Archive for February 28th, 2012

P question

A customer wants to know how to kill Bermudagrass in his lawn.

His question: The yard is about 1.5 acres with spots of Bermuda that vary from 2 sq.ft to much larger. It is spreading so I need to be aggressive. My question is can I improve my chance of success by treating more than one time in the spring? Maybe for March April and May? How do I decide when to start? Thanks for any info you can give me.

Cynodon dactylon

First, a little background on Bermudagrass:

Bermudagrass is grown as lawn turf in some areas, because it withstands heat, drought and heavy traffic.  It spreads by both seed and underground stolons. This makes it a desirable lawn in some situations. But it is also an invasive weed, that seems to just show up in lawns where it is NOT welcome, and then it’s tough to get rid of.

Think about it. It’s the middle of a hot, dry summer. Your lawn is struggling. It’s a perfect opportunity for Bermuda, which thrives in tough conditions, to gain a foothold. The more the Bermuda grows, the more stress it places on your lawn.  It’s the start of a takeover!

Since the Bermuda grass is spreading underground, you won’t get rid of it by pulling, or by just killing the top. Any little piece of underground stolon can pop up and continue the growth. That’s why most gardeners use a systemic herbicide that will spread to all parts of the weed, even the ones you can’t spray because they’re underground.

Now, a few effective and recommended bermudagrass treatments:

Ornamec Over the Top– This product is extremely effective at killing Bermudagrass. It is primarily for use around ornamentals but can also be applied on a Fescue lawn. It is NOT recommended for Bluegrass lawns. Apply in the spring, then follow up with a 2nd application a month later.

GreenLight Com-Pleet Weed Killer. The active ingredient it glyphosate, a chemical found in many herbicides used to treat bermudagrass and other tough weeds. Be aware that glyphosate is non-selective, meaning that it will kill most plants it comes in contact with, including your lawn. Spray should be controlled as much as possible to the weed only. In some cases, you may be willing to lose a little of your lawn to resolve the problem.

Bayer Advanced Bermudagrass Control.  This one is safe on all northern turf types, including fescue, bluegrass and perennial rye, so it’s a good choice if you are using it in those types of lawns. It may have to be re-applied numerous times to be fully effective.

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