How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass... Permanently! | Tiffany Selvey | Skillshare

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How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass... Permanently!

teacher avatar Tiffany Selvey, Passionate Organic Gardener

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Challenges of Bermuda Grass

    • 3. About Bermuda Grass

    • 4. Methods that DO NOT Work

    • 5. Removal Methods

    • 6. Keeping Bermuda Grass Out

    • 7. Maintenance

    • 8. Conclusion

    • 9. New Brand and Websites!

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About This Class

One of the most common questions I get as a master gardener is "How do I get rid of Bermuda grass?". This hardy, invasive, tenacious grass is a challenge to beginning gardeners and advanced gardeners alike. After years of trial and error, I have come up with a process that not only removes Bermuda grass from the garden space, but KEEPS it out. Spring in the garden is so much more pleasant when you aren't fighting to keep Bermuda grass at bay! In this course, you will learn how Bermuda grass grows, as well as two ways to eradicate it from your garden. This class also covers what doesn't work, so you don't waste your time and energy on these tasks. Once you understand how Bermuda grass grows, it is much easier to understand how to keep it out.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tiffany Selvey

Passionate Organic Gardener


Some of my earliest memories take place in my grandfather's garden. We would walk around this magical place, snacking here and there on whatever was ripe at the moment, and listen to the birds sing. It's safe to say, I have loved gardens my entire life!

In 2012 I got serious about my obsession with gardening and became a master gardener. Since then, I have spent time volunteering in museum gardens as well as teaching a variety of classes including Advanced Master Gardener Training at the local extension office, and basic gardening classes at my library, the Botanical Gardens, the Flower and Nature Society... pretty much any place that will have me! I have spent a few years selling produce, but my real love is teaching others to grow their own.

I firmly believe that... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. Welcome to how to get rid of Bermuda grass permanently. I'm Tiffany. I'm a master gardener and obsessive organic gardener. I'm so glad you're considering this class. Establishing a backyard garden and many parts of the world means dealing with Bermuda grass . As a novice gardener, I once tried to use an organic herbicide meant for Bermuda and other invasive grasses. After several heavy doses of this spray, which cost $8 a bottle, the grass just looked at me and laughed. That's when I knew I was in for a challenge. In the years since, I've been trying to find Earth friendly ways to get rid of Bermuda grass. I tilled it came back with a vengeance, pulling by hand worked. But the rhizomes and runners that Bermuda uses to spread always came back to the garden. Within a month, the larger my garden got, the more time it took to fights. Clearly, I had to find a permanent solution. Now is a master gardener. I've learned to observe the nature of plants to work with them rather than battle against them. I have learned that like every other form of life on earth, plants have a limited amount of energy. If you can prevent them from producing more energy, you can eliminate the problem. It's important for you to know that I never use the same tired information rehashed in so many garden books, the methods that I share our my own, which I tested my garden, usually for several years before I share them. I'm certainly not interested in wasting your time by sharing processes that may or may not work well. My methods work for you. That's hard to know for sure. But since I know these methods have worked in my garden and continue to work years later, I'm confident that they will work for you, too. 2. The Challenges of Bermuda Grass: throughout the southern United States, Bermuda grass has taken hold as a grass of choice for lawns, parks in sports turf. Transitioning from lawn to garden and warm areas means dealing with this prolific grass. A drive through any neighborhood reveals a sad reality. Too often, gardens get abandoned. When grass specifically Bermuda invades it becomes overwhelming to manage who has time to deal with the seemingly invincible grass? When tomatoes and strawberries or 99 cents a pound of the grocery store, it's hard to keep up the good fight. People throw up their arms in defeat and let nature take over. They can be blamed. It seems to be a losing battle. Particularly frustrating to new gardeners is the amount of money put into new garden space . They often go to the local garden centre and purchase a raised bed kit, bags of soil and compost and trellises. Learning is a big business these days, and it's easy to get lured in by fancy products and dreams of fresh garden tomatoes. Come spring, plants are purchased for 3 to $5 apiece. Things really start to add up, and it seems impossible to recover the cost with just the savings from fresh produce been Bermuda Grass invades Reese beds should prevent grass from taking over the beds, right? Absolutely not. If anything, the addition of rich loose soil promotes the growth of Bermuda grass. Those stolen often refer to his runners and rhizomes move so quickly through the loose soil , attracted by the nutrients within that it can really take over in no time. While it can be a frustrating issue, Bermuda does not have to destroy garden plans by understanding how it grows in dealing with it properly. Bermuda grass can be removed from gardens permanently and chemical free, creating a beautiful, healthy garden space. 3. About Bermuda Grass: It isn't clear when Bermuda Grass first appeared in the American landscape, but it was listed as one of the principal grasses in the southern states. In 18 07 publication. It was introduced to the United States from either Africa or India and thrives in warm southern climates from coast to coast. One of its many common names is Devil's Dress, given to this species in India, where does no doubt is difficult to remove as it is here. Bermuda grass spreads by seed, rhizomes and stolen, commonly known as Rennard. This means that in order to get rid of it completely every propagation, that method must be dealt with. Bermuda grass seed isn't very prolific. Other the vigorous rhizomes certainly make up for any weakness in seed production. Raisins are a part of the scent of the plants, which run horizontally underground. Still owns for runners spread above ground, putting down roots at frequent intervals, which will then produce more rhizomes. So why do people play Bermuda grass for lovers of low maintenance lawns? For Mutis a good option? It does not require special fertilization. It grows at a moderate rate compared to other sites. Assad and it quickly spreads to areas left without grass, for example, when an above ground pool is removed, Bermuda is well adapted to a variety of environments and is used for grazing cattle or hey , production. It's drought. Tolerance is part of what makes it so appealing his turf for lawns, parks and sports fields. All those attributes that make it a good choice for lawns making a nightmare for gardeners . When you understand how Bermuda grows, it's easier to see what makes it such a challenge to write a great and why gardens are often abandoned or sprayed with harmful chemicals. Well, Bermuda grass certainly presents a challenge to those wishing to switch from long to garden . It's not impossible to remove. In fact, with the right removal methods in the little maintenance, Bermuda grass could be permanently eliminated from a lot in one season without chemicals. 4. Methods that DO NOT Work: Before we start talking about what works to remove Ermita, let's discuss what does not work. Many people try to get rid of Bermuda grass by tilling. Certainly this works were time by completely destroying the root structure of the plant. Removing clumps of grass after tilling thus help keep the plant from re routing quickly. But it's impossible to remove all of the parts of the now destroyed plant after telling their small and not system all pieces of roots and stolen, which will re grow and take root. Lightweight tillers, typically used in a backyard garden, do not till deeply enough to destroy the entire root system by the end of the growing season. Most likely by the end of June, the garden is again consumed by Bermuda grass leading gardeners feeling like the battle of this doubles grass is unwinnable. In addition to the fact that killing is not effective in removing Bermuda grass, there are other reasons to consider no till gardening. Mechanical tilling destroys soil structure. Bacteria in the soil, along with fungi, create an environment in which allows nutrients to be absorbed by plant roots. Tilling destroys that environment well. It does create a burst of fertility immediately after killing, destroying the soil environment. Season after season does not allow for long term soil health For many new gardeners, the cost of a tiller or lack of physical abilities to run a tiller is prohibitive. It benefits the budget, the soil and environment to embrace no till pat practices. It is tempting to consider purchasing a spray on chemical to eliminate weeds all at once. But there are problems with this method because of the propagation methods mentioned previously, It is difficult to kill Bermuda with the spray. The plants woody rhizomes are difficult to permeate, and even a very powerful chemical like life of states may not kill it entirely. Chemicals are also non discriminative. Weed killer will kill Bermuda as well as any nearby veggies. It's simply not a risk worth taking. Chemicals also damage that beautiful microbial balance in the soil, creating harsh conditions for plants to grow and thrive. Organic herbicides are rarely effective, particularly against a plant as hearty as Bermuda grass. Unless the ground is prepared properly, grass will grow through the bottom of a raised bed, creating an even bigger and more expensive problem. In this photo, For example, the bottom of the bed is prepared properly with cardboard. But when that cardboard breaks down in a few months, Bermuda rhizomes that have spread beneath the bed from the grass surrounding it will sprout and grass will grow and spread in the bed. Not only must the bottom of the bed be prepared, but the area around it as well, using one of the methods in our next session. 5. Removal Methods: there are two removal methods that work beautifully. The combination of cardboard and mulch applied to existing grass removes from you over the course of one growing season. Well, digging by hand creates a garden space that's ready to use immediately. The first Met that we will discuss is cardboard indulge, which syndicates and kills Bermuda grass while developing a healthy soil environment. Cardboard is a free and readily available resource for the garden. Here, the key things to keep in mind When looking for boxes, Look for boxes without waxy print like that found on beer boxes or cereal boxes. Look for boxes with easily removable tape or labels. Many large boxes use staples instead of adhesive, making them more earth friendly. But remember to remove the stables before you put the cardboard in the garden. Also look for boxes with no colored ink. Earthworms love cardboard. In fact, many fishermen use cardboard to collect worms for their next fishing excursion. The night before they go out, they lay a damn player of cardboard on the surface of the soil. The next morning, they lift up the cardboard and collect their baits in the form of fat worms, cardboard keeps moisture at the surface of the soil but doesn't get soggy, making it perfect for drawing earthworms to the service. So how does this translate to gardening as worms work through the surface of the soil? Their A rating and loosening the soil as well as leaving castings also known this worm who , which is valuable, nutritious matter with the addition of cardboard to the surface of the garden space. Not only are weeds being suffocated, but the entire space is being slowly filled by earthworms. Topping cardboard with mulch helps to keep it in place, as it does the job of suffocating and killing grass and weeds. As the cardboard breaks down, that top layer of mulch will prevent weeds and grass from growing back. Would ships straw, shredded leaves and pine needles are all good Mulch options Do not use fresh Hayes mulch because it contained seats. Current bear cardboard can be used anywhere in the garden, where weeds and grass or undesirable, such as flowerbeds, edible gardens and walking paths. The most important thing to know when using cardboard in the garden is the timing is the key to success. To use cardboard in the garden lay down prepared cardboard in the desired space. When new growth is first visible on Bermuda grass, usually between March and May, depending on location, lay the cardboard over the areas to be turned into the garden. Make sure the edges of the boxes overlap at least six inches anywhere. Soil shows is a space where grass can and will pop up. The goal here is to have the entire grassy space completely blocked from the sun. Bermuda Grass Solans will look for any space to grow vertically. Don't give it that opportunity. Once the cardboard is in place, top the entire area with 4 to 6 inches of mulch. There are plenty of available options. The key here is to use an all natural mulch that will break down so never use anything synthetic like rubber mulch. Add more cardboard and mulch anywhere Bermuda or other we'd start to pop through by the next growing season. The cardboard in mulch used in the garden this year will become composted into the soil. The material left behind by this method adds valuable humanise, which improves soil texture. Certainly the more labour intensive of these two options digging by hand can create a garden space that is immediately ready to plant. As an added bonus, this process areas the soil, giving new plantings a light, very soil in which too easily grow hearty roots. The process is straightforward, but it's time consuming. Thankfully, this will remove Bermuda grass for good, so to get started, determined the desire dimensions for the garden space and mark it off with the stream. Then go along the outside of the boundary of the space with a flat spayed or an edging tool at least six inches deep, but up to 12 inches. D. Listen the soil inside the new garden space with a small garden shovel again at least six inches deep. Well, if the clumps and remove all a grass, including the roots, to listen the soil and get seven routes. A hand Cultivator is the perfect tool to compost for Amita. Put it in a pile and cover it with the tarp or old carpet so that it breaks down without growing. If the grass has seat heads, don't compost it. Just burn it reported in the garbage 6. Keeping Bermuda Grass Out: Now that we know how to remove Bermuda from the garden, we need to discuss how to keep it out. Regardless of the grass removal process. Used trenching can be done around the garden to ensure rhizomes do not move right back into the new garden space. Well, it's not necessary. It does. They keeping Bermuda grass out much easier with very little ongoing maintenance. The idea behind trenching is that digging and maintaining a trench around the perimeter of the garden where grass grows will keep runners in Stallone's from getting into the garden. Bermuda grass can't leave over the trench, and as long as the trench stays at least 4 to 6 inches deep, the shallow rhizomes do not spread below that depth. In areas with lighter Lumiere soil, trenches may have to be deeper. Dig just below the death. That which you see thick Bermuda Rise owns an area with heavy clay soil that's about 3 to 4 inches, but in sandy or soils, it could be twice is deep. Treasures are maintained by using a long handled hoe, which will be discussed shortly. Here we see an example of what a trench looks like. An added bonus of trenching is that when heavy rains come, water will collect in trenches rather than pulling around. Plan stands for of any Ross. Making a trench is a simple process, but it is a little physically demanding. It's worth the time and effort, though, because it requires very little maintenance and will save you. Years of battling Bermuda in your garden spaces go around the perimeter of the garden with the garden edger or flat spade. This could be done at any point in the season, but the earlier it's done, the less likely Bermuda will spread back to the garden. If you are using the digging by hand method to remove Bermuda grass, it's a great idea to make a trench while you hand dig. Once the gardener's edged, create a four inch wide trench by digging out in removing clumps of soil. Remove all grass and weeds from the soil, and then you can use that soil than any other garden space where it's needed. Use the flat side of a garden hose to create a smooth edge on the long side of the garden trench. The ho helps carve and secure the lawn edge of the trench while removing any lingering roots. Here's an example of my flower, but I made this trench four years ago and have not had a problem with Bermuda it since I freshen the trench with my long handle ho about three times a year in the spring, mid summer and fall. That's it. This is a 40 foot trench, and it takes me about 15 minutes each time I work on it. It is tempting to purchase standard plastic or metal edging materials, but they do not work, making them a waste of time and money. Ramin aggress easily goes over or under them. Trenching not only works because of the depth, but also because of the whip. That four inch gap makes all the difference when it comes to keeping grass out Bermuda strong, but it cannot lead through air. So here we have an example of standard, um, landscape edging, and you can see that the base of the edging on Lee goes maybe 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the soil. So there's plenty of room for rhizomes to spread into your flower garden, and it'll sprout up from there if you absolutely cannot use the trenching method. There is some garden edging products that will help keep Bermuda out. Look for edging that comes in 12 inch wits and install it no less than six inches. D. In most soils, that's deep enough to keep rhizomes from spreading below the surface and six inches above the soil. We'll help you. Brunner's out. Here's one example of garden edging that will keep Bermuda out. I have no affiliation with this company. It's just one of very few options that is sufficient to keep invasive grass at bay. 7. Maintenance: No, the Bermuda grass has been removed. It's important to do a small amount of maintenance to keep it out for good. Keep the lawn around garden beds, cut short and never let it go to seed. Remove weeds of any kind when you see them before they get too big or go to seed. Leaving weeds now means more work later. Keeping the soil surface of the garden heavily mulched is an excellent way to keep all weeds to a minimum, including Bermuda. Grass seeds do not germinate well when the soil is shaded. Keep the garden space covered with mulch so that no soil is visible to greatly reduced germination of wheat scenes. Heavy rains and wind make hospital tow. Wash back into the trench. When this happens, just go over the edge of the long side of the trench with the flat side of the garden hoe again. This may need to be done once or twice a season, or is often is once month. Depending on soil type. Maintenance takes very little time and effort considerably less than constantly battling the spread of Bermuda grass 8. Conclusion: combined with trenching, mulching and hand digging, the garden is a pretty simple way to remove innkeeper Muto hours by using a combination of the cardboard mulch method, and the trenching method from you too can be removed permanently. Remedia grass grows in part to full sun areas, so any space that requires the removal of Bermuda is a good place to plant beneficial plants, including herbs, flowers and veggies. It's an excellent trade. Bermuda grass for edible beauty. I'm now in my second garden that I have transitioned from Bermuda toe edible garden space. My first large garden at a previous home was where I learned how not to get rid of the grass. That was where I tried telling sprays and even plastic row covers. It wasn't until we moved to this home with its expansive backyard that I learned how to finally get rid of Bermuda grass. That was when it clicked for me that I have to work with nature in order to develop a garden that needs my needs. That meant learning how grass and weeds grow in order to find out how to eliminate them. In the years that I've lived in my current home. I've done several garden expansions with cardboard and mulch. I haven't used anything else, and I certainly haven't used any chemicals. I never use pesticides of any kind of my garden, nor did I use herbicides. This practice leaves me with a beautiful space teeming with beneficial insects, birds and friendly reptiles that come in to take refuge. All of this is in the middle of the neighborhood, in the heart of my city. If I can do it, anyone can. Thank you so much for taking this class and please post any questions. You may have also come back and let me know how your experience goes, using the methods that you've learned in this class to remove creamy digress from your garden. I hope you'll come visit my website at the restoration garden dot com, Or you can find me on Instagram at Restoration Garden and Facebook at facebook dot com slash the restoration garden. Don't forget to set aside some time today to find joy in the garden. Thanks so much for watching 9. New Brand and Websites!: Hi students. I just wanted to let you know that my brand has changed. So instead of fighting me at the restoration garden, you can find all new content on my website at simple gardening Ws. You can also find me on Instagram at slash symbol gardening and WA and slash symbol learning in WA.