Establishing or re-establishing a lawn is not an easy task at the best of times. One factor that directly impacts the relative difficulty and ease of the job is the type of grass in question, as we shall soon see.
Midiron grass seed and sod belong to the long list of Bermudagrass variants. Though it can be seeded to start, it is more common to use sod in the beginning. It is tolerant to arid conditions, high traffic, and harsh use. It doesn’t do well in shade and should not be over-watered.
Our focus today is on Midiron grass, and its applicability as a lawn grass. We will discuss its basic properties, as well as its advantages and weaknesses. We will also look at the best way to seed and tend to Midiron so that your lawn stays in peak condition for as long as possible.
What Type Of Grass Is Midiron? (Hint: It’s Bermuda)
With its tough nature and resilient attributes, Midiron grass is popular in many high traffic areas in particularly harsh climates. What exactly is Midiron grass though?
Midiron grass is a type of low maintenance Bermudagrass that grows well in arid regions. It is popular for use on sports fields, school play areas, and parks where high traffic and rough use is common. The desert climates of Arizona is an area of the U.S. that it is widely used.
With many of the same qualities that make other Bermudagrass varieties so desirable, Midiron grass has the added bonus of being extremely drought tolerant.
If you would like to see more on Bermudagrass, here are some other articles I have that you will like…
- Should You Use A Bermuda Zoysia Mix In Your Yard?
- What Is The Best Shade Tolerant Bermuda? (Solved)
- How To Identify Wide Blade Grass And What To Do About It
Does Midiron Grass Go Dormant?
Well, naturally, most prospective lawn growers would like to know the survivability of their chosen grass type.
To get this answer, we need to go a little deeper into what Midiron grass is.
Midiron is a hybrid cultivar of Bermudagrass. As such, it has many of the qualities we associate with perennial warm-season grasses.
Midiron grass does, in fact, go dormant during winter months where temperatures drop below a certain temperature (usually about 50-55oF). Depending on your particular location, you may find Midiron going brown in the late fall. In some areas, dormancy may even start at the tail end of summer.
This means you will notice your green lawn or field turning a distinct brown, tan, or grey color in the colder months. This doesn’t mean the grass is dying, only that it is ‘asleep’.
If you are looking to just patch a stubborn patch in your yard, Bermuda could do the trick. I recommend this all in one solution to most any hard to grow area of your lawn found on Amazon. Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Bermudagrass
How Is Midiron Grass Used?
Midiron was bred to be slightly more hardy than standard Bermuda, and the results speak for themselves. The grass is denser and spongier under pressure, making it a popular choice for athletic grounds and yards with a lot of foot traffic.
Your kids and pets will absolutely love roughhousing and tumbling in Midiron grass, and you will absolutely love the fact that the grass can take the punishment. You won’t need strict enforcement of footpaths or “keep off the grass” signs to maintain a world-class lawn.
Appearance-wise, Midiron has slightly broader leaves than regular Bermuda, and it is slightly darker. From certain angles, Midiron lawns can appear to have a shade of blue about them. The density of the grass is evidenced by the lack of airspaces, even towards the blade tips.
These features are some of the key reasons behind Midiron’s toughness.
Why Is Midiron Grass So Tough?
Let’s take a look at why this version of the very popular Bermudagrass is so long lasting and durable.
- The broad leaves, for one, give Midiron grass a larger collective surface area for catching sunlight. As a result, the grass has greater shade tolerance than traditional Bermuda, which needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to thrive. Midiron can still reach its full potential with 4-6 hours of sun.
- Density, for two, helps protect Midiron from weeds. Like all emerging shoots, weeds need a certain level of oxygen and sun to grow efficiently. However, the Midiron’s thickness minimizes any oxygen available to emerging weeds.
- Midiron will also minimize the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground surface, and emerging weeds, below. Therefore, if you’re not too keen on long de-weeding sessions, Midiron just might be the way to go.
- Midiron also has an aggressive runner system. This system is comprised of both stolons above the ground and rhizomes underground. These runners help the grass colonize new ground at a quicker rate than most other Bermuda varieties. These runners make vegetative planting of Midiron a relatively easy task because the grass will do most of the work for you.
However, Midiron’s key survival attribute has to be its deep root network. Bermuda grasses develop roots that go as far as six feet underground or more. These roots not only help the grass reach water and nutrients that are inaccessible to most other plants, but they also serve as a water and nutrient reserve for the long months of dormancy.
As such, even though the grass blades on the surface may appear “dead”, the roots will be very much alive so they can facilitate the spring emergence. The root system also proves its worth in scenarios where the grass is underwatered. Midiron is especially drought-resistant, which is why it is popular in places like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Midiron can be planted through seeding or it can be planted vegetatively so its runners can take over. However, the best approach is to use sod so the grass can perpetuate quicker and in multiple directions. Sod is available from multiple DIY and gardening outlets near you.
How Do You Care For Midiron Grass?
To get the best results with Midiron, we recommend that you employ similar techniques as you would with standard Bermuda.
Midiron Seed Versus Sod
Establishing Midiron is the hardest part of the growing process. Once it does come in, you’re pretty much good to go.
With regards to planting, the best time is in early to mid-spring, like with all warm grasses. The warm temperatures will stimulate quick germination. Midiron is highly adaptable and will settle in well in most soil types. The seed must be planted in a crisscross pattern and gently raked into the soil. Watering must be light and done with a sprinkler to avoid disrupting germination
Sod should also be established during spring, however, you can get away with doing so in summer. The runners will act fast and spread themselves to bare patches of earth. Light watering will also speed up this process.
The Midiron Grass Arch Enemy: Shade
While Midiron is shade tolerant, you might want to avoid planting it on large swathes of shaded ground otherwise it may not reach full luster. If you are in cooler climes, the grass may even go dormant much sooner than expected.
If you are unable to prune shading trees, you might have to supplement the lawn with fertilizer. However, this is not a direct substitution for photosynthesis, which is key for producing nutrients. Additionally, overuse of fertilizers increases the risk of burning the grass.
An alternative would be to mix in perennial ryegrass on shaded areas, usually through overseeding. As a cool-season grass, rye will be much more shade tolerant than Midiron. It will also stay vibrant during your Midiron’s dormancy period, meaning you will have a lush lawn all year round. Ryegrass’ peak period can be extended with the use of a little fertilizer.
Watering Midiron Grass
When it comes to watering, you can follow a simple regimen.
After seeding/ sodding, water the turf 4 times a day for about 10-15 minutes for the first two weeks during the hot season. We recommend 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm sessions.
At three weeks, cut out the 10 am session and water 3 times a day. From the fourth week onwards, you can water once in the morning for 10 minutes.
Midiron Grass And Mowing
When it comes to mowing, Midiron is quite flexible. If the grass receives more than 8 hours of sun per day, you can cut it as low as 1-1.5 inches. If the grass is in the shade, it should be left at 2-2.5 inches at least so it can maximize photosynthesis.
Mowing should be done every 7-10 days during summer and once every 2 weeks during spring and fall.
The Final Touches On Midiron Grass…
If you live in Arizona, surrounding states, or in other arid desert climates around the world, Midiron may be the solution you have been looking for in areas where turf grass is the goal. Of course, there is no turf grass that will grow without at least some of the basic necessities. Yet, Midiron grass may come close.
The best way to start it in sections of your are to be turfed is with sod. Midiron seeds are available, but with the ease at which the established plants spread, sod is the most popular choice.
Here are some other great articles you will enjoy…
- How Long Does It Take For Soil And Grass To Dry? (Revealed)
- Will Grass Spread To Bare Spots? Find Out On The Spot
- How Long Does Grass Live? Annuals And Perennials Explained