How to kill Bermuda grass
Continuous applications of herbicides are required to kill Bermuda grass.
While Bermuda grass is well known for its aggressive nature and is used as a favored turf or lawn grass in many regions, it is this same nature that also makes it a weed for other grasses and plants.
It is one of those grasses which can return even after it's dead.
Due to its extensive root system, Bermuda grass is very difficult to be killed and eradicated completely from a field where it has grown vigorously. The underground roots and the runners above ground spread everywhere. As a result even flower beds and other adjacent areas can also become affected.
While trying to remove Bermuda grass, just getting rid of the roots will not solve the problem. Several applications of herbicide are required over a month to kill 90 to 95% of Bermuda grass.
Complete Lawn Clean Up
Herbicide like glyphosate is very common for killing Bermuda. But remember, in order to get good results, herbicide should be applied (i.e. sprayed) on the grass leaves. This is because the leaves are the most effective part to absorb maximum quantity of herbicide and not the roots.
Another important point to remember is the time of herbicide application. In dormant state (like in January) Bermuda grass absorbs less herbicides. This is the time when they draw nutrients up from the roots and therefore the chemical applied on the leaves is unlikely to reach down to the root system. So this is not the time to kill Bermuda by use of herbicides. Application of herbicides should be done from spring to fall, when the leaves are fully developed and green.
You should not clip and mow the lawn before getting rid of Bermuda grass. Instead, one or two weeks before the application of herbicide, water the lawn thoroughly so that the leaves of Bermuda grass get green and well spread out to absorb the chemical effectively.
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide, and also known in the market as Easy Gone Weed or Grass Killer or Roundup. It can kill most of the Bermuda vegetation. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not effective when Bermuda grass is in dormant state.
Glyphosate can kill the deepest roots of Bermuda grass. After treatment, graying and browning of colors takes place within 7-10 days.
Soil particles that adsorb the herbicides, get transformed into carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, phosphate and other common natural components. And by this it kills the Bermuda grass by stopping an important metabolic process.
However insects and animals are not affected by this. Bermuda grass can also be controlled by Turflon ester, another herbicide. You should spray it three times in 3-week intervals during the growing season (usually May-July).
Selectively Removing Bermuda From Other Grasses
The earlier method of applying Glyphosate (like Roundup etc.) all over the area works when you are trying to completely clean up your lawn. Remember, Glyphosate is NOT a selective herbicide and kills almost all plants including other grasses and weeds.
So if your requirement is to eliminate only the Bermuda grass selectively while not affecting other desirable grasses, check out Selective Bermuda Grass Killers to know about the selective herbicides that need to be used, the method of application and timing.
Removing Bermuda from flower beds & ornamental plants
There are some methods that you can use for spraying herbicides on Bermuda grass while protecting the wanted plants. I generally put up a low height partition between Bermuda grass and the desired plants using a piece of cardboard or thin plywood. Now you can apply the herbicide by a pressure tank sprayer and create a fine mist on Bermuda grass. Or alternatively place a plastic sheet on the flower bed to protect them from the spray.
If there is space between wanted plants and Bermuda grass, a small paint roller and a pan can be used to kill the Bermuda grass. Keep the glyphosate solution in the pan and roll the moistened roller over the undesirable Bermuda grass.
Eradicating Bermuda grass before seeding Fescue
If you have a Bermuda grass area that you want to clean up before seeding fescue, you can follow these steps (Note: You should start about five to six weeks before overseeding with fescue, and also plan to do it between Spring to Fall.)
1. Mow the grass at 2.0 inches
2. Fertilize it with 1.0 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft and water the lawn normally.
3. Spray the lawn in the morning with a Glyphosate variant like Round-up.
4. Let the spray dry off. Turn the irrigation off for that night only.
5. Turn on the irrigation the next day and water normally.
6. In 5-10 days, (while you keep watering) 90% of the Bermuda grass will turn brown.
7. Apply another 1/4 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft. and cover the whole area.
8. If there are some patches that are still green, re-spray with Round-up (and repeat steps 3 and 4 for those green areas).
9. In another 7 days or so, all Bermuda grass should be killed.
1) Selectively killing Bermuda from other grasses: Know how to get rid of only Bermuda grass weeds selectively from other grasses.
2) Bermuda Grass Weed Control: Know how to control weeds that hinder healthy growth of Bermuda grass.
3) Bermuda Grass: A complete guide to Bermuda Grass and Lawn Care.
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