How Do you Kill it?

jim23June 20, 2006

I have lots of a crawling grass spreads by underground stems I've always heard it called crab grass but believe its a type of Brumuda grass. My problem is its in areas I'd like to make into flower beds its even in existing beds. I've also seen it growing thru the pavement in several other places. I'd like to know how to kill it without killing desirable plants. If dig or pull it up respourts from root pieces.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
moonshadow(Z5 Sunset 39)

Try Ortho's Weed-B-Gone Crabgrass killer for lawns in spray form. It works on grassy type weeds (nutgrass, foxtail, etc.). I've used it on undesirable grassy weeds in our lawn, it works, but has a longer "kill" time (about 2-3 weeks). Whatever you use, be extremely cautious about getting it on ornamentals/desirables.

If you're very careful, you can use Roundup or other total vegetation killer (check the product label, be sure it says you can seed in a short time, so you know it's not harming surrounding soil.) I use one of those 1/2" wide black cheapie sponge paint brushes, put a few TBS of Roundup in a large disposable plastic cup (Solo) and gently paint the solution into the center of the weed, being careful to avoid splatter off the rim of the cup, etc. Very quick kill if you exercise extreme caution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ortho grassy weeds

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovesroses(z8 AL)

Probably one of the best, most easily understood articles on killing exisiting weedy grasses/perennial grasses is located at

It details fluazifop-p-butyl, a "selective"; either Fertilome Over-The-Top Grass and Weed Killer. Ortho's Grass-Be-Gone, another of the "selective" weed killer with fluazifop that can be safely used in ornamental beds without causing harm to neighboring annuals/perrenials, but killing grasses such as bermuda. It make take more than one application 7-10 days apart; perhaps another at 14 days to completely kill grass in existing ornamental beds. (Just remember to look at the active ingredients listed is fluazifop without glysophate or dicamba.)

Probably the most commonly used "non-selective" herbicide used is glyphosate, such as "Round-Up," which will definitely harm, if not kill, ornamentals in beds if the spray gets on the ornamentals, or at least cause herbicide damage to ornamentals. It can, however, be safely used when killing all grass to establish a new ornamental bed. Instructions explain the time between use and the time the active ingredients in such "non-selective" herbicides break down to the point where ornamentals can be planted afterward without harm when introducing new ornamentals.

Dicamba, used in some "non-selective" herbicides is a more tricky solution when using.

In other words, fluazifop, a "selective," meaning it targets only grassy weeds, can be safely used in existing garden beds to erradicate grassy weeds. I would still recommend some care when directing the spray so as to prevent unneccesary spray hitting ornamentals; however, this is usually not a problem, but a modicum of caution will not hurt. More than one application will usually be needed, particularly for grassy weeds spread by stolons or rhizomes, such as bermuda.

"Non-selectives," meaning they don't target specific flora but can kill all flora, such as glysophate, e.g., "Round-Up," are highly effective in weed control. But when used around ornamentals, they are highly toxic and can and will kill ornamentals. Otherwise highly effective when killing an area of grass in order to establish an ornamental bed. More than one application is usually required.

If the area to be established as an ornamental bed is sufficiently large where the cost of glysophate may become a problem, digging up the grass and expositng its root system to sun bake for a week to 10 days without water should kill quite of a bit of the grass. Once the bulk of this unwanted grass is removed, applications of glysophate would kill most existing grass.

If using glysophate in an existing garden where the grassy weeds have grown high, as advised in an earlier post, a paint brush or garden glove should be used at the tips of the tall grass to saturation point with at least one more repeat application to kill the tall grass in an ornamental bed. In most instances, this is too much work, and fluazifop sprayed on the grass is much less time-consuming and as effective. The paint brush and gloved hand approach is usually used when fluazifop will not kill a pernicious weedy grass after at least three separate applications.

Glysophate, and particularly dicamba, must be used with extreme caution around woody plants such as shrubs and trees.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 3:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dear Jim,

Thank you very much for the inquiry. Bermudagrass is probably the most difficult grass to kill of all the grasses. This is due to its ability to spread by both above ground stems (stolons) and below ground stems (Rhizomes). Most grasses spread by either only one of these stems or neither. This feature of bermudagrass is what makes it so desirable as a golf course or athletic field grass, and even in parks and high traffic lawns. But, as an aggressive grass, it will grow in beds very nicely. It can be controlled with a non-selective herbicide, glyphosate, or Round-up. The problem is that Round-up kills everything green, including flowers and shrubs, etc.

If you are ready to make a new bed and Bermuda exists, spray glyphosate one week before you are ready to till the ground. After tilling, water the ground for 3-4 days and wait for bermudagrass to emerge (it will come up as tiny plants). Hit this area again with glyphosate as you are now beginning to knock out the underground rhizomes.

Once flowers and shrubs are in the beds, applications of glyphosate have to be more discrete and directly sprayed on the plant; being careful to not allow spray or drift on the desirable species (believe me you will know if there is drift). One option is to paint the glyphosate on the grass with a paint brush. One thing is for sure, the control of bermudagrass will be an ongoing process, one that is manageable if you stay on top of the job.

Again, thanks for the inquiry.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I`m marking out a football pitch and would like to know the cheapest and best way to kill grass where i will be marking lines with chalk! obviously with small children playing every day I need it to be safe, many thx ian

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do I kill Snake plant/mother in laws tongue and the rhyzomes beneath the ground so they will not return. They are next to my fence in the alleyway and hideous looking. Plus the homeless in the neighborhood use the clumps as a garbage dumping site.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am disabled and can no longer tend to my yard.

What can I have put down to keep grass and weeds from growing?

Thank you and God Bless.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 4:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One way would be to dig up the plants that you want to save or give away, you could call a garden club of some kind in your area to pick up the rest of the plants.They might have more ideas too.

Having someone apply a weed and feed might help once you dig up your plants to a smaller garden or containers that would be easy to manage. Hope that helps. God Bless you too.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have pachysandras growing around the trunk of a swamp maple tree and would like to know how to kill grass that is growing amoungst the pachysanbdras

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do I kill tall grasses growing in the lawn without killing the existing lawn. I noticed that there is a farm implement ( weed whip) that coats the top of the grass with herbicide and kills the grass. Do ou know of an implement that can be used behind a lawn tractor or pushed by hand that will coat the top of the tall grass, killing only the tall grasses?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do I kill onimental grasses that have seeded in my lawn

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

there is a field that me and my mother have been pulling the ragwort from just 1 question is there a way to remove this weed without killing the grass or effecting the grass for grazing we need this desperately as it is a full acre we have pulled almost half of the field in the last 4 weeks but it is very hard work ?please help

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:37PM
More Discussions
lawn redo
Hi . I have a lawn which looks like mostly weeds. What...
Cornmeal for fungus control
Ok. There's been a lot of debate on the lawn forum...
Dandelions and Clover
Question about reducing specific weeds in my yard....
Zoysia and Weed killer
My sister-in-law told me that if you put fertilizer...
Lawn dying in spots
Put in a new lawn last fall. Looked great all spring....
Sponsored Products
Antique Green Turkish 26 in. Urn Planter - 217254
$84.99 | Hayneedle
Waterproof Orange LED Neon, by the Meter
Steam Spa Advanced Royal Accessory Bundle for Steam Spa Steam Generator in Oil R
Beyond Stores
Empire Six-Light Gold Finish with Clear-Crystals Chandelier
$378.00 | Bellacor
'Hey Y'all' Framed Art Print
$74.99 | zulily
Winslow White 2-drawer & Open Cubbie Nightstand
Cyd Large Bowl
Hughes Bumper Chaise - Lucky Turquoise Blue
Joybird Furniture
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™