Bermuda Seed Head Expression

Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Paspalum, etc
Posts: 16
Joined: April 13th, 2017, 2:01 am
Location: Sugar Hill, GA
Grass Type: Bermuda Sod < 1yr

Bermuda Seed Head Expression

Postby GaTiller » May 19th, 2017, 11:07 am

Hey y'all, I tried my best to search for threads that have covered seed head expression but couldn't find much that spoke specifically to my context so I wanted to reach out. I've been reading these forums all spring and I've been learning a lot, but as this is my first year maintaining a lawn of any kind of my own, it's inevitable I run into things I have no knowledge of.

My understanding of seed head expression at this point is that the grass is responding to stress; this is where I'm beginning to scratch my head. I've been fertilizing and adding nutrients pretty aggressively since my soil test interpretation came back, I've been irrigating properly, dont have much weed pressure, and I'm mowing regularly adhering to the 1/3 rule. My lawn is looking healthy and green, with no other signs of stress (to my admittedly untrained eye) besides the seed heads. So, my questions:

1) Is this just a natural process that happens regularly during spring green-up?

2) Is my new Bermuda lawn more prone to seed heads because it is fairly young at less than a year?

3) Is this something I just need to be fine with and wait out, or should I be taking action steps to reduce this expression?

FYI, average temps for my location throughout May have been Hi 80 / Lo 54, but the last week and a half its been more like high 80s and low 60s. Not much rain (a lot coming this week), but again I've been irrigating regularly.

Appreciate all the input!
Posts: 103
Joined: March 11th, 2015, 3:17 pm
Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia
Grass Type: Tif 419

Re: Bermuda Seed Head Expression

Postby booneatl » May 19th, 2017, 11:28 am

This seems to happen every year around this time. I've been on this forum about 3 years and from what everyone else says it will come and go in a few weeks. I'm having the same problem right now and I'm just south of the city in Coweta county.

Cutting shorter may help some. At first I though my blade was dull but then I realized all of the seedheads were out.
Posts: 445
Joined: June 7th, 2016, 3:49 pm
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Grass Type: Cool season and warm season

Re: Bermuda Seed Head Expression

Postby Billy » May 19th, 2017, 5:04 pm

All plants undergo a natural reproduction process and the appearance of of these structures in bermudagrass is just a common part of nature. We call these seedheads in everyday conversation, but what we're seeing this time of year is more appropriately called an inflorescence -- it's the bermudagrass flower that, if left unmowed, will attempt to produce a seed. Stresses (drought, heat, insect herbivory) can speed up the process of inflorescence production (as can rain or irrigation), but Inflorescences are naturally produced this time of year and aren't necessarily caused by stress.

Inflorescences aren't going to hurt your lawn or rob it of any of it's nutrients or growing ability. If you don't like the look of them (and I can't blame you if you don't), you may need to mow more often so you cut them off.

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