PDA

View Full Version : Killing Off Bermuda Grass ???


SLC, LLC
11-12-2008, 10:40 AM
I have a client that has an enitre yard full of bermuda grass, and they cannot stand it. Is there anyway to successfully get rid of bermuda grass and eventually plant fescue in the lawn instead?

RandallM
11-12-2008, 11:38 AM
You will probably have to apply several applications of Round-Up or equivalent weed killer. I have a neighbor that lives across the street that has done this. He wants to have a Zoysia lawn.

SLC, LLC
11-12-2008, 11:57 AM
I have heard that in order to completely get rid of Bermuda you have to take at least 10-12" of dirt off of the property. Is there any truth to this?

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 02:30 PM
No truth whatsoever. Two applications of roundup thru August followed by a good seed program in the fall will yield excellent results. I've done it with 1 roundup; but, did have to ester out a fair amount of common bermuda in early summer... It was manageable, though. I have some pics of the results. I'll post them if I can locate them.

SLC, LLC
11-12-2008, 03:15 PM
You have to hit it during growing season then correct? Also, would you need to go back through and till the entire yard before repalnting?

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 03:46 PM
Yes, it has to be hit during growing season. I think August is the best month to begin spraying out hot season grasses if you are going cool season. You'll still be able to get a good kill... and the weeds won't have time to take over before seeding. Tilling... I'd say no. Two applications of Roundup work fine.
One thing you could do now is go ahead and seed with a cheap tall fescue... and maintain the height of cut as high as possible(4.5 to 5") until next August. This will naturally choke out a fair amount of bermuda next year. Then, after the august kill, seed with a quality fescue blend.

LushGreenLawn
11-12-2008, 05:01 PM
Round-up will not kill bermuda, even with two applications. What you did was suppress it. It will return within a year or two.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 06:09 PM
Round-up will not kill bermuda, even with two applications. What you did was suppress it. It will return within a year or two.

Uh. Are you getting your info from something you read??? Or something you did? I have many years of PRACTICAL experience with this. I know that with a summer roundup app, seeding, and proper fescue fert and treatment, including a good height of cut, that this WILL get rid of hotseason undesirables.

ed2hess
11-12-2008, 06:28 PM
Uh. Are you getting your info from something you read??? Or something you did? I have many years of PRACTICAL experience with this. I know that with a summer roundup app, seeding, and proper fescue fert and treatment, including a good height of cut, that this WILL get rid of hotseason undesirables.

I kinda agree with Llush guy I believe it will come back....I know it certainly will in our area. Yards don't even have to be sodded or seeded to get a nice bermuda lawn . Maybe other areas are different. Kinda nuts getting rid of bermuda and then going to some type of grass that won't take high temperatures.

JB1
11-12-2008, 06:31 PM
Round-up will not kill bermuda, even with two applications. What you did was suppress it. It will return within a year or two.


ding ding, give the man a cigar for the right answer, learn to live with it.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 06:55 PM
Damn. I guess my pure fescue lawns are some kind of miracle. Seriously guys... with the right height of cut, irrigation schedules, fert program, and fungal treatments, a lawn without bermuda proliferation is easily attainable.

Here are the fundamentals.

1. Fertilize only once in spring. That's all fescue needs this time of year. Fertilize too far in to spring or too much and here is what you are doing. First off, when bermuda becomes active, it will eat up any nitrogen you put on it...thus making it stronger. Secondly, late or too much fert on fescue may not burn it come hot temps; but, you will set up a perfect environment for brown patch... Which here, can eat up a lawn fast. I constantly have to school customers that watering during these times of fungal invasion only exacerbates the problem. When brown patch hurts fescue, it leaves the door open for bermuda. Many landscapers in my area chalk summer fescue brownout up to dormancy. I, and anyone else that knows what they are doing, understands that this is false. Properly maintained fescue stays green all year. At least it does for me.

2. Height of cut... One of the best ways to control bermuda in fescue grass is to cut at proper heights. Ground loving hotseason undesirables don't fare too well when they are choked out by 4" healthy fescue.

3. Learn your area... and pick your poisons for fungal warfare wisely.

That's enough for now... But come on guys... you know that I know what I'm talking about.:walking:

SLC, LLC
11-12-2008, 08:20 PM
Well, for those of you that do not agree with Accu - do you believe that there is any way to get rid of the bermuda? Or once it is there is it there for life?

Turf Dawg
11-12-2008, 08:43 PM
Well, for those of you that do not agree with Accu - do you believe that there is any way to get rid of the bermuda? Or once it is there is it there for life?

I happen to agree with him somewhat. I have not had much dealings with Fescue, but even with winter overseeded Rye in my area if you have a long mild spring and cool early summer it can really choke out the Bermuda. I also happen to think the two treatments of Glyphosphate followed by seeding in your area would work.


Three years ago I had a person that wanted St Augastine in his back yard that was Bermuda. What I did was take a sod cutter and removed the Bermuda, tilled lightly, leveled and laid the StAugastine sod. Worked so well I got to do a friend of his that had the same problem and put down Zoysia.

PhillipsBrosLawnCare
11-12-2008, 10:07 PM
After the initial bout with bermuda you're still going to have to stay with it. I'm a believer this is possible - but it takes work, time, and money. West KY you can keep a tall fescue yard and it should stay green year round. Problem comes from neighbors and the bermuda creeping back across - this is why you have to stay on top of your yard.

LushGreenLawn
11-12-2008, 11:04 PM
What you are doing is supressing bermuda. Yes, if you keep a healthy lawn, that is thick, cut high, and lush, it will crowd out the bermuda.

The problem is, as soon as you get a weak spot, the bermuda will fill in, not from new seeds, but from plants that have been supressed, but still have active roots in the ground.

Bermuda can be killed, with several applications of Glysophate mixed with Fusilade, but Fusilade is no longer labeled for home lawns, only ornamental beds. Ornamec may work as a substitute, but I have not yet tested it or read any research to support it, its just an educated guess based on similer chemical makeup and mode of action.

I wasen't trying to chastise, I guess I dwell on the details too much when it comes to this stuff for some reason.

Does anyone know of any other herbicides labeled for Bermudagrass? So far I have only found fusilade and ornamec.

ed2hess
11-12-2008, 11:07 PM
I happen to agree with him somewhat. I have not had much dealings with Fescue, but even with winter overseeded Rye in my area if you have a long mild spring and cool early summer it can really choke out the Bermuda. I also happen to think the two treatments of Glyphosphate followed by seeding in your area would work.


Three years ago I had a person that wanted St Augastine in his back yard that was Bermuda. What I did was take a sod cutter and removed the Bermuda, tilled lightly, leveled and laid the StAugastine sod. Worked so well I got to do a friend of his that had the same problem and put down Zoysia.

Wait a minute ......resodding after cutting out bermuda with a cutter is a different situation than roundup and seeding. I would believe you can do the sod thing with St Augustine and it would keep bermuda out. But the other comment about overseeding with rye in bermuda and expecting the bermuda to be gone will definitely NOT work.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 11:21 PM
Rye in bermuda does nothing but halt fescue growth.
And, to the guys in texas, I think we're kinda dealing with different climates here. We're are a little bit north of the hot season grass belt. Though, with as hot and droughty as the summers have been, fighting bermuda has been a "newer" problem for us. But, doing what I propose does yield very good results when it comes to having a pure fescue lawn.

Lush Lawns, the bare spots of fescue that allow for bermuda regrowth that you speak of do not exist in any lawn that I maintain or restore. Well, maybe a few do; but, that can be easily solved with a bit of selective herbicide. Keep in mind that I maintain my upperscale accounts weekly... sometimes sooner. It's easy for me to see areas that need to be treated as problems arise.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-12-2008, 11:25 PM
Here's on I did last year. I'll dig up the before pics soon.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=227961&highlight=accu-cut+stripes

Turf Dawg
11-12-2008, 11:39 PM
Wait a minute ......resodding after cutting out bermuda with a cutter is a different situation than roundup and seeding. I would believe you can do the sod thing with St Augustine and it would keep bermuda out. But the other comment about overseeding with rye in bermuda and expecting the bermuda to be gone will definitely NOT work.

I,m sorry if it sounded like I was saying that the Rye would kill the Bermuda, I know it won't. What I was meaning to say is that if you have a dense Fescue lawn that it should help weaken and suppress the Bermuda, like Accu was talking about, because in my area I have seen overseed Bermuda get stunned and take a while to get going again. Also does anyone know if Atrazine is OK for Fescue? I know I use Atrazine in the summer on St Augastine lawns to help push out Bermuda.

LushGreenLawn
11-13-2008, 09:53 PM
Rye in bermuda does nothing but halt fescue growth.
And, to the guys in texas, I think we're kinda dealing with different climates here. We're are a little bit north of the hot season grass belt. Though, with as hot and droughty as the summers have been, fighting bermuda has been a "newer" problem for us. But, doing what I propose does yield very good results when it comes to having a pure fescue lawn.

Lush Lawns, the bare spots of fescue that allow for bermuda regrowth that you speak of do not exist in any lawn that I maintain or restore. Well, maybe a few do; but, that can be easily solved with a bit of selective herbicide. Keep in mind that I maintain my upperscale accounts weekly... sometimes sooner. It's easy for me to see areas that need to be treated as problems arise.

I trust you one that, like I said in my last post, I can dwell on details sometimes. I was thinking more of the definition of supression vs. control.
Keeping a nice healthy lawn to keep bermuda at bay is the correct solution.

jkingrph
11-13-2008, 10:43 PM
I kinda agree with Llush guy I believe it will come back....I know it certainly will in our area. Yards don't even have to be sodded or seeded to get a nice bermuda lawn . Maybe other areas are different. Kinda nuts getting rid of bermuda and then going to some type of grass that won't take high temperatures.
It will invade from adjacent areas, and can send out runners to cross over or through barriers, but round up "will" kill it, very readily and completely, been there and done all of that. If it is in your area it's best to learn to live with it.

puppypaws
11-14-2008, 08:16 PM
I have a client that has an enitre yard full of bermuda grass, and they cannot stand it. Is there anyway to successfully get rid of bermuda grass and eventually plant fescue in the lawn instead?

No truth whatsoever. Two applications of roundup thru August followed by a good seed program in the fall will yield excellent results. I've done it with 1 roundup; but, did have to ester out a fair amount of common bermuda in early summer... It was manageable, though. I have some pics of the results. I'll post them if I can locate them.

The statement by "Accu-cut" is positively true. I have sprayed Glyphosate since it was first introduced to the market. Two heavy applications will kill Bermuda grass and there is no need to till the soil. There is equipment (rent if need to be) on the market to interseed into the undisturbed soil and get excellent seed to soil contact, this, good seed and moisture is all needed for a good stand of grass.

This is the same principal I have used in 100% no-till farming and grass seeding for 22 years. I have zero Bermuda grass except where I want it in any grass I mow or hundreds of cropland acres.

The trick is to kill it completely then get a very thick stand of grass as quickly as possible to choke everything else out.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-14-2008, 08:23 PM
The statement by "Accu-cut" is positively true. I have sprayed Glyphosate since it was first introduced to the market. Two heavy applications will kill Bermuda grass and there is no need to till the soil. There is equipment (rent if need to be) on the market to interseed into the undisturbed soil and get excellent seed to soil contact, this, good seed and moisture is all needed for a good stand of grass.

This is the same principal I have used in 100% no-till farming and grass seeding for 22 years. I have zero Bermuda grass except where I want it in any grass I mow or hundreds of cropland acres.

The trick is to kill it completely then get a very thick stand of grass as quickly as possible to choke everything else out.


Thanks PuppyPaws. I'll go a little bit further than what you say, too. When seeding areas that had Fescue-Bermuda treated with roundup, it's almost not a good idea to powerseed. I've done that before(early september seeding)... and it seemed like it stirred up some ill, but alive, bermuda rhizomes. If good soil is present(some of my accounts have crazy-good topsoil), I lime and broadcast seed at 4lb per thousand, aerate, fertilize, then seed again at 4 lb per k. The dead bermuda acts a very good, natural, weed free straw.

puppypaws
11-15-2008, 12:02 AM
Thanks PuppyPaws. I'll go a little bit further than what you say, too. When seeding areas that had Fescue-Bermuda treated with roundup, it's almost not a good idea to powerseed. I've done that before(early september seeding)... and it seemed like it stirred up some ill, but alive, bermuda rhizomes. If good soil is present(some of my accounts have crazy-good topsoil), I lime and broadcast seed at 4lb per thousand, aerate, fertilize, then seed again at 4 lb per k. The dead bermuda acts a very good, natural, weed free straw.

You are putting 174 lbs. of grass seed per acre, if only 20% of that germinated and came up that is a good stand of grass. When you put that much twice there should be not way to miss and certainly should not be room for anything else (grass or weeds) to infiltrate. That should turn out to be a magnificent job.

I have actually drilled grass seed with a 15' no-till drill which actually only slits the ground very slightly (just enough to insert the seed). I can put it at any depth I would care to down to 3". I only try to get it 1/2" to 3/4" deep and drill it two times in two different directions.

I will tell you something interesting, I had a 40 acre field; I was farming of a neighbors. He decided he wanted to put it in pasture to graze cattle. I went in after combining the corn and rotary cut the stalks, then the end of September; I sprayed 3/4 pt. of Roundup to kill what little junk was growing.

I then mixed 90 lbs. of wheat seed with 25 lbs. of Kentucky 31 fescue grass seed per acre as I put it into the drill. I had good moisture drilled, it at a depth of 1" and got a perfect stand. I sprayed it with 20 gallons of liquid nitrogen and 1/2 oz. of Harmony Extra for wild garlic and weeds in March. The wheat was standing well above the grass when I harvested it in the second week of June. I ran the combine header just low enough to get the wheat heads into the machine to be thrashed and let the straw go through the straw chopper. I set the chopper to cut the straw into very small pieces not to smother the grass. I left a beautiful stand of healthy fescue grass for the cattle to graze.

There are tricks to everything, it is just a matter of learning them or figuring them out for yourself.

greenskeeper44
11-15-2008, 11:12 AM
I have renovated about 35 bermuda lawns to tall fescue. It requires 2-3 applications of Round up mixed with reward. Most of it does not come back but it will in some spots. The key to keeping it out is monitoring it and whenever you see some bermuda coming back hit it with some Turflon ester it will suppress it pretty good. You have to do it 2 or 3 times but I have seen awesome results. Hit it in early summer when its coming out of dormancy and mid while its growing.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-15-2008, 01:10 PM
I use the same thing to spot spray Bermuda after renovating. I'm a little further south- so, this may not be a problem for you- but, I have to be careful to not put ester out when summer temps get too high. If it's over 85 degrees, it will harm fescue.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
11-15-2008, 01:16 PM
You are putting 174 lbs. of grass seed per acre, if only 20% of that germinated and came up that is a good stand of grass. When you put that much twice there should be not way to miss and certainly should not be room for anything else (grass or weeds) to infiltrate. That should turn out to be a magnificent job.

I have actually drilled grass seed with a 15' no-till drill which actually only slits the ground very slightly (just enough to insert the seed). I can put it at any depth I would care to down to 3". I only try to get it 1/2" to 3/4" deep and drill it two times in two different directions.

I will tell you something interesting, I had a 40 acre field; I was farming of a neighbors. He decided he wanted to put it in pasture to graze cattle. I went in after combining the corn and rotary cut the stalks, then the end of September; I sprayed 3/4 pt. of Roundup to kill what little junk was growing.

I then mixed 90 lbs. of wheat seed with 25 lbs. of Kentucky 31 fescue grass seed per acre as I put it into the drill. I had good moisture drilled, it at a depth of 1" and got a perfect stand. I sprayed it with 20 gallons of liquid nitrogen and 1/2 oz. of Harmony Extra for wild garlic and weeds in March. The wheat was standing well above the grass when I harvested it in the second week of June. I ran the combine header just low enough to get the wheat heads into the machine to be thrashed and let the straw go through the straw chopper. I set the chopper to cut the straw into very small pieces not to smother the grass. I left a beautiful stand of healthy fescue grass for the cattle to graze.

There are tricks to everything, it is just a matter of learning them or figuring them out for yourself.

You hit the nail on the head when you said, "There are tricks to everything, it is just a matter of learning them or figuring them out for yourself." In my many years of landscape-lawncare, I've made many mistakes. The trick is to learn from them. You can't share donuts with the guys at Lesco and expect to be a green thumbed seed slinger. Practical experience is everything.

puppypaws
11-15-2008, 05:18 PM
You hit the nail on the head when you said, "There are tricks to everything, it is just a matter of learning them or figuring them out for yourself." In my many years of landscape-lawncare, I've made many mistakes. The trick is to learn from them. You can't share donuts with the guys at Lesco and expect to be a green thumbed seed slinger. Practical experience is everything.

This is one fact of life you can certainly believe without doubt. I've had some pretty expensive payouts in lessons learned. I can promise if it cost you enough money a person developes a superb memory in how to resolve the same problem correctly if it arises again.

weasel
11-23-2008, 12:55 AM
Well, for those of you that do not agree with Accu - do you believe that there is any way to get rid of the bermuda? Or once it is there is it there for life?
Ok here it goes. Round up can kill Bermuda...but the lawn has to be on a turf management progran to keep the Bermuda out. The rhizones will keep producing and sometimes(depending on turf and weather conditions) some patches of Bermuda will still appear and can be spot treated. Most of the lawns we do this for have good luck using this method. Now about the roots they can be up to six (6) feet long. My lawn is Fescue but I grow Bermuda hay for my horses and and the roots are like this. I keep the Bermuda out of my lawn using this method.

puppypaws
11-23-2008, 03:10 AM
Ok here it goes. Round up can kill Bermuda...but the lawn has to be on a turf management progran to keep the Bermuda out. The rhizones will keep producing and sometimes(depending on turf and weather conditions) some patches of Bermuda will still appear and can be spot treated. Most of the lawns we do this for have good luck using this method. Now about the roots they can be up to six (6) feet long. My lawn is Fescue but I grow Bermuda hay for my horses and and the roots are like this. I keep the Bermuda out of my lawn using this method.

This is an absolutely correct statement.

I would not want to use this method but Hogs will get rid of every rhizome left from Bermuda grass. Hogs will root up every inch of Bermuda grass roots because they love to eat them.

I just thought I would throw that in because most people would not know this.

When you do not disturb the soil from tillage you can totally get rid of Bermuda grass over time with spot treatments and heavy seeding. Rhizomes can lay in the ground below the germination zone for a very long time and never come up. When you make the mistake of tilling your problem begins all over, you now have rhizomes in the germination zone able to reseed.

JDUtah
11-23-2008, 01:03 PM
I just want to clarify...

Bermuda Rhizomes DO get killed by Glyphosate; just not ALL of them. In case people were reading too far into some posts.

The original poster wants to get rid of Bermuda and replace it with fescue. Here is a process that is pretty effective. His customers sound pretty sick of the Bermuda. Frustration is a good motive for them to pay to have it done right.

"The best procedure would be to spray the bermudagrass in mid-summer. After a few days, remove the dying sod with a sod cutter or spade in order to allow the underground soil to heat up as much as possible. Keep the soil surface moist in order to get recovery of rhizomes that were not killed. After about 3 or 4 weeks, spray the bermuda regrowth again with glyphosate. If time allows, repeat this procedure again in another 3 weeks. Within a few days after the last spray, prepare a seedbed and re-sod or re-seed the area with tall fescue. If a sod cutter is not available to remove the dying sod, a rototiller can be used in lieu of the sod cutter, but you should attempt to physically remove all of the vegetative material." http://www.paton.com.au/Research/Turf/Couch/bercontrol.pdf

Be sure to not over-apply the Gly in the one year span. Follow the label and spot spray for your second and third treatments.

Note: Glyphosate does not kill seeds, and they can sit dormant for 5+ years. I recommend following the above procedure and point out to use the sod cutter (to remove any seeds in the top inch of soil – the 'germination zone' so to speak). Keeping bare soil moist will also help the seeds to germinate which you will then spray.

After the treatments, sod the yard to cover any other seeds. Keep grass thick and healthy to further discourage sprouting of any remaining rhizomes or seeds. (There should be VERY minimal ‘leftovers’)

Just my .02

It is illegal to plant Bermuda in all but one county in this State. Surely a noxious weed. Good luck!

KACYDS
11-23-2008, 02:45 PM
I just want to clarify...

It is illegal to plant Bermuda in all but one county in this State. Surely a noxious weed. Good luck!

WOW, thats amazing. What kind of grass do they use on golf courses and athletic fields? Just wondering.:confused:

I love this site. Its amazing what others do(and dont do) in other parts of the country.:usflag::usflag:

puppypaws
11-23-2008, 06:45 PM
WOW, thats amazing. What kind of grass do they use on golf courses and athletic fields? Just wondering.:confused:

I love this site. Its amazing what others do(and dont do) in other parts of the country.:usflag::usflag:

Maybe they don't have golf courses in Utah!:nono:

JDUtah
11-23-2008, 07:25 PM
Haha, there are golf courses. I'll have to find out seeing I'm not much of a golfer. Top of my head, Bentgrass, KBG? Can anyone else pipe in?

puppypaws
11-23-2008, 09:09 PM
Haha, there are golf courses. I'll have to find out seeing I'm not much of a golfer. Top of my head, Bentgrass, KBG? Can anyone else pipe in?

Find out what type grass is seeded on the fairways as well as the greens?

A select few golf courses in this area overseed with winter rye on Bermuda fairways in the fall so the course stays pretty and green all winter. Golf is played year round in this part of the country, winters are nothing like the ones in Utah.

SLC, LLC
11-23-2008, 11:23 PM
Thanks for all the great information guys. I will speak with the customer and see what he thinks.

JDUtah
11-24-2008, 01:07 AM
Find out what type grass is seeded on the fairways as well as the greens?

A select few golf courses in this area overseed with winter rye on Bermuda fairways in the fall so the course stays pretty and green all winter. Golf is played year round in this part of the country, winters are nothing like the ones in Utah.

I'll swing by a course and ask next time I visit my brother's family. :)