How to Defeat Bermuda Grass

It's best to get the jump on this garden pest in spring.

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Q: Last year was my first garden. The ground was tilled six to eight times. I could not pull the Bermuda grass out fast enough. By the end of the growing season the Bermuda grass had completely taken over. What do I do this year to prevent this? -T.H., Choctaw, Okla.

A: The best (and easiest) control is to dig the weed out, getting as much of the roots and spreading stolons as possible, and/or lay down a couple of layers of corrugated cardboard followed by other mulch. Try not to let the Bermuda grass flower and go to seed before you remove it so, you will want to start removing it in the spring before this occurs.

There are chemical herbicides that will do in the dreaded Bermuda grass. Check your local extension office or garden center for what is registered in your area and follow the instructions precisely. Keep in mind, though, that while more difficult, solarization - if properly done - will kill 100 percent of Bermuda grass and its seed. It's probably the most effective long-term control. Solarization is a three- to six-month process, depending on your temperatures and amount of sunlight. It also requires complete coverage during the process. -National Gardening Association

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