HELP! How do I kill Tiff Bermuda permanently?

Over the last 7 years or so I have been fighting a losing battle against Tiff Bermuda thanks to my neighbors who have their lawns mowed and then use those blowers to get rid of their clippings instead of bagging and then raking. One little piece landing in your yard and you seem to be doomed.
I had it eradicated a while back, but now it's an uphill battle. I got rid of all my beautiful lawn because there was just no killing off and I no longer had the time to constantly deal with this. I then put down heavy plastic cover and covered it all in rock, but in the last year or two it has now invaded my raised planter bed. Carefully pulling it, spraying it with a Roundup that is suppose to kill it just doesn't cut it and does no good as we all well know. It has now invaded all my Irises and is impossible to pull or remove, and I am forced to dig them out and get rid of them. What's worse is that it is rooting thru the top of the heavy duty plastic and rooting thru it to get to the ground.
A while back a professional grounds keeper at a local golf course told me the only real thing that will kill it is to spray it with gasoline (yes....., highly toxic, contaminates ground water, illegal as all hell I assume) and then light it on fire. If not for the fact that it is growing so close to my home and I live in a high fire danger area outside of city limits I would be tempted. Most surefire herbicides that used to kill it are now off the market. Any other ideas out there?
q help how do i kill tiff bermuda permanently, gardening, landscape
q help how do i kill tiff bermuda permanently, gardening, landscape
  39 answers
  • Patricia Brining Patricia Brining on Dec 18, 2013
    Try regular rock salt like you use for ice and snow! It also works in cracks on walks=I found this out in Illinois winters salt for the dogs path-no grass or weeds!
  • Pam Pam on Dec 18, 2013
    Boiling hot water on the rocks, keeping a eye out and if you see any green douce them with boiling water again , you'll need to dig your plants up and remove the Bermuda roots they will be tangled with your decorative grass ,Bleach will also kill it.Good Luck!
    • Jill Jill on Dec 18, 2013
      @Pam I have never used bleach, but I have tried the boiling hot water, and that very acidic vinegar. Neither worked.
  • Kathy Kathy on Dec 18, 2013
    I totally understand your frustration since I've been dealing with bermuda grass for years now. When I first moved into this house I would spend hours pulling it out of the ground. I doubt any of what is suggested above will kill it. Bleach may kill what is above the ground, but rhizomes run deep. Years ago, probably 10, I bought a product called Ornamec. At that time it costs around $30. a bottle. I ordered it from a company in Texas. I don't remember how big of an area it covered, but It did seem to work. However, unless you get every piece above ground and below ground, you're just throwing money away. I have 1 1/2 acres, so to kill it all would be quite costly. I had a lawn service give me an estimate this year for $4,000. to kill it. I also doubt plastic would kill it. I've watched it come through my blacktop driveway. Cold doesn't kill it either. If you come up with something, let me know! Check this review on Amazon, especially from bermudagrass hater. -
    • Jill Jill on Dec 18, 2013
      @Kathy I have gone thru a list of products others have recommended, but many that are on that list are no longer available for sale, at least in CA. I will do a search and see if I can find this one, but I have a feeling it's on that list of products you can't use here.
  • Sarieno Sarieno on Dec 18, 2013
    You have to dig down about a ft or more and spray the roots or burn them out.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 19, 2013
    The University of California has chemical and other strategies here:
  • Carole Carole on Dec 19, 2013
    Oh I hate those garden blowers with a vengeance! Not only are they noisy and smelly when in use, they do blow other peoples weeds and general rubbish all over other peoples gardens. Sorry to anyone out there who uses a blower but what ever happened to using the good old fashion broom? Why not sweep instead of blow? Of course it is easier to blow your garden crap everywhere but sweeping has the benefit of more control of where it ends up, you get a good work out while you sweep - no more gym fees! Sorry to anyone who uses a blower out of necessity - I understand some people may have health or mobility issues which means using a broom and the physical effort that goes into that is not possible for everyone. I reckon the link Douglas has provided must surely provide some remedy to these noxious weeds.
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    • Carole Carole on Dec 19, 2013
      @Jill Have you tried the Roundup 360 - it is a concentrate so much stronger than the regular Roundup. BTW, Roundup is just glyphosate - so if you see a cheaper generic brand of glyphosate or glyphosate 360 - it is essentially the same chemical and much cheaper to buy! Our lawn was badly laid (was here when we moved in) and is full of all sorts of weeds. It also was laid unevenly over builders rubble. If you stick a garden fork into it hoping to aerate the lawn, the fork will only go into the ground about 1cm! We can't afford to get it all redone as it would be a big job and would also need a lot of weed eradicating prep work, then a lot of good soil to go on before we could re-turf or else it would not be worth the effort. I keep thinking we should dig it all out and make a rock garden instead, but that would still need more soil brought in. Whatever you do, don't use Roundup or glyphosate on your lawns as it will kill the grass as well as the weeds! We have buffalo grass and any weed killer also needs to take into account the type of grass as some lawn weed killers will also kill buffalo grass.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Dec 19, 2013
    I'm not a gardner, so please excuse this comment right from the start: anything green is welcome in my yard! Just mow it like regular grass! lol
  • Jill Jill on Dec 19, 2013
    In the past year and a half I have been using the Roundup Concentrate. It just doesn't cut it.
    • Carole Carole on Dec 19, 2013
      @Jill Ah, understood. We have so many noxious weeds in the mountains where I live and they are also pretty indestructible. Very frustrating! We have Montbretia that you have to literally paint the strappy leaves on both sides to try to kill it off - it has lots of rhizomes and spreads through everything. You could not possibly get all the roots and rhizomes out, also holly - just as bad if not worse, English Ivy - another spreader, blackberry - just awful stuff and cotoneaster that spreads from the birds eating the berries and pooping them all over the garden. I really sympathise with you over this nasty weed that you have in your lawn and flower beds. I regularly hand pull bracken as well - managed to eradicate it for the most part but it still springs up - like a personal affront! LOL!
  • Kim L Kim L on Dec 20, 2013
    I am soooooo burned out in trying to get all the Bermuda grass ousted from my property that I don't even give a hoot anymore!! Too time consuming and nearly IMPOSSIBLE to eradicate. You would THINK that something with the name 'Bermuda" would be beautiful - HA!!! I just mow it down as often as I can!
  • Debbie B Debbie B on Dec 20, 2013
    My old neighbor says that there is a product called something like Terfalon Ester. I have not used it but she swears by it...
  • Margy M Margy M on Dec 20, 2013
    I have been fighting it for 15 years now, hate it worse than any living plant! I spray the grass in my iris beds with Grass B Gone, but I am afraid to use it around everything. There is Bermuda in my Liriope but I am afraid to spray into it. It is truly the scourge of the Earth.
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    • Tabby Tabby on Dec 26, 2013
      @Jill OK thanks for the warning!
  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Dec 20, 2013
    mix Roundup with Gramoxone add some liquid soap to increase the spread factor&spray.
  • Lisa McDaniel Lisa McDaniel on Dec 20, 2013
    OMG ! I don't have an answer but thank you for asking about it ! For two years I've been trying to get rid of what I thought was a weed and I find out now it's Bermuda !! My next trip to Lowe's I was going to bring some with me and ask what it was. I live out in the country and have been trying to get St Augustine to grow with not much luck due to the Bermuda and what ever else the neighbors have. Good luck and I hope you find something that works, I'll be watching for it !
  • Margy M Margy M on Dec 20, 2013
    @Tabby, the Grass B Gone is supposed to only kill grass, but to be sure, check the label. Be sure not to get WEED be Gone by accident, like I once did! It kills everything!
  • Dianne Dianne on Dec 20, 2013
    The best you can do is control it from overwhelmig your garden. But, given the fact that neighbors have it, garden workers blow it about and especially because it a tough little might as well make a workable truce with it and move on to more important things that don't involve using roundup. I think it's god's way of telling us to live and let live!
  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Dec 20, 2013
    I wish my whole lawn was Bermuda grass. Its the only grass that is heat tolerant as we have extremely hot weather in the summer time.
  • Linda Woody Linda Woody on Dec 20, 2013
    I read that it dies back in the winter and you need to use a PRE-EMERGENT to keep the seeds from sprouting.
  • Lisa Lisa on Dec 20, 2013
    This is the worst of the worst weeds! I have fought it for years as well. I will try some of the fore-mentioned tips.
  • Barbara Sullivan Barbara Sullivan on Dec 20, 2013
    If not lot I'd burn it but stay with it until outGranny use burn all grass away it come back beautiful but we know that's a no,no, but not much don't think hurt.It will probably come back anyway we took small water pond out those roots were at least 4 ft. down.Never ending battle...Good look..
  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Dec 21, 2013
    u need a systemic killer - roundup mixed with gramoxone or/and dalapon is good. burning off the foliage doesn't kill the roots!@1 result is available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.!!
  • Sandra Parrill Sandra Parrill on Dec 21, 2013
    The trouble with Bermuda is that the smallest piece will root and grow, not that the seeds are a problem. It doesn't die back in the winter, it just goes dormant and greens up againi in the spring. I have pretty good luck with pulling it before it gets too far into my garden, but also spray with an over-the-top grass killer like Grass-be-Gone, but check the expanded label for the safe list before spraying it around ornamentals. Mix a spreader-sticker or dishwashing soap with it. Be sure it is green and growing when you spray it so the leaves will absorb the poison. Round-up works, if you repeat spray ever so often, but it is a broad-spectrum that also kills everything else and it locks up nutrients in the soil. You may have to dig up the irises, sift the soil to get out all the pieces of Bermuda roots, and then replant. Weed barriers do no good, it comes up through them but mulch might help.
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    • Dee Dee on Dec 10, 2020


      GOOD LUCK.

  • Patricia Patricia on Dec 21, 2013
    I have the form shown in the photo plus a taller-growing variety infesting our whole property. Asked the local Extension person 20 years ago if I had any hope of eliminating it and there was a long pause...then he asked how old I was! LOL I've been battling it constantly ever since and have accepted that I'll never win. I don't use chemicals, so it's meant hand digging and pulling year-round. I figure I must have done something really heinous in a previous life to have ended up with this yard ;o)
  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Dec 21, 2013
    its so odd for me to read the comments about Bermuda grass, when folks around her builds new homes, they have Bermuda sod put down, and we have had sod put down in bare spots, my parents use to burn theirs off in early spring before it started getting green and it would be the most beautiful lawn, plush like carpet.
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    • Patricia Patricia on Dec 22, 2013
      If you want, you could cut off the newer iris divisions for replanting and just discard the old ones that won't bloom again plus the Bermuda grass.But be really vigilant when you replant the iris--the tiniest bit of Bermuda grass stem/root that gets replanted with the iris will reinfest the bed. A friend gave me some bulbs and irises when she moved and I accidentally introduced the small-leaved type of Bermuda grass :o(
  • Margy M Margy M on Dec 22, 2013
    It turns brown in the fall and is the last thing to green up in the Spring. So ugly. But I know I will never get rid of it. Just trying to keep it out of my flower beds :(
    • Jill Jill on Dec 22, 2013
      @Margy M I had thought the same thing. Got rid of all the grass because it turned out I was allergic to it and I just didn't have time to deal with it with my terminally ill mother. Even with my easy landscape and occasional weed pulling and other things, it invaded my front planter. Now that my mom has gone I am just trying to get back to cleaning it all out.
  • Tracey T Tracey T on Dec 22, 2013
    There are types of grass that will kill it out but you no longer have grass so I am stumped. Trying sending a note to the neighbors and see if that will help any. Good luck with your situation and a Merry Christmas to all!
    • Jill Jill on Dec 23, 2013
      @Tracey T LOL! My neighbor isn't a nice one. Matter of fact, he did not like my rose bushes growing on my property between our two yards and recently started dumping weed killer on them. Some of them started growing funny or died off. The only reason I found out was because a neighbor across the street caught him in the act and came and told me.
  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Dec 22, 2013
    @Patricia, we have edging that goes around our flower bed and plants that prevent the grass from getting into them. It is a stuff grass, guess that's the reason we all like it, it stays green from April until after we have a killing frost, sometimes not until November, our hot summers kill most other kinds of grass, that's another reason its so popular here, I'm sure it would be a pain if you don't want it.
  • Gladys Rhoads Gladys Rhoads on Dec 22, 2013
    If you have a rock yard desolve rock salt in water and spray over your invaiders of the B. grass and just kee doing every time you see a shoot as they die pull them up so the seeds do not blow into a new area.
  • Trish M Trish M on Dec 23, 2013
    I'm looking for helpful hints too.I have tried everything.I live in the desert and This Grass/Weed grows in 125 degree heat very lil water if non.I have used vinegar,Pre emergants,Had inches of Soil taken out and replaced,Landscape fabric,Black Plastic.This stuff grows on rocks in sand with No water.It is The Uglyest Greenery I have ever seen and it Strangles anything it grows near.
  • Karen powell Karen powell on Dec 23, 2013
    I have heard bleach will do the trick and washes away making it safer than poison sprays. Also boling water or vinigar . Good luck . as for your nasty neighbor I would be waiting camera in hand and press charges of some sort !
  • Tracey T Tracey T on Dec 24, 2013
    Omgoodness Jill, I have one of those neighbors too. They go around killing other neighbors plants and trees. Several restraining orders against them and 1 pending suit if they every bother me again. They stay away from me LOL I live in a 55 and older subdivision too. They are in their 80's. I feel for you! Maybe ask their yard man if they have one to stop???
    • Jill Jill on Dec 26, 2013
      @Tracey T OMG! I feel for you! No, no gardener for them. Right now I am sitting here trying to find the building permit department for the State of CA for mobile homes, trying to stop them from building a garage that will be less than 2 ft. from my mobile home. Our county does not handle building permits for mobile homes, yet they do have a fire regulation that says all structures need to be at least 6 ft. apart. So I am hoping that that will stop them. Where I live I have a great view that they will block, and I don't want another home that close to me!
  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Dec 25, 2013
    just for your information- all these perenial wild grasses have very deep roots - the only solution is a systemic weed killer but most of them could be dangerous to your lawn & garden- the material will travel thru the ground..Back in the 60's when I was on a kibbutz we did a xperiment-dug down about 10 feet & we still foun d roots!!