How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass

If your yard is covered with Bermuda grass, you may feel like it will never go away. Bermuda is such a fast-growing grass that pulling it up or out just hasn’t been enough for some people – especially people who are battling really bad infestations. If you want to learn how to get rid of Bermuda grass on your lawn, we will share a few tips and tricks in this guide to help you.

What is Bermuda grass and how do you identify it?

A Bermuda grass lawn is a common sight in many parts of the southern United States. Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season perennial that spreads by both stolons and rhizomes. It will aggressively invade other turfgrasses and can become a weed in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and ornamental plantings.

Bermuda grass has narrow leaves that are blue-green in color. The leaf blade is smooth on the upper surface and has hair along the margins. The ligule is membranous and truncate or emarginate. The sheath is open with overlapping edges, and there are no auricles present.

The seedhead is a cylindrical spike that is purplish in color. The seeds are small, about 0.05 inch (0.13 cm) long, and light brown in color.

Although it is considered an invasive weed, Bermuda grass may have a place in your yard. It prefers sandy soil with full sun exposure, making it a good choice for flower beds and other areas in sunny climates.

Where can you find Bermuda grass?

To get rid of Bermuda grass, you must first know where it is. In high summer, this grass grows in clumps along sidewalks, driveways, and other hard-to-reach areas that are virtually inaccessible from the ground. To find it, look for larger clumps higher than your eye level or on elevated places like ridges or fence corners.

In the fall, you will find this stubborn grass in moist areas like ponds and ditches or around farm buildings or barns. You should also look for it in shady areas where the soil dries out after rain but still remains moist at the surface.

In the spring, you’ll find Bermuda growing in well-drained soil such as those on hillsides or fence lines. Look for areas with little recent activity nearby (no sprinklers or mowing) and where other grasses have not been growing well.

Why get rid of Bermuda grass?

There are many reasons to get rid of Bermuda grass from your lawn. It is known as weed grass and can grow in many soils, including sand. This hardy plant thrives because it is able to store water in its roots for long periods of time.

Bermuda grass forms a thick mat that prevents other plants from growing underneath it and may crowd out desirable species such as St. Augustine or Zoysia grass in your lawn if you do not take care of the problem quickly enough.

This weed grows vigorously, so if you want a healthy yard free from pests, then removing Bermuda grass may be necessary. It can also encourage pests such as chinch bugs, mole crickets, and fire ants, which can damage your lawn or spread disease to other parts of your property like flower beds or vegetable gardens.

Bermuda grass can make lawn maintenance more difficult because it is so tough and can grow much faster than other grass types.

How do you get rid of Bermuda grass?

There are many ways to get rid of Bermuda grass, but there is no shortcut for this task because it requires hard work and patience in order to achieve success by eradicating these types of weeds from your lawn permanently without damaging the soil underneath them.

There are a few different ways that should work for most people:

  1. Pulling the grass up by hand: This is the most common and easiest way to remove Bermuda grass, but it can be difficult if the infestation is bad.
  2. Spot treatment with herbicide: This is a more effective way to get rid of Bermuda grass, but it can be difficult to find a product that will work on this weed and not harm the desirable grasses in your lawn.
  3. Sod or plugs removal: If you have a small infestation of Bermuda grass, you can remove the sod or plugs it has grown in with your hands and then replant new seed or sod over the top of the area where you removed them from.
  4. Using a dethatcher machine: You could also use a dethatcher, which is like an electric lawnmower except that instead of cutting down blades of grass, they remove their roots so they won’t grow back.
  5. Using a weed eater/mower: Be careful not to cut your lawn too low, or you will just end up spreading the seeds around
  6. Mulching over the infested area with cardboard or black plastic sheeting for at least four weeks will suffocate and kill almost all Bermuda grass plants.
  7. Use a Roundup solution: Bermuda grass prefers moist soil in full sun. It can be easily controlled by mowing around its stems and using a herbicide containing glyphosate (Round-up) that is safe for use around animals and children.
  8. Solarization – this is a non-chemical way to kill Bermuda grass; it involves using clear plastic sheeting to trap the sun’s heat and raise the soil temperature to at least 120 degrees for four consecutive days.
  9. Fire: Some people have had success removing Bermuda grass by setting it on fire, but this is not a recommended or safe way to do things, and you should only try this if you are absolutely sure that there will be no flammable materials near the area where you plan to burn the weed.


How to prevent Bermuda grass from growing from your lawn

Bermuda grass is invasive and nonnative to North America, yet it is widely planted as a lawn and ornamental grass. This common plant can spread rapidly. It is also difficult to get rid of completely because Bermuda grass’s roots will regenerate from several spots in the soil. This can make it difficult to remove all the Bermuda grass plants.

There are several steps you can take to help prevent Bermuda grass from spreading, including:

  • Mow your lawn regularly and keep the mower at a consistent height. If you have a crushed stone or loam base for your yard, consider using something like a rake with sharp prongs to cut back the outer edge of your yard, where Bermuda grass tends to grow more aggressively.
  • You can also try growing an herbaceous ground cover instead of a traditional lawn. These plants will keep Bermuda grass at bay and won’t need constant mowing, which could lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your mower/blades.
  • Avoid buying or planting new Bermuda grass plants.
  • Disconnect sprinklers or hoses that serve your lawn or garden.
  • Seed your lawn with Bermuda grass-resistant varieties, such as fescue. This may be more expensive than other types of grass seed; however, it will help prevent Bermuda grass invasion in the future.
  • Water your lawn regularly and use mulch to keep it evenly moist all year round. This will prevent Bermuda grass from sprouting anywhere near you.
  • Use a pre-emergent herbicide on new landscape plants and lawns to stop seeds from sprouting before they take root.
  • Have a professional landscaper come out and survey your yard before planting anything new so they can identify any existing problems that could cause trouble later on.


Frequently Asked Questions


How do you keep Bermuda grass from spreading?

Bermuda grass is hardy and can spread rapidly. To keep it from spreading, you need to mow your lawn regularly and keep the mower at a consistent height. If you have a crushed stone or loam base for your yard, consider using something like a rake with sharp prongs to cut back the outer edge of your yard, where Bermuda grass tends to grow more aggressively. You can also try growing an herbaceous ground cover instead of a traditional lawn. These plants will keep Bermuda grass at bay and won’t require constant mowing, which could lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your mower/blades.

Does white vinegar kill Bermuda grass?

No, white vinegar will not kill Bermuda grass. However, there are several herbicides that contain glyphosate (Round-up) that are safe for use around animals and children and can effectively kill almost all Bermuda grass plants.

Can you plant new sod over Bermuda grass?

It is possible to plant new sod over Bermuda grass; however, doing so can be difficult because Bermuda grass’s roots will regenerate from several spots in the soil. It is recommended that you use a pre-emergent herbicide on new landscape plants and lawns to stop seeds from sprouting before they take root.

Conclusion

Bermuda grass is tough to get rid of because the purpose of Bermuda grass is to be able to survive. It is not a delicate plant, and it will not go away easily. If you want to get rid of Bermuda grass, you need to be sure that you are eradicating every single root, or Bermuda grass will return as strong as before.

The idea of getting rid of Bermuda grass is usually where people start, but they have no forethought on how to do it. We have provided some tips on how to eradicate Bermuda grass from your property and also to prevent them from growing in your lawn.