Bermuda grass is a warm-season perennial turfgrass that grows well in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates. It can actually be considered a weed, but you can cultivate it to make a smart-looking lawn, and it will overpower most weed species – though not all.
Therefore if you are growing Bermuda grass, it’s good to develop a specific and proven lawn routine to keep it in top condition.
When Bermuda is cultivated in a correct manner, it will prevent weeds from building up a competitive presence in your garden – making weed infestations a thing of the past.
Here are some techniques to keep your Bermuda grass healthy and dominant…
Methods to Remove Weeds Naturally in Bermuda
Rather than polluting your garden with herbicides, it’s always a better idea to find more natural ways to keep weeds at bay.
Luckily, since Bermuda grass isn’t affected so much by most weed species, there are a few methods you can use to remove weeds naturally.
Typically you would mow your Bermuda to a height of between one to two inches. However, if there are weeds present in your lawn, switch up your mowing height so that your grass is longer.
Anywhere between two to three inches is a good height for your Bermuda as now the grass will shade any weeds present. With less or no sunlight, the weeds on your lawn will weaken due to a reduction in photosynthesis. Eventually, your Bermuda should overpower and potentially kill off the weeds.
Tip: Using a catcher with your lawnmower will stop weed seeds from spreading all over your lawn when you’re cutting.
Water Bermuda Grass Correctly
To keep your Bermuda lawn green and stable, water it regularly. Every week, apply a minimum of one inch of water in one or two deep watering sessions.
To saturate your Bermuda roots, make sure the soil is soaked to a depth of five to eight inches. In arid or hot climates, use more water, while in colder northern or wet climates, use less. Bear in mind – drought stress can encourage competitive weeds to take root. So make sure not to over-water your Bermuda grass.
Once you’ve watered your lawn, it’s a great time to scour around looking for stand-out weeds to pluck out of the ground. Make sure to grab any weeds as low as you can go at their base, then give them a short and sharp couple of tugs to free them from the soil.
Fertilize Your Bermuda Grass
Fertilize your Bermuda grass once a month to keep it healthy and resistant to weed infestations. Apply a simple nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer, and make sure to follow the product’s guidelines, as it can cause unwanted growing behaviors.
Grass development is negatively affected by a lack of nitrogen. Yet, too much nitrogen can cause your grass to outgrow its root structures. With root structures that can’t support the overgrowth above the soil, weeds and their root structures can start to take over.
Warning: Grass that extracts a lot of nitrogen from the soil can seriously poison grass grazing animals that consume it.
Dethatch and Aerate Your Bermuda Grass
Dethatching your grass is also advised and should be conducted once or even twice a year if you have the time. Keep in mind that dethatching can be damaging to your lawn, so you need to allow time for your lawn to heal properly. Dethatching anymore than twice a year is likely to be detrimental to your lawn’s health.
A simple way to dethatch your Bermuda grass is to use a dethatching rake and drag it along the entirety of your lawn in one direction. Then change the direction my ninety degrees and rake the whole of your lawn again. Afterward, you should then pick up all the loosened thatch.
Make sure to dethatch Bermuda grass thoroughly, as it is more prone to thatching than other grasses. If the two passes of your lawn haven’t been so useful, keep going until you get stuck in deep and have lifted most of the thatch out.
Tip: Loose thatch can be collected and stored away as compost.
Aeration is also beneficial to any type of grass to help it grow. Quite simply, all you need to do is make a series of holes in your lawn to improve its drainage. A common is that soil can become too compacted, so drainage doesn’t flow so well into some of the grass’s roots – adding holes solves this issue very well.
Either use a standard pitchfork, or you can opt for a specialist aeration tool to improve the drainage in your lawn.
With the pitchfork method, just press down the fork with your feet around two or three inches and repeat with around a foot or two of spacing throughout your lawn. Alternatively, you can get lawn professionals that will do the job for you if you’re not feeling up to a labor-intensive task.
Just like dethatching, the aeration process only needs to be carried out up to twice a year. Once both dethatching and aeration have been carried out, make sure your grass gets a good dose of water and nutrients.
Tip: If you are using an aeration tool, you’ll be left with soil plugs taken from the soil when boring your aeration holes. You can leave the plugs on the grass as a fertilizer or remove them for a cleaner appearance.
Sunlight Is Key
Bermuda grass needs a lot of sunlight to stay healthy and effective at preventing weed growth. This grass species loves direct sunlight – which is why it grows so well in tropical climates.
If you have lots of trees or large shrubbery in your garden that’s overshadowing your lawn, you should consider trimming them back.
Usually, you don’t have to resort to using herbicides to rid your Bermuda grass of weeds. Instead, a good Bermuda grass lawn care routine should be sufficient enough for you to keep those pesky weeds at bay.
Bermuda grass can overpower many weed species when it’s growing strong and healthily. So creating conditions that promote excellent lawn health throughout the year should be your main priority.