Maintenance Tips

How To Maintain Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass

For the most part, managing Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass is similar to maintaining any bermudgrass variety, with a few important exceptions. Overall, Tahoma 31 requires fewer inputs of water and fertilizer, stands up to drought and tolerates shade better than other bermudagrasses.


Tahoma 31 performs best at a height of cut of between 0.125-inch to 2-inches. A rotary mower may be used but a reel mower is preferred for lower heights of cut.


Tahoma 31 requies significantly less nitrogen fertilizer than other bermudagrasses. Tahoma 31 is highly effective in it use and processing of Nitrogen fertilizer. It is suggested to apply N at 50% to 75% of the amount of N commonly applied to bermudagrass depending on soil conditions at the installation site. At establishment, it is recommended to apply 1 lb. of N per 1,000 sq.ft. 


Tahoma 31 requires significantly less water for irrigation than othe bermudgrasses. Once established, Tahoma 31 requires  18% less water than TifTuf. Depending on weather, location, and humidity, irrigate Tahoma 31 as needed at the first sign of wilt.



The following management practices will help you care for your lawn throughout the year. Location, terrain, soil type and condition, age of the lawn, previous lawn care, and other factors affect turf performance, so adjust these management practices and dates to suit your particular lawn.



Mow when the lawn first turns green using a rotary or reel mower set as low as possible without scalping the lawn. Mow the grass before it grows taller than 21⁄2 inches. This initial mowing will remove excess dormant tissue and establish the desired mowing height for the year. Leave nutrient-rich grass clippings on the lawn unless they are unsightly or clumped. If grass clippings are too plentiful, collect and use them as mulch.


Apply nutrients based on soil testing. Contact your local Extension agent for soil testing information. In the absence of a soil test, apply 1⁄2 to 1 pound of nitrogen (N) per 1,000 square feet several weeks after the lawn turns fully green (typically between early April and May).

You need to apply 1⁄2 pound of N per 1,000 square feet, so how much fertilizer do you need to buy? Divide 50 by the FIRST number on the fertilizer bag. (The first number always represents N content.) For example, if you’ve got a 5-5-15 fertilizer, divide 50 by 5 and you get 10. That means you need to buy 10 pounds of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.


When bermudagrass is growing, supplement rainfall as needed so that the lawn gets about 1 inch of water each week. A bluish-gray appearance or wilted, folded, or curled leaves may indicate that it is time to water. Use a screwdriver or similar implement to check for proper saturation. Sandy soils require more frequent watering (about 1⁄2 inch of water every third day). In clay soils, which accept water slowly, irrigate just until runoff occurs, wait until the water has been absorbed, and begin watering again. Continue until the desired depth or amount is applied. Proper irrigation may prevent or reduce problems later in the summer. Watering between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. decreases the incidence of certain diseases.

Weed Control

White grubs may be active at this time, but spring curative applications are not effective. Make note of areas with white grub activity and plan to apply a preventive application in the following spring or early summer. Specific timing will vary depending on white grub species, so plan to make an application when adult flight is at its peak.

Disease Control

As bermudagrass breaks dormancy, spring dead-spot may appear as circular patches of tan or brown sunken turf. Patches may be 2 inches to 3 feet in diameter and typically appear on turf that is 3 to 5 years old. Apply N monthly from mid-May to mid-August to promote recovery, and map affected areas for possible fungicide treatment in the fall. Core aeration and removing excessive thatch may help avoid future problems with spring dead-spot.

Thatch Removal

If thatch (a layer of undecomposed grass) is thicker than 1⁄2 inch, power rake (vertical mow) in late May. Vertical mow only after the lawn has completely greened up, or recovery will be very slow.


In late May, start replanting bare or worn areas using sod or sprigs (three to five bushels per 1,000 square feet). Common bermudagrass can be planted using bermudagrass seed at 1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Keep the seedbed continually moist with light, frequent irrigation several times a day until the seed has germinated, and then irrigate less frequently.



Mow to the desired height. Bermudagrass has a very wide range of acceptable heights (5⁄8 to 21⁄2 inches). Maintaining a lower height will require more frequent mowing to prevent scalping. Mowing heights below 1 inch will require a reel mower and very level ground; therefore, most bermudagrass lawns are maintained between 1 and 21⁄2 inches.


To minimize spring dead spot, apply no more than 1⁄2 pound N per 1,000 square feet in September, or four weeks before the first expected frost. Use a low N, high potassium fertilizer like 5-10-30, or supplement with 1 pound of potash (K2O) per 1,000 square feet four to six weeks before expected frost using 11⁄2 pounds of muriate of potash (KCl) (0-0-60) or 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50). (The third number represents potassium.)

Insect Control

Curative applications applied in early fall may control some white grubs, but efficacy will vary depending on the size of grub. Later instars (larger grubs) are harder to treat than early instars. Identify and make note of problem areas for preventive applications in late spring to early summer.

Disease Control

If spring dead spot was a problem, apply an appropriate fungicide to problem areas at the highest label rates. Applications are most effective when soil temperatures are between 60 and 80°F. To move the fungicide into the root zone, apply with a large volume of water (5 gallons per 1,000 square feet) or water in with at least 1⁄8 inch of irrigation immediately after application. Map areas for future target applications so that you will treat only the affected areas.


Although irrigation is not usually necessary, make sure the soil doesn’t get powder-dry.



Continue mowing using the March to May guidelines until several weeks before the first expected frost. In the piedmont: If the lawn is not overseeded in the winter, raise the mowing height 1⁄2 inch to provide more protection from winter kill. Raise the mowing height 1⁄2 inch in early to mid-September in the mountains, about mid to late September in the piedmont, and late September to mid-October in the coastal plain.


Have your soil tested. Ask your local Extension agent about a free soil test. Then apply the nutrient your lawn needs. If you don’t test, apply a complete nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (that is, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8). For a basic level of fertility, fertilize with 1 pound of N per 1,000 square feet in mid-September and again in November (about the time the grass is green but not actively growing).

You need to apply 1 pound of N per 1,000 square feet, so how much fertilizer do you need to buy? Divide 100 by the FIRST number on the fertilizer bag. (The first number always represents N content.) For example, if you’ve got a 10-10-10 fertilizer, divide 100 by 10 and you get 10. That means you need to buy 10 pounds of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.


Follow guidelines for March through May.

Weed Control

Apply broadleaf herbicides to control broadleaf weeds like chickweed and henbit, as necessary. Caution: Some herbicides may affect newly seeded turf. Follow label directions.

Insect Control

Curative applications applied in early fall may control some white grubs, but efficacy will vary depending on the size of grub. Later instars (larger grubs) are harder to treat than early instars. Identify and make note of problem areas for preventive applications in late spring/early summer.


Aerate lawns that are subject to heavy traffic or grown on clay soils. Remove plugs and break them up to put the soil back into the lawn.


Piedmont and coastal plain regions only! Overseed thin, bare areas as weather cools (September 1 to October 1). Use a blend of “turf type” tall fescue cultivars at 6 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet. In the absence of a soil test recommendation, apply a starter-type (high phosphorus) fertilizer. Keep the seedbed moist with light watering several times per day. Do not let the seedlings dry out.



Mow to remove leaves and other debris. Leaf removal will enable earlier and more consistent spring green-up.


DO NOT fertilize at this time. Submit soil samples for analysis every two to three years to determine nutrient requirements. Contact your local Extension agent for details. Depending on the results of your soil test, you may need to apply lime or sulfur to adjust soil pH.


Follow guidelines for September through November.

Weed Control

Apply broadleaf herbicides as necessary to control winter annual weeds like chickweed and henbit. Atrazine or simazine can be applied in November or December to control annual bluegrass and winter annual broadleaf weeds.


Riverside Turf would like to thank the turfgrass staff of North Carolina State University for developing these guidelines. You may also read this publication on the NC State website at:


Grady Miller
Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences

Jim Kerns
Professor and Extension Turfgrass Pathology Specialist
Entomology & Plant Pathology

Terri Billeisen
Extension Associate
Entomology & Plant Pathology

Fred Yelverton
Professor and Extension Turf Weed Management Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences

Charles Peacock
Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences

Rick Brandenburg
Professor and Extension Turfgrass Entomology Specialist
Entomology & Plant Pathology

Riverside Turf
18161 Sandy Point Rd
Charles City, VA 23030

Winstead Turf Farms Inc
22860 Hwy 196
Arlington, TN 38002

South Turf, (DBA New Life Turf)
7500 Savannah Hwy
Neeses, SC 29107

Riverview Sod Ranch
14616 E 146 St South
Leonard, OK 74043

Sod by Sherry
7700 N Heaston Rd.
Calumet, OK 73014

Carolina Green
10108 Indian Trail Fairway Rd
Indian Trail, NC 28079
704-753-1707 ext 105

Chapman Sod
19 Harris Plant Cir
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Carolina Turf Farms, Inc.
PO Box 850
Raeford, NC 28376

Tuckahoe Turf Farms
401 Myrtle Avenue
Hammonton, NJ 08037

Greenfield Turf
PO Box 138
Gordonville, MO 63752

Keeven Bros Sod
602 Laura Hill Rd
St. Peters, MO 63376

Central Sod of Maryland
920 John Brown Rd
Centreville, MD 21617

Grass Masters IN
2300 W 350
North Patoka, IN 47666

Hawaiian Turfgrass
94-840 Lanikuhana St.
Mililani, HI 96789

Legacy Turf Farms
850 Indian Mounds Rd
Cartersville, GA 30120

Southeastern Sod
735 Hooks Mill Rd
Americus, GA 31709

Green Valley Turf
13159 N. US Hwy 85
Littleton, CO 80125

Scienturfic Sod
12442 Tower Rd
Commerce City, CO 80022

West Coast Turf
42-540 Melanie Place
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Poinsett Turfgrass LLC
PO Box 48
Harrisburg, AR 72432



Soil Maxx
Tokyo, Japan


Outfield Nurseries
Ngoc Giang Hamlet, Vinh Ngoc Commune
Dong Anh, Hanoi Vietnam 100000