Bermuda grass is one type of grass that once you have planted, it becomes impossible to weed out without causing damages to your flower beds and vegetables.
Thus, learning how to keep Bermuda grass out of flower beds without damaging the flower beds becomes a pertinent skill for everyone gardener.
If you agree with that, then you are in luck as we would take through practical ways you can keep Bermuda grass out of your flower beds.
What is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass, Cynodon dactylon, also known as couch grass, wiregrass, and devil's grass, is often regarded to be an excellent pasture grass but also has turned out to become every gardener's nightmare.
It originated from the eastern hemisphere and was once touted to be a forage crop of high value and lawn grass. It is, however, now prevalent in the southwestern and southeastern USA.
Bermuda grass reproduces by rhizomes (beneath ground shoots), stolons (vine-like shoots), and by seed (above ground). Seeds of Bermuda grass remain viable in the ground for a couple of years, and this makes it very difficult to get rid of even with several applications of potent herbicides.
Bermuda grass is often used to control erosion, grown in high traffic areas, and athletic fields. That is because of its vigor and great tolerance of heat, drought, and heavy foot traffic.
What You'll Need for The Job
- Garden gloves
- Hand pruners
- Glyphosate herbicide
- Garden sprayer
- Polyethylene bags
How To Keep Bermuda Grass Out Of Flower Beds
Bermuda grass can be gotten rid of chemically or mechanically. The chemical method is highly preferred when they are either growing on their own, alone or in lawns—that way, no flower or edible vegetable is poisoned or damaged by toxic herbicides.
Another means of getting rid of Bermuda grass when it is not in flower beds is by solarization with black plastic or constant rototilling.
Solarization involves using the sun to get rid of Bermuda grass to its roots. This process is time-intensive and usually takes up to 30 to 45 days to yield positive results.
Solarization or use of solar power is done by covering the Bermuda grass with clear plastic mulching or with black polyethylene for two months during either mid to late summers in warmer climates or during the warmest part of summer respectively.
Now, if Bermuda grass has grown or is growing in your flower beds and you wish to keep it out of the flower beds, you need to get rid of it mechanically. This mechanical process involves hand pulling of the grass from its roots.
This method is not the easiest or the funniest, but it is sure one of the fastest means of keeping Bermuda grass out of flower beds and the safest ways as well. This method ensures that only Bermuda grass is gotten rid of, and no useful plant is harmed or eliminated.
Mechanical elimination of Bermuda grass can be done with a hand or a hoe, depending on whether your flower bed is prone to Bermuda grass infestation.
Hoes are mostly preferred when the flower bed is likely to Bermuda grass infestation. Using a scraper ensures that the grass' seeds and seedling are removed.
Read Also: How to Prevent Tree Branches From Growing
Removing Bermuda Grass From Flower Beds | The Steps
Before you embark on mechanical elimination of Bermuda grass with hands, ensure you have your gardening gloves on, your working hoe should be handy and any grass specific herbicide. The herbicide could be cultural or chemical.
Properly water the area where the Bermuda grass is growing before embarking on its removal.
Pull out the runners. Runners are responsible for the invasive nature of Bermuda grass. They are the reasons Bermuda grass quickly cover bare ground.
This makes it an ideal lawn grass and challenging to get rid of when it encroaches into flower beds. So, while wearing your gardening gloves, pull out the runners, all of it.
However, to ensure that the grass does not re-grow in just a matter of time, ensure to carry out this mechanical procedure before the plant's seed sets in.
If the seeds have set in already, you might experience a re-growth of the Bermuda grass two years after you manually pulled the grass out by its runners.
Dig up any underground rhizome. Do not leave any rhizome behind, no matter the size. Even the tiniest rhizome is capable of growing into Bermuda grass if you leave it behind in the soil.
Apply grass specific herbicides. Grass specific herbicides such as Over the top, Vantage, Ornamec, and Grass B-gone are applied only when the grass runners are so deep into the soil and cannot be pulled out. These herbicides kill the grass and should be repeated if any new shoot crops up.
Isolate your lawn from your flower beds and garden. A good barrier should be first put up between the flower beds and the lawn.
A barrier could be made of a polyethylene bag or a plastic edging. Use the black polythene bag as a barrier over the Bermuda grass and then use plastic edging around the flower bed.
The plastic hedging should be installed at least 6 inches into the soil to prevent the Bermuda grass from spreading into the flower bed and competing with the flowers and other useful plants therein.
Leave the polythene bag over the grass for a period of six to eight weeks during the regular growth season of Bermuda grass, which is usually during warm periods of summer. Ensure to trim back your lawn at the edge so that stolons don't encroach over it.
Additionally, to keep Bermuda grass at bay from your flower bed, you should much your plant and flower bed. Mulching helps reduce the rate of Bermuda grass invasion.
You can also spot treat the Bermuda grass. You do this by using non-selective herbicides such as Glyphosate.
Glyphosate is an active ingredient in non-selective herbicides that kill all forms of vegetation it comes in contact with, so you might want to cover your other plants and flowers with cardboard to protect them from the herbicide.
Read Also: How To Stop Plants From Growing Tall
Bermuda grass poses a great nightmare to gardeners because of its invasive nature. It appears in lawns and flower beds and quickly takes over the spot because of its deep-running stolons and high tolerance of little or no maintenance at all.
The best way to keep Bermuda grass out of flower beds is to manually pull them out from their rhizomes, apply grass specific herbicides, and then create a barrier between your lawn and flower beds. This puts Bermuda grass in check and ensures that your flower bed is free of Bermuda grass!