Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is an excellent meadow grass, but it can turn your yard into pastureland if not controlled. It is a drought-resistant turf that can withstand heavy foot traffic. Hence, it is the best choice for parks, playgrounds, and gardens that see a lot of foot traffic.
However, Bermuda grass has absolutely no respect for borders and can quickly become out of control and take over your entire garden. In such a scenario killing Bermuda Grass is the only option left.
Bermuda grass can be killed in several ways, including choking, solarization, treating with selective herbicides, etc. However, depending on the severity of the Bermuda grass infestation, you should choose the most appropriate eradication method.
In this post, we will shed light on all the possible ways that can be employed to get rid of Bermuda grass. However, before you apply any treatments to kill Bermuda grass, you must remember that “Bermuda grass is evil and will tend to come back even after applying the toughest herbicide.”
Bermuda Grass: What Exactly is it?
Let us shed some light on understanding what exactly Bermuda grass is.
Bermuda grass, also known as Cynodon dactylon, is a warm-weather turf grass native to Africa. Because of its tenacity and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, it could be seen all over the United States. This characteristic, however, works in favor of this grass when trampling it. You can be confident that its dogged roots are strong enough to support this grass’s rapid growth.
Bermuda grass thrives in every corner of your yard, recovering at an incredible rate and invading even your sidewalks and parking lots. As a result, Bermuda grass in your yard could be as scary as possible.
Killing Bermuda Grass: 4 Best Ways
Bermuda grass has a nice image. However, its lush appearance can be deceiving because, if not controlled, it can take on the characteristics of an invasive weed. So, here are our top recommendations for killing Bermuda grass in your yard. We have provided both natural and chemical solutions for your convenience. Depending on the infestation, surrounding vegetation, climate, and resources, you can use any method you want.
Solarization is the first step to be mentioned. It is a technique for killing Bermuda grass by heating it. But isn’t Bermuda grass tolerant to heat? Yes, it is, but only for moderate heat. So, as a result, if you could create an extremely hot environment, you could effectively kill this lush invasive grass.
It is a simple method, although time-consuming, where you would simply cover your grass area with a plastic sheet and secure the sides with rocks. This method uses solar energy to heat and burns the Bermuda grass, including the stolon that helps the grass spread.
This is a safe method unless you have your grass grown with vegetation at the center. So, solarization is not a good idea in a densely planted area.
Note: Solarization is only possible during the hotter months when the sun is shining brightly without any barriers. In tropical areas, a white plastic cover is preferable to allow sunlight to pass through to the ground. In colder climates, black plastic covers are useful for trapping the sun’s heat for an extended period.
Pro-Tip: Mow the grass before covering it with the plastic sheet.
Choke to death the grass! Doesn’t that sound cruel? However, it is effective when dealing with a Bermuda grass invasion in your yard.
The best way to kill this grass is to prevent it from photosynthesizing, limiting its ability to grow and spread. Covering Bermuda grass with mulch is one of the most effective methods to choke it. This can be accomplished in two ways: covering the area with landscaping fabric or using cardboard pieces.
- Spread landscape fabric over the infested grass area.
- Make a few holes to allow your cultivated grass to grow through.
- Pour a layer of mulch, such as wood chips, wood bark, sand, or even gravel, over the fabric to keep it in place and press it against the ground.
- Secure the landscape fabric’s edges so that no Bermuda grass escapes and spreads in the surrounding area.
Note: Mulching would help the desired grass and plants thrive and obtain nutrition. Mow your lawn before laying down landscape fabric. And you should keep the covering on for at least 2-3 months to prevent Bermuda grass from growing.
- Mow the lawn as short as possible.
- Remove any remaining taproot, tubers, or reeds.
- Spread at least half-inch layer of compost over the entire area.
- Deflate and pile cardboard boxes to create a two-layer thick structure.
- Cover the entire area with cardboard, interlocking the flattened box edges.
- Use sod staples to secure the entire arrangement to the ground.
- Make the cardboard pieces wet.
- Cover the cardboard with at least 3 inches of mulch.
- Weed it back to prevent Bermuda grass from growing on the mulch.
- Maintain the arrangement for 4-6 months.
Note: If you use this method in an already cultivated area, remove the existing plants first. This will eliminate the possibility of Bermuda grass growing at the bottom of the existing plants.
The good news is that Bermuda grass does not tolerate high temperatures. As a result, cultivating Bermuda grass during the warmer months could be an excellent way to prevent its spread. Digging out your yard to a depth of about four to six inches is required for this method.
Cultivating Bermuda grass aids in the removal of its roots and stolons, allowing them to dry out and die. Repeat the process every 15 days until all Bermuda grassroots and stolon have been eliminated.
4. Manually Removal
If you don’t want to wait months to get the results of Bermuda grass removal methods, consider manually removing them. It is time-consuming, but the results are immediate. However, this method is only feasible if there is a low level of infestation in a smaller area.
Dig out the area where there is Bermuda grass with a shovel. You can also pull the grass out with your hands. Bermuda grass grows horizontally into the soil rather than vertically. As a result, uprooting them is relatively simple. This method is most effective after the rainfall when the soil is still moist.
Chemical/ Artificial Ways to Kill Bermuda Grass
Consider adopting chemical or artificial weed removal methods if you have an intensified Bermuda grass infestation.
1. Bermuda Grass Killer
The best and most effective way to deter Bermuda grass aggression is to spray a chemical herbicide over the infested area. Herbicides are available in different formulations. However, to get the best results, it is always a good idea to use a systematic herbicide.
Roundup is one of the best formulas to use because it contains an active ingredient- glyphosate- a potent weed killer. However, the roundup is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is strong enough to kill the surrounding plants. To put it in other words, this is a non-selective weed killer that should only be used if there are no healthy plants or vegetation nearby.
Still, to get the best results, apply this broad-spectrum herbicide between spring and fall.
2. Using Vinegar
Vinegar is available in almost every household that has a kitchen!
This chemical can be used to prevent the spread of Bermuda grass. However, vinegar, like non-selective herbicides, is likely to kill the surrounding plants and the grass. So, use it as a spot treatment or if you don’t want to save any of your healthy plants.
Combine 1 gallon of vinegar and 1 oz. of liquid dishwashing soap in a spray bottle. Rock the bottle to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Spray the mixture into the infected area. Aim for the blades rather than the roots.
Reapply the vinegar solution generously to the green areas. You can also pour 1 to 2 cups of the solution into the soil directly to kill the grassroots.
Contributing Factors to Right Approach to Kill Bermuda Grass
Before delving into the various methods for eliminating Bermuda grass, let us first look at the factors that influence the best eradication method. Getting rid of invading Bermuda grass once and for all is every gardener’s dream project. However, you can only expect the killing approach to work under certain conditions. So let’s take a look at them.
1. Level of Infestation
Your killing approach should highly depend on your yard’s level of infestation. Not all methods work perfectly in every scenario. Certain intensified methods work best with maximum infestation while working best on the minimum spread.
2. Surrounding Plants
You wouldn’t want to harm the nearby plants and vegetation while trying to eradicate Bermuda grass. Using unhealthy methods may cause more harm than good. If the infestation is near healthy plant beds, you should impose some restrictions. Never use a herbicide (like Compare-N-Save Herbicide) that works erratically and may kill your plants and Bermuda grass.
3. Next Batch of Planting
Before using any grass-killing method, make some long-term plans. You would not want to contaminate the soil and render it infertile for your next crop of plants.
4. Resources Available
This could be at the root of everything. First, you must understand that killing Bermuda grass is not a one-time event. Methods need to be applied and reapplied to ensure the complete eradication of Bermuda grass weed from your yard. Hence, you should calculate the time and money you need to kill Bermuda grass.
Is it Even Possible to Kill Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is a survivor. It persists even after intensive herbicide applications and is likely to reappear even after 5 years of complete eradication. This brings up the question, is it even possible to eradicate Bermuda grass once and for all?
The answer to this question is dependent on several factors:
- The magnitude of the infestation
- The grass growth zone
- Time and effort were put into its abolition
- Crops grown on the spot later, and so on.
If you’re trying to get rid of this grass in your yard, keep the following tips in mind:
- It is extremely difficult to eradicate Bermuda grass weed.
- You must be watchful.
- It takes longer than you might think to eradicate this invasive weed.
- In severe infestations, it may be IMPOSSIBLE to eradicate Bermuda grass.
Does Vinegar Kill Bermuda Grass?
Managing Bermuda grass weeds can be exceedingly challenging in flower beds and lawns. However, vinegar can be used to kill Bermuda grass if you’re looking for a natural solution. For naturally eliminating weeds apply a solution of 10% vinegar to them.
Though vinegar won’t harm the roots of the grass, it will burn the blades. So, grass weeds can quickly grow back blades eventually. Nevertheless, if you apply vinegar to under two weeks old seedlings, they will unquestionably be completely wiped off.
There is a downside to this method. Vinegar is a non-selective weed killer. As a result, it will also eradicate the other area of your lawn if it spreads.
Does The Roundup Kill Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is a tough weed to be removed entirely from lawns. Yet, this is something not impossible. You may eliminate this grass from the top to the root using the roundup, often known as glyphosate. The majority of the time, one treatment is enough to eradicate Bermuda grass. To maximize this herbicide’s absorption, spray it on the grass blades.
When Bermuda grass is still growing from spring to fall, we urge you to use the roundup. However, spraying this chemical on dormant grass might not have much of an impact.
Nevertheless, there are some precautions you need to consider before applying roundup to Bermuda grass.
- Wait 14 days after application before removing the dead grass. It will enable the chemical to pass through the grass weed’s system more effectively.
- This weed killer is not selective. Therefore, take care not to spray it on other healthy lawn areas.
- It will help if you concentrate on removing the old turf after removing the dead grass.
How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass in Zoysia Lawn?
You should use a selective herbicide with fenoxaprop or fluazifop as the active component to eliminate Bermuda grass on the Zoysia lawn. It may take a while, but the effort is worthwhile. This is because a broad spectrum of non-selective herbicides will act more quickly and eliminate the desirable zoysia grass.
You can use a herbicide like Fusilade II in Zoysia lawns to eradicate Bermuda grass without endangering the latter. However, this herbicide should be used at a reduced rate for at least two consecutive years to diminish the Bermuda grass cover considerably.
How to Kill Bermuda Grass in Fescue Lawns?
You may easily dig up the Bermuda grass and eradicate it if you notice a little patch of it encroaching on your Fescue lawn. Set your shovel about an inch below the grass to collect all the roots and remove them. Throw away the uprooted Bermuda grass immediately because it will start to take root and spread.
However, you might consider applying a weed killer or a herbicide if the infestation is more widespread. A selective herbicide is always preferred because it won’t harm the neighboring healthy grass and plants. The optimum time to apply herbicide is right after you mow your 2-3 inch Fescue grass. By doing this, Bermuda grass would receive less sunshine, allowing Fescue grass turf to take control and cover it. It will eventually lessen its chances of prospering.
The Bermuda grass can then be treated with a systemic weed killer like Turflon Ester or Ornamec Over-the-Top. These pesticides would kill the entire plant by attacking the weed’s entire system.
Stopping Further Growth of Bermuda Grass in Yard
There are high chances that you may never be able to permanently get rid of Bermuda grass. Yet, the focus should always be on preventing its popping up to further spread in your yard. Remember, if you cannot kill it, you can surely restrict its spread.
Mow regularly if you have a grassy yard to keep a low but thick grass cover. It will prevent the growth of Bermuda grass weeds.
Regular fertilization will keep your yard healthy, making it difficult for weeds to thrive.
Remove As Soon As Possible
Keep an eye out for potential weed infestations. Don’t be afraid to pull the grass underneath the rhizome by hand if you find any. Please do not wait for it to spread any further. Remember that the sooner you limit the spread, the better the outcome.
If the invasion is minimal, hand pulling can eliminate Bermuda grass entirely. However, the large-scale invasion of Bermuda weed may make it impossible to eradicate the grass permanently. A roundup can help you clean it off in addition to this. It will eventually come back and attempt to access your yard again.
Bermudagrass is a difficult weed to manage. If you use a selective herbicide on a grass lawn that is already established, it becomes more difficult to eradicate Bermuda. However, it can be eliminated non-chemically with a consistent removal and choking regimen.
Additionally, post-emergent herbicide can be used to eradicate Bermuda that has already sprouted up. Selective herbicides like Fusilade and Envoy are effective to employ. The best Bermuda grass killer, however, is non-selective glyphosate or roundup.
Yes, the roundup is highly effective in killing the entire system of Bermuda grass, including its shoots and roots.
Rural areas frequently witness the burning off of Bermuda grass lawns during the dormant season. The burning technique will release the nutrients and make them available to the plant. Your grass will appear greener the following spring as a result.
Smothering the grass cover with black plastic for solarizing it, would effectively choke Bermuda grass. Other than these, here are a few other options of ground cover to choke Bermuda grass:
• Creeping Thyme
• Wild Strawberry
• Creeping Jenny
• White Dutch Clover
There are multiple ways to keep Bermuda grass from spreading.
• Regular mowing
• Manual removal
• Cultivating Bermuda grass during warmer months
• Spraying herbicides
If you want to learn in detail. Please refer to the article above.
Bermudagrass roots can extend down at least six feet. However, how well it grows will depend on the soil it is planted in. Additionally, if irrigation occurs infrequently, you can ensure that Bermuda grass roots will grow deeper into the ground and be drought-tolerant.
In addition to plucking the weed by hand, you can destroy Bermuda grass without centipedes using a specific herbicide. Herbicides like Fertilome Over The Top Grass Killer are safe for centipede grass yet eliminate weeds in 2 days.
Bermuda grass can also be spot-treated with sethoxydim. Centipede grass can tolerate sethoxydim; thus, killing Bermuda grass with a selection procedure is a good idea. The method must be repeated several times throughout the growing season to see the true effect.
Bermuda grass, also known as devil’s grass, is a gardener’s worst nightmare when it goes wild. Regrettably, it is difficult to prevent it from invading your yard and killing it completely. Nevertheless, if you start early and are persistent, you can stop it from spreading further.
The preceding post is dedicated to the scenarios in which this lush green tenacious turf becomes a green hazard for your garden or lawn. We hope you found this post interesting. Also, if you have ever had a Bermuda grass infestation in your yard, please share your experience.