How to kill bermudagrass but not fescue - Knowledgebase Question

simi valley, Ca
Question by simifishing
February 16, 2010
Is there a weed killer product that will kill bermudagrass but not a fescue? I'm 90% sure I saw something like that at Home Depot once. I want to plant a new fescue lawn from seed this spring but I know some bermuda will remain even after a couple attempts to kill everything with a weed and grass killer-more green is already poking up after my first spray 2 weeks ago. Thanks


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Answer from NGA
February 16, 2010

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Yours is a really difficult situation. You may have seen a pre emergent product that will stop bermuda seeds from germinating, but I don't think you saw a product that will selectively kill bermuda in a fescue lawn. Fescues will NOT choke-out a Bermuda grass lawn. The Bermuda will eventually dominate and wherever summer temperatures may rise above 85 degrees F., Fescues will become heat-stressed and will weaken or die during droughts so the heat-tolerant Bermuda will take over (if there is enough water). Again,... Fescues do better in cool climates and will usually have to be re-seeded every fall in the warmer horticulture zones. So, if your goal is a total fescue lawn, there may be some problems when the summer heat arrives. It will help most if you have an irrigation system and good soil.

To have any thing other than Bermuda grass for your lawn will require treating Bermuda grass as a weed in the stand of the other grass. And when Bermuda grass is a considered a weed,...it is one of the worst weeds in the world to control. So, you may want to re-consider your plans to use an alternative grass-type where Bermuda grasses are the best choice for the climate.

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