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Bermuda Grass for Sports Field

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago
Burmuda Grass


Description and Rationale

 Burmuda Grass-just the right kind of grass for the

rough fields of the Philippines.




Burmudagrass is a tropical type grass which is very

tolerant to salt and drought. It is fairly resistant

against insects and diseases. Once it settles on a

soil, it quickly covers the ground and is hard to get

rid of. Zoysiagrass has been the usual option in the

fields, but Burmudagrass is softer and has a nicer

texture. Furthermore, it is highly adaptive to an


 What could be Burmudagrass’s impact on the

local ecology and the grass populations? Would it

carry diseases that the grass in the Philippines are

not familiar with and result in killing all the other

grass species here? Or would it help the athletes do

better on the better, smoother fields? Would it adapt

well into the two season climate where one season is

very rainy and the other very dry? Would the grass

really matter that much to the athletes?

 If Burmudagrass was used in the fields, its

smooth texture will be nice on which to play soccer

and other rough sports. It would not be pleasant to

have your knees scraped every time you fall on bare

dirt. By providing better grass, it has been shown

that the athletes do better. Since Burmudagrass is a

kind that adapts well into its new environment, it

could be the best option. It is a kind of grass that

is easy to maintain and grow. Our White Field could

get a lot better if it had grass that covered the

field, not just patches here and there. Then, there

will be fewer injuries, which will help the coaches a

great deal, also. In addition, smooth fields can

attract more Filipinos to play more field sports like

soccer and rugby instead of playing only basketball.

If my experiments can show that Burmudagrass is also

pollution resistant, we will be able to see some

greenery in the streets of Manila, making it more

beautiful and pleasant to the people to look at.

 The initial purpose of this project will be to

improve the rough fields like our White Field into

nice and smooth grassy field, but I will have to

conduct the experiments in a different place to

observe closely and accurately. I will first try to

find out what kind of grass they use on White Field.

If the experiments that I conduct show that

Burmudagrass indeed adapts well into our environment,

it will be very nice to see what it can do to improve

our fields. I could do this by buying and

experimenting different types of grass in our back

yard. I could keep one constant, watering it regularly

and keeping it in a nice warm soil. On the other hand,

I would test the other patches of grass if it is

drought resistant and if it adapts well into the

ecosystem here. If my experiments result in damaging

the ecosystem here, I shall stop conducting any more

experiments and try to find another, which will

substitute for Burmudagrass and continue my

experiments from there.

 I am hoping to see Burmudagrass grow well and

develop into a nice patch that it will prove it self

to be helpful to the rough field of ours. By

conducting this experiment, I could help the athletes

who suffer from daily injuries due to the rough field.

Not only that, but I could revive the greenery into

our gray city, Manila.



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Common Names and Synonyms


Cynodon dactylon, Bermudagrass, is also called Dog

Tooth grass, Bahama Grass, Devil’s grass, Couch

grass, Indian Doab, Grama and Scutch grass. The

African name for C. dactylon is gewonekweek. The name

Bermudagrass comes from the fact that it is an

abundant invasive species on Bermuda. The name Devil’

s grass comes from the invasive characteristic of





Kingdon: Plantae (Plants)

Phylum: Magnoliophyta

Class:  Liliopsida (Monocotyledons)

Order:  Cyperales/Poales (flowering plants)

Family:  Poaceae (grasses)

Genus:  Cynodon (Dog-tooth)

Species:  C. dactylon

Many cultivars and variations has been produced by

various scientists enabling the plant to adapt better

into hostile environments and survive. This includes

the common Bermudagrass which is good for erosion

control, coastal Bermudagrass which is more productive

than the normal kind; once it produced six times more

than the normal kind with only one half of the usual

rainfall. Some were hybrids that could tolerate colder

climate, which were developed in the northern

countries like Germany and Switzerland. Others were

produced to be more productive and helpful to the

grazing livestock in Africa.


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Morphology and Physical Description


Bermudagrass can grow to 90cm, but that is a rare

phenomenon. The grass usually grows in a range of 4-

15cm. It spreads by its stolons and rhizomes, or root

structures on grass, enabling it to spread without

having to go through reproduction process.

 Its stems are slightly flattened and possesses

a little bit of purple color. Being fairly resistant

to droughts, its roots can grow to over 2m; however,

most of its systems are near the surface. Its leaves

are flat/broad, sometimes folded or rolled together.



Getting Food


Nitrogen is its main nutrient that it needs to grow

nice and long. Like other plants, Bermudagrass gets

food by photosynthesis. Even with a medium shade, the

grass will die out, which means it depends heavily on

the sunlight. 




It is a perennial, which means that it stays in one

place for a long time. It could reproduce by seeds,

but it spreads faster by runners, or stolons and and

rhizomes. These are root like structures creeping over

the land and letting its roots down to create a

network of stems and leaves in a large area. Another

way, as I have mentioned, is by means of its seed. The

seeds germinate at temperatures above 68℉. The grass

will produce seeds 3 weeks after planting.


Environmental Factors


Bermudagrass is widely spread in the warm climate

areas between the 30° south and 30° north latitude,

which includes the Philippines. It also needs a lot of

rain or irrigation annually, about 625-1,750 mm a

year. In addition, it grows best at the temperatures

between 24 °C and 37 °C.

Some of the diseases C. dactylon might have are

Helminthosporium leaf disease, spring dead spot, and

brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani). It can also be

infected by insects like Armyworm (Spodoptera

frugiperda), spittlebug (Prosapia bicinata), webworm,

lawn armyworm, bermudagrass mite, and nematodes


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Origin and Distribution


C. dactylon is thought to be originated from Northern

Africa and Southern Europe, but sources differ greatly

on where it was originated. Some say it came from

India, some East Africa, and also few say Asia.

Nevertheless, the plant spread to vast amount of

areas, in temperate climate and also sub-tropical

climates. Bermuda is where America got the plant, so

they named it Bermudagrass. Now, Bermudagrass can be

found nearly anywhere in the southern half of the

States, as this picture shows.




Importance to People


Bermudagrass grows fast and tough, for this reason, it

is used in sports fields and golf courses. Because it

doesn’t need much caring, it can save maintenance


Also, because it adapts well onto soil and climate, it

helps with soil erosion, makes good grazing land and

hay for livestock.

One scenario which might help the people in the

Philippines is for them to cultivate Bermudagrass in

Manila and many other cities where green patches can’

t be found in most parts of the city. With the high

survivability like the Bermudagrass, people will be

able to enjoy some greenery. Also, in areas like

Leyte, where there are heavy loses of lives annually

from land-slides, Filipinos can cultivate Bermudagass

to keep it from eroding. This can save lots of peoples

’ lives, and also make green-friendlier environment

at the same time.


Survivability and Endangered Status


C. dactylon can tolerate dry soil, or drought, or even

flood situations like annual flood in Bangladesh where

it floods up to six meters or higher for several

weeks. It can also stand salinity but it only grows

slowly. The reason for its high survivability has a

lot to do with its root structure. Even if the top

parts of the grass are damaged, its root system, which

can grow to 2 meters in length, can survive with the

rhizomes which can start new leaves. Its survivability

makes it impossible to be endangered. 



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Potential Solutions


Possibility 1


Greenery in the cities


From what I have learned, Bermudagrass is a type of

grass that could withstand the dirty environments of

Manila and many other polluted cities.




1. People in Manila and other cities can enjoy some

greenery while they walk or drive to their work,

school, or house. The Philippine government doesn’t

have to use more money, in other words the tax they

collect from the people, trying to plant a plant that

will die or wither off easily. With the extra money

that could be left over after planting Bermudagrass,

they can help more people from poverty, hunger, and

many other problems that are caused in the city.


2. Bermudagrass, doing its photosynthesis, can provide

more oxygen to the polluted air in Manila. This can

reduce the cases of heart diseases and other lung

problems that could be caused by the polluted air.

This way, many people can reduce their time of

suffering and the money to go to a near by hospital.

With the saved money, the people can do many other

things to improve their life style, which can improve

the living conditions of our black city, Manila.


3. Seeing that we live in Manila, I can conduct an

experiment as long as I have a patch of grass.




1. It has not yet been proven that Bermudagrass can

survive through a heavy pollution area. However, it

could be developed to have stronger structure to

survive through pollution, but the result can never be



2. Just the grass itself can not provide enough

greenery to please peoples’ eyes. Flowers and trees

will be needed to support the grassy background, but

they will need to be able to stand against heavy

pollution also which will be hard to get.

3. Even if we get the grass and the other plants to be

able to stand the pollution in Manila, we will need to

find a space to plant them. Manila is heavily

populated, and the streets and houses take up most of

the surface areas that are vacant, making it almost

impossible to be experimented or performed.


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Possibility 2


Preventing yearly landslides


In Leyte, people suffer annually from loss of their

families from devastating landslides. When ever the

flood season comes, the unprotected soil, up on the

mountains, erode into nearby cities and villages

killing many people. Researches have shown that the

Bermudagrass can prevent soil erosion thanks to its

complex root network systems.




1. There will be no more loss of people because of

landslides, and also there will be no more loss of the

family members. No more pain over the grief of losing

a loved neighbor or family will be necessary. The

Philippine government will not lose money to bring

rescue efforts, neither to supply the survivors who

have lost their houses and supplies. There will also

be less orphans from the tragic events like the

landslides. By controlling or preventing the soil

erosion, the people can suffer less and lose less.  In

the Bible, it says to take care of orphans and widows.

From preventing the landslides, we can prevent the

orphans and widows to become orphans or widows.


2. Philippine landscapes are beautiful, but sometimes,

we pass by a bare mountain where there has been

illegal logging or other activities that strips the

mountain. The landscape is destroyed; the families’

hearts are broken from the lose of lives from the

landslides. The Lord commands us to work and take care

of the nature he has created. Leaving the mountain

soils to erode and cause landslides that kill many

people is not really taking care of the nature.


3. Bermudagrass is known for its growing speed and its

tough structure. It will be the best species to be

cultivated for soil-erosion, because it will be able

to cover the vast areas in a short period of time.




1. Bermudagrass is harder to get than other native

species, because it is an invasive species. For the

poor provincial people, they won’t be able to afford

to buy Bermudagrass to cover the vast area that needs

to be covered.


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Possibility 3


Turf grass for athletic fields


Bermudagrass is a very adequate grass for fields,

because of its high survivability, tough structure,

and soft texture. Golf courses in Valley Golf are

using Bermudagrass for its nice rich color and its

tough features. While asking the personnel if I could

get Bermudagrass from the golf courses, he revealed to

me an interesting piece of information. He told me

that when Faith Academy was building its field, the

people from the Valley Golf suggested our school to

use Bermudagrass for it. Faith had refused that time,

because of its short budget. This proves that there

are many fields in the Philippines also that use

Bermudagrass for its nice qualities. In order to test

the reliability of the sources I have used, I

conducted an experiment using a patch of Bermudagrass

and a patch of the back yard grass at our dorm. At the

Golf course, I could not see any brown patches, but

when I got home to examine the back yard grass, I

found that a lot of it had gone brown as a result of

the dry season and walking on them. Thankfully, I

found a nice green patch, and conducted the

experiment. I wore my cleats and made several marks

using it on the patch of grass I got from the Golf

course and the back yard. I made notes on how the

grass has been affected and how many stems and leaves

were broken. Below is the chart to show the difference

between the two types of the grass. I wanted to get

more types of grass, and the personnel at the Golf

course said that I could get more kinds of grass if I

had come on a Monday, but at the time of my visit, I

could not afford to go back the next day. Next time I

conduct this same experiment, I shall do it with more

types and varieties of grass.





1. The Experiment can be conducted in a short period

of time with things that can be prepared easily


2. If I have time, I could go back to the Golf course

and get more varieties of grass.




1. I can’t observe a growth pattern or the speed of

spreading for each kinds of grass. If I could do it

sometime, it may prove that Bermudagrass grows the



2. To get the varieties of grass, I will need to go to

the Golf course again.

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Andersson, Meike, D.g. Cameron, Brian S. Dear, Magnus Halling, David Hoare, John Frame, Henri L. Houerou, Primavera Izaguirre De Artucio, Jason Koivisto, Judith Ladner, Angelo Loi, Len 't Mannetje, Alain Peters, Michael Peters, Sandrine Petit, Daniel Real, Stephen Reynolds, Fernando Riveros, Marie Schloen, Axel Schmidt, Rainer Schultze-Kraft, Max Shelton, P.j. Skerman, Jim Suttie, and Janine Victor. "Cynodon Dactylon (L.) Pers." Grassland Species Profiles. 17 Apr. 2007. Agriculture Department. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/DATA/PF000208.HTM>.



"Bermuda Grass." Bermuda Grass. 2002. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/bermuda_grass.htm>.


"Bermuda Grass." Bermuda Grass. 2002. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/bermuda_grass.htm>.


"Bermuda Grass." College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. 7 May 2002. C/T/A/H/R. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/CoverCrops/bermuda_grass.asp>.


"Cynodon Dactylon (L.) Pers." ITIS Report. 6 May 2007. ITIS. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=41619>.


"Cynodon Dactylon." Wikipedia. 6 Mar. 2007. Wikipedia Foundation Inc. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynodon_dactylon>.


Duke, James A. "Cynodon Dactylon (L.) Pers." New Crop Resource Online Program. 9 July 2007. Purdue University. 16 Apr. 2007 <http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Cynodon_dactylon.html#Description>.


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