How To Get Rid Of Bermuda In St Augustine Lawn: Practical Solutions

how to get rid of Bermuda in St Augustine lawn

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of Bermuda in St Augustine lawn? It’s a common problem that many homeowners face, but don’t worry; we have the solutions you need.

Removing Bermuda grass from a St. Augustine lawn typically involves killing the entire area where the Bermuda grass has shown no signs of growth. This is usually done through the use of non-selective herbicides. In extreme cases, it may require killing the Bermuda, tilling the area, and replacing it with new sod.

We have more in-depth strategies for managing Bermuda grass in your St. Augustine lawn, including preventive measures and organic alternatives. Stay tuned for detailed insights!

Understanding the Characteristics of Bermuda Grass and St. Augustine Grass

Bermuda Grass

how to get rid of bermuda in st augustine lawn

Bermuda grass is a warm-season perennial that flourishes in full, direct sunlight. It’s not just heat-tolerant; it’s a champion, thriving even under high temperatures.

This robust grower is also salt and humidity tolerant, making it a preferred choice for tropical and subtropical areas.

Bermuda grass is adaptable and can thrive in many types of difficult soils. Its growth pattern is vigorous, producing a dense turf that ranges from light to dark green.

Its grey-green blades are short, usually 1 to 4 inches long, and rough. In winter, Bermuda grass hibernates, turning brown as it enters dormancy.

St. Augustine Grass

how to get rid of bermuda in st augustine lawn

St. Augustine grass, another warm-season perennial, also thrives in sunlit sites but has a higher shade tolerance. It’s known for its broad, flat blades that form a thick, carpet-like turf, giving your lawn a lush, verdant appearance.

Unlike Bermuda grass, St. Augustine doesn’t dorm in winter, maintaining its green hue year-round in warmer climates.

Bermuda vs St. Augustine: The Showdown

Both Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses are heat-tolerant, capable of creating thick, beautiful lawns. But they have their differences.

Bermuda grass is more durable, handling heavy traffic better than St. Augustine and displaying superior drought tolerance. It continues to thrive even under heavy grazing or unfavourable weather conditions.

On the flip side, St. Augustine grass is more shade-tolerant, making it a better choice for lawns with trees or buildings casting shadows. So, choosing Bermuda or St. Augustine grass depends on your specific lawn conditions and requirements.

By understanding these characteristics, Then the question of how to get rid of bermuda in st augustine lawn should be half solved.

 Favourable Conditions for Bermuda Grass Growth

  • Love for Sunlight

First and foremost, Bermuda grass is a sun lover. It craves full sun exposure and flourishes in locations that offer generous amounts of sunlight throughout the day. This attribute makes it a popular choice for open landscapes devoid of extensive shade.

  • Preference for High Temperatures

Bermuda grass has a strong preference for high temperatures. Its growth peaks in air temperatures ranging from 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the germination process of Bermuda grass seeds is affected by temperature.

The ideal conditions for seed germination include daytime temperatures of 30 to 35 °C, ensuring a rapid and healthy growth phase.

  • Ideal Soil Conditions

The soil conditions also play a critical role in the health and growth of Bermuda grass. The soil temperature should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for a robust root system.

This warm soil environment supports the grass’s development and contributes to its resilience.

  • Watering Requirements

When it comes to watering, Bermuda grass is quite adaptable. While light, frequent watering can favour cool-season grasses and extend their dominance over Bermuda grass; this warm-season turfgrass is not easily deterred.

Bermuda grass is notably drought-resistant and can survive with less rainfall, making it a tough competitor under various water conditions.

  • Maintenance Influence

The maintenance practices of a lawn can inadvertently favour Bermuda grass growth. For instance, mowing a lawn too short can give Bermuda grass an edge.

This is because Bermuda grass can tolerate lower mowing heights, allowing it to outcompete other grasses that require a taller cut.

  • Impact of Fertilization

Finally, fertilization plays a significant role in Bermuda grass growth. This grass thrives in high temperatures, and applying suitable fertilizers can support its proliferation.

By providing the necessary nutrients, fertilizers enhance Bermuda grass’s overall growth and vigour, helping it spread rapidly and dominate other grass types.

How to get rid of Bermuda in St Augustine lawn 

Sure, here are the detailed steps to get rid of Bermuda grass on a St. Augustine lawn:

Step 1: Identify the Issue 

The first step is to ensure that the grass you are trying to eliminate is indeed Bermuda grass. It has a unique appearance with a deep root system and is more drought-tolerant than St. Augustine grass.

Step 2: Apply a Non-Selective Herbicide 

To start the removal process, apply a non-selective herbicide like Glyphosate to the Bermuda grass. Be careful during application, as this herbicide will kill most plants it comes into contact with, including St. Augustine grass. Aim to apply the herbicide on a calm day to prevent drift to other areas of your lawn.

Step 3: Repeat the herbicide application

Bermuda grass is known for its resilience, so you may need to reapply the herbicide several times to eradicate it. Leave at least a week between applications to allow the herbicide to take effect.

Step 4: Monitor the Lawn

Keep a close eye on your lawn, particularly on the treated areas. If you notice any Bermuda grass growing back, you’ll need to repeat the herbicide application.

Step 5: Reseed or Resort the Lawn

After successfully eliminating the Bermuda grass, you’ll likely have bare patches on your lawn. You can fill these in by reseeding or resodding with St. Augustine grass.

Step 6: Maintain the Lawn

Prevent future Bermuda grass invasions by maintaining your lawn properly. Regular mowing, watering, and fertilizing can help keep your St. Augustine grass healthy and more resistant to Bermuda grass.

Remember, this process could take several weeks or even months, depending on the extent of the Bermuda grass invasion. Always follow the instructions on the herbicide label for safe and effective use.


Maintaining a Bermuda Grass-Free St. Augustine Lawn

Keeping a Bermuda grass-free St. Augustine lawn requires regular care and vigilance. Here are some practices to prevent Bermuda grass re-infestation:

  • Mow your lawn as tall as the mower allows. This helps St. Augustine grass crowd out Bermuda.
  • Keep your St. Augustine grass well-fertilized and watered.
  • Encourage shade, as Bermuda grass thrives in sunlight.
  • Look for signs of re-infestation, like sudden patches of thin, wiry grass. If noticed, apply non-selective herbicides.


Common Mistakes to Avoid When Controlling Bermuda Grass

When controlling Bermuda grass, make sure to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Avoid low mowing. This encourages Bermuda grass growth.
  • Stay under-fertilized. Bermuda grass loves frequent fertilization.
  • Avoid tilling your lawn unless necessary. It can spread Bermuda grass.

How do I get St Augustine to overtake Bermuda?

To make St. Augustine grass overtake Bermuda, create more shade, mow at about 4 inches height twice a week, and consider using specific herbicides that kill Bermuda but not St. Augustine.

What herbicide kills Bermuda grass in St. Augustine grass?

One method to kill Bermuda grass in St. Augustine grass is the herbicide Atrazine. Spraying the liquid version of Atrazine on Bermuda in the month of May can diminish the health of Bermuda grass and enable St. Augustine grass to take over. 

How to get rid of Bermuda in St Augustine Lawn naturally

To naturally remove Bermuda grass from a St. Augustine lawn, use these key steps: Solarization (covering the grass with clear plastic in summer), Smothering (covering it with newspaper and mulch), and Physical Removal. Maintaining a healthy St. Augustine lawn can also suppress Bermuda grass growth. Repeat these methods as necessary for best results.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how to get rid of Bermuda in St Augustine lawns is essential for maintaining a lush, healthy landscape. 

Bermuda grass can be a stubborn invader, but with the right strategies and persistent care, it’s possible to keep it at bay. Remember, your lawn is a reflection of your hard work and dedication. 

So, don’t let Bermuda grass take over. Stand tall, take action, and reclaim your beautiful St. Augustine lawn. You’ve got this!

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