Establishing warm season grasses from seed or sod in the transition zones of the United States poses a challenge because of the short growing period in which turf can be transplanted. To assess the establishment of turf during dormancy, a study was conducted at New Mexico State University in 2008 and 2009 to compare the effects of 2 planting dates (early March [dormant] vs. mid-June [late]) and 2 irrigation systems (sprinkler vs. subsurface-drip) on the establishment of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.)] cultivar Princess 77 under 2 qualities of irrigation water (saline at 1800ppm Total Dissolved Salts vs. potable at 500 ppm). Plots were seeded and sodded on a sandy skeletal mixed thermic Typic Torriorthent. Plots were irrigated daily at 100% pET and fertilized every two weeks at 2.5 g N/m2. Roots were extracted from core samples collected from each plot in fall 2008 and divided into 4 depth layers. Root length, surface area, volume, diameter and weight were subsequently measured. In 2008, quality of irrigation water had no effect on establishment. When data were pooled for water quality, dormant sodded sprinkler irrigated plots established faster than all other treatments and dormant sodded drip irrigated plots and late seeded sprinkler irrigated plots reached 75% ground cover 147 and 152 days after early seeding or sodding (DAES). Early seeded drip irrigated, late sodded drip irrigated, and late seeded sprinkler irrigated reached 75% ground cover 177, 182, and 186 DAES respectively. Plots that were drip irrigated and seeded late did not reach 75% ground cover by the end of the study period. For both seeding dates, sprinkler irrigated sod and seed and drip irrigated seed had significantly longer roots than drip irrigated sod at 0-5 cm depth. Our results suggest that bermudagrass established better from sod during the dormant season than from seed.