Hulled vs. Unhulled Bermuda Grass Seed: How to Choose

Relaxing on a beautiful garden with Bermuda grass can offer many benefits for your well-being, much like taking these health supplements. However, many gardeners find choosing between hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed challenging. Unhulled seed is less expensive, but it requires more patience to germinate. The hulled grass seed is more expensive but has faster germination. Here’s a guide for choosing the right Bermuda grass seed for your needs.

Please remember a few things when deciding between hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed. This article highlights tips that may help you choose the Bermuda seeds that suit your needs. But first, let’s learn something about Bermuda grass. 

What is Bermuda Grass?

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season turfgrass in tropical and subtropical regions. It is also known as devil’s grass, dog’s tooth, and scutch grass. This perennial grass is drought-tolerant and spreads rapidly through stolons (aboveground horizontal stems). It has short, stiff blades that are V-shaped with blunt tips. The leaves grow in a rolled shape and have a hairy texture on the upper side. The lower surface of the leaves is smooth. 

It originated in Africa and spread to the Americas in the 1600s, and its initial uses included pastures and lawn grass. People have naturalized Bermuda grass in various places worldwide, including Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Mexico.

This hardy grass can survive in different climates, from cool and moist to hot and dry. It can even tolerate saltwater spray and heavy foot traffic. And this makes Bermuda grass ideal for lawns, golf courses, parks, playgrounds, and sports fields with heavy usage. 

Bermuda grass flowers appear in summer as spikelets that grow in pairs. Each spikelet contains three to five flowers, and gardeners propagate Bermuda grass through seeds, stolons, and rhizomes (underground horizontal stems). Its beauty has made it popular among residential and commercial property owners.

Some benefits of Bermuda grass include:

  • It is drought-tolerant
  • It can handle high traffic
  • It has a deep root system
  • It is heat- and cold-tolerant
  • It is salt-tolerant

Experts classify Bermuda grass into common Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) and hybrid Bermuda (Cynodon transvaalensis). Common Bermuda grass is the more widespread type. It is aggressive and invasive, which can quickly take over an area. Hybrid Bermuda grass is less aggressive and not as pushy.

Now that you know something about Bermuda grass, let’s move on to the hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed debate.

Hulled vs. Unhulled Bermuda Grass Seed- Why the Challenge?

Several reasons are responsible for the challenge when choosing between the hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed. The hull refers to the seed’s outermost layer that protects the inner embryo from insects, disease, and harsh weather conditions. The hull regulates the moisture and temperature around the innermost part to ensure proper germination. Some people call hulled seeds “encapsulated” or “coated” seeds. The coating can be materials like clay, wax, or polymer.

Unhulled Bermuda grass seeds (sometimes called “naked” seeds) do not have an outer coating. And this makes them more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Unhulled seeds also require more precise watering than hulled seeds. The seeds require moisture at all times during germination. Otherwise, they will die. So, should you choose hulled or unhulled Bermuda grass seed? Let’s find out.

Hulled Bermuda Grass Seed

Cost is a vital consideration when deciding between the hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed. Hulled Bermuda grass seed is more expensive than unhulled Bermuda grass seed. However, the hulled grass seed has several advantages over the unhulled grass:

  • The hulled seed germinates faster.
  • Birds or other animals are less likely to eat the hulled grass seed.
  • The hulled grass seed produces a more vigorous, healthier plant.

Unhulled Bermuda Grass Seed

Unhulled Bermuda grass seed is less expensive than hulled Bermuda grass seed. However, unhulled grass seed has several advantages over a hulled grain:

  • Unhulled seed takes longer to germinate. That’s because the hull protects the innermost part from the outside world’s unfavorable conditions.
  • Unhulled seed is more likely to produce a disease-resistant plant.
  • Unhulled seed produces a more vigorous plant.

How to Choose Your Bermuda Grass Seed

When deciding between hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed, consider your needs. If you want a fast-germinating, disease-resistant plant, go with an unhulled grain. If you want a robust and healthy plant, go with a hulled seed. Nevertheless, get your grain from a reliable supplier. Make sure that the supplier has high-quality grains and has stored them properly.

Hulled and unhulled Bermuda grass seed have their pros and cons. Your choice depends on your needs. Therefore, consider your options carefully before making a decision. And regardless of the grain you purchase, plant it in well-drained soil in full sun. Planting Bermuda grass seed entails some risk. This plant requires quality soil and a site with full sun. Additionally, get fresh seeds to achieve better results. However, with care and patience, you can establish a beautiful lawn with Bermuda grass seed. But first, decide between the hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed.

How to Care for Bermuda Grass

Once you’ve chosen between hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seeds and installed them, you need to care for them to ensure a healthy, thick lawn. Here are some tips for Bermuda grass care:

  • Mow your Bermuda grass lawn at the recommended height. The ideal size is 1 to 2 inches.
  • Water your Bermuda grass lawn deeply and infrequently. This grass is drought-tolerant and does not need much water.
  • Fertilize your Bermuda grass lawn twice or thrice yearly with a slow-release fertilizer.
  • Remove weeds from your Bermuda grass lawn as soon as they appear. Weeds compete with Bermuda grass for water, nutrients, and space.
  • Aerate your Bermuda grass lawn every year to improve drainage and reduce compaction.
  • Over-seed your Bermuda grass lawn every year to fill in any bare spots.

Please talk to grass experts if you still struggle to choose between hulled vs. unhulled Bermuda grass seed. The best grass specialists will assess your yard and help you choose the right type of seed for your needs. And once you’ve installed your Bermuda grass, be sure to care for it properly to ensure a beautiful, healthy lawn with Bermuda grass. Happy gardening with Gardenterprise

Henry Mugambi

Henry Mugambi

Take a look at this guy. He's almost in his 40s, but he looks like he could be in his 20s. That's because he's a gardener—and a damn good one, too. He's been gardening since he was a little kid, and he loves nothing more than sharing his tips with others. He started blogging a few years ago, and his blog has since become a go-to source for gardening information. His audience trusts him because he knows his stuff, and he always offers sound advice that helps people get the most out of their gardens.

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