The Q&A Archives: Controlling Bermuda Grass

Question: We are interested in putting in a garden (20 x 20ft) in a yard that was Bermuda grass (or some other kind of pernicious weed-grass that both sets seeds and casts runners) and have had fair success with first digging up as much of the grass as possible (with a digging fork), then covering the area with clear plastic to solarize as much of the remaining stuff as possible. Of course, there are still deep root systems that are hanging on and sprouting. I know there is no way to completely rid ourselves of this problem, yet I am curious to know if there are other approaches to getting this type of invasive grass/weed under better control. The last thing we want is this stuff coming up into our raised beds (as yet un-built). Any suggestions? I am not averse to using (the appropriate) chemicals. Thank you!

Answer: Yes, there are chemical herbicides that will do in the dreaded bermuda grass. Check your local garden center for what is registered in your area. Keep in mind, though, that solarization, if properly done, will kill 100% of Bermuda grass and it's seed. It's probably the most effective, long-term control for nasty ol BG. Solarization is a long-term process, taking 3 to 6 months (depending on your temperatures and amount of sunlight). It also requires complete coverage during the process (a well-sealed plastic cover).

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