How to Remove Bermuda Grass from a Landscape Bed

Overview

It's important to understand from the beginning that removing Bermuda grass from a flower bed is not a one-time process. This grass is used for sports fields and golf courses because it is tough and sturdy---Sunset Western Garden Guide editors describe it as being able to "spread aggressively and knit tenaciously into the soil." That said, it is possible to remove Bermuda grass if you are as persistent and relentless as the grass itself.

The Weeding Method

Step 1

Place an impenetrable ground cover over the area with the grass to force the grass roots to rise to the surface. This step should be taken one month or more prior to attempting removal.

Step 2

Soak the area of the flowerbed to make grass removal easier. Water until the water level reaches down 3 or 4 inches.

Step 3

Dig deeply with your grass removal tool to pry up as much of the Bermuda roots as you can.

Step 4

Replace the ground cover and repeat the process every month or two.

The Chemical Method

Step 1

Water the flower bed every day for 30 to 40 minutes approximately one week before chemical application. This will make the grass sprout new growth thus making it easier for the chemical to penetrate its roots. Do not pull the grass at this time.

Step 2

Cover nearby plants with a heavy layer of plastic or newspaper to protect them from the chemical spray.

Step 3

Spray the herbicide according to the package directions on a windless day to minimize killing nearby plants. Spray with as heavy a stream as possible to direct the spray to exactly where the Bermuda is growing.

Step 4

Repeat the process every two or three months where you see grass sprouting up again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bermuda grass roots can grow as deeply as 3 feet into the ground, so be prepared to repeat whatever process you use on a regular basis. When using a chemical insecticide, protect yourself with gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Impenetrable ground cover such as stones or black plastic
  • Hose
  • Trowel or dandelion weed remover
  • Newspaper or plastic
  • Weed killer with glyphosate

References

  • "Sunset Western Garden Book"; editors of Sunset Magazine and Sunset Books; 1977
  • Desert Botanical garden: How to Remove a Bermuda Grass Lawn

Who Can Help

  • Aggie-Horticulture: Bermudagrass
Keywords: removing Bermuda grass, weeding Bermuda grass, eliminating Bermuda grass

About this Author

A freelance writer with an extensive career in education, Susan Lundman taught writing and communication at the Military Academy at West Point, at military bases overseas and at community colleges in the United States. Working in a non-profit agency for 20 years, she wrote grant requests, promotional material, and operating guides. Lundman's expertise includes backpacking, dance, gardening and healthy living.