A Non-Toxic Way to Kill Bermuda Grass


Homeowners in the southern United States prefer to grow Bermuda grass because of its sun-loving and drought-resistant properties. However, this perennial grass can become invasive and compete with ornamental plants for water and nutrients in the soil. Bermuda grass spreads by underground rhizomes and aboveground stolons. Although commercial herbicides containing glyphosate are effective in killing this grass, they leave a residue in the soil that disturbs microbial activity. Adopt a non-toxic and environmentally friendly way of killing invasive Bermuda grass.

Step 1

Spread powdered chalk over areas in your yard or garden to mark where Bermuda grass grows. This helps demarcate the area and saves time in the long run. Bermuda grass is usually comprised of flowering stems with four to seven sharp branches, and has an overall uneven texture.

Step 2

Mow Bermuda grass down to 1 inch with a manual or electric lawn mower. Collect clippings and dispose.

Step 3

Dig patches of Bermuda grass manually for immediate removal. Adopt this method for areas with small infestations. Wet the area beforehand and dig out the grass, along with the roots. Use a shovel to dig deep in the soil to ensure you pull out all the roots.

Step 4

Smother the grass with newspapers. Spread layers of 10 sheets of non-glossy newspapers. Wet the area lightly to ensure the newspapers lie flat and close to the ground. Overlap adjacent sheets to cover the entire area. Sprinkle water over the sheets again to prevent them from blowing away.

Step 5

Spread a plastic sheet over the grass to kill it naturally. Weigh the edges of the sheet down with bricks, or spread an even layer of mulch over it. The sheet prevents water, air and sunlight from reaching the Bermuda grass, killing it in up to six weeks or more.

Step 6

Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and douse small sections of Bermuda grass with it. White vinegar contains acetic acid that burns grass, killing it. Spray every day in the summer for up to two weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize the Bermuda lawn grass in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Powdered chalk
  • Lawn mower
  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Newspapers
  • Plastic sheet
  • Bricks
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle


  • University of California: Bermudagrass Management
  • Great Landscaping Ideas: Crab Grass
  • "The Lawn Bible"; David Mellor; 2007
Keywords: bermuda grass, kill bermuda grass, remove bermuda grass

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.