Bermuda grass is one of the most common lawn grasses in the United States. Popular for its rapid growth rate, dense texture, and vibrant color, Bermuda grass is a favorite for athletic fields, golf courses, parks, and now suburban lawns.
However, there are pros and cons to growing Bermuda grass, and if this is the grass you’ve chosen for your lawn you may have some questions.
In today’s article, we are going to talk about the best weed killer for Bermuda grass. We will also cover a few other tips and tricks for Bermuda grass care, as well as common pests and environmental dangers this lovely turf may face.
Let’s get started!
What Is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is a grass that does best in tropical and sub-tropical environments.
Bermuda grass is a grass that goes by many names. Scientifically known as Cynodon dactylon, Bermuda grass is also also known as Scutch grass, Dhoob, ethane grass, dubo, durva grass, dog’s tooth grass, devil’s grass, Bahama grass, couch grass, arugampul, Indian doab, wiregrass, and grama.
This is a tropical grass that is native to warmer climates of Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Today, Bermuda grass is prevalent throughout the United States, though it does best in southern states where the weather stays warm and humid year-round.
The exact date that Bermuda grass found its way to America is not documented, though there are records that show Bermuda grass was one of the most widely distributed grasses in the Southern United States by 1807.
Bermuda grass is resilient grass that recovers quickly from damage caused by pests and consistent traffic. For this reason, and as we mentioned above, Bermuda grass is one of the most common grasses utilized in parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and golf courses.
Though this is resilient grass, Bermuda grass doesn’t have the best tolerance to cold weather, making it difficult to maintain in certain environments.
In warmer environments, Bermuda grass can stay green and lush year-round. However, it does have the fastest growth rate of all the lawn grasses, making it somewhat difficult to maintain and manage.
This grass should be monitored for weed growth, pests, and more. It does best in areas that are open to sunny environments, and it won’t grow as well in more consistently shaded areas or areas where frost permeates often.
The good news is that Bermuda grass is easy to grow. It can be planted and grown by spreading above-ground stems as well as below-ground seeds. It has an extensive root system that further helps Bermuda grass withstand certain stresses like heavy foot traffic, and it is even self-repairing when damage does occur.
Although Bermuda grass does best in warmer climates, it is becoming more and more popular throughout cooler regions of the United States.
Are you growing Bermuda grass? Here’s what you need to know about the best weed killer for Bermuda grass and the biggest threats to this beautiful turf.
Weeds, and Bugs, and Shade – Oh My! How To Diagnose The Biggest Threats To Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass is one of the most commonly used grasses on golf courses and on athletic fields.
Although Bermuda grass is certainly a resilient plant, it can be vulnerable to a number of different factors you should be aware of. If your Bermuda grass is struggling to thrive, proper diagnosis is key to ensuring you are taking care of the problem effectivley.
Below we have listed some of the most common threats to Bermuda grass:
- Environmental Stress
- Drought Stress
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Fertilizer Burn
- And Weeds
Let’s take a moment now to look at some of the most common threats against Bermuda grass and then discuss how you can go about ensuring your lawn stays healthy by utilizing the best weed killer for Bermuda grass.
Environmental Threats To Bermuda Grass
As we mentioned above, environmental factors generally play one of the largest roles when it comes to threats to Bermuda grass. Because Bermuda grass does best in tropical and subtropical environments, it is not the ideal grass for colder states in the US.
With that being said, Bermuda grass can be grown in colder regions, though it can require more maintenance in states that have colder falls and winters and in states where frost is prevalent.
Bermuda grass needs at least six hours of direct sunlight a day, which means it will not do well in lawns with lots of trees or other foliage it has to compete with.
You may notice that in shady areas your Bermuda grass is thin, less green, and even patchy. There’s very little you can do about this aside from removing the shade that is blocking the direct sunlight. Otherwise, we suggest avoiding planting Bermuda grass in areas where it will get less than six hours of sunlight a day.
One of the common themes we continue to touch on throughout this article is the fact that Bermuda grass is so resilient. One of the traits that makes it so tough is that it is one of the most drought-resistant grasses.
However, that’s not to say it doesn’t need plenty of water. In fact, Bermuda grass does best with at least one inch of water throughout the week.
If it doesn’t get enough water, Bermuda grass will become straw-like, dry, and brownish. Furthermore, the grass will become less able to reinvigorate itself upon being stressed.
Bermuda grass is known to have a wide variety of pests you may need to contend with, though it is also known to be resistant to many other types of common yard and garden pests. The most common insects to attack and damage Bermuda grass include grubs, crickets, Bermuda grass mites, Bermuda grass scales, ground pearls, and nematodes.
The damage done to Bermuda grass by insects is typical of feed damage, brown spots, and patches. You might also see the insects with your own eyes, which can help further diagnose whether or not you need the best weed killer for Bermuda grass or a pest control product instead.
If you notice your Bermuda grass turning yellow or brown, chances are you don’t need the best weed killer for Bermuda grass. Instead, you likely need to look into some sort of quality lawn feed to help reinvigorate your turf.
The two most common nutrient deficiencies for Bermuda grass tend to be from an iron deficiency or a nitrogen deficiency. You can correct deficiencies by using grass feed or other products to help your Bermuda grass thrive.
Like all grasses and vegetation, Bermuda grass can be susceptible to certain diseases. Most of these diseases occur when environmental conditions are consistently warm and damp. Other causes of disease to your Bermuda grass could be due to over-irrigation, too much shade, or improper drainage in the lawn.
Some of the most common diseases Bermuda grass is known to contend with include Dollar Spot Disease, Spring Dead Spot disease, and Brown Patch disease.
- Dollar Spot Disease
- Dollar spot disease is a fungus that can cause markings and spots on the grass that can spread to the entire blade if not treated. The affected blades appear withered and brown in color.
- Spring Dead Spot Disease
- Another fungus that attacks Bermuda grass is known as Spring dead spot. This fungus attacks the rhizomes, stolons, and roots of Bermuda grass, causing patches of the grass to become black. Bermuda grass that is suffering from Spring Dead Spot disease will also be more susceptible to environmental stresses like frost and colder temperatures.
- Brown Patch Disease
- Sometimes known as Large Patch disease, Brown Patch disease is a fungus that leads to thinning and browning in your Bermuda grass. It can spread over the season. Sometimes the grass will attempt to recover itself, leading to healing in the middle and a donut-shaped ring around the outer edges.
Fertilizer burn is exactly what it sounds like when it comes to Bermuda grass. It occurs when the lawn has been accidentally over-fertilized, leading to too much nitrogen in the grass which can cause streaking, browning, and yellowing.
The easiest way to recognize fertilizer burn in your Bermuda grass is to pay attention to where the fertilizer has been placed. If your lawn is yellowing due to fertilizer burn, it will yellow and deteriorate only in the areas where the fertilizer was applied.
And last but not least, we have the enemy that brought you here – weeds.
Bermuda grass is greatly susceptible to weeds, especially if it becomes vulnerable due to other factors listed above.
While Bermuda grass is fast-growing and resilient, certain weeds can easily take over your lawn, stripping your Bermuda grass of vital nutrients that help it to thrive. If weeds are left untreated in your Bermuda grass, they can overtake your yard, leading to dead or bare spots once you have finally treated them.
Weeds – What Are They?
Clover is an example of a weed commonly known to be found in Bermuda grass.
Before we dive into the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, it helps to understand what weeds actually are.
A weed can be any plant that begins to grow where it shouldn’t. The most problematic weeds are those that are quick to grow and rampant to spread. These types of weeds will have intricate root systems that can quickly take over yards and gardens and can kill grasses, ornamental plants, and other vegetation simply by competing for and winning resources.
There are three types of common weeds that could be a threat to your Bermuda grass. These weeds include broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, and grass-like weeds.
Broadleaf weeds can be identified by their broad and flat leaves and growths. Examples of common broadleaf weeds include clover, ground ivy, chickweed, dollarweed, dandelion, henbit, and thistle.
Grassy weeds are called such because these weeds resemble grass. They can also grow leaves, however. Some common examples of grassy weeds include foxtail, bluegrass, and crabgrass. In fact, Bermuda grass is sometimes mistaken for crabgrass as the two types of grass have similar root and stem systems.
Grass-like weeds are similar to grassy weeds, though their leaves are more triangular in shape. Some blades of this weed may also have tubes or hollow stems. A few examples of grass-like weeds include wild garlic, wild onion, and nutsedge.
Pre Emergent Vs Post Emergent – What Is The Best Weed Killer For Bermuda Grass?
There are numerous brands of weed killer, but regardless we recommend using a post-emergent and a pre-emergent.
Picking the best weed killer for Bermuda grass can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure whether or not to use pre-emergent weed killer or post-emergent weed killer.
When it comes to the care of your lawn, using both a pre-emergent and a post-emergent will be important.
What Is Pre Emergent Weed Killer?
Pre-Emergent is a weed killer that is designed to prevent weeds from germinating and growing. This weed killer is generally applied to your Bermuda grass during early spring or fall, though you can apply pre-emergent weed killer year-round to avoid pesky weeds from sprouting unannounced.
Pre-emergent weed killers are some of the best weed killers for Bermuda grass because they help to create a barrier between your lawn and the soil. Pre-emergent contains chemical ingredients that stop the weed from germinating, so even though weed seeds will still be in your lawn they will not be able to reach above the soil or continue to grow and wreak havoc on your Bermuda grass.
What Is Post Emergent Weed Killer?
Post-emergent weed killer works to get rid of weeds that have already cropped up in your yard. When using post-emergent weed killer, it’s a good idea to use it alongside pre-emergent weed killer to ensure you not only get the weeds that have germinated, but also potential seedlings below the soil.
Many post-emergent weed killers include chemical ingredients that can work as pre-emergents, thus helping to reduce the chances of the weeds growing back in your lawn.
Best Weed Killer For Bermuda Grass – Pre Emergent
Pre-emergent helps to stop weeds from germinating.
If you are concerned about weeds growing in your lawn to begin with, then the best weed killer for Bermuda grass will be a pre-emergent like one of those listed below.
For those interested in organic gardening, we should note that most pre-emergent weed killer for Bermuda grass is going to contain chemical ingredients. However, there are some natural products you can use and even home remedies we recommend.
If you are looking to use home remedies for the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, skip past this section to the home remedies section further down. Otherwise, keep reading to look at the best weed killer for Bermuda grass when it comes to pre-emergent products.
Halts Crabgrass and Grassy Weed Preventer
If you’re dealing with grassy weeds, we suggest you try a pre-emergent weed killer like Halts. This is a grassy weed preventer that can cover up to 5,000 square feet. It works on different types of grassy weeds including crabgrass, chickweed, henbit, and more.
One application works to protect your yard for the entire season. It can help protect your yard from winter weeds as well, making it a year-round weed killer that works. This product is also weather resistant and is not affected by snow, rain, or freeze.
The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent
Another pre-emergent we recommend as the best weed killer for Bermuda grass is the weed killer pre-emergent by The Andersons Store. This product is designed to be applied in early spring and fall only and contains a professional-grade pre-emergent solution that stops weeds from germinating and spreading.
While this product is specifically designed as a pre-emergent, it also works as a post-emergent and can help kill existing weeds. This product works using the active ingredient Prodiamine and is designed to prevent grassweeds as well as broadleaf weeds
Bonide Crabgrass and Weed Preventer
Bonide is a trusted company that makes a variety of gardening and pest control products. We especially like its pre-emergent weed preventers designed to control crabgrass and other weeds in both lawns and gardens.
This product is safe to use in ornamental garden beds and can help control and reduce a wide variety of weeds when applied as directed in early spring.
The product provides up to 5,000 square feet of protection and protects against annual bluegrass, chickweed, barnyard grass, spurge, goosegrass, crabgrass, and more.
Best Weed Killer For Bermuda Grass – Post Emergent
Post-emergent is often applied after weeds have sprouted.
Post-emergent weed killer is going to be the best weed killer for Bermuda grass if that grass is already struggling with weeds.
Remember, while some post-emergent products do contain pre-emergent weed killer as well to help reduce the chances of future weeds growing, others do not. We suggest using a combination of pre-emergent weed killers when it comes to not only getting rid of the weeds in your Bermuda grass but also using a pre-emergent to help prevent future weeds from cropping up.
Some of our favorite post-emergent weed killer products for Bermuda grass are listed below. Take a look!
Preen Crabgrass Control
Preen Crabgrass Control provides up to 5,000 square feet of protection and can be applied up to four weeks after weeds have sprouted. This product can also work as a pre-emergent as well when applied in early spring or fall, depending on the types of weeds you are attempting to control.
When used as directed, this product can kill and control up to 40 different types of weeds. We also like that it can be used on both warm and cool-season types of grass.
Bonide Weed Beater
Another product we like as the best weed killer for Bermuda grass is Bonide Weed Beater Complete. This product can help kill weeds currently growing and also contains a pre-emergent to help stop future weeds from germinating.
It works against broadleaf weeds as well as grassy weeds and can cover up to 5,200 square feet. This weed killer is effective against a variety of weeds including nutsedge, crabgrass, ground ivy, goosegrass, and more.
Spectracide Weed Killer For Lawns
Spectracide Weed Killer for lawns works by killing weeds at their root. It does not harm the lawn when used as instructed and provides a defense against over 200 different weeds including some of the most common broadleaf weeds like chickweed, clover, dandelion, and more.
It is also waterproof and can cover up to 16,000 square feet with one 32 ounce bottle. However, this product does come concentrated and will need to be applied using a separate applicator wand or applicator container.
How To Get Rid Of Weeds In Bermuda Grass Using Home Remedies
A mixture of vinegar and dish soap can kill weeds on contact.
You have plenty of do-it-yourself options when it comes to the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, and this is especially true if you are looking for more natural weed control solutions.
Some of the best DIY home remedies for weed killer are listed below.
Make Your Own Weed Killer solution
Vinegar is a potent product and so is salt and dish soap. You can use these three simple ingredients to make an easy and effective weed killer for Bermuda grass. The best part is, you may already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen pantry!
- 1 Gallon of White Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Dish Soap
- 1 Cup of Salt
- 1 Large Spray Bottle
Combine the above ingredients and then pour what will fit into a large spray bottle. Put the nozzle of the spray bottle on a refined stream spray to better directly target the weeds causing you problems. This solution should be used with caution and only on the weeds you intend to kill. Keep in mind that the vinegar solution spray will have an impact on whatever vegetation it comes into contact with.
Pick The Weeds by Hand
There is perhaps no better DIY weed-killing method you can utilize than by simply picking the weeds with your own hands. However, this is a tedious method that can be quite time-consuming. Furthermore, picking the weeds by hand does not guarantee that you will get all of the weeds, which means there is a chance you could wind up with the weeds growing back.
If you do plan on picking the weeds by hand, we suggest investing in a pair of garden gloves like those listed below.
Some weeds can be prickly while others may cause irritation to the skin. The best way to avoid irritation or cuts and scrapes when removing weeds from your Bermuda grass by hand is to ensure you’re wearing the proper gear.
We recommend the above gardening gloves by EMERIT. These gloves are coated in Nitrile and are ideal for not only gardening but also fishing, clamming and more.
Try Using Cornmeal
Cornmeal is considered an all-natural method you can use as the best weed killer. Also known as gluten meal, you can use cornmeal as a pre-emergent to help control and even stop seeds from germinating.
Unfortunately, cornmeal stops a variety of seeds from germinating, so it won’t just target weeds. Use this method carefully and avoid sprinkling it over large surface areas of the lawn or in your garden where you are growing plants or vegetables.
Try Using Newspaper
Just like Bermuda grass, weeds need plenty of sunshine in order to survive. You can starve them out by covering them with newspaper. This method generally takes a few days, but it can work well if you’re attempting to spot-treat your yard.
Just remember that any vegetation beneath the newspaper will perish as well, not just the weeds. So, while this method is perfectly safe for people, pets, and the environment, it can harm your Bermuda grass. For that reason, we suggest you use this method with caution.
Use The Boiling Water Trick
Last but certainly not least we have the boiling water trick. This is a completely free method you can use to get rid of weeds in Bermuda grass, though it can be somewhat tricky.
To use this method as the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, we suggest boiling water in a tea kettle or coffee pot. This will allow you to better target the weeds you are trying to kill.
Pour the boiling water directly over the problematic weeds to kill them instantly. You can repeat this method as often as needed to get rid of the weeds.
Because this method is time-consuming, it is best utilized as a spot treatment method when it comes to the best weed killer for Bermuda grass. Furthermore, this method, like many on our DIY weed killer list, can harm your lawn and ornamental plants. Use the boiling water with caution and only to spot treat your lawn in specific areas.
Expert Tips For Bermuda Grass Care Year-Round
Leaving your grass a bit higher than usual can help stop weeds in their tracks.
Ensuring your Bermuda grass is healthy year-round may not be as time-consuming and tedious as it appears, especially if you live in the ideal climate or environment.
Remember, this is a type of grass that is best suited for warmer regions throughout the United States. It requires at least six hours of direct sunlight a day and needs about one inch of water a week to sustain itself.
Luckily, Bermuda grass is resilient to pests, disease, and stress, and it is even self-revitalizing. Still, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to help your Bermuda grass to stay strong and healthy and to ensure weeds don’t stand a chance.
Feed Your Bermuda Grass Frequently
Keeping your Bermuda grass well-fed with lawn nutrients will help ensure it has all the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy. A strong lawn is a resilient lawn, and it’s a lawn that is better equipped to fight against weeds, stresses, and even pests.
Don’t Mow Your Lawn Too Short
No matter how often you use the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, you’re going to have weed seeds in the soil. The best way to prevent these seeds from germinating is to reduce their contact with sunlight. You can do this by mowing your lawn a bit higher than usual.
Water Your Lawn Evenly
Watering your Bermuda grass consistently is important, but it’s also important not to over-water your Bermuda grass. Remember, this is grass that needs at least an inch of water throughout the week to thrive. Anything more could lead to disease and anything less could lead to drying, patches, and thinning, which in turn could lead to more weed growth.
Avoid Over Fertilizing Your Lawn
Too much fertilizer can lead to too much nitrogen in your lawn, and this can cause fertilizer burn. Fertilizer burn can lead to thinning and patches in your lawn, which opens up space for weeds to sprout. Avoid over-fertilizing your Bermuda grass to keep these tricky weeds from germinating.
Use Pre-Emergent Products as Directed
Last but not least, find a quality pre-emergent product that you trust and use it as directed. Keep in mind that the best times to use a pre-emergent weed killer for Bermuda grass are in spring and fall, though you can use it year-round.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on the best weed killer for Bermuda grass! Now we want to hear from you.
Have you ever tried our above home remedies when it comes to weed killer? Share your stories with us in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.