Bermuda grass often needs maintenance to protect the lawn from unwanted weeds. Properly feeding and caring for the lawn is the first step in protecting the grass from infestation, but it often becomes necessary to apply chemical weed control sprays to your lawn as well. Once the weeds begin to develop and spread to different parts of the land, it becomes more difficult to effectively remove them.
Bermuda grass is a drought-resistant variety that is hardy enough to grow on different types of soil. It is found throughout the tropics and subtropics and has been naturalized in the southern region of the United States for lawns, sports fields and golf courses. It requires large amounts of maintenance and repeated applications of selective, pre-emergent herbicide but can then grow into a thick, vibrant mat. Without the proper herbicide, Bermuda grass can be easily overtaken by fast-growing weeds that spread and disrupt the layout of grass roots.
The two types of herbicides available to prevent and remove weed infestations within your Bermuda grass are pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergent herbicides are best suited for the control of weed seeds that may be buried in the soil. The chemicals will stop the germination of the seeds before they can break the soil. Post-emergent herbicides are used to kill weeds that have already broken the surface. They both come within liquid form and are used in combination to fully remove weeds from the lawn.
Weeds that have already broken the soil and are crowding out grasses can be removed through the use of herbicides in two ways. Contact herbicides will damage the surfaces of plants wherever it touches, killing the plant from the outside. Systematic herbicides are better for harder-to-remove weeds and contain triclopyr, which will damage the inner parts of the plant after being absorbed through the roots or open stomata.
Gardeners should use herbicide selective to weeds. This will protect the grass from non-selective herbicides that damage any plant they come in contact with. Both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are sold as selective and non-selective varieties.
The common chemicals found in major herbicides are clethodim, fluazifop and sethoxydim. When these chemicals are not absorbed by the plant, there is a danger of contaminating nearby ecosystems and waterways. Environmental groups also warn that these chemical can be dangerous when they come in contact with young children and animals. Gardeners should take precautions when applying chemicals and follow all of the manufacturer's guidelines.