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Selective Bermuda Grass Killers
We all know that it is extremely difficult to completely eradicate Bermuda grass, if not impossible. It becomes even tougher when you are trying to get rid of it from other desirable grasses like fescue. There is no point trying to hand pull the weed out, because that won't eliminate the roots and Bermuda grass will be back with a bang in no time. The only answer to this is by using a selective herbicide, applying at the right time and following the right method. So let's take a closer look at each of these areas.
Selective Herbicides to Kill Bermuda Grass
When I say selective herbicide, I mean such chemicals that will not destroy or damage any desirable grass and will only act on killing Bermuda grass although they might be all mixed up. So a broad spectrum herbicide like Glyphosate (market products also known as Roundup, Easy Gone etc.) will not be the solution. Because they will kill almost all plants they touch.
One of the most effective herbicides that selectively works on eliminating Bermuda grass is Ornamec. Usually you get this in concentrate form and need to use it in small quantities. It does not harm grasses like fescue and bluegrass. However you should read the label or consult the product manufacturer to understand whether the grass you are trying to retain is safe from Ornamec. If you are not sure about your lawn's original grass type, take a sample to the local nursery and they will let you know.
Another selective Bermuda grass killer is a herbicide produced by Bayer and known as the Bayer Advanced Bermuda Grass Control. This product is also safe for fescue and bluegrass and will work on eradicating Bermuda grass weeds from the mix of other grasses. It is easier to get and cheaper as well. However, it may not be as effective as Ornamec.
Time of Herbicide Application
Now coming to the time of application, the best time to apply the above herbicides is between Spring and fall. This is when the Bermuda grass actively grows and will absorb maximum amount of herbicides through the leaves taking the chemicals down to the roots. During the winter time, Bermuda grass remains in dormant stage and won't absorb the chemicals as effectively.
In general, Ornamec is used during Spring and Fall, although Bayer's product can be used all through the year.
Method of Application
You should first carefully read the labels for instructions and consult with the product manufacturer or the dealer if you are not confident. This is because eliminating Bermuda grass from other grasses is quite tricky and would require several as well as diligent treatments in about 7-10 days interval.
You should first understand whether your lawn grass is safe with the herbicide you are using. For example the Bayer's product in general can not be used on St. Augustine. You should also carefully read the instructions on dilution, application methods and cleansing of the spraying equipment. For example, Bayer's product may be more effective when applied in bursts directly at the roots rather than spraying on the leaves.
It is generally a good practice to water the lawn thoroughly for two weeks before herbicide is sprayed. This will enable the Bermuda grass to spread out the leaves and make them ready to absorb maximum herbicides. With the same logic, do not mow or clip the lawn before the treatment as that will reduce the Bermuda grass leaves and their surface area, and thus reducing the absorption of chemical.
1) Check out Killing Bermuda Grass to know how to completely clean up a lawn, save ornamental flowers and plants, and prevent Bermuda grass from growing in various situations.
2) Check out Bermuda Grass for a complete guide on Bermuda Grass and its maintenance.
By Raj Bhattacharya
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