How to Kill Burmuda Grass

Overview

Bermuda grass was introduced to the United States from Africa in 1751. Originally a forage grass, Bermuda is now a lawn grass in many warm areas, although many gardeners consider it an invasive weed, especially when it strays into flower or vegetable gardens. Bermuda grass spreads by stolons (above ground stems), rhizomes (underground roots) and by seeds, which can remain dormant but viable for two years or more. Because Bermuda grass can grow and spread in so many ways, it is difficult to get rid of once it is established. While herbicides, applied several times, can kill existing Bermuda, they do little to stop the emergence of new plants from seeds. The only way to effectively kill Bermuda grass and its seeds is through a method called solarization. Solarization must be done during the hottest part of summer.

Step 1

Put on gloves, eye protection and a breathing mask.

Step 2

Apply a selective herbicide containing sethoxydim or another poison which your local nursery recommends, depending on the other plants that might be affected. Use a sheet of cardboard if necessary to protect other plants when spraying.

Step 3

Wait seven days and carefully dig up as much of the dead Bermuda grass as possible. Dig down 6 inches where feasible and pull out as many roots as possible.

Step 4

Use a nonselective herbicide containing glyphosate if the first herbicide fails to solve the problem after two applications. Glyphosate will kill virtually any plant it touches, so use sheets of cardboard to protect plants you do not wish killed.

Step 5

Paint the glyphosate onto the leaves of just the Bermuda grass with a paint brush to keep the glyphosate off of your other plants.

Step 6

Dig up the dead Bermuda seven days after applying glyphosate. Dig down 6 inches and remove as many roots as you possibly can. Apply a second spraying of glyphosate within the next two months as Bermuda seeds in the ground sprout and start a new generation of Bermuda.

Tips and Warnings

  • While herbicides containing sethoxydim are designed to kill Bermuda and not to harm certain other plants, care should still be taken when applying any herbicide. Do not spray on windy days and follow all manufacturer's instructions. Do not spray glyphosate on a windy day or if rain is expected within the next day.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Herbicide with sethoxydim
  • Herbicide with glyphosate
  • Cardboard
  • Paint brush

References

  • U.C. Davis: Bermudagrass
  • Sunset Magazine: How to Lose Your Bermuda Grass
Keywords: kill bermuda grass, control bermuda grass, solarize bermuda grass, kill bermudagrass

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.