The Best Organic Way to Destroy Bermuda Grass


Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass native to southeast Africa, not Bermuda, as the name implies. The grass is a popular grass for lawns and pasture throughout the United States. But Bermuda grass' habit of creeping along runners can often put it into places where it is not wanted, like the vegetable garden or flower bed. Although chemical herbicides will kill Bermuda grass, the use of herbicides in your garden or flower bed next to desirable plants is a risky prospect. Instead, you can kill Bermuda grass organically by harnessing the sun's power in a process called solarization.

Step 1

Remove debris from your garden that can puncture your plastic. This includes sticks and rocks.

Step 2

Soak your Bermuda grass-covered soil with a garden hose. The soil should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 3

Cover the Bermuda grass-filled soil with a layer of clear plastic. Bury the edges of the plastic securely to ensure a snug fit.

Step 4

Leave the plastic in place for six weeks.

Step 5

Remove the plastic and break up the soil with a rototiller.

Step 6

Remove all Bermuda grass roots and stolons from the ground with a rake. Although Bermuda grass has been killed, if roots are left in the soil it is possible that they can return.

Step 7

Spread compost over the soil to a depth of 4 inches. The solarized soil is sterile and has no nutrients. Compost will help return nutrients to the sterilized soil. Mix the compost into the soil with a rototiller.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Garden hose
  • Clear plastic
  • Rototiller
  • Compost


  • University of California: Perennial weeds respond to control by soil solarization
  • Oregon State University Extension: Harness the summer sun to kill weeds and soil pests
  • University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Soil solarization to control garden pests

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension Service: Solarization for Pest Management in Florida
  • University of Missouri Extension: Bermudagrass
Keywords: killing grass, removing weeds, destroying bermudagrass

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."