Getting rid of centipede grass

byrdlady(7b NC)July 30, 2008

We moved and I planted a new garden in May. Used a rototiller, added amendments, and mulched. Now I have this awful grass coming up between my plants. My neighbor said it was centipede grass. The grass is a shorter variety and some of it is longer. I think the builder had his extra lots covered in this. I was thinking of making a cardboard shield (to protect my plants) and spraying with round-up. I have worked extensively at trying to pull it up, but the root base does not pull out very easy. Any other suggestions?

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If you are talking about a flower garden, you can use a product called Grass Be Gone, which will only kill grasses and not perennials or other plants There are other named brands out there that just kill grasses, of course, but I have not used them. However, I would be very careful with most poisons around edibles. Always read labels, and you can also check with Extension. In NC they have the chemical manual from NC State next to the phone and can get current information from that.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:05AM
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byrdlady(7b NC)

I should have elaborated more... the garden has mostly flowering plants and shrubs, especially daylilies. I belong to our local daylily club and they don't encourage products like Preen, as they stunt root growth. Is the grass killer you mentioned in that family or safer?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:09AM
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Your description of the grass sounds more like bermuda.
Are the blades thick like a fescue or thin and wirey?
If the later, then you have bermuda, and the best course of
action is Roundup. (Nothing else works on bermuda.)
If it is centipede, you might be able to dig it out with a
small garden spade. More work, I know, but should be quite
effective as Centipede is not as invasive as bermuda.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:32AM
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I read the post and since it is talking about invasive grasses and Grass-Be-Gone, my questions are: Does this stuff REALLY work on bermuda grass and how long before you see results? AND does it REALLY kill out the roots of bermuda grass or just the top growth like everything else?

byrdlady, more likely than not your grass is also bermuda grass. It seems to be taking over in every yard in NC... I hate the stuff. Even if you dig down to the roots they spider out so much, you can NOT get all of it. The worst thing about it is, if you leave a little piece it will take root too. Rototilling is the worse thing you can do.

I plan on getting grass-b-gone, spraying it and then laying cardboard on top of that. I will apply more mulch on top of the cardboard. If this doesn't kill it out I will dig my plants up, put them in pots and not try to plant anything in the yard until I can rid the places I want to plant of the stupid bermuda grass...ERRR, it is awful.

You can't even smother it out with darkness cause it will tunnel until it sees light and grow up where ever that may be, sometimes more than 2 ft away from the original piece!!!

If there is a sure fire way to kill this stuff please let EVERYBODY grows even in potted plants!

:) Fran

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 12:24PM
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I got rid of bermuda grass in liriope and vinca and it never came back. I swear by Grass Be Gone. I don't use many chemicals, but this one works as a last resort. I would not use it around my trilliums and some other prized natives, but around replaceables I used it...and nothing else ever died.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:34PM
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I've got major bermuda grass problems and had heard about the Grass Be Gone. I can only find it in the small spray bottles that doesn't last very long. Does it come in the big bottles like Roundup? Where can I find it?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 7:17AM
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Unfortunately I have not been able to find Grass-B-gon in larger sizes which is agravating - can't even find larger sizes on the Ortho site. I found another brand by Green Light that was supposed to be the same, but it acted more like round-up on my roses - they mutated and never came back. G-B-G can be sprayed directly on the roses with no harm. I found a small battery operated sprayer (48 oz)a couple weeks ago and dump the G-B-G in it. Really saves my hand but the batteries didn't last long. Of course I played with it for hours before I used it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:13AM
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