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getting rid of bermuda grass

Hi, I live in scottsdale, az, and I am trying to get rid of bermuda grass.
It keeps popping up and seems to travel long distances under ground before breaking through in gravel or soil areas.

Tried a few different sprays, and I have been digging them out regularly, but they keep coming reminds me of the definition of insanity, doing something repeatedly hoping for a better outcome........should I just give in ? 

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Posted 2019-02-06T23:50:47+0000  by ahartoun ahartoun


Greetings ahartoun,

Removing Bermuda grass will be a constant battle, eradicating the stubborn grass may take many season and a consistent effort.

Removing the clumps by hand is a valiant process I applaud you for not turning to an herbicide! You may feel like you are getting nowhere but your diligence may pay off.

Make sure you remove the clumps from the properly do not compost them they can spread and set seed from the ripped up clumps, removal from site is imperative.  

Smothering is another way to kill of the Bermuda grass, using cardboard, weed-block or plastic to block light, moisture and air from getting through to the plant denying all the essential components for the plant to survive. It will take 4-6 weeks for the plants to be totally smothered and cooked to kill the roots, the hotter the temperature and more intense the suns rays the better for a total root kill. Secure the smothering material with rocks, staples or mulch to keep all elements out and small animals as well.

Have a bag of regional grass seed with you, each time you pull a clump of Bermuda grass up, place a hand full of seed in its place to start the process of renewal and a new turf domination!

Check out this discussion on Bermuda grass pre-emergent from the HD Community archive.

Good luck and a good fight for you,


Posted 2019-02-07T18:05:30+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS


Hi ahartoun.


Thank you for your question.


You have undertaken a challenging task in removing your Bermuda grass.  Bermuda is a virulent grass.  It has runners on top of the ground called Stolons and runners under the ground called Rhizomes as well seeds that it spreads when allowed to grow uncut.

Smothering Bermuda is not effective, as it will grow under bricks, concrete, plywood or cardboard.  The Stolons can grow up a 6-foot tall pipe and then sprout seed at the top.


Ok, now for some good news.  Although you do have your work cut out for you, you can get ahead of the Bermuda grass.  The root system of this grass is deep but that is not a problem.  Those underground Rhizomes are a problem however.  I use a tilling fork also known as a garden fork or a manure fork.  All of the Rhizomes will need to be meticulously removed.  Do not leave any behind, none!  They will grow back if you do even if they are as small as ¼ inch they can grow back.  


To make it easier, section off your lawn if you can.  I use a sifter to separate as much material as I can.  You can find a soil sifter online or you can make your own.


The Rhizomes are easy to spot as they are a sand to off white color.  When you find one, follow it all the way to the end, do not just try to pull it out or it will break and leave the rest behind to come back to haunt you!

With patience and persistence, you can succeed.  Wintertime is a good time to remove as much Bermuda as you can, as it is dormant now.   Your nemesis will be the Bermuda seeds that you will not see until they start to grow.  When the do remove the seedlings.


The Bayer Company does make a Bermuda Grass Killer, but it only works when the Bermuda grass is active.  

Bayer Lawn Care Products


When the area you want to plant has been cleared, you can over seed with a Fescue grass.  Be sure to use a good quality topper to cover your seeds.  I like to use the Kellogg’s Topper.  Seems to work the best.


Kellogg Organic Topper

Over seed about every 3-4 months and keep watered.  Fescue responds well to deep watering. 

Once your lawn is established, you can cut back on the number of times you water, but always keep the duration high to promote deep watering and good root growth.


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.



Posted 2019-02-08T20:07:10+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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