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Tips on Controlling Bermuda Grass

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

Some argue that if ever a plant deserved a monument for its service to mankind, it would be Bermuda grass for what it has done to prevent soil erosion, stabilize ditch banks, beautify landscapes and provide a smooth playing surface for sports fields and playgrounds. Sometimes, however, Bermuda grass spreads like crazy, a victim of its own success.

In the right climate, Bermuda grass grows and spreads very easily. For that reason, many lawn gardeners have come to despise it, despite all the accolades. They say Bermuda grass is too hard to control and ruins the success of other garden vegetation.

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In a hope to appease these contrarians, here are some pointers to help keep the Bermuda grass in its place and as popular as it's used to being.

Do Lawn Work in Spring or Fall

Bermuda is the ultimate summer grass. To keep Bermuda grass away from your garden, be sure to fertilize the grass you DO want in the spring and fall when Bermuda grass is less susceptible to take the encouragement as well.

Do Not Fertilize During Summer Months

This logically means that you shouldn't fertilize during the summer months. Bermuda Grass will thrive off of the fertilizer exactly when you don't want it to.

Last Resort: Start from Scratch

Most non-selective herbicides will eradicate all plants in your garden, but if any of the plants survive, Bermuda grass, a true survivor, will be one of the most likely to.

Because it is so difficult to get 100-percent coverage of Bermuda grass eradication, only reseed in September when you're pretty sure all the Bermuda is gone. Some gardeners recommend that you go through several rounds of herbicide before reseeding (in September). The idea being to let the Bermuda grass continue to expose itself until you've got it once and for all.

Just pray that your neighbors aren't planning on starting a Bermuda lawn of their own. Those seedlings will blow right on over.

About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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