maintenance, etc. But you want a slightly softer alternative.
It may not sound like a soft grass, but all fescues are some of the softest grasses around. As its name indicates, it’s the hardest of the fescues, but it’s still softer than Bermuda grass. It’s also bit more hardy than most fescues and can hold up to heat & cold like Bermuda does.
You might not actually have to veer away from Bermuda grass entirely. There are several hybrid species of Bermuda grass that have slightly different qualities. Tifway II is one such Bermuda grass hybrid that maintain all the desirable characteristics of Bermuda grass, with a slightly finer blade making it a touch softer than standard Bermuda grass.
Making a Decision on Your Lawn
Hopefully this article helped you get a better understanding of how soft Bermuda grass is, how you can make your Bermuda grass lawn softer, and what soft alternatives to Bermuda grass exist. Just be sure you do a bit more research on how well certain grasses do in your area. Bermuda is a heat loving grass that does well in the southern, tropical climates and may not be the best choice for your climate.