Bermuda grass attacks

ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)April 7, 2013

I have an invasion of bermuda grass. The more I eliminate, the more it spreads through rhizomes. Anyone achieve success on this battlefront?

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It will be difficult without herbicides. I do construction projects at schools and we regularly shut off the water to playfields to stage our construction areas, and while driving forklifts, graders, and trucks over it we grind the turf down to dusty powder for two years. As soon as we turn the irrigation back on it comes completely back and is too tall to mow. While trenching we see a cross-section of the dirt, and the roots appear to go down six feet.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:19PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I'm in zone 8b we spray Bermuda grass in September only time year we get 100 percent kill on Bermuda. Bermuda store energy last couple month season and roundup kill hole plant.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:47PM
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It will be *impossible* without herbicides (or as near to impossible as you will want to get). Years ago in SoCal I converted a front yard of bermuda grass to a cottage garden. I followed the RoundUp directions to the letter to eliminate the grass before I started.

A few years later (and no bermuda grass!) some new people up the street so admired the garden that they decided to do something like it. I talked to them a lot before they got started and one thing I emphasized was the need to kill the bermuda grass.

They thought digging would be enough.

They were horribly wrong.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:58PM
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The only effective alternatives I've found to herbicides for Bermuda grass control are heavy (probably at least 5" thick after it settles) pine straw mulch -- Bermuda grass roots and grows happily in other mulches I've tried -- and dense shade crops that are 12+" high. Sweet potatoes, for instance, get up high enough and produce a dense enough canopy that lasts late enough into the fall that they'll choke out Bermuda grass even to the point of significantly reducing problems in the next year's crop. It does take some hand weeding as the potatoes are getting established, but that's not bad at all.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:46AM
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I should add that some grasses (like tall fescue for me) will heavily outcompete (but not eliminate) Bermuda grass if most of the spring growth isn't mowed down. I make a point of leaving a 10' buffer in every direction of taller cool season grasses around my blueberries, for instance, that I only mow once in the winter. If I have to hit it any other time of year, I'll either just take out the taller weeds by hand or bush hog it with the bush hog set about 18" high. That buffer seems to help a lot with Bermuda grass weed pressure right around the blueberries.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:53AM
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My coworker suggested... get a dog; preferably a big, goofy puppy. That's been the only thing she's had that decimated the bermuda in her yard. 'course, nothing else in the plant world can thrive either.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:16PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Here is the million dollar question:

Will fruit trees, specially stone fruit on mariana2426, citation etc. compete with Bermuda? Will the trees eventually grind out the Bermuda horde?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:50PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I grew my orchard in a Bermuda lawn for 20 years. I did use Roundup to clear the tree row about 2ft wide. This was common Bermuda not the ultra aggressive Bermuda from he11 that I have in places now.

So you can grow an orchard in Bermuda grass. The trees grow fine and produce well.

If your trees are thick enough and cast enough shade that will weaken the Bermuda. But to get enough shade you need an overly thick tree canopy.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:39PM
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My part of my orchard is growing in coastal which is probably worse than Burmuda grass to try to kill. I gave trying to kill it and just keep it mowed down around the trees and the trees seem to do fine. Mind is planted in an old cattle pen so I have all the fertilizer I need in there. The grass will grow almost a foot in a couple weeks if I don't mow it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:04PM
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