Why Would You Pick Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass for Your Houston Area Project?
Call 281-431-7441 for information about the varieties of grass sod that thrive in the Houston area. In this video, Houston Grass South Owner Michael Romine talks about a variety of Bermuda grass called Tifway 419. It can be a fantastic choice for some projects and a bad choice for others, and Michael explains why here.
Here’s a summary of Michael’s video describing Tifway 419 Bermuda grass.
Here we are again in our plots out here at Houston Grass. We’re in the Bermuda grasses still. We talked a little bit about the TexTurf 10 and compared it to, say, common Bermuda. Now, we’re over her in the finer bladed Bermuda, which is the Tifway 419. They use the Tifway 419 on sports fields a lot and they also use it, where most people see the Tifway 419 is out on golf courses. They put it out on the, sometimes it’s on the tee boxes, mowed real short or they use it a lot out in the fairways, where there’s not much shade, which is a problem I’ll talk about in a minute with the Bermuda grasses. But the Tifway 419 is a real fine bladed, very dense, feels almost like carpet. When you walk in it, you kind of leave a footprint.
The difference in the way it’s kept in a home lawn situation versus a golf course though is that on a golf course, it looks like carpet because they mow it every day or every other day with a reel mower as opposed to the traditional rotary mower that is what most lawn services and what most home owners have. The reel mower are the kind of mowers, they turn around in a circle like this and have multiple blades on them and you can mow grass real short with those and it does a real good job. The thing is, you can’t cut off very much, so you’re mowing every day or every other day, which is just normally not real feasible for home owners.
One of the greatest attributes to this grass and the reason they do use it on golf courses and whatnot is because it recuperates from damage real fast. So, golf, the divots or cleats on out a football field or soccer field or something like that, it does real well against that traffic tolerance and it grows back real fast. That’s why they use it in those situations.
One thing to note about the Tifway 419 is only the top third of the leaf is green. Only the top third of the plant is green in its actual leaf, so it’s really important with this one that you, we recommend that all these grasses be mowed at least every seven days, if not every four or five days. The Tif, however, is almost a, the only way it’s ever going to look nice in your lawn is if you’re mowing it every four or five days because it’s almost inevitable that if you wait seven days, what you cut off, you’re left with some brown stems and it’s not only aesthetically not very pleasing to look out there and see, it looks like dead grass.
If you do happen to do that, with a good watering afterwards, the grass will be fine but it’s fairly stressful to the grass to do that. So, again, this one, it may be a little bit higher maintenance for that reason. We’ve seen, the homeowners that get it, the best look that you’re going to have with it is mowing it about every four to five days.
Also, it is a Bermuda grass, so it should be noted that it has zero shade tolerance. It will not tolerate any shade at all. If you’re planting it next to a two story house or between two two story houses or where two fences intersect or you’re planting little trees now but those little trees are going to become big trees in the future, you should take note that this is probably going to thin out and die over time, due to that shade. Like I said, wide open spaces is the best place for any Bermuda grass.
Like the rest of the Bermuda grasses, it does have a good drought tolerance. That’s one of the positive attributes to all the Bermuda grasses. However, it should be noted, to make it look as best it can, that it needs one inch of water per week. If it’s not falling out of the sky, Mother Nature’s not being agreeable, you’ve got to water it. If it’s a hose, you water about two hours, twice a week. That’s two half inch waterings and that is usually ample. Even if you have an irrigation system, I have found that, in my home in particular, you set each zone to go off twice a week, like Saturday or Wednesday, something like that, and about 15 to 20 minutes per zone is usually ample but, again, all these grasses, I would say pretty much the same watering requirements to look the best they can, two one half inch waterings per week if it’s not falling out of the sky is what it’s going to need.
Another thing, Bermuda grasses in generally, this one certainly, whereas the St. Augustine and Zoysia, you can get by with two to three fertilizations per year, you’re looking at, with the Bermuda grasses, you really need to, you’re almost double that. You need probably four to six for it to be, fertilizations per year, for it to be the greenest and the nicest that it can be.
Also, just like the other Bermuda grasses, weeds can be an issue with the Bermuda grass. It’s not quite as thick and dense as the Zoysia and the St. Augustine, so it doesn’t do as good shading out those weed seeds and whatnot, so usually putting out a pre-emergent herbicide like I talked about in our video with the TexTurf is usually the best way to combat those weeds. You put out that pre-emergent herbicide, which usually has to be done by a licensed applicator. You put that out and it creates a barrier and the weeds never get going, which is ideal.
However, it should be noted that, just like the TexTurf we talked about, you don’t want to put any chemical, any kind of herbicide out the first year after planting the grass, because it basically stunts the growth of your new grass that you put down as well. It doesn’t root down near as fast or near as good, so the only way to fight the weeds, really, that first year after you put out the new grass is really just to kind of mow them off and mow that twice a week and that kind of keeps the weeds out of sight anyway, and then you can start with a pre-emergent program. That’s the way to do that.
Tifway in general, I would say, it’s a good grass, if you’re willing to mow that twice a week and you don’t have much shade and you don’t like, say, the coarseness of some of the St. Augustine’s. Tifway may be a good alternative for your particular lawn.
Houston Grass South delivers the best quality grass sod available in the Houston area. We get our sod from our family farm in Bay City, TX, where we’ve been in the grass business since 1981. Come by our office to “barefoot test” our grass varieties before you buy — it’s located in Arcola on FM 521, just off Highway 6 and just a few miles east of Sienna Plantation. Call us at 281-431-7441 today!