How To Get Rid Of Bermuda Grass (Step-by-Step Guide)
If you are one of the many homeowners who have Bermuda grass in your yard, you already know how difficult it can be to get rid of. While some people actually like Bermuda grass, many of us consider it nothing more than a weed.
There are several ways to get rid of Bermuda grass. The first one, of course, is using a weed killer. They have certain types that just kill Bermuda grass. You can also try cultivation, solarization, stripping it, or you can try choking it out.
Also known as Cynodon dactylon, Bermuda grass is actually well-liked in the hotter areas of the United States. That is probably because it is so easy to grow and spreads quickly. But since it spreads through the air like a virus, it can seed itself in your neighbor’s yard as well.
Bermuda Grass is Good for Pastures, Not for Yards
Originally from Africa, Bermuda grass is very hardy and that can make it a problem for those who are trying to grow other grasses or plants in their yard. It is highly invasive and was once thought of as the perfect grass for pastures because of its easy care and popularity with cows and horses.
Because of the hardiness of Bermuda grass, even when you kill it, the story does not end there. It keeps coming back. Mainly because it has three ways to spread: below ground with rhizomes, above ground with vine-like shoots called stolons, and by seed through the air. But we have some good ways to get rid of that grass… for now.
Poison It with Weed Killers
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get rid of Bermuda grass is to poison it. Here are the top 10 most popular weed killers for Bermuda grass and their details. We even found a couple that are all-natural and non-toxic.
|All in one||Kills weeds without harming the lawn.Also gets rid of 200 common weeds like clover and dandelion.Rainproof after one hour of application.Attaches to your hose.Treats up to 5,000 square feet.||May kill Zoysia, Bahia grass, Augustine grass, and centipede grass.The hose adapter can be difficult to use.|
PBI Gordon Ornamec Grass Herbicide
|Safe for over 500 ground covers, flowers, and trees.Kills existing Bermuda grass in hours.Also rainproof in one hour.||It is very expensive compared to the others.You have to read the label well to prevent damage to other plants.It does not stop new growth.|
Bonide Grass Beater (BND7458)
|Easy to use.Works well on contact.Great value for the money.Covers a lot of ground.Has no glyphosate.||The instructions are confusing.It does not stop new growth.|
Roundup Extended Weed and Grass Killer
All in one
|One of the best-known names in weed killer.Kills fast on contact.Also lasts long enough to prevent new growth.It is rainproof in minutes.||Contains glyphosate.Has been banned in many areas in the United States.|
RM43 Glyphosate Plus Weed Preventer
All in one
|It is the most powerful product available.It kills everything immediately.It prevents new growth and is rainproof in two hours.||It will kill everything it comes into contact with.It is not safe for pets or children.It is a very harsh chemical.Much more expensive than the others.|
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
All in one
|It kills everything.It is very popular and powerful.It is a very good value for the money.Covers 25,000 square feet.Rainproof in two hours.Prevents new growth.||It contains glyphosate.It takes two to four days to work.Kills at the root so you have to be careful around other vegetation.|
LG5518 Turflon Ester Specialty Herbicide
|Kills Bermuda grass without harming other grasses.Covers up to 20,000 square feet.It is very highly recommended.||It is very expensive.Does not stop new growth.|
Ortho Weed B Gone
|Kills within three hours.Gets rid of other weeds like dandelions, thistle, and clover.Kills at the roots.||It is not available in Texas.It does not stop new growth.|
Organic Bonide Burnout Concentrate (BND7465)
All in one
|Has all-natural ingredients so it is non-toxic.Safe for kids and pets.Can be used in colder weather.Works fast and keeps on working to prevent new growth.Rainproof within one hour.||Does not work on all weeds.|
Organic Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
All in one
|100% organic and non-toxic.Works on all weeds and grasses.Safe for kids and pets.Kills within 24 hours.Continues to prevent new growth.||It smells really strongly like vinegar.|
Cultivate It Out of There
This is one of the best ways to get rid of Bermuda grass without chemicals. However, it is also the most difficult. It works best if used during the summer because Bermuda grass does not like heat.
To cultivate it, you will have to plow out your lawn up to about six inches deep. That is the only way to bring the roots to the surface so they can be killed by the sun. You may have to do it again after two weeks though.
Strip It of Its Powers
Similar to cultivating, stripping adds a few steps to make it even more effective. Here are the steps to follow:
- Step One: Strip the grass down to the dirt.
- Step Two: Cover the dirt with three layers of cardboard.
- Step Three: Wet the cardboard until it is thoroughly soaked.
- Step Four: Put five inches of mulch on the cardboard.
- Step Five: Let it sit like that for six months.
Use the Power of the Sun
Solarizing your Bermuda grass is not as difficult as cultivating or stripping it and is also quite effective. It is also best done in the summertime. It kills both the surface grass as well as the roots underneath.
- Step One: Mow the grass as low as you can get it.
- Step Two: Water your grass and then place a large clear plastic tarp over it.
- Step Three: Weigh it down with bricks or rocks. The sun will magnify through the plastic and kill the Bermuda grass within a month.
- Step Four: Once it is dead, all you have to do is rake it away or leave it to decompose.
Choke It Out of There
Use mulch and landscape fabric to choke the Bermuda grass out of your lawn. Just spread the fabric over the grass and cover it with gravel, sand, or mulch. You will have to monitor this process to make sure the Bermuda grass is not growing out around your fabric though.
If you have fescue grass, you can also use it to choke out the Bermuda grass. All you have to do is mow it more often and at a higher level. Two or three inches should be sufficient. It will spread and get rid of the unwanted grass. Fescue should grow thick enough to push the Bermuda grass out of your lawn for good. As long as you keep taking care of the fescue.
What is the Best Way to Apply Herbicides?
There are some ways to apply weed killers to get a better result. Even if you buy the best on the market, if you do not use it right, it will not work. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the product and follow these tips.
- Do not put the product on right after mowing the lawn. The higher and thicker the foliage, the more absorption of the weed killer.
- You should also not water after spraying or spray right before it rains. Even if the product says it is rainproof after several minutes, it is best to wait at least 24 hours.
- Get the concentrated form since it is cheaper, and you can pour it into a better sprayer.
- Use the best sprayer you can find. A pump sprayer works the best and a trigger will have your hands aching after a while.
You cannot use any of the above methods in your garden without risking the life of your plants. Even if you use natural and non-toxic herbicide, it will still kill other plants. Take these steps to get rid of the Bermuda grass in your garden.
- Step One: Grab the stolons and pull back toward the direction they are growing in.
- Step Two: Pull all of the roots that are attached to the grass as well as those growing underneath.
- Step Three: Cut off the stolons after you pull it back to the edge of your garden.
- Step Four: Dig down at least six inches to make sure you get all of the roots and rhizomes.
It is almost impossible to keep Bermuda grass from coming back. That is because it spreads seeds through the air. So even if you get rid of the grass and the roots, the seeds are flying around from neighbor’s yards or golf courses and infecting your yard like a virus.
The best way to prevent the reemergence of Bermuda grass is to keep your lawn thick and healthy with the right type of grass. Let your lawn grow high, at least three to four inches, water it regularly, and fertilize it to keep it healthy. The healthier your lawn, the less you have to worry about those Bermuda grass seeds floating around.
I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.
More by Patricia Oelze