How to Kill Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass (cynodon dactylon') is a type of lawn cover that can stand up to a range of adverse conditions. This makes it an ideal option in areas that are somewhat dry for a large portion of the year, as well as a good choice in any locality in which high temperatures are reached during the spring and summer months. Unfortunately, the characteristics that allow Bermuda grass to thrive in less than ideal conditions also make it somewhat difficult to keep the grass from spreading. Fortunately, there are a few ways to inhibit growth and even kill the grass if necessary.


  1. 1
    Treat with a strong herbicide. A popular option is to use glyphosate to impede the spread of Bermuda grass and eventually kill off the grass in patches. The product is available in a spray, making it easy to coat an entire section of the lawn with relative ease. Available in many home and garden shops, the process will likely require several treatments, removing portions of the dying grass between each treatment.
  2. 2
    Strip the Bermuda grass and cover the area with cardboard. Apply a layer or 2 of mulch on top of the cardboard. This helps to prevent the root system for the grass from regenerating and will over a period of a few months kill any remaining roots.
  3. 3
    Try landscaping fabric. After stripping the Bermuda grass from the area, put down the fabric and cut small holes to allow planting of shrubs or other plants. The fabric is dense enough to prevent any remaining roots from receiving sunlight and nutrients while also making it possible to go ahead with the permanent landscaping.
  4. 4
    Bake the Bermuda grass. After trimming the grass as close to the soil as possible, cover with clear plastic. The intense heat will kill the remaining grass and part of the root system. This approach is particularly effective in areas that experience high temperatures for extended periods of time, and the patch of grass is not covered with shade during the hottest part of the day.
  5. 5
    Dig up the Bermuda grass by hand. While labor intensive, this approach minimizes the amount of roots left in the soil. Water the area to loosen the soil, then pull the grass out by the roots. After cleaning a patch, turn 1 or 2 layers of soil over and use the hands to filter the loose dirt and capture any remaining root fragments.


  • When using landscaping fabric, try using a drip feeder to nourish the shrubs and other permanent plants installed in the area rather than watering with a hose or irrigation system. This will limit the amount of moisture that seeps into the surrounding ground and reduces the chances of nourishing the Bermuda grass roots along with the new plantings.
  • Even after the Bermuda grass and roots are removed, be aware that spores from nearby patches can easily re-seed the cleared section. This means it may be necessary to keep clearing areas over time before the grass is completely eliminated.

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Categories: Garden Pests and Weeds