Sethoxydim to Control Bermuda Grass in Tall Fescue


Weeds can destroy the appearance of a luxurious stretch of green lawn. In addition to broad-leaf weedy plants, other types of grasses can also take over a lawn. Bermuda grass is a type of aggressive grass which invades other species of lawn and crop grasses, such as tall fescue. Herbicides, such as sethoxydim, can help protect your fescue lawn against Bermuda grass.

Bermuda Grass

Contrary to its name, Bermuda grass comes from Africa, not Bermuda. This warm season grass thrives in a variety of soils. It spreads by producing above ground stolons and below ground rhizomes that may extend up to 6 inches. This grass type's ability to adapt makes it a suitable cultivar for controlling soil erosion and for use in land reclamation projects. Unfortunately, the same qualities can make this grass an aggressive weed in lawns that contain tall fescue.


Selective and non-selective herbicides contain chemicals that kill vegetation. While non-selective herbicides help to eliminate any plants growing in the treated area, selective herbicides target certain types of plants. When treating a grass or weed infestation in your tall fescue lawn, using a selective herbicide, such as sethoxydim, helps you avoid damaging the lawn grass.


Sethoxydim is a systemic herbicide, meaning it works by traveling thorough the roots and into the vascular system of the plants. This action requires plants to be actively growing at the time of treatment. Bermuda grass normally starts growing earlier than tall fescue grass, making this type of treatment useful in controlling this aggressive grass in the lawn. However, it leaves only a small window of opportunity during the spring.


The correct time to apply sethoxydim to your fescue lawn is during the early spring. Apply this herbicide to the newly emerging Bermuda grass as soon as it begins showing signs of new growth, but before the tall fescue begins its active growth. Spot treating small patches of Bermuda grass throughout the growing season may discourage the spread of this aggressive grass after the fescue grass begins growing. Follow the label instructions when applying sethoxydim to your lawn.


Use caution when applying chemicals, such a sethoxydim, to your lawn. In addition to killing the Bermuda grass, these products may damage nearby perennial plants and shrubs. Apply the sethoxydim on a calm, dry day to avoid wind disbursement.

Keywords: sethoxydim herbicide, Bermuda grass herbicides, tall fescue lawn

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.