Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), contrary to what its name would suggest doesn’t originate from Bermuda but instead from Africa.
It can go by a few names including wiregrass, southern lawn grass and couchgrass, and is currently found thriving in lawns throughout the southern part of the US.
Most people choose bermudagrass for their lawn owing to its good draught tolerance, durability and fairly good pest resistance.
However, bermudagrass will only boast optimal growth with lush green color blades when it’s fed with the right nutrients, aka applying the best fertilizer formula for bermudagrass and sticking to a fertilization schedule.
When shopping for the best fertilizer for bermuda grass, you’ll be spoiled for choice, given the plethora of types and options available such as granules, liquids and much more.
But we’ve done the homework for you, and narrowed it down to the 6 best fertilizers for bermuda grass healthy growth. We’ve also crafted a handy bermudagrass fertilizer buying guide to ease your buying decision.
Fertilizer vs Weed And Feed
Weed and Feed and fertilizer are two different products, and using one depends on the condition of your bermuda grass lawn.
Weed and feed does two things – fertilizes your lawn, and serves as a weed killer for broadleaf weeds and other weed issues but not grassy weeds that are actively growing in your lawn. (Depending upon whether you use pre emergent or post emergent, will determine the time that you apply weed and feed.)
Fertilizers aren’t formulated to kill weeds in your lawn, and only provide your lawn and garden with high-quality liquid nutrients or granular nutrients.
So which one should you choose – fertilizer or weed and feed for your bermuda grass lawn? Well, if you have weeds and need to top up your lawn with essential nutrients, then weed and feed is a good option.
But if your lawn is free from weeds and only needs a good balance of nutrients for vigorous growth, buying any one of the best fertilizers for bermuda grass is recommended.
Nutrients Required for Bermuda Grass Lawns
Your bermuda grass needs nutrients for green growth, which it mostly gets from the soil. Therefore, the soil has to contain these essential nutrients to meet the plants requirements for leaf and root development.
However, the quality of soil varies, where some regions may have soil that’s rich in potassium, whereas others may be deficient in this nutrient.
Just like all grass lawns, bermuda grass lawns require three important nutrients for healthy root growth, namely nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)—in larger quantities.
All commercial fertilizers feature an N-P-K ratio on their label, and are generally formulated to provide these nutrients at higher amounts than what’s available naturally in the soil like a 16-4-8 NPK.
In terms of the nutrients required for bermuda grass, it depends on the current growth rate of the grass. For example, newly seeded bermudagrass lawns require a different combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than an established bermuda grass lawn.
If you’re laying down seeds by hand or with a spreader for optimum coverage, choose either an organic fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer but do not use weed and feed as doing so can severely damage or kill new seedlings.
A regular application of fertilizer, that is roughly between four and six weeks after your Bermuda seeds have germinated, does not require starter fertilizer, given that it is high in phosphorus. Instead, switch to a synthetic fertilizer or an organic, slow-release fertilizer such as a 30-0-4 formulation.
Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizers for Bermuda Grass
Synthetic fertilizers are formulated with various chemicals and minerals, which are mied in variable proportions to meet the needs of different soil types, which is one of the biggest benefit of these human-made fertilizers.
Synthentic fertilizers are fast-acting formulas, and can be ordered in a choice of dry, granular pellets or a water soluble solution.
Even though they tend to be much cheaper than organic natural lawn fertilizer feeding options, making it cost efficient to cover more acres of lawn, they can release too quickly or too slowly, resulting in unnaturally balanced grass growth.
Organic natural fertilizers are made from 100 percent natural material or living matter and can be either plant based or waste based fertilizers.
Owing to the fact that the ingredients in plant based fertilizers are directly sourced from plants, you can sometimes choose what goes into the manufacturing process, so it’s possible to order them in various ratios.
Unlike plant – based organic natural fertilizers, the ingredients in waste-based organic fertilizers are sourced from the wastes of animals and plants.
This is somewhat of a downside to waste – based organic natural fertilizers, given that you cannot control the individual elements in their composition, hence cannot get bespoke nutrient ratios.
Plant-based organic fertilizers generally offer more towards soil conditioning rather than actual nutrients, so if you’re looking to improve drainage, moisture retention and overall soil structure of your bermudagrass lawn, they are a good choice.
Waste based or animal based organic fertilizers such as manure, bone meal and blood meal are great for leafy plants and bermuda grass, because they have plenty of nitrogen that’s important for bermudagrass faster growth.
Liquid vs Granular
Before revealing the differences between liquid and granular fertilizers, it’s worth mentioning that the basic nutrients are the same in both types, and can be used for all stages of bermudagrass growth.
The major difference between liquid and granular fertilizers for fertilizing bermuda grass lies in their method of delivery, where granular fertilizers are a slow-release formula of fertilizer for plants, and liquid soluble fertilizers deliver a quick release of nutrients to your soil.
Another factor that sets liquid fertilizers apart from granular fertilizers is the difference in consistency. Each ounce and drop of liquid soluble fertilizer contains the same nutrient percentages as the rest of the bottle. So you can achieve even coverage across your lawn.
But the nutrient percentages in a granular formula vary with each dry pellet, so you may get a high concentration of nutrients in one area, and undernourished in other areas.
For robust growth of bermuda grass, you can either choose a liquid fertilizer or granular fertilizer, as long as the phosphorus content is low and nitrogen is high.
Choose a liquid fertilizer if you just spread grass seeds in your lawn for stronger root development and a granular fertilizer for maintaining lawns with poor soil conditions.
Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass Lawn
1. Water Soluble Lawn Food by MiracleGro – Best Granular Bermuda Grass Fertilizer
If you’re looking to achieve a lush green carpet, the Miracle-Gro lawn food is perhaps the best fertilizer for your bermuda grass lawns.
It can be ordered in one-pack and two-pack options, and offers feeding of lawns that measure up to a whopping 7200 square feet. It is high in nitrogen and chelated iron (24-8-16 N-P-K), and can be used with the Miracle-Gro garden feeder or a watering can.
The Miracle-Gro lawn food feeds both grass blades and deeper roots, and can be used in mid – spring and in hot weather.
To use the Miracle-Gro lawn food, simply fill your feeder jar with one packet of this simple formula, attach your garden hose and turn on the water, adjust your sprayer for the desired spray pattern, and squeeze the trigger and begin spraying.
- Formula safe for all types of turfgrasses that require a 24-8-16 N-P-K ratio
- It can be used every 2 – 3 weeks in any season when grass is growing, including hot weather for greener lawn
- It contains essential nutrients for root development and to encourage a thick green lawn
- Feeds up to 7200 square feet
- Available in two sizes
- Not sold in Maryland
- Doesn’t contain fulvic acid
- Works better on some types of lawns than others
2. Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer – Best Organic Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
The Milorganite organic nitrogen fertilizer slots in at the #2 position on this list of the best fertilizers for bermudagrass for several great reasons, starting with its ability to render consistent feeding for long-lasting results.
Apart from bermuda grass lawns, this slow-release formula is a great choice for flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees, and contains no salts, so it won’t burn bermuda grass
Adding to this, the Milorgranite organic nitrogen fertilizer works miraculously towards grass leaf development, and greatly improves the condition of your lawn soil as well.
It can be used in the hottest temperatures and driest conditions, and gets to work as soon as moisture becomes available, so you don’t have to lightly water it in.
The Milorgranite is one of the few organic nitrogen-rich fertilizers that produces a rich green color without staining concrete and other areas.
This slow-release formula lasts for 8 to 10 weeks after application in spring and other seasons and is also environmentally friendly.
- Milorganite can be used in summer months for green grass
- Lasts 8 – 10 weeks after application for long lasting results
- High ratio of nitrogen
- Non-leaching and salt-free product
- Won’t stain concrete
- A bit pricey
3. Greenview Fairway Formula Lawn Fertilizer – Best Fertilizer to Thicken Bermuda Grass
The Greenview Fairway lawn fertilizer can be used on all types of grass and anytime during the growing season when the grass is actively growing.
It is especially great for thickening bermudagrass, given that it contains both slow-release and controlled-release nutrients.
After using your preferred application method, the Greenview Fairway formula stays in your soil for up 12 weeks, and a 16.5 lbs bag of this lawn food covers up to 5000 square feet.
One of the noteworthy features of the Greenview Fairway formula is that contains absolutely zero phosphate, but large amounts of nitrogen (63%).
For best results, apply Greenview Fairway lawn fertilizer in the spring, using a drop or broadcast spreader water generously until germination.
- Can be used on all grass types
- Contains slow-release as well as controlled-release nutrients
- Covers up to 5000 square feet
- Zero phosphate and 63 percent nitrogen
- Suitable for use with new grass seeds
- Weed issues must be resolved before the application
- Not available in larger than 33 lbs size bags
4. Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food — Best Fall Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
Fertilizing your bermudagrass lawn in the fall provides you with a better lawn come spring, and Scotts WinterGuard fall lawn food does the job right.
It offers twofold benefits-delivers the right amount of nutrients for root development, helps repair damage from heat drought, and activity and prepares roots to resist harsh winter conditions.
Scotts WinterGuard covers up to 5000 square feet, and can be applied to any type of grass.
- It contains nutrients for root development
- Helps repair damage from heat drought and serves as a lawn restore fertilizer
- Prepares roots to resist harsh weather conditions for long-term benefits
- Covers up to 5000 square feet
- Scotts lawn food can be applied to any type of grass
- Limited to one size option
5. The Andersons PGF Complete Fertilizer – Best Phosphorous-Free Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
The Andersons PGF Bermuda grass fertilizer is a phosphorus-free blend that contains fine size particles of humic acid, which help increase the quality of your turf, and reduce nutrient requirements.
It also contains Mutech coated slow-release nitrogen, which makes the product last longer, and provides uniform growth. The Andersons PGF fertilizer features small size particles, so you get more particles per square foot that disperse quickly when watered with a gallon of water or more.
it is one of the many fast-acting fertilizers that can be used on all turf types, and provides up to 8 weeks of nutritious fertilizer for seeds and fertilizer to soil.
The Anders PGF fertilizer treatment is a high quality fertilizer that features a 16-4-8 ratio, and requires a dry foliar application.
- 16-4-8 ratio
- Double the coverage
- 8 weeks of nutrition
- Safe for use on all turf types
- Contains MUtech coated slow release nitrogen and humic acid
- Not an effective combination with lime
- Takes a bit longer to work but results are phenomenal
6. Scotts Green Max Lawn Food – The Fastest Greening Bermuda Grass Fertilizer
The Scotts Green Max lawn food is a suitable fertilizer for a deep dark green lawn in just 3 days. It is a 2-in-1 granular formula that supplements and feeds your lawn with iron.
Adding to this, the Scotts Green Max lawn food can be applied to any turf type and does not stain areas after application.
The Scotts Green Max lawn food offers up to 5000 feet coverage, and can be ordered in a choice of 2 different sizes.
- Deep greening in just 3 days
- Can be applied to any grass type
- Doesn’t stain driveways and other areas
- Can enter lawn after application
- Not sold in Florida
Best Spring Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
The best spring fertilizer for a bermuda lawn should have a 16-4-8 NPK ratio, for which the Simple Lawn Solutions liquid lawn food checks the right boxes.
This liquid fertilizer comes with a ready to use bottle, and can be used in the spring and summer season.
The Simple Lawn Solutions liquid Bermuda grass fertilizer does not cause fertilizer burns and provides unmatched root support, vigor and strengthening. It also provides additional benefits of seaweed and fish for your lawn.
This Bermuda grass gentle fertilizer solution offers consistent feeding and long-term benefits for your lawn and can be used with all types of grass.
Best Winter Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
It’s recommended that you do not nourish Bermuda grass in the winter, but you can achieve the green vibrancy of color during the winter months by overseeding with cool-season grass seed.
Best Fall Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass
It features an effective combination of nutrients, and provides a great green vibrancy of color in a few weeks or a month after application.
It can be spread easily over an acre of land or more, and is easy to use, allowing you to easily stick to your fertilization routine.
Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass Buying Guide
The first and most important thing to do before choosing the best fertilizer for bermuda grass healthy growth and quick growth is to perform a soil test to determine if it’s lacking any nutrients.
After a soil test, you can decide whether you need a simple organic formula or an advanced formula for strong root growth and a lush lawn similar to golf courses.
Bermuda grass will grow best at a pH of 6 to 6.5, so once you receive the results from the soil test, you will have to bring it up to par by either adding lime or sulfur to lower the soil pH.
The good thing about Bermuda grass is that it’s not picky about the soil in which it grows, yet can stand up to kids, pets and foot traffic.
The best fertilizers for a Bermuda grass healthy lawn will benefit from high nitrogen content fertilizers such as a 16-4-8 balanced NPK ratio, and contain little or no phosphorous.
When to Fertilize Bermuda Grass?
The first time to nourish bermuda grass is after late spring or early summer once the grass has turned fully green before the summer. For this first application, you can apply an all-purpose fertilizer with a high nitrogen ratio.
You can fertilize Bermuda grass again in the mid summer (warmer weather) and a third dose of fertilizer in the fall with a fertilizer that contains nitrogen as well as pottasium.
Do not fertilize bermuda grass in the winter, because it could cause permanently damage to your turf, but instead apply Scotts WinterGuard lawn food (Amazon link).
How Much Fertilizer Formula for Bermuda Grass?
Even though it may be tempting to dump fertilizer in hopes of a greener lawn, overfertilizing your lawn turf could result in much bigger problems such as fertilizer burn, which can kill your bermudagrass.
The good news is that there are several ways to determine the rate of application even if you don’t know the specific N-P-K ratio. You will however need to know exactly how much “actual nitrogen” is contained in the bag.
The amount of nitrogen required for healthy turf growth varies across grass types, and bermudagrass requires approximately four to five lbs of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, regardless of the type of fertilizer or brand you purchase.
If you apply a slow-release fertilizer, you can do three applications of 1.5 lbs of nitrogen each per 1000 square feet in mid-spring, mid-summer, and early fall.
The downside is that most bags of fertilizer, whether it’s an organic product or synthetic fertilizer do not tell you how much “actual” nitrogen they contain, but its easy to do the math to figure out a near-accurate number with the N-P-K ratio and weight of the bag.
Simply take the first number in the N-P-K ratio (N), and multiply it by the weight of the bag to get the “actual” amount of nitrogen the bag contains. For example, a 50 lbs of 14-2-4 NPK ratio bag will have 7 lbs of nitrogen (14% of 50).
Next, you will have to determine the amount of coverage, so divide the amount of nitrogen in the bag by the amount you want to apply in a single application, which works out to 2.33 lbs per 1000 square feet (1.5 lbs of nitrogen each per 1000 square feet).
How to Spread Fertilizer for Bermudagrass?
Spreading fertilizer over your Bermuda grass lawn isn’t an exact science, and depends on the type of fertilizer you’re using.
You can spread granular fertilizer over your green lawn by using a broadcast spreader or handheld spreader. You will have to calibrate the spreader before using it for accurate feet of coverage. Liquid fertilizers are easier to use than granular fertilizers and require hose-end spraying.
Is 10-10-10 Fertilizer Good for Bermudagrass?
You can apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer to your Bermuda grass lawn, but since it’s very high in nutrients, it may cause fertilizer burn if not carefully applied.
Is 16-4-8 Fertilizer Good for Bermudagrass?
A 16-4-8 fertilizer is an amazing product for feeding lawns with Bermuda grass as long as you follow a regular feeding schedule.
This high in nitrogen formula contains very little phosphorous, and can be watered in with small amounts of water if using granular fertilizer.
Is 4-1-2 Fertilizer Good for Bermuda grass?
A 2-1-2 fertilizer is not an ideal fertilization technique for Bermuda grass as it is low in nitrogen, a nutrient that Bermuda requires in plenty to thrive.