Last Updated: March 20, 2016 

Bermuda Grass Weed Control

Before we get into the subject of weed control, let me understand what exactly you are looking for. Bermuda grass itself can be a weed for flower beds or other plantation because of its own aggressive nature. If you are looking to control Bermuda grass that itself acts as weed, then check out Eradicating Bermuda Grass
In the following section I'll be sharing how to control or remove those weeds that affect healthy spread of Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass weeds can be controlled mainly by two ways: 
1) By preventing the weed seeds from germinating &áemerging, and 
2) By killing weeds that already exist.  
I recommend that you understand the Types of Bermuda Grass Weeds properly before you prepare to control them, because the control process largely depends on the types of Bermuda grass weeds you are dealing with.  
Generally bare or thin areas are the ideal place for weeds to spread. Here are the steps that you should follow to control the Bermuda grass weeds: 
Step-I: Follow ongoing best practices 
Start by consistently following the best practices of maintaining Bermuda grass lawns and apply three primary methods: 
1. Properly fertilize the lawn,  
2. Properly water the lawn, and  
3. Mow at the correct height and frequency (Common Bermuda grass should be up to 2 inches in height). 
Read Best way to maintain Bermuda grass lawns to know what are the dos and donts. 
Step-II: Mechanical removal of grass weeds 
Weeds can be controlled mechanically, specially those weeds that can not tolerate frequent mowing. So by increasing the mowing frequency and keeping the Bermuda grass at correct height, you can limit the development of such weeds.  
Control of weeds by hand pulling is also quite effective for annual weeds. But it is not effective for most perennial weeds. And the process is also quite time consuming. Also note that hand pulling and digging process will generally work only for new weeds when they first appear in a lawn. 
Hand pulling is not effective for weeds that have already spread out vigorously. Cultivated land should be smoothed out with a disk harrow to destroy germinating weed seeds. During the growing stage, regular grazing or mowing may help to remove the weeds. But if grass is not 6-8 inches in height during spring, the first grazing should not be done. 
Step-III: Using herbicides or weed killers 
Another measure is to use the Bermuda grass weed killers or herbicides to control the weeds. The weed killers which are applied before the weeds emerge are called Pre-emergent weed killers and those after the weeds have emerged are called Post-emergent weed killers. These weed seeds are usually carried by animals, water or through lawnmowers.  
Pre-emergent weed killers should be ideally applied 2 weeks prior to germination. There can be several different types of chemicals used as weed killers. The chemical differs based on different kind of weed seed and their reaction time. 
Both annual and perennial weeds that have already emerged, can be controlled by post-emergent herbicides as well. Although post-emergent weed control is possible, but the use of pre-emergent herbicides during spring (or fall depending on the weed type) is always recommended. The post-emergent chemicals are generally used early in the summer when weeds are actively growing. But be careful while applying such weed killers. It is important to know the application rates, timing, and Bermuda grass types for effective weed control.  
Herbicides cannot be used on every kind of grass. Before use of any weed killer, you should follow the product label for safe and effective use. As I mentioned earlier, it is also important to know the weed type before using the chemical. Otherwise you may end up killing the entire lawn. For example, if you use grass killer chemical on a Bermuda hybrid lawn where there is crabgrass or nutsedge, it might kill any grass it contacts. The information of the herbicides application will be available on the label of container or packets. 
Guidelines to apply herbicides by month 
March - May 
Apply pre-emergence herbicides to control crabgrass in late February or early March. Apply post-emergence herbicides in May to control annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge and lespedeza. Products that have two or three broadleaf herbicides usually control several different broadleaf weeds in a lawn more effectively. Before applying, make sure the product is labeled for use on Bermuda grass. Apply post-emergence herbicides only when weeds are present. Applying broadleaf herbicides three weeks after the lawn becomes green to avoid damaging the Bermuda grass. 
June - August 
Apply post-emergence herbicides to control annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge and lespedeza. Weeds like crabgrass, dallisgrass, annual sedges and sandbur can be controlled with MSMA. In order to control crabgrass and sedges effectively, you need to apply MSMA twice at an interval of 5 to 7 days. Dallisgrass requires five applications of MSMA in 5 to 7 day intervals. Apply these herbicides only when weeds are present on the soil and when the grass is actively growing and not suffering from drought. 
September - November 
Apply pre-emergence or post-emergence herbicides to control annual and perennial broadleaf weeds like chickweed and henbit. Note that Pre-emergence herbicides will not be able to control existing weeds. They will only control emergence of new weeds. Apply post-emergence herbicides only when weeds are present. Do not apply herbicides to control annual bluegrass if the lawn is to be overseeded with ryegrass. 
December - February 
Apply broadleaf herbicides to control weed such as spurweed, chickweed, henbit and hop clover. Apply post-emergence herbicides only when weeds are present. Selective herbicides like atrazine and simazine can be applied in November or December in lawns that are not overseeded to control annual bluegrass and several winter annual broadleaf weeds such as henbit. 
Related Articles 
1) Check out Bermuda Grass Weed Killer to know about the herbicides and their applications to remove the weeds from Bermuda Grass. 
3) Check out Bermuda Grass for a complete guide on Bermuda Grass and Lawn Care. 
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