As someone who has been at odds with Bermuda grass, I can attest that it is a formidable foe. Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that spreads quickly due to subsurface rhizomes and aboveground stolons.
Bermuda grass has received the moniker “devil grass” even though it is an outstanding tuft grass. It has given many gardeners nightmares and has even infested other turfgrasses.
When Bermuda grass invades your flower bed, you know you’re in for a struggle, and the one thing that will make your job simpler, non-selective herbicides, are out. Otherwise, you risk damaging your beautiful flower bed.
So, here’s how to stop Bermuda grass from spreading in flower beds.
How to stop Bermuda grass from spreading in flower beds
Whatever advantage you may get is critical when you’re up against Bermuda grass. You will need to use the sun to your advantage with this strategy. This method is effective because it kills the grass to the roots and seeds.
Still, it is a time-consuming method that can take up to eight weeks to provide favorable results and will be especially beneficial during warmer months.
The Bermuda grass is heat tolerant in addition to loving the sun. Yet, solarization will ‘burn’ the grass, killing it to the roots.
To harness the sun’s power effectively, put transparent plastic over the invading Bermuda grass. But first, cut the grass so there is less growth to deal with, and then ensure that there are no wrinkles when you spread the cover and that it is properly fixed in place with big rocks.
Use numerous overlapping sheets if you have a huge area. The translucent plastic will intensify the solar heat beyond the tolerance of the Bermuda grass.
2. Digging and pulling them out
Because Bermuda grass spreads via stolons and rhizomes, manual management is difficult and time-consuming.
Your flower garden is tiled, and the soil is excellent for the Bermuda grass runner, reaching depths of up to 6 inches. So, using a hoe or a shovel, slowly dig them out and lift them as you go; they should give way with less resistance.
Then put them in a plastic bag to keep them away from the soil, or they’ll end up in your flower bed again. A repeat of this process is required to eradicate the grass and verify that no rhizome remains.
If you’re worried about losing soil during this process, let the uprooted rhizomes dry up and shake off any soil that’s adhering to the ground before disposing of them.
Remember that even the smallest issue might cause a tremendous problem in the future. So, whatever size, make sure you eliminate everything.
See also: Best grass for muddy yard
3. Using landscaping fabric
I know you’re a passionate gardener, but living an active life and spending hours removing this grass from your wonderful flower bed can be exhausting. Using landscaping fabric is the ideal method to rest your green thumbs.
The landscape fabric is a geotextile often constructed of polyester, linen, or recycled material. Most gardeners like it because it eliminates weeds while still allowing water to reach the soil, minimizing soil erosion and limiting evaporation.
Bermuda grass can withstand high temperatures and thrives in the sun; it cannot exist without it. Because of its reliance on the sun, this grass is susceptible; here is where the landscape fabric has an advantage over the Bermuda grass.
See also: Can Bermuda thrive in the shade
Ideally, trim and eliminate any runners in the flower bed and level your soil, then spread and pin down your landscaping cloth as you would a bed sheet.
Make sure your landscape cloth is of great quality. A spun synthetic-fiber material will screen sunlight, and the material is durable, so pebbles and tools will not damage your fabric.
A cheap material will not help you get spun heavy-duty material. When the landscaping fabric is adequately cared for, it will last for many years.
4. Heavy mulching
The aggressive behavior of Bermuda grass cannot be controlled with simple mulching. I tried to maintain a little section of my flower bed free of Bermuda grass. Until I decided to apply heavy mulching on that area, and my Bermuda invasion ended.
Spread a half-inch layer of compost over the area with constant invasion. Then flatten cardboard boxes over the area, ensuring the cardboards overlap and leaving no place for Bermuda to sprout.
Wet and pin the cardboard in place, then fully wet it. Make planting holes in the cardboard. Cover the cardboard with 3 inches of mulch.
You have now mastered the art of sheet mulching, a thick sort of mulch that will not be challenged by the legendary Bermuda grass.
See also: How to get Bermuda grass to spread
5. Bermuda grass selective herbicides
Bermuda grass is a tough plant. Its extraordinary ability to resurrect has caused many gardeners to despise it and driven some of us to drastic means. As a final resort, many of us will resort to herbicides.
If all other barriers fail, this approach appears to be a fantastic choice; however, using it in your nice flower garden appears to be a horrible decision. So use caution when employing this strategy.
Don’t worry; the herbicide will not harm your flower garden. All you have to do is use a selective herbicide that isolates and exclusively targets Bermuda grass.
It will complete your task while keeping the rest of your grass safe. If any shoots appear after the grass has dried, pull it up and repeat the process.
We have a love-hate relationship with Bermuda grass. The same characteristics that make it a beloved grass also make us despise it when it invades our flower beds.
However, by employing one or more of the strategies mentioned above, you will be able to enjoy your Bermuda turfgrass and flower bed.
It’s never been easier to figure out how to stop Bermuda grass from spreading in flower beds. With these simple methods, you can have the best of both worlds.