Best Weed And Seed For Bermuda Grass

Bermudagrass (Cynodon species) is an important turfgrass used throughout the southern regions of the United States and into the transition zones where… To grow or maintain a beautiful Bermuda grass lawn, choose one of the best Bermuda grass seed options. Check out our top picks. The best weed killers for Bermuda grass get rid of weeds without damaging the lush, drought-tolerant grass. See our top picks and learn some tips for use.

Bermudagrass Yearly Maintenance Program

Bermudagrass (Cynodon species) is an important turfgrass used throughout the southern regions of the United States and into the transition zones where both cool-season and warm-season grasses are adapted. It is known by several common names, including wiregrass and devilgrass.

The improved turf-type bermudagrass will produce a vigorous, dense, fine bladed turf that is acceptable for sports fields, commercial properties, and high maintenance lawns. See HGIC 1208, Bermudagrass for additional information on care and cultivar selection.

Bermudagrass is a thin bladed, sod forming, warm-season turfgrass adapted to the warmer regions of the southeast United States.
Gary Forrester, ©2018, Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University

Producing a yearly maintenance calendar for managing turfgrass consistently year after year can be difficult in a state with such a diverse climate as South Carolina. Because of this, it is important to monitor temperatures and apply the needed management practices based on that year’s climate. Important times to monitor the weather are late winter or early spring when the turf is coming out of dormancy and early fall when first frosts are forecasted. Last frost dates and first frost dates can vary by several weeks to a month from coastal areas of South Carolina to the foothills of the Upstate.

This turfgrass maintenance calendar may be used on turf growing throughout the state; however, management practices will need to be adjusted based on the year’s climate and the region where the turf is grown.

January through April

Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. The mower setting should be around 1 inch high. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. This should be done just before the time of lawn green-up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. If possible, use a mower with a bagger to collect the clippings and remove any dead material left from winter dormancy. Alternatively, the lawn can be hand raked to remove the excessive dead leaf material from the lawn surface.

A sharp mower blade will cleanly cut the grass blades as opposed to tearing the leaves. Dull mower blades rip rather than cut the grass blades. The resulting ragged ends on the blades make the grass more susceptible to diseases. Sharpen the mower blade annually or as needed during the growing season.

The date of initial turf greenup can be quite variable. In the coastal and more Southern regions of South Carolina, this generally will occur sometime during April, but further inland, this may be as late as mid-May. It is not unusual for bermudagrass to green up and get burnt back several times during the late winter or early spring due to late season frosts. Because of possible injury to the lawn and the potential fire hazard, do not burn off bermudagrass to remove excessive debris. For more information on mowing, refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns.

Thatch Removal: If a thatch layer becomes a problem, use a dethatcher or vertical mower to remove it. Consider dethatching bermudagrass when the thatch layer is greater than ½ inch. For best results, use a dethatcher with a 2- or 3-inch blade spacing set a ¼-inch depth. Do not use a power rake with a 1-inch blade spacing, as severe turf injury may result. Use a lawn mower with a bag attached or hand rake to collect and properly dispose of the turf material pulled up. For more information on thatch removal, see HGIC 2360, Controlling Thatch in Lawns.

Aerification: Core aeration is the process of punching small holes in the turf and into the soil to alleviate compaction, thus allowing air to get to the root system. This will help to correct problems associated with poor infiltration and drainage. Once the threat for frost has passed, lawn aerification may be combined with dethatching to alleviate any soil compaction problems.

However, if a pre-emergent herbicide was applied late February to mid-March, postpone any cultivation practices that will disturb the soil until just before the next pre-emergent herbicide application date. Pre-emergent herbicides create a barrier that keeps weed seeds from germinating. Disturbing the soil after an application will allow weeds to emerge through this barrier. For more information on aerification, refer to HGIC 1200, Aerating Lawns and HGIC 1226, Turfgrass Cultivation.

Weed Control: To control crabgrass, goosegrass, sandspurs, and other summer annual weeds, apply a pre-emergent herbicide early in the year. Approximate times are mid-February in the coastal and central areas and mid-March in the piedmont/mountain areas. A second application is needed approximately 8 to 10 weeks after the initial application to give season long control of annual grassy and broadleaf weeds.

Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control existing winter grassy and broadleaf weeds. In general, do not apply post-emergent herbicides during the spring green up of the turf. If a weed problem begins and the grass has begun to green with warmer temperatures, wait until the grass has fully greened before applying a post-emergent herbicide. In the meantime, mow and bag the weeds. Bermudagrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, not only during spring green up, but during hot summer temperatures. Follow label directions for use of any herbicide and use with caution during these times. For more information on weed control, please see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm-Season Lawns.

Insect Control: Cold winter temperatures will usually keep insect problems in bermudagrass at bay. As temperatures start to warm in late spring, monitor for mole cricket activity. If mole cricket activity is observed, apply a lawn insecticide if damage is excessive. If the damage is minimal, wait before applying an insecticide. This is not the best time to apply an insecticide for insect control because of cool soil temperatures and reduced insect activity. However, an early warm-up can lead to significant mole cricket activity. Heavy populations can be reduced through appropriately timed insecticide treatments during this period. For more information on mole crickets, see HGIC 2155, Mole Cricket Management in Turfgrass.

If grubs (the white larvae of beetles, such as Japanese beetles) have been a problem in previous years, monitor the grubs by cutting a square foot piece of sod on three sides and peel it back. If more than six grubs are found under the sod piece, apply a lawn insecticide labelled for grub control according to label directions. For more information on white grub management, see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass.

Fertilization: Fertilization of bermudagrass should be based on soil test results, and this is a good time to test soil. However, fertilizers containing nitrogen should not be applied during this period unless the lawn is located along the coast and no frost is predicted. If new turfgrass growth is encouraged by fertilization during the early spring, and this is followed by a late frost, the result can be significant damage to the lawn. See HGIC 1652, Soil Testing for instructions on how to properly do a soil test.

Irrigation: During dormancy, water the lawn to prevent excessive dehydration. Winter desiccation can be a problem during dry winters. Watering to prevent drought stress can help eliminate turf loss during winter.

Most areas of South Carolina receive enough rainfall during the winter to avoid winter desiccation of lawns. However, this is not always the case. Monitor the winter rainfall on a regular basis and apply water to the turf if no measurable rain occurs over a 3 to 4 week period. This is especially important if warm, bright days preceed days forecasted to be in the low 20’s or colder. The added moisture in the soil will help keep the growing points of the turf warmer, preventing crown death.

To manage a lawn, it is important to know the soil texture in the top foot of soil. Sandy soils do not hold moisture well since they drain freely and dry out faster. Clay soils, however, will hold moisture for a longer period. Do not allow the lawn to stay excessively wet if the lawn has a clay soil. If the soil stays saturated all winter, this can cause many other problems. A soil probe can be used to monitor the soil moisture. For more information, refer to HGIC 1207, Watering Lawns and HGIC 1225, Conserving Turfgrass Irrigation.

May Through August

Mowing: The ideal mowing height for bermudagrass is from 1 to 2 inches depending on the specific site and management regime and is best determined by the conditions in the lawn. Start the season by mowing the lawn at a height of 1¼ to 1½ inches based on a bench mark setting. This is the measured distance from the mower blade to a hard surface and can easily be determined by using a small ruler. Mowing heights below 1 inch will require a reel type mower to achieve satisfactory results. Over the next several mowings, gradually reduce the mowing height in as small an increment as possible. Monitor the lawn after each mowing. Once a height where the grass does not look good anymore, it looks too thin or scalped, raise the mowing height back to the previous setting. However, cultivars of bermudagrass that are adapted to acceptable growth in partial shade may be best cut at a 2-inch height.

During periods of environmental stress due to high temperatures or a lack of rainfall, raise the mowing height until the stress is eliminated. Always mow with a sharp mower blade using a mulching type mower, which leaves the clippings to decompose on the turf. The mower blade needs to be sharpened on a regular basis – usually about once a month or at least before the growing season starts. If the bag is picking up soil, especially sand, when the lawn is mowed, then the blade may need to be sharpened more often than once a month.

Fertilization: Always fertilize and add lime or sulfur based on a soil test. Bermudagrass will grow best at a pH of 6 to 6.5. If a soil test shows a higher pH, sulfur can be applied to lower it. Apply 5 lbs of pelletized sulfur per 1000 square feet of turf. Apply sulfur only when the air temperatures are below 75 °F. In 3 months, recheck the soil pH to see what change was made. It may take several years for a large pH change to occur. Soils in the Upstate are typically acidic and usually do not need sulfur applications, but they likely may benefit from lime applications.

Bermudagrass lawns should receive 2 to 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per growing season per 1000 square feet of turf. The higher rate may be used on bermudagrass lawn grown on sandy soils, and the lower rate for lawns grown on clay soils. An application of a soluble iron product will enhance the green color without creating excessive growth.

Early Summer: Apply ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet early May after the lawn fully greens up. The rate will depend on soil type. A soil test will help determine if a fertilizer containing phosphorus, the middle number in the fertilizer analysis, is sufficient for the lawn. See the section on fertilizer calculations below to determine how much granular fertilizer product should be applied.

Mid-summer: Depending on the soil type, fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in June or July using a fertilizer that is also high in potassium, such as a 15-0-15. The need for phosphorus is determined by the soil test.

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Late Summer: Depending on the soil type, apply ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet before August 15 using a fertilizer that is also high potassium, such as a 15-0-15. It is important for the soil to have sufficient potassium, especially late in the growing season as the grass enters dormancy. Potassium is important for disease resistance and cold weather hardiness.

Nutrient Deficiencies: A yellow appearance during the growing season may indicate an iron deficiency due to excessive soil phosphorus and/or a high soil pH. A long-term approach is needed to correct either cause, but iron can be added to quickly enhance turf color between the spring and summer fertilizer applications.

Note: A yellow appearance may also arise in early spring. This could indicate an iron or manganese deficiency due to soil temperatures lagging behind air temperatures, high pH soils, or high phosphorous levels. Spraying with iron (ferrous) sulfate) at 2 ounces in 3 to 5 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet or applying a chelated iron product will help to enhance turf color. Fertilizing with a micronutrient fertilizer, such as manganese sulfate, can help alleviate manganese deficiencies. However, as the soil temperatures start to climb, the yellowing should slowly go away. Lime or sulfur may also be added if a soil test indicates a need. Be aware, it could take several months for lime and sulfur applications to begin to affect the soil pH.

Fertilizer Calculations: To determine amount of granular fertilizer needed to apply ½ pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 50 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. To determine amount of product required to apply 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. This will give the number of pounds of fertilizer product to apply to 1000 square feet of turf. See HGIC 1201, Fertilizing Lawns, for more information.

Irrigation: Water to prevent drought stress. Monitor the lawn on a regular basis to assess the need for an irrigation. When the entire lawn appears dry, apply ¾ to 1 inch of water the next morning. Wait to irrigate again when the lawn shows moisture stress. There are several ways to determine when the lawn needs watering. One way is to monitor the lawn daily. When the turf begins to dry, it will appear to have a bluish color. Another method is to walk across the lawn late in the evening. If the grass blades in the footprints rebound, there is plenty of moisture in the turf. If the grass in the footprints do not rebound, then water the next morning.

The irrigation interval will vary from site to site depending on the environmental conditions at that site and soil type. The general rule to turfgrass irrigation is to water “deeply and infrequently”. Localized dry spots or hot spots can be watered by hand as needed. For more information on turfgrass watering, see HGIC 1225, Conservative Turfgrass Irrigation.

Insect Control: There are various insect pests that may attack bermudagrass during the summer months. Mole crickets, grubs, ground pearls, bermudagrass mites, bermudagrass scales, as well as nematodes can cause considerable damage. Each pest problem will have its own management strategy and is usually handled with cultural and chemical controls. However, there can be exceptions. Mole crickets and grub eggs will usually hatch mid-summer. An insecticide application targeted at the smaller nymphs is the most effective control even if damage has not yet occurred. If either of these insects were a problem early in the season, apply an insecticide mid-July to control the younger immature insects.

If an insect problem occurs, it is important to positively identify the problem and select the appropriate insecticide to apply. Contact the local County Extension Office or the Home & Garden Information Center for positive identification and proper management strategies. For more pest management information, see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass, HGIC 2155, Mole Cricket Management in Turfgrass, HGIC 2158, Bermudagrass Mite, and HGIC 2157, Bermudagrass Scale, Rhodesgrass Mealybug & Ground Pearl.

Disease Control: The most common diseases that may occur on bermudagrass during the growing season are large patch, dollar spot, and spring dead spot. Large patch and dollar spot are fungal diseases that occur during warm, wet weather. Since they are fueled by moisture, it is important to use proper watering practices, as well as provide adequate soil drainage.

If the turf does stay wet, circular areas may start to develop and slowly grow in size. Diseased turf with dollar spot range from 2 to 6 inches in diameter, but large patch may result in affected areas that may grow to several feet in diameter. The center of a large area may start to green. In heavily infested turf, the areas may grow together and thus will not appear circular. If the turf at the edge of the dying area shows a smoky brown, rotted appearance, it will be necessary to apply a fungicide treatment. Overall, proper water management and thatch control is essential to curtail large patch and dollar spot problems. To help reduce disease problems, fertilize the bermudagrass lawn according to recent soil test recommendations and water infrequently.

Weed Control: A selective, annual grass or broadleaf weed control pre-emergent herbicide that is labelled for use on bermudagrass and applied during late winter and spring will reduce many weeds the following summer. If a pre-emergent herbicide was not applied, then the resulting weeds will need to be controlled using post-emergent herbicides.

Selective grassy weed control herbicide that can be used during the summer is limited. If summer annual grassy weeds are a problem, a preemergent herbicide program will be the best choice.

Broadleaf summer weeds, such as spurge and annual lespedeza, are controlled by using a 3-way, broadleaf weed herbicide. These 3-way mixes typically contain 2,4-D, dicamba, and mecoprop. Many grassy weeds are controlled by quinclorac applications. However, quinclorac applications may cause a temporary yellowing of bermudagrass. Nutsedges are controlled by imazaquin, halosulfuron, or sulfentrazone. Do not apply herbicides in summer unless the temperature is below 90 °F. Use herbicides with caution as the turf is emerging from winter dormancy. Do not mow the lawn for 3 days prior to or 2 days after herbicide application. For best control and to lessen the chance of turfgrass injury, always apply herbicides to turfgrass and weeds that are actively growing and not suffering from drought or heat stress. As with all pest control, proper weed identification is essential. Contact the local County Extension Office or the Home & Garden Information Center for identification and control of weeds in the lawn. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns and HGIC 2312, Nutsedge.

Renovation: Replant large bare areas in May using sod, plugs, or sprigs (5 bushels per 1,000 square feet). Bermudagrass seed for lawns is common improved bermudagrass, and the resulting lawn from this seed will not be of the same quality as that from sodded hybrid bermudagrass. For more information, refer to HGIC 1204, Lawn Renovation.

September through December

Mowing: Continue to mow the bermudagrass lawn at the normal mowing height until the weather starts to cool in the fall. Once nighttime temperatures fall below 70 °F, slightly raise the mower to allow more leaf surface. This will allow the turf to become acclimated by the time the first frost occurs.

Fertilization: Do not apply nitrogen at this time. Lime or sulfur may be added if recommended by a recent soil test. Potassium, commonly known as potash, may be applied to enhance winter hardiness if a soil test indicates insufficient levels of potassium. Apply 1 pound of potash (K2O) per 1,000 square feet 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected frost by using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60) or 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50) per 1000 square feet.

Irrigation: In the absence of rainfall, continue to water to prevent drought stress. After the lawn has become dormant, water as needed to prevent excessive dehydration. This is especially important if warm, bright days preceed days forecasted to be in the low 20’s or lower.

Insect Control: Any insects that were missed during the nymphal stage in the summer will have grown to a size where damage is occurring. Apply an insecticide to reduce the population and reduce further turf damage. This is best done before the first frost.

Disease Control: For disease control, especially large patch, it is extremely important to treat with fungicides during the fall months. With warm temperatures through September and the possibility of excessive rainfall that may occur during that period, diseases can spread rapidly. However, with cooler nights and shorter day lengths, control can be quite difficult because of slow turf recovery during this time. Turf weakened by disease in fall will be slow to recover in the spring; therefore, fungicide applications are needed to control disease before the grass goes dormant. In certain situations where large patch has been prevalent yearly, preventative fungicide applications may be needed starting in early October to stay a head of the disease. For more information on disease control, please see HGIC 2150, Brown Patch & Large Patch Diseases of Lawns.

Weed Control: Many winter annual grassy and broadleaf weeds can be managed by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in September with a second application 8 to 10 weeks later. Follow all label directions on the product for application rate. Granular herbicides must be watered into the soil soon after application. Follow label directions as to post application watering.

Broadleaf weed herbicides can be applied as necessary for control of chickweed, henbit, and other cool-season broadleaf weeds. Bermudagrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, so follow label directions for reducing rates and use with caution. Selective herbicides can also be applied during winter for control of annual bluegrass and other winter annual grassy weeds. Contact the local County Extension office or the Home & Garden Information Center for weed identification and control measures. See HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns for more information.

Originally published 09/05

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.

Original Author(s)

Trent C. Hale, PhD, Former Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Clemson University
Chuck Burgess, Former HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University

Revisions by:

Gary Forrester, Horticulture Extension Agent, Horry County Extension Service, Clemson University

This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.

The Best Bermuda Grass Seed of 2022

Improve your home’s curb appeal with a luscious and resilient Bermuda grass lawn.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Jun 29, 2022 6:07 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Bermuda grass is a popular choice for turfgrass applications, and an abundant lawn starts with the right Bermuda grass seed. Bermuda grass is resilient and forgiving. In the right growing conditions, it can create a low-maintenance but thick and uniform lawn. These qualities make it a top choice for home lawns, golf courses, parks, and athletic fields.

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With a wide variety of seed types available, choosing the right type for your lawn can feel overwhelming. Read on to learn more about the factors to consider when seeding new grass, and explore the best Bermuda grass seed options for a low-maintenance and beautiful lawn.

  1. BEST OVERALL:Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Vigoro Bermuda Grass Seed Blend
  3. BEST FOR PATCH REPAIR:Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Bermudagrass
  4. BEST LOW-MAINTENANCE:Pennington Smart Seed Bermuda Grass and Fertilizer
  5. BEST HYBRID:Outsidepride Arden 15 Hybrid Bermuda Grass Seed
  6. ALSO CONSIDER:Pennington Seed 1 lb Bermuda Grass Seed

Types of Bermuda Grass

There are many types of Bermuda grass, and different varieties can have distinct features, like texture, color, and levels of tolerance to stressors. Many seed bags don’t display the specific Bermuda grass type, but it is beneficial to know the difference between the two main categories: seeded and hybrid Bermuda grasses.

Seeded

Seeded Bermuda grasses include those typically grown from seeds. Growing Bermuda grass from seed is cheaper, offers plenty of grass type choices, and is less labor-intensive to install.

There are several seeded Bermuda grass varieties, including the commonly used, original seed types, aptly named the common Bermuda grasses. These grasses are among the most popular turf grasses used in the southern United States since they are attractive, low-maintenance, and tolerant of drought and foot traffic.

In general, common Bermuda grasses can pretty easily bounce back from a range of stressors, including heat, traffic, drought, and sea salt spray. But if you’re looking for a grass with specific traits, consider a hybrid grass.

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Hybrid

Hybrid Bermuda grasses are a mix of common Bermuda grass and another type of grass. These hybrid grasses are almost entirely sold as sod rather than seed.

Hybrid Bermuda grasses are created to blend desired traits of certain grass types. Desired traits can include better tolerance against disease, pests, and traffic or better shade tolerance. Hybrid Bermuda grasses may also help achieve a certain color or texture.

Installing sod is generally more expensive and time-intensive than seeding. Hybrid Bermuda grasses are often chosen for their superior characteristics. However, that can also come at a price, so they’re generally used for golf courses, turfs, and landscaping rather than by homeowners looking to sow their own lawn.

Popular Bermuda Varieties

Popular common and improved common Bermuda grass varieties include Blackjack, Ormond, Oasis blend, Yuma, and Sahara grass. “Improved” common Bermuda grasses were created to enhance some traits of common Bermuda grass varieties. Improved common Bermuda grasses may offer a deeper color, deeper roots, or more desirable texture and density.

Blackjack Bermuda seeds grow a vigorous, deep green grass with a very fine texture. These qualities make it one of the top Bermuda grasses for a carpet-like, dense lawn. Ormond grass is more blue-green in color with a medium texture, often chosen for golf courses and turf fields for its tolerability.

Oasis blend, Yuma, and Sahara varieties are also commonly found in golf courses, fields, and parks. Oasis blend grass grows rapidly (ideal for those who want their lawn to sprout quickly) and is easy to maintain, while Yuma and Sahara grasses create lovely dense, deep green turf.

Princess 77 Bermuda grass (recently replaced with the Arden 15 Bermuda grass) is one of the finest-textured Bermuda grasses available. Some consider it an improved common variety, while others consider it a hybrid type. This grass is ideal for homeowners looking for a more sophisticated-looking lawn, compared to other Bermuda grass types that are often chosen for their tolerability.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bermuda Grass Seed

There are several factors to consider when seeding a new lawn. When choosing a new grass seed, consider aesthetics, texture, and stress resistance. Your geographic zone, lawn location and usage, desired germination time, and desired color and texture can all influence your choice of Bermuda grass seed.

Geographic Zone

Grasses are divided into two categories: cool-season and warm-season grasses. Bermuda grass is one of the most common warm-season grasses.

As their name suggests, warm-season grasses endure hot climates, making them ideal for the southern United States. Bermuda grass can tolerate hot sun and grows well in hot, humid, and even arid climates.

Homes north of these states should opt for a different grass type (for example, fescue grass or Kentucky bluegrass). Bermuda grass does not do well in cooler temperatures, and maintaining a Bermuda grass lawn in a cooler zone can be difficult and costly.

Germination Time

Many Bermuda grass seeds on the market are hulled and coated. This means the natural protective layer of the Bermuda seed has been removed and a coating has been added, resulting in a faster germination process. The coating can also aid in fertilizing new growth or promoting better water absorption.

Germination time can vary from brand to brand, and some manufacturers use their special coatings to speed up germination. Manufacturers often display the germination time on the label. Germination time usually ranges from 7 to 21 days, and shoppers should choose depending on how quickly they want their lawn to grow.

Color and Texture

A well-maintained Bermuda grass lawn adds instant curb appeal. Bermuda grass is a popular choice for residential lawns due to its rich green color and medium-to-fine texture. Besides looking nice, it also feels pleasant to walk and play on.

Color and texture can vary depending on the grass variety and grass seed brand. Since many commercially available Bermuda seeds don’t share the grass variety, it can be hard to tell the exact color and texture. Read product descriptions and consumer reviews to get a better idea of how the grass will look once cultivated.

Keep in mind that Bermuda grass becomes dormant and turns brown when the weather cools. If you’re wondering how to get Bermuda grass to fill in or to cover brown areas, consider overseeding your lawn. Overseeding Bermuda grass lawns with another grass type (like ryegrass) is one way to achieve a greener lawn year-round. In the summer, well-maintained Bermuda grass lawns will reward homeowners with a lush green color.

Amount of Shade

Bermuda grass is a hardy grass type that can tolerate poor soil conditions and recover quickly from damage. However, there’s one thing in particular Bermuda grass lawns need: sunlight.

This naturally heat- and drought-resistant grass is a sun-loving plant that does not do well in shady areas. Consider how much sunshine your desired planting area receives during the day. Bermuda grass grows best in areas that receive at least 4 hours of full, direct sunlight daily, but 8 hours is usually better.

Planting Bermuda grass seeds in a shady area is a recipe for frustration. For shady lawns, consider a different grass type or a Bermuda grass blend that incorporates a shade-tolerant grass. Shade-tolerant grasses can help fill in areas where Bermuda grasses may falter.

Foot Traffic

Some grasses are sensitive to foot traffic, but fortunately Bermuda grass is not one of them. Bermuda grass is one of the most tolerant grasses when it comes to daily usage. This is one of several factors that makes it a popular choice for residential lawns.

Bermuda grass is a low-growing grass with a tougher texture. It can grow an extensive root system which allows it to withstand traffic from playing children and pets, outdoor parties, and daily wear and tear. This grass type holds up well to constant use, which is what makes it a suitable choice for public spaces as well as residential lawns.

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High-quality grass seeds are simple to plant and can be trusted to grow reliably. Sow a thick and attractive lawn with the best Bermuda grass seed products ahead.

The Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass of 2022

To reach its full potential, Bermuda grass needs plenty of sun, warm temps, and protection from weeds. Find out which weed killers are best suited for this drought-tolerant grass.

By Glenda Taylor | Published Jul 22, 2022 9:27 AM

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Some turfgr ass types wilt at the first sign of temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, drought, or salty sea spray, but Bermuda grass keeps its cool under these harsh conditions, making it well suited to southern states and coastal regions. On the downside, Bermuda grass is relatively high maintenance, has nutrient requirements, and is susceptible to weeds such as crabgrass, clover, and nutsedge.

Those looking to establish a yard of lush Bermuda grass might need to apply a weed killer once or more during the summer growing season, depending on the types of weeds that become a problem. Ahead, learn more about getting rid of weeds without damaging Bermuda grass, and find out why the following products are among the best Bermuda grass weed killers on the market today.

  1. BEST OVERALL:Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate
  3. BEST FOR CRABGRASS:BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide
  4. BEST PRE-EMERGENT:The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control
  5. BEST FOR NUTSEDGE:Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate
  6. BEST ORGANIC OPTION:Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass

The primary thing to remember when choosing a weed killer for a Bermuda grass lawn is to use one that won’t harm the grass. A nonselective weed killer will destroy both the weeds and the Bermuda grass, so choose carefully. It’s also good to consider the application method and how often you’ll need to reapply.

Coverage and Application

The best weed killer products for keeping a Bermuda grass lawn looking lush and uniform come in both granular and liquid form. The granular type is applied with a drop spreader. The liquid type usually comes in concentrated form. It is diluted with water in a pump-type sprayer and then sprayed on the lawn, or it might come in a dispenser bottle that attaches to a garden hose for easy application.

Both types are beneficial, but read the product’s instructions. Some types of liquid weed killer are designed to be applied when no rain is in the forecast, while other types require spraying down the lawn after application. Coverage varies by product and container size.

Pre-Emergent vs. Post-Emergent

Weed killers, by definition, are always post-emergent, which means they will kill weeds that are already growing. In other words, the weeds have emerged from their seeds.

Pre-emergent herbicides work by creating a barrier that keeps new weed seeds from sprouting. Either type of herbicide is suitable for treating Bermuda grass lawns, but don’t use a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed the lawn within a few months. Pre-emergents will not only keep weed seeds from sprouting, but they’ll also keep new Bermuda seeds from germinating.

Selectivity and Residual Effects

Weed killers (not pre-emergents) are further classified by whether they’re selective or nonselective. The only type suitable for use on a Bermuda lawn is selective.

  • Selective: Only a selective weed killer should be used on a Bermuda lawn. Selective means the product kills various unwanted weeds, such as nutsedge or crabgrass, but it won’t damage Bermuda grass. An example of a grass-safe selective weed killer is 2,4-D, which kills broadleaf weeds but won’t harm Bermuda.
  • Nonselective: This type of weed killer kills everything it lands on—including desirable lawn grasses. The most well-known nonselective weed killer is glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup. If inadvertently used on a Bermuda lawn, it will kill both the weeds and the grass.
See also  Chronic Weed Seeds

Safety

Chemical weed killers may contain ingredients that can harm humans, pets, and the environment. As a result, weed killers come with the following warning: “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” Standard precautions will apply, but read and follow the label carefully since some products may differ.

  • Don’t deviate from instructions: If the product calls for diluting, don’t mix a stronger solution than recommended, and make sure to treat the lawn when children or pets are not around.
  • Wear protective clothing: Long sleeves, long pants, and gloves will help keep the solution off the skin, and a pair of work goggles—or at least sunglasses—will protect the eyes.
  • Apply on a calm day: Windblown weed killer may not damage the Bermuda grass, but it could kill nearby ornamental plants.
  • Stay off the lawn: Different weed killers come with varied recommendations, but pets and kids should typically stay off the lawn until a liquid weed killer is completely dry. Some manufacturers recommend staying off for up to 72 hours for maximum safety.

Our Top Picks

To qualify for a spot in this lineup, the following products had to contain ingredients known to kill weeds but not damage Bermuda grass. The products had to be straightforward to apply—we allowed for some measuring and mixing—but we excluded products if the user had to reapply the solution multiple times for a successful treatment. While individual lawn needs vary, one of the picks in our lineup is sure to be a good choice for getting rid of weeds in your Bermuda grass lawn.

Best Overall

Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer

Dandelions, henbit, and other broadleaf weeds can quickly spread and take over a Bermuda grass lawn. One of the quickest and most effective ways to stop them is by applying a weed-killing product such as Southern Ag Amine, which contains 2,4-D, the abbreviation for 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The product comes as a concentrated liquid in a 1-quart bottle that should be diluted at the rate of 2 to 3 tablespoons per 3 to 5 gallons of water.

One bottle will treat up to 8 acres when diluted at the weakest ratio. Follow application instructions—care should be taken not to allow the solution to splash on the skin. Likewise, don’t allow pets or children on the lawn while the solution is still wet.

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute and apply via sprayer

Pros

  • Kills broadleaf weeds
  • Won’t harm Bermuda grass when applied as directed
  • Suitable for lawns, pastures, ditch banks

Cons

  • Requires measuring and diluting

Get the Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass on Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate

You don’t have to spend a lot for a product that will kill broadleaf weeds, keeping your Bermuda grass lawn looking uniform and healthy. Ortho WeedClear Lawn is a concentrated liquid that will treat up to 5,000 square feet of lawn at an attractive price point.

The active ingredient in WeedClear is 2,4-D, which is designed to target and kill weeds such as dandelions, invasive crabgrass, and wild clover without affecting Bermuda grass. The solution can be diluted and applied with a pump sprayer (follow dilution instructions carefully), or it can be used with Ortho’s specially designed Dial N Spray applicator that attaches to a garden hose (sold separately).

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Pump-type sprayer or Dial N Spray applicator.

Pros

  • Kills broadleaf weeds
  • Affordable
  • Rainproof in 1 hour

Cons

  • Requires diluting or purchase of special applicator

Get the Ortho WeedClear weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.

Best for Crabgrass

BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide

The bane of landscapers everywhere, crabgrass is coarse, unattractive, and spreads like crazy. At the first sign of crabgrass, it’s a good idea to treat the entire lawn, or more clumps will likely soon appear. BASF Drive XLR8 (pronounced “accelerate”) contains the active ingredient Quinclorac, a highly effective chemical that kills crabgrass but won’t harm Bermuda grass.

XLR8 comes as a concentrated liquid that should be diluted and applied with a pump- or tank-type sprayer. In addition to being one of the best ways to control crabgrass, XLR8 will also kill bindweed, dandelion, foxtail, and a handful of other invasive broadleaf weeds.

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute and apply with pump or tank sprayer

Pros

  • Fast acting
  • Kills even mature crabgrass
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Requires measuring and mixing

Get the BASF weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, Phoenix Environmental Design, or Sunspot Supply.

Best Pre-Emergent

The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control

An ounce of prevention can keep a Bermuda lawn lush and weed-free all summer long. The Andersons Barricade Weed Control is a pre-emergent product, so it’s best suited for keeping weed seeds from sprouting in lawns that are already virtually weed-free. Barricade comes in a granular formulation for applying with an ordinary garden-type drop spreader. After application, the yard must be watered or receive rainfall to activate the product.

Barricade contains the active ingredient prodiamine, which dissolves and then forms a barrier at the surface of the soil that keeps seeds from sprouting. Seed-stopping protection lasts up to 60 days, so don’t use it within 2 months of overseeding the lawn.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granular
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Pre-emergent
  • Application method: Drop spreader

Pros

  • Prevents weed seeds from sprouting
  • Won’t harm grass or ornamentals
  • Lasts up to 60 days

Cons

  • Won’t kill existing weeds
  • Can’t overseed lawn for 60 days

Get The Andersons weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, The Home Depot, or The BuildClub.

Best for Nutsedge

Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate

With tubers and rhizomes that can grow as deep as 14 inches and spread below the soil surface, nutsedge is one of the more challenging weeds to get rid of. It’s perennial, meaning it may appear to die in the fall only to come back with a vengeance the next spring.

Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate contains the active ingredient Imazaquin, which is absorbed by the nutsedge weed and transferred all the way to the roots to kill the entire plant. A 24-ounce bottle of concentrated Image solution will treat up to 6,000 square feet of lawn. After spraying nutsedge weeds, be patient; the weeds will turn yellow in 1 to 2 weeks and die in 3 to 5 weeks.

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute, pump sprayer

Pros

  • Kills nutsedge
  • Won’t harm Bermuda grass
  • Kills additional weeds, including sandbur and dollarweed

Cons

  • Requires mixing and measuring

Get the Image weed killer for Bermuda grass at Ace Hardware or The Home Depot.

Best Organic Option

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer forms a barrier on the surface of the soil that keeps weed seeds from sprouting, and it contains only natural ingredients. In addition to controlling unwanted weeds, it also fertilizes the lawn, making it the best weed-and-feed product in this lineup.

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer contains corn gluten meal—a natural, organic ingredient that functions as a pre-emergent to keep weed seeds from germinating. In addition, this granular product contains nitrogen, the nutrient grass needs for robust growth and to develop rich color. Best of all, because it has no harmful chemicals, there’s no need to worry about pets and children playing on a lawn after treatment. A 25-pound bag of this organic product treats up to 1,250 square feet of lawn.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granular
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Pre-emergent
  • Application method: Drop spreader

Pros

  • Keeps weed seeds from sprouting
  • Safer organic ingredients
  • Includes nitrogen for greening

Cons

  • Won’t kill existing weeds

Get the Espoma weed killer for Bermuda grass at Ace Hardware, True Value, or SHC Supply.

Our Verdict

Our lineup’s products will kill weeds or prevent weed seeds from sprouting, but our overall best pick, Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass, tops the list. It contains 2,4-D, which is known for killing weeds without harming Bermuda grass. Our best bang for the buck pick, Ortho WeedClear weed killer for Bermuda grass, also kills broadleaf weeds, won’t harm Bermuda grass, and comes at an attractive price point.

How We Chose the Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass

In choosing the best weed killers for Bermuda grass lawns, we focused on ingredients that are known to kill a variety of weeds, such as 2,4-D, while leaving Bermuda grass unharmed.

We also looked at products that prevent weed seeds from sprouting, known as pre-emergent herbicides. These products form a barrier on the surface of the soil that lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 months. The downside is that while pre-emergents stop weed seeds from germinating, they also prevent beneficial seeds from germinating, so they should not be used before reseeding a lawn.

When choosing the products, we placed a lot of value on reputable brands, such as Ortho. Still, we didn’t automatically exclude smaller or niche brands if they contained ingredients known to be effective and if former buyers had good experiences with them.

Tips for Using Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass

Treat the lawn with a selective weed killer at the first sign of weeds. When caught early, weeds don’t have time to spread, so they’ll do less damage to the lawn. In addition:

  • Choose a product such as 2,4-D that won’t damage Bermuda grass.
  • Consider applying a pre-emergent before common weeds, such as dandelions, go to seed in your region.
  • If you spot one or two rogue weeds that escaped the weed killer, spray them individually with a ready-to-use selective weed killer safe for use on Bermuda grass.

FAQs

Choosing a grass weed killer that rids the lawn of undesirable weeds requires a bit of research. But, it’s not difficult once you understand the basic concept of selecting a product that kills broadleaf weeds without harming Bermuda or other types of grasses. Those trying to eradicate weeds in a Bermuda grass lawn for the first time likely have some questions.

Q: What happens if I use too much weed killer?

A weed killer can damage Bermuda grass and stunt its growth when applied in too strong a mixture. Always follow mixing and dilution instructions carefully.

Q: Which weed killer is safe for Bermuda grass?

A weed-killing product that contains 2,4-D, with or without other ingredients, will kill most broadleaf weeds without damaging Bermuda grass.

Q: What is the best herbicide for Bermuda grass?

Any of the products on our lineup will kill weeds without harming Bermuda grass, but our best overall pick, Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass, is one of our favorite performers.

Q: What is the best fertilizer and weed killer for Bermuda grass?

Espoma weed killer for Bermuda grass will stop weeds seeds from sprouting and provide nitrogen for a healthy lawn at the same time.

Q: When should I put pre-emergent weed killer on Bermuda grass?

The most effective time is before weeds in your area go to seed and blow in the wind. You’ll cover most of the bases by applying a pre-emergent in spring and again in fall. Be careful, however, not to use it if you plan to overseed the lawn within a few months.

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