How to Prevent Bermuda Grass

Overview

Bermuda grass can be an inexpensive and speedy way to propagate a low-maintenance lawn, or it can be viewed as an aggressive, invasive weed that frustrates the dream of a perfect expanse of a more pleasing variety of lawn grass. While Bermuda grass is hard-wearing and difficult to eradicate once established, it does have a few weaknesses that can be exploited to remove it or prevent its spread where it is not desired. Depending on the scope of the infestation, you have options for treatment, which can be layered for best effect.

Step 1

Pull up the bermuda grass tufts of stolons, runners, roots and seed heads by hand when you see them. Do this maintenance pulling or weeding after watering the lawn to make removal of the plants in one single piece easier. Grasp the tufts of grass at the base against the soil filling your fist with material and pull directly up and out. Throw the material away and avoid the compost pile as this will only spread the Bermuda seed even more.

Step 2

Fertilize regularly with a slow release nitrogen formula containing sulfur-coated urea or ureaform. Feeding the grass regularly, according to label directions, will support the health and vigor of your primary lawn grass, which will keep the ermuda grass from easily spreading. This is the first line of defense in preventing the spread of unwanted weeds.

Step 3

Water your lawn grass deeply, less often to support the roots of your desired lawn grass but not spur the growth of more shallow weeds. Water once a week, applying at least 1 inch of water.

Step 4

Raise the mowing height on your lawn mower to between 2 and 4-inches. Bermuda grass needs sunlight to grow and germinate. Using your desired lawn grass as shade cover for Bermuda grass will weaken the grass and diminish its appearance. The taller the grass blades, the better. When you do mow your lawn, always use a catch on the back of the mower so that bermuda grass seed heads are not simply redistributed onto the lawn, exacerbating the problem. Never compost grass clippings with Bermuda grass, as this will spread the grass all over your lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower with catch
  • Pre-emergent herbicide

References

  • This Old House
Keywords: bermuda grass, prevent eradicate get rid of, lawn weeds

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.