Even one of the most popular lawn grasses can be a weed when growing where it is not wanted. Weed doesn’t necessarily mean a useless plant, but once it starts growing in a different location from where you planted it, you have a problem.
It’ll fight the cultivated plants growing there for nutrients and space and eventually slow down or kill your cultivated plants. This is even more valid when dealing with aggressive growers like Bermuda grass.
Dealing with weeds can be challenging if you do not use the proper tools and materials.
What are the proper ways to permanently tackle Bermuda grass growing in your yard? I’ll be showing you ways to finally get rid of this menace and give your lawn the room it needs to thrive.
What is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass (cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season grass also known as devil’s grass or couch’s grass, it is native to Africa but has become a popular grass in the US.
It is used for lawns and is heat and drought tolerant, making it very popular among gardeners in hotter regions. It equally makes it difficult to kill when growing out of place.
Its traffic tolerance also means you’ll find it difficult to kill it by trampling on it.
Bermuda Grass Growth Circle
Bermuda grass is a fast-growing invasive plant ready to take over your lawn in no time. It has the fastest growth rate among warm-season grasses, which is why it is a tough weed to handle.
This grass is a perennial grass coming back every year. Its most active growing season is from late spring through to the summer. During this period, Bermuda grass will quickly cover any available space.
Bermuda grass takes between 3 and 21 days to germinate, depending on specific growing conditions. Tender roots and shoots begin to be more visible 10 days later.
The grass spreads with the help of its stolon and rhizome. Its stolon helps it spread under the ground, while its rhizome growth is responsible for its vigorous spread above the ground.
Its spread mechanisms make it a challenging weed in your garden. Bermuda grass produces seeds at maturity; these seeds germinate quickly, giving you more trouble.
Factors that Determine the Best Way To Kill Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass can be killed using different methods, but Bermuda grass killer are only useful in some conditions. Here are some factors that will determine the best way to rid your lawn of Bermuda grass weed.
- Level of Bermuda grass weed infestation: the establishment level will always be a significant factor to consider when choosing a way to kill Bermuda grass. Some methods will work best when there is a minimal attack level, while others are best for a full-blown weed establishment in your yard.
- Plants around the Bermuda grass weed: perhaps it should have been the first factor listed as it is so important. Most of the ways used to kill Bermuda grass weeds are dependent on the plants near the weed. If there is a cultivated plant near the weed, utilizing some eradication methods would be unhealthy and unfeasible. Whereas if the weed is growing in an area without a cultivated plant, there are only a few restrictions on selecting a method to kill the grass.
- Plants you’re looking to introduce in that area: the plants you want to introduce after killing the Bermuda grass are factors you should consider before employing any Bermuda killing method. You do not want to poison the soil and make it uninhabitable for your next plant.
- Resources you’re willing to invest: these resources include money and time. The amount of money and time you’re willing to invest in eradicating Bermuda grass weed from your yard will determine the methods you can choose. Some ways are time-intensive, while others will require a considerable amount of money.
5 Ways to Permanently Rid Your Lawn of Bermuda Grass Weed
Bermuda grass is a tough grass to kill in your garden due to its vigorous growth rate and high-stress tolerance level. Nevertheless, with perseverance and the right tools, you can remove the troublesome weed from your yard once and for all.
First, what is solarization?
This is the use of heat from the sun as Bermuda grass killer. Now, this may sound odd since we’ve already established Bermuda grass is heat resistant.
Bermuda grass is only resistant to moderate heat. When the heat is ramped up, they die. In the solarization method, a plastic tarp is placed over the Bermuda grass weed with the edges held down with stones.
The heat from the sun will pass through the tarp and burn everything on the ground, including the stolon under the soil. The plastic tarp works by magnifying the solar heat rays on the soil under the tarp.
This method is highly effective and only requires minimal labor.
Note: the solarization method will kill everything under the tarp, including cultivated plants. Also, this method is only effective during the hot summer months.
Mulching is the covering of the ground surface to reduce the loss of essential nutrients through evaporation. Mulching can also help in eradicating weeds like Bermuda grass.
You can make use of a plastic ground cover or cardboard to cover the ground. You need to form holes in the groundcover where your cultivated plants can poke out from leaving the Bermuda grass weed under the cover.
Pour wood chippings on the fabric to hold it down and provide nutrients.
Bermuda grass loves sunlight; that is why the summer months are its most active growth season. When this light is taken away from it by mulching, it begins to dry out. It also experiences a choking effect, and after some weeks, it’ll be dead.
3. Vinegar as Bermuda grass killer
Vinegar is an effective method of permanently removing Bermuda grass weed from your garden. Spray a 10% vinegar solution directly on the weed to kill it.
The downside of using vinegar is that you have no control over what it kills. It’ll kill every plant it touches. Use vinegar only when there are no cultivated plants around.
4. Manually Removing Bermuda Grass Weed
When Bermuda grass weed only affects a small area, you can manually remove the weed with a shovel.
Bermuda grass weeds do not grow deep into the soil; they instead spread vertically under the earth. This makes it easy to remove them from the ground.
The best time to do this is when the plant is still tender right after rainfall or after irrigation when the soil is still soft.
Force your shovel some inches under the ground and remove the grass alongside its root. Bag the grass and dispose of them.
5. Systemic Herbicides
Systemic herbicides like round-up are absorbed through the foliage and go through all the parts of the weed killing everything, including its root. This is especially important for weeds like Bermuda grass that can regrow when a small portion of its stolon is left in the ground.
The active ingredient in systemic herbicides is glyphosate.
Ways to Prevent a Recurrence of Bermuda Weed in Your Lawn
After eliminating Bermuda grass weed in your yard, you need to ensure the conditions are unfavorable for a Bermuda grass comeback.
How do you do that?
- Fertilize your lawn frequently: the aim here is to keep your lawn healthy and make it difficult for weeds to spring up.
- Mow high: mowing your lawn close to the ground will leave it vulnerable to Bermuda grass attack. When you trim it high, the lawn is thick and can quickly choke out any weed.
- Water your lawn frequently: watering is another essential need for your yard. Giving it the right amount of water will keep it healthy and leave no room for Bermuda grass.
Bermuda grass is a lawn grass but can also be an invasive weed if left unattended. It is a tough lawn grass you may only want to control and not kill entirely. If you, however, decide to eradicate the plant from your yard, the ways stated in this guide will bring an end to your Bermuda grass weed problem.