How To Kill Bermuda Grass In Your Lawn: Effective Strategies

Bermuda grass can be a major nuisance in your lawn and flower beds, but luckily there are ways to prevent it from spreading. Killing bermuda grass is not easy since they grow really quickly and take over the area if you do not stay on top of them. I want an even turf with ample space for other plants or trees, then make sure that you know how to kill Bermuda Grass so that your garden remains neat!

You may be looking for ways to get rid of the pesky Bermuda grass on your lawn. Lucky you, there are many options available that can do just this! Keep scrolling and see what methods we recommend to make sure you never have a problem with bermuda grass again.

How To Identify Bermuda Grass

how to identify bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is a rough-textured invasive weed with short blunt edges. This weedy plant has roots that creep along the ground and form dense mats, making hand pulling them difficult to do.

The Bermuda grass is often mistaken for Crabgrass. The way to tell them apart is that crabgrass has a wider blade and the slender blades of the Bermuda Grass lie more along their length horizontally, with many small plants springing out from runners. When mature, they grow seed heads that look like the claw of a bird’s foot or hand!

If you’re having trouble identifying the weed, contact us, and we will ID it for you. We have a wide variety of treatments available to get rid of any pesky weeds that are invading!

Do An Inspection Of The Presence Of Bermuda Grass

do an inspection of the presence of bermuda grass

One way to investigate where Bermuda grass is present is by doing an inspection. This will require a lot of work on your part, but it can be worth it in the end.

Where to Inspect

Bermuda grass is a sneaky weed that can grow above or below ground. For example, they may spread through stolons to the surface and form new plants in other areas, and underground stems are called rhizomes which develop roots that stretch out into different parts of your lawn- leaving you with an uneven green patchwork!

The only place where these weeds don’t like living is heavily shaded spots because Bermuda loves heat and drought resistance.

What to Look For

If you are concerned about an infestation of bermuda grass, it’s important to find the problem and take care of it. The first step is finding where the focal point might be located. Usually, if there is a minor outbreak or just one area that has been invaded by bermuda grass, then applying chemicals will do the trick.

When to Kill Bermuda Grass

when to kill bermuda grass on your lawn

When you try to get rid of Bermuda grass, you must know the best time. You should treat your lawn with an herbicide when the Bermuda grass is vigorously growing between May and September, or weeds are about six inches in length.

Yes, you can kill Bermuda grass in the winter. But we don’t recommend it because dormant Bermuda grass absorbs fewer herbicides.

In winter, Bermuda grass gets its nutrients mostly from the root system, so it’s challenging to kill with a top-down spray of chemicals. In the spring through fall, Bermuda grass has green leaves and soaks up any chemical you spray on them quickly.

Besides, it is important to avoid mowing when the lawn has already been overrun by Bermuda grass. It must not be cut for about a month before herbicide treatment, but it needs to be watered so that Bermuda grass flourishes and is ready to receive the chemicals.

How To Kills Bermuda Grass

how to kills bermuda grass

Bermuda, also called Cynodon dactylon, was originally from Africa but can now be found in the United States. According to the Department of Agriculture, the Bermudas are primarily found on lawns and have a rating of 7 out of 10.

There are many different ways to kill Bermuda grass, and one of the most important is replacing it with other varieties. To eliminate unwanted Bermuda grass on your lawn, there are;

Cultivation

cultivation ideas to kills bermuda grass

Bermuda grass generally grows better when it is watered and cultivated. This type of grass cannot tolerate high heat or arid conditions.

When dry weather is prolonged, you might want to consider digging up the garden with a spade or rototiller.

Dig deep enough to disrupt the roots of the Bermuda grass. You should dig 6 inches into the ground.

You should wait two weeks to allow the roots and grass a chance to dry out completely so that they can die. You must then repeat the process of cultivation.

You must stay diligent and remove the Bermuda grass from your yard as soon as you spot it. Ideally, this will have to be done at least twice or three times to stop any new weed growth.

Mulching

One of the most effective strategies for killing Bermuda grass and enriching the soil is to use mulching.

Mulching can be a great way not only to kill grass but it will also to help with preparing the area for replanting. The first step you need to take is to cover the Bermuda grass, preferably with landscape fabric, properly.

When you use more than one layer of fabric, it is important to make sure there is no gap between them.

After you have finished covering your garden with the landscaping fabric, it is important to lay down mulching material at least eight inches deep. Any other type of mulch will also suffice.

Once you are done, leave it be for a few days. A combination of pressure, heat, and darkness is going to ensure that the Bermuda grass dies. Once you’re done with the cleanup, start planting new things in the garden again.

Solarization

One of the best ways to kill and control Bermuda grass is by using solarization. Solarization is one of the least labor-intensive controls, but it’s also incredibly effective at killing weeds.

This method works best in the summer months when temperatures are high.

Keep in mind that solarization will not only kill the Bermuda grass, but it will kill the woody underground stolons as well. You have to water your lawn like you normally do, then just lay down a clear tarp made of synthetic materials over the Bermuda grass.

Ensure that the whole lawn is covered where Bermuda grass grows.

To secure the tarp at its edges so that it doesn’t fly away, bricks or rocks can also be inserted and offer weight on the soil. The heat from these rays of sunlight will affect the survival rate for weeds by cooking them to death in the dirt below.

This is a useful technique for not only killing the Bermuda grass but also removes other plants and weeds that may be growing in your garden.

However, you need to be patient and understand that it will take about 4 weeks for the grass to die.

To kill the Bermuda grass, it will take, on average, about one month. Then, remove all of the dead grass and plant materials still in the area you want to clear out.

Herbicide

Some people use herbicides as an alternative to removing the Bermuda grass. Herbicides can be toxic and are generally not recommended due to negative environmental impacts or risks of health problems.

However, if you are looking to quickly and safely eliminate the Bermuda grass in your yard without having to invest too much time or money into the process, it’s a fairly straightforward method.

You should wear a mask before you spray herbicides on your lawn. Ideally, you may consider an herbicide that comes with glyphosate.

Herbicides with glyphosate have a relatively short residual effect. You will want that if you are going to plant trees in your garden.

To make sure the herbicide remains effective, you need to wait until the grass is six inches tall. This will give it enough surface area for absorption while watering and spraying herbicide all over its body. You can water the lawn like normal and then spray it with herbicide on all of the area.

Please read the instruction manual that came with your herbicide to see how it is best administered. These are just some of the easiest ways to get rid of Bermuda grass.

How to Stop Bermuda Grass from Spreading

hand pulling grass weed on how to stop bermuda grass from spreading

Bermuda grass, which has the alias of devil grass or sofa grass. It is a type of perennial, drought-resistant plant that thrives in hot and warm climates. Not only does it grow quickly without needing much water or nutrients, but the tough blades are also great for animal feed!

But when bermuda grass is a weed in your yard, it spreads faster than most good turfgrass types, like St. Augustine grass, fescue, and bluegrass.

For those looking to manage the spread of Bermuda grass in established gardens, removal by hand is an option.

The first step to killing Bermuda grass is to mow the lawn. This will provide you with easier access to the roots and make it so that excavation becomes less of a pain.

Utilize the “hand removal” method to dig out each piece of grass on your lawn. This will take care not to miss any roots that might still be living, creating a resurgence in the lawn through loose soil.

Finally, sift through the ground underneath the grass to remove any Bermuda grassroots left behind.

Are Salt And Vinegar An Eco-friendly Way To Kill Bermuda Grass?

Salt and vinegar are more eco-friendly than pesticides, though they aren’t as safe for the environment as some other options. A mixture of 1 cup salt and a gallon of vinegar will kill any plant, so nothing will grow there for several years if it seeps into the soil. Spraying a light mist over plants should be used prudently, for with only a few drops entering the soil and dispersing quickly, very little harm can come of this.

When you are finished with any leftover mixture, do not pour it on your lawn. Vinegar can kill plants and cause skin burns in high concentrations, so make sure to carefully measure the vinegar and wear safety gear when working with it. If you use salt and vinegar, its effectiveness is not limited to Bermuda grass but will also kill other plants. To target, just the Bermuda grass can be tedious.

Can You Dig Up Bermuda Grass?

Digging up Bermuda grass can be a challenge. It is the best solution if you have a small area that needs to be dug up and no other options are available, but it is not an effective system for large lawns.

Bermuda grass has its roots below ground, but it also has rhizomes. Rhizomes are thick underground stems that stretch out horizontally. Grass can grow from them, so any work you do will be for naught if the rhizomes are left behind.

If you want to ensure the Bermuda grass on your lawn is dead, you need to dig up at least 6 inches. Digging this deep will take out all of the root systems from the plant and should have some effect on weakening it for at least a few weeks.

Managing Bermuda Grass Naturally

Keep Bermuda grass from taking over your lawn by maintaining healthy, thick turf. Do this by mowing it high (3-3 ½ inches tall), irrigating in 6 inches twice per week, and fertilizing it at the appropriate rate for your type of turf.

Mulching garden beds will minimize the spread of Bermuda grass. For areas without other plants, solarization with black plastic or constant tilling and withholding water may control Bermuda grass effectively. Depending on the level of infestation, edging beds with an eight-inch border may be enough to hold back Bermuda grass.

Killing Bermuda grass is challenging if you have established plants but not a highly established garden.

Controlling Bermuda Grass In Flower Beds

If you have other plants in your garden, take care when removing the Bermuda grass by eye-balling any on its rhizomes or stolons. If the seeds are present in this area of the lawn, and if they’re not removed from both roots and seeds well enough, it’s easy for them to pop up again soon after planting.

Culling the grass and manual removal will minimize its presence. If you’re not keen on doing the lawn work, a great strategy is to apply a herbicide such as a glyphosate. This will kill your Bermuda grass and other surface plants over time and should only be used for spot treatment. If it’s windy or there are other plants around, don’t use this!

For more targeted management in crowded beds, try products with the active ingredients Sethoxydim or Fluazifop. These are safe to use near broad-leafed perennials, shrubs, and trees.

Killing Bermuda Grass In Flower Beds

It’s not uncommon for weeds to take over the lawn where they don’t belong, such as your flowerbeds. Combine their quick growth with underground stolons or rhizomes, and Bermuda grass can be difficult to root out.

If you want to prevent Bermuda grass from taking over your landscaping, take these steps to get rid of the Bermuda grass:

  • Grab the Bermuda grass stolon (staying on top of the leaf covering) and return it to the opposite direction in which it’s going.
  • To uproot the Bermuda grass, pull out any roots attached to the stolon and growing down into the ground.
  • Once you have pulled back the stolon of Bermuda grass, chop it off.
  • Digging out/pulling up the roots of Bermuda grass is a great way to prevent these weeds from spreading into your flower beds.
  • If the above physical removal methods are not enough to kill alien Bermuda grass in your lawn, try chemical weed remedies.

There are many different methods to kill Bermuda grass. Some good ones to try are herbicides. There are a lot of garden herbicides on the market, but keep in mind that they’ll kill other plants, as well. Some herbicides target just specific weeds and leave the grass alone, but these won’t eliminate Bermuda grass.

A variety of herbicides are made for killing grass specifically, with the active ingredients sethoxydim, fluazifop, clethodim, and fenoxaprop. Clethodim is the most effective for Bermuda grass, followed by sethoxydim and fluazifop.

If the only Bermuda grass you have is in your garden beds, many of these sprays will work. If it’s mixed with other types of grass and you want to keep them healthy, sprays may kill the other types of growth but not the weed itself.

Kills Bermuda Grass FAQs

How Can You Tell Bermuda Grass From Crabgrass?

These Bermuda grass pictures show the difference in leaf size between the Bermuda and crabgrass. The crabgrass will have broader leaves and become denser by establishing many small plants through runners going out. The Bermuda grass pictured is only found in a dense single plant that sprawls when seen from below.

Will Bermuda Grass Take Over Weeds?

It should be noted that Bermuda grass by some people is often referred to as a weed. However, if Bermuda grass is planted properly and healthily, it will defeat most other weed species and prevent them from appearing on the lawn. Keep your Bermuda grass cut to a blade height of one to two inches.

Will Fescue Choke Out Bermuda?

Fescues are excellent for shady lawns, and the Bermuda grass won’t choke them out. However, fescues cannot withstand heat stress and will weaken or die when there is not enough water in general, so if the temperatures go over 85 degrees F., then the heat-tolerant Bermuda grass will take over.

What Grass Will Choke Out Bermuda Grass?

If you have a fescue lawn, the best way to get rid of Bermuda grass is easy. To kill it off, mow your lawn regularly so that thick, healthy fescue takes over.

In Closing

Killing Bermuda Grass is a lengthy process, as it can take up to five years for the grass to be eliminated from the lawn.

Repeated application and close monitoring are both necessary to guarantee that the Bermuda grass is eradicated. If not, you’re only able to achieve temporary suppression of the problem rather than elimination.

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