Removing common Bermuda grass is a lengthy process. Below we outline the steps involved and answer some of your questions.
OPTION 1: SELECTIVE HERBICIDE
Description – A series of six (6) applications of a selective herbicide to target bermuda grass growing in an established lawn.
When This Approach is Best – This approach works best when the bermuda grass has not totally taken over an area. In other words, the desired fescue lawn is still present, it is just in competition with bermuda.
- The least expensive approach.
- You never have areas completely burned out.
- You get to enjoy watching the bermuda grass suffer and die all summer.
- This is a relatively new technology. This process and the chemicals used are still undergoing testing at universities. Will it give the desired results? We don’t know yet, but it looks promising enough to try.
- The process takes an entire season and possibly more.
- The treatment works by bleaching the bermuda grass plant. This means that you will notice areas where the grass is turned white.
Costs – $365 per thousand square feet of treated area.
OPTION 2: BURN OUT AND RE-SEED
Description – A series of two (2) applications of a non-selective herbicide that kills all plants in the target area, followed by aeration and overseeding.
When This Approach is Best – This approach works best when the bermuda grass is growing thick and has choked out the desirable grass. It also requires that the property owner is able to give the newly seeded lawn the proper care.
- Reasonably cost effective.
- The process works well. Keep in mind that bermuda grass is virtually impossible to control completely. It will come back sooner or later. However, killing off the entire area is the best solution we have found.
- The process takes time and the lawn will have large ugly patches throughout. We begin late July with the first treatment and follow with a second mid-August. We reseed around mid-to-late September. The new grass will not be up and full until the following spring.
- Growing a new lawn from seed is inherently risky. The property owner must provide the proper care, and this means consistent and abundant watering. If even one day is missed, the entire lawn can fail.
Costs – $450 per thousand square feet of treated area.
OPTION 3: BURN OUT AND RE-SOD
Description – A series of two (2) applications of a non-selective herbicide that kills all plants in the target area, followed by installing new sod.
When This Approach is Best – This approach works best when the bermuda grass is growing thick and has choked out the desirable grass, and the owner wishes to establish a new lawn as soon as possible.
- This is the best approach. It eliminates the risk of reseeding. It is quicker than reseeding.
- The process works well. Although bermuda grass is impossible to control completely, this approach is the best at knocking it back.
- Relatively quick and painless. We begin mid August to mid September with the first treatment and follow with a second mid September to mid October. We install the new sod late October to early November. You must provide water as needed, but otherwise you’re done.
- This is the most expensive option.
- The process takes time, although not as long as the burn out and re-seed approach.
- Sod is not fool-proof. It must be watered after installation. The good news is that we install it at a time of year when water requirements are minimal.
Costs – $825 per thousand square feet of treated area.