Kill Bermuda Grass - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, AZ
Avatar for gonzaljd
Question by gonzaljd
November 14, 2000
I want to kill all of my Bermuda grass in a large area without sterilizing the soil. Later we will come back and plant desert low/no watering plants.

Answer from NGA
November 14, 2000
Turf grasses can be tenacious, but here's a couple ways to get rid of them. You can dig/till it up, removing all the roots, rhizomes, or stolons. Depending on the type of grass, you may have to dig 2 feet deep or more, as the smallest bit of plant tissue can live to sprout again. You can solarize, in which you let the sun do most of the work to kill the grass. You need to solarize during the hottest part of the summer, for up to 3 months. To solarize, moisten the soil, lay a 4 mm to 6 mm thick sheet of clear plastic over the grass, and seal the edges of the plastic with rocks or soil. This will naturally heat up to over 140 degrees F, in the top 4-8" of the soil, depending on soil type and temperatures. If you spread fresh manure on top of the grass before putting down the plastic, that will heat things up considerably. Or, you can use a product with glyphosate, such as Round Up. Glyphosate is a systemic. This means when it is sprayed on a plant, the plant absorbs and distributes it throughout its system. Eventually, it kills the entire plant, including the roots. The spray can drift to other plants, particularly if there is any breeze, and kill them also. It needs to be applied when the grass is actively growing to be effective. Since Bermuda is heading into dormancy now, you'd have to wait until next year when it starts growing again. Be sure to follow product instructions exactly.

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