The suggested planting times for seeded Bermudagrass has typically been between April 15 and August 15, so that the environmental conditions are right for growth and development.
In the fall of 2008, we were a little late in getting our seeded variety “Riviera” planted but the seed germinated and nearly 100% cover was achieved. On one side of the plot where irrigation work had taken place, the area was renovated at the end of October and more Riviera was seeded. At that time of year, the seed was considered “dormant” in that it would not germinate until spring 2009 when weather conditions were favorable. By the end of the fall season, the Bermudagrass had gone dormant and the whole area was covered with an Evergreen growth blanket.
In May 2009, it quickly became apparent that the dormant seeded Riviera was germinating and establishing but that the seed established last fall had most likely succumbed to winter injury. This suggests that field managers wanting to get seed out but being right on the edge of the August 15th deadline should consider waiting until winter and apply a dormant seed.
This result is similar to the findings at the University of Arkansas*, where they have found that dormant seeding Bermudagrass in February and March produces denser turf much quicker than seeding in April or May. Some difficulties may be encountered though on those fields that have been overseeded with perennial ryegrass in the fall. Seeding dormant Bermudagrass into ryegrass is difficult because the ryegrass is so competitive. Some success has been achieved if the ryegrass is killed first with glyphosate, and then a dormant Bermudagrass seed applied
*Ref: Shaver, Bradly; Richardson, Mike; McCalla, John; Karcher, Doug; Berger, Pat. 2006. Golf Course Management. October. 74(10): p. 93-95.
Posted by Pam Sherratt & John Street on www.buckeyeturf.osu.edu