The Q&A Archives: Bermuda Solarization vs Roundup

Question: I understand that I can water/fertilize my Bermuda grass lawn and hit it with Round Up, then water/fertilize again, and spray in 2 weeks, and repeat several more times. I also understand there is a method of solarization. Can you tell me the following, 1) which method (Round Up or solarization) is most effective? 2) is my understanding of how the Round Up method works correct? 3) How do I do the solarization process?

Answer: Both methods work, but solarization usually takes an entire season, for example, March-October. Cover the area with clear plastic (some resources suggest black plastic, but I've found that clear allows more sunlight through, thus heating the area up even more. Either one will work). Don't stretch the plastic too tightly, or some growth may poke through. Weight the plastic down at the sides with rocks, bricks, etc. If available, spread a layer of fresh manure over the Bermuda to help heat the area up. Lack of water and high temperatures will kill much of the Bermuda, but it's tenacious stuff. Stolons that are a foot or more under the ground may keep growing to the surface, so you need to pull it immediately so it won't take hold. Applying a several inches of mulch can help keep it at bay.

Yes, your understanding is correct. The active ingredient in the product is glyphosate, which is a "systemic." This means the plant absorbs it and spreads it throughout its system. It is not active in the soil. For most effective results, the grass needs to be growing vigorously when it's applied. Because Bermuda is so vigorous, multiple applications may be required. Follow product instructions exactly.

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