How to Kill Bermuda Grass in Tall Fescue Grass


Bermuda and tall fescue grasses differ in that the former is a warm-season grass while the latter is a cool-season one. Bermuda grass sometimes invades weak or poorly growing semi-dormant tall fescue grass in the summer. It forms unsightly patches in the lawn during the winter when it turns brown and tall fescue does not, giving the area an unkempt appearance. Remove unwanted Bermuda grass from your home lawn to maintain a uniform appearance.

Step 1

Sprinkle powdered chalk over the brown patches of dormant Bermuda grass in the lawn in the fall to mark them.

Step 2

Pull out patches of unwanted Bermuda grass if the infestation is small. Loosen the soil around the plant with a shovel and yank the entire plant out of the ground, along with the roots. Collect all grass clumps in a garbage bag and discard.

Step 3

Pour a herbicide containing glyphosate in a spray bottle, or dilute it with water if it is concentrated, to address a large infestation. Apply gloves and a face mask prior to use.

Step 4

Spray the prepared herbicide directly in the center of the unwanted clump. Bend close to the ground to prevent it from spreading to desirable plants. The Bermuda grass will die in a week to 10 days.

Step 5

Rake the dead Bermuda grass to collect it, and discard in a garbage bag. Practice good lawn care and management so the tall fescue grass remains healthy and prevents Bermuda grass from invading it again. Water the lawn deeply but infrequently, feed it a high-nitrogen fertilizer in September and November, and mow it down to 2 1/2 to 3 inches in height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not compost Bermuda grass. The seeds might germinate when spread over the soil and grow again.

Things You'll Need

  • Powdered chalk
  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Garbage bag
  • Face mask
  • Herbicide
  • Spray bottle
  • Rake


  • University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Bermudagrass
  • West Virginia University: Tall Fescue Management
  • Rowan Master Gardener: Bermuda Grass Control
Keywords: patchy fescue grass, killing bermuda grass, bermuda in fescue

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.