Tall Fescue in a Bermuda lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Suffolk (Southeast Virgina), V
Avatar for mfarriola
Question by mfarriola
March 24, 2006
Tall Fescue was introduced in bare spots of my Bermuda lawn. I'd like to keep the Bermuda and remove the Tall Fescue. Should I just overseed the Tall Fescue areas with Bermuda? If so, can you recommend a remedial course of action. Finally and if successful, what type of grass do you recommend mixing with the Bermuda to withstand the browning that occurs during the winter months?

Answer from NGA
March 24, 2006

Getting one grass out of another is not easy. If the area is allowed to go through drought the bermuda will outlast the fescue. Hand digging the spots is another option. Fescue is a cool season grass and bermuda is a warm season grass. Therefore you may have success using a glyphosate (Roundup is one brand) spray on the turf when the fescue is actively growing and the bermuda is essentially dormant. Some turf managers will use this technique to kill winter weeds in bermudagrass turf. The actively growing fescue would be more susceptible than the bermuda to the glyphosate which in the warm season is deadly to actively growing bermuda. Wait until after the first couple of hard freezes in late fall or in early spring prior to emergence of new growth on the bermuda to make the application. Try it first on a small area to see how it is going to work before doing it to the entire lawn.

You may also want to contact your County Extension Office to see if they have any other ideas about getting fescue out of bermudagrass.

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