Why Pick Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass

Why Would You Pick Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass for Your Houston Area Project?

Call 281-431-7441 for information about the varieties of grass that thrive in the Houston area.  In this video, Houston Grass 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.  If your interested in Bermuda Grasses, please check Michael’s video about the advantages and disadvantages of Bermuda grasses in general.

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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. We talked a little bit about the TexTurf 10 and compared it to Common Bermuda. Now, we’re over here in the finer-bladed Bermuda, which is the Tifway 419. They use the Tifway 419 on sports fields a lot and where most people see the Tifway 419 is on golf courses. They put it out on the tee boxes, mowed real short, and they use it in the fairways, where there’s not much shade. The Tifway 419 is a real fine-bladed turf grass –it’s very dense and it feels almost like carpet. When you walk on it, you kind of leave a footprint.

Traffic Tolerance

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.  The rotary mower is what most lawn services and what most home owners have. The reel mowers are the kinds of mowers that 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 feasible for home owners.

One of the greatest attributes to this grass and the reason they use it on golf courses is because it recuperates from damage real fast. So golf divots or damage from cleats on a football field or soccer field or something like that are quickly repaired by new growth with Tifway 419.  It does real well to repair traffic damage, and it grows back real fast. That’s why they use it in those situations.

Mowing Requirements

Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass - Houston Grass South
Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass – Houston Grass South

One thing to note about the Tifway 419 is only the top third of the leaf is green.  We recommend that our grasses be mowed at least every seven days.  With Tifway 419, the only way it’s ever going to look really nice in your lawn is if you’re mowing it every four or five days.   If you wait seven days between mowings with Tifway 419, you’ll likely cut off more than a third of the leaf blades and you’re left with some brown stems.  Those brown stems are not very pleasing to look at out there and they looks like dead grass.

If you do happen to cut off more than a third of the grass blades, the grass will be fine with a good watering afterwards, but it’s fairly stressful to the grass to do that repeatedly. So Tifway may require a little bit more maintenance because of the need to mow more frequently. The best look that you’re going to have with it is mowing it about every four to five days.

No Shade Tolerance

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 are the best place for any Bermuda grass.

Good Drought Tolerance

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 rain is not falling out of the sky, you’ve got to water it. If you’re using 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.  All of these grasses have pretty much the same watering requirements to look the best they can. Two half-inch waterings per week are ideal if the water is not falling out of the sky.

Fertilization Requirements

Bermuda grasses generally need fertilization four to six times per year to look as green and as nice as possible.  With St. Augustine and Zoysia grasses, you can get by with two to three fertilizations per year, but with the Bermuda grasses you really need to double that.

Weed Control with Bermuda Grasses

Just like the other Bermuda grasses, weeds can be an issue with Tifway 419 Bermuda grass.  It’s not quite as thick and dense as Zoysia and the St. Augustine grasses, so it doesn’t do as good shading out those weed seeds that blow onto your lawn.  So putting out a pre-emergent herbicide like I talked about in our video about picking Bermuda grass is usually the best way to combat those weeds.  Usually the pre-emergent herbicide has to be applied by a licensed applicator. It creates a barrier and the weeds never get going, which is ideal.

However, it should be noted that, just like the TexTurf 10 you don’t want to put any chemical or any kind of herbicide out the first year after planting the grass.  It will stunt the growth of your new grass.  Your new grass will not root down near as fast or near as good.  So the only way to fight the weeds that first year after you put out the new grass is to mow them off.  If you mow your new lawn twice a week, that kind of keeps the weeds out of sight anyway, and then you can start with a pre-emergent program when your new grass had become established. That’s the way to do that.

Tifway 419 is a good grass, if you’re willing to mow twice a week and you don’t have much shade and you don’t like the coarseness of some of the St. Augustine’s. Tifway may be a good alternative for your lawn.

Houston Grass 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.   Our office is on the south side of Houston in Arcola, just off Highway 6 on McKeever Road, and a few miles east of Sienna Plantation.  Call us at 281-431-7441 today!

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