Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a popular choice for lawns in the West’s hotter regions. It enjoys heat, is incredibly resistant to wear and tear, and is quite drought tolerant in terms of turf.
But, its outstanding vigor makes this turf difficult to remove if you wish to replace it with something else. Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) spreads through underground stems (rhizomes) as well as aboveground runners (stolons). It also seeds rather aggressively.
Because it is so resilient and persistent, most experts and homeowners kill it with a herbicide (usually glyphosate).
They spray, eliminate the dying sod, irrigate to stimulate the growth of any surviving rhizomes, and then repeat the process at least once more (one treatment rarely kills a Bermuda lawn).
Bermuda grass is indigenous to Africa’s severe climate. It is popular throughout the southwest and south of the United States. The plant’s vitality and tolerance of heat, drought, and heavy foot activity make it an excellent candidate for colonizing difficult-to-manage, low-nutrient regions.
It also makes Bermuda grass control difficult in situations where other species should not be injured or overrun. The plant grows from underground rhizomes and surface stolons, both of which must be removed or killed for complete control.
Both cultural and pesticide approaches may be successful for killing Bermuda grass in lawns and garden beds.
Bermuda grass, also known as Cynodon dactylon, couch grass, and even devil’s grass, comes in 50 different types. Landscapers and homeowners select Bermuda grass for everything from high-traffic lawns to baseball fields because of its incredibly resilient properties. The grass grows best in warmer hardiness zones of the United States, such as the southeastern states and southern California.
Nevertheless, the very characteristics that we admire in many common types of Bermuda grass are exactly what make them so invasive. Bermuda grass spreads laterally. It spreads in all directions by developing rhizomes, which are essentially underground stems. Above ground, seeding stolons appear about a week after mowing and disperse seeds far and wide.
Bermuda grass becomes a weed when it spreads too far—into gardens, under pavers, and onto your neighbor’s lawn. And if you decide Bermuda grass isn’t for you, getting rid of it will require some effort.
The greatest approach to keep Bermuda grass out of your lawn is to keep it healthy and thick. Maintain a reasonably high mowing height (3 to 3 ½ inches tall), irrigate to 6 inches twice per week, and fertilize at the right time and rate for your sod species.
Mulching flower and plant beds will assist to keep Bermuda grass at bay. Solarization with black plastic or continual rototilling while withholding water may be effective Bermuda grass control in locations where other plants do not exist. Edging put 6 inches into the soil in beds will keep grass from encroaching into and competing with your shrubs and flowers.
Bermuda grass requires vigilance to eliminate, but plants in well-established gardens do not.
Successful grass management in established beds with other plants can frequently be accomplished by simply pulling out the plant. Ensure that you collect all of the rhizomes and stolons before the plant lays seed. If seed is present, all bets are off because it can survive in soil for up to two years.
Culling the grass deeply and manually over time will reduce its presence. If you don’t have the patience for that kind of work, apply a herbicide like glyphosate. This is a non-selective chemical that kills any plant it comes into contact with and should only be used for spot control. Do not use in windy circumstances or in areas where other plants may be affected.
Use a product containing the active substances Sethoxydim or Fluazifop for more specific control in crowded beds. They are suitable for usage around broad-leaved perennials, shrubs, and trees.
When Bermuda grass threatens to take over your lawn, it’s time to call in the big guns. No one wants to have to use chemical weapons, but this persistent grass is one of the situations when it may be required.
Timing is essential in everything. Between the months of May and September, treat the weed when it is actively growing. Apply early in the spring when growth is less than 6 inches tall, and again before new growth reaches the same height.
Most chemical controls must be applied by a licensed specialist, however Triclopyr is one that is widely available in nurseries. Apply every 4 weeks during the growing season, following the guidelines carefully.
For seed control, use a product containing Siduron, which is safe to use even on newly seeded grass but cannot be used prior to seeding an area. It is a pre-emergent and should be administered before the Bermuda grass seed germinates every two years.
In all situations, adhere to the manufacturer’s application instructions, cautions, and mixing and spraying rates.
If you have a fescue lawn, you may easily choke out Bermuda grass by encouraging its development while eliminating the invading bermuda. To accomplish this, apply Fusilade II herbicide to your lawn, then mow it more frequently to encourage fescue grass to grow thick and full, choking off Bermuda grass weeds.
Using vinegar to kill bermudagrass weeds is an efficient natural method. To get rid of weeds organically, use a 10% vinegar solution.
Use this procedure with caution because vinegar is a non-selective natural weed killer. It has the potential to harm your lawn grass as well as undesired weeds.
Roundup is one of the most effective bermuda grass killers. It contains glyphosate, a chemical that is known to kill many grass weeds. Spray it on the leaves to promote maximal herbicide uptake.
Apply roundup from spring through fall, although doing so in January when bermudagrass is dormant may offer poor results.
The deliberate elimination of a perennial grass variety, such as Bermuda grass, from another perennial lawn grass, such as zoysia grass, can be a time-consuming and exhausting procedure.
Some Bermudagrass control chemicals (such as Bayer’s Fenoxaprop-p-ethyl) tend to eliminate the desired zoysia species. As I mentioned in the post, a herbicide like Fusilade II can be used to kill Bermuda grass in Zoysia lawns, although at a lower pace.
This pesticide is excellent for killing Bermuda grass without harming your turf’s zoysia grass. Fusilade II should be used in conjunction with a high-quality non-ionic surfactant and applied at a lower rate once a month.
According to a University of Georgia study, repeating this technique for two years will result in a considerable reduction in Bermuda grass cover (35% to 7%). At the same time frame, your zoysia grass cover will increase by up to 20%.
Bermuda grass, often known as devil’s grass or couch grass, is popular among homeowners and landscaping experts due to its drought resistance and wear resistance. It’s also excellent as animal feed.
When it becomes a weed on your lawn or yard, it spreads quicker than most healthy turfgrasses, including St. Augustine, fescues, and even bluegrasses.
You can remove unwanted Bermuda grass by hand if you wish to control its spread in your established garden.
First and foremost, you must trim the grass as part of the excavation preparation. It will give you simple access to the grassroots of Bermuda.
Continue by hand removing the grass beneath the root. Take care not to miss any live roots, since they can regrow through the loose soil.
Lastly, sift through the ground below the grass to remove any Bermuda grass that has left.
Furthermore, homeowners should be informed that completely eliminating Bermuda grass from the lawn can be a lengthy process, lasting up to five years.
To ensure that there is no Bermuda grass regeneration, the procedures outlined must be applied repeatedly, as well as monitored and maintained on a regular basis. Otherwise, you will only be able to achieve temporary Bermudagrass suppression rather than ultimate elimination.