How to Choke Out Bermuda Grass


Bermuda grass has its purpose if you grow it as a sturdy ground cover or food for livestock. Unfortunately, if Bermuda grass gets a stronghold, it may become invasive and spread throughout other growing areas. Prevent Bermuda grass from taking over your desired plants by either smothering it with black plastic or solarizing it (using the sun to heat it) with clear plastic. Either method is effective when you need to choke out Bermuda grass.

Step 1

Mow the Bermuda grass with the lawn mower so it is as short as possible, choosing a time in the middle of the summer to begin the smothering process. Midsummer is the most effective time to choke out the grass, especially if you are using clear plastic to use the solarization technique, because the sun is at its strongest at this time.

Step 2

Water the Bermuda grass with the garden hose to saturate the soil thoroughly.

Step 3

Lay either the black plastic or the clear plastic over the Bermuda grass. Extend the plastic at least 2 feet beyond the perimeter of the Bermuda grass to ensure the entire area is sufficiently covered. Place heavy bricks or large rocks around the edges of the plastic to hold it in place.

Step 4

Leave the plastic in place for at least six weeks and preferably longer. Remove the plastic after a sufficient amount of time passes. The Bermuda grass should be visibly dead or dying beneath the plastic.

Step 5

Cultivate the soil (if you wish) with the garden spade to prepare it for future planting. Do not cultivate it deeper than 3 inches, however, to prevent moving seeds to the surface that may sprout.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Garden hose (with spray attachment)
  • Black plastic or clear plastic
  • Bricks or large rocks
  • Garden spade (optional)
  • Landscape fabric (optional)
  • Shredded mulch (optional)


  • University of California: Bermuda Grass Management
Keywords: Bermuda grass, choke out Bermuda grass, kill grass

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.