On several occasssions back in Oklahoma, I tried to
hand dig a patch of bermuda lawn and pick through the
rhizomes. After planting the garden, it failed unless there
was systematic cultivation and removal of re-sprouts.
If there was any slack in control of re-sprouts, the
bermuda usually took back over.
Here in Arkansas, I laid out 6 mil black plastic over a whole
lawn area of bermudagrass, and left it there over
the whole growing season. It killed it dead.
Not to waste the space, we grew melons on the plastic.
Where the holes were cut in the plastic, bermuda came
Thus, smothering with plastic is a viable solution.
But, if you are raising vegetables by plasticulture,
be aware that it will poke through the transplant slots
and be a major hassle.
A heavy duty fabric weed barrier is identical to
black plastic in the way it functions.
It will smother bermuda if the piece is left intact or whole,
but sprouts will reach for light it you cut holes for
Thus, either plastic or fabric is an effective means
if fallow is an option.
Layers and layers of newspapers, followed by 6 inches
of organic mulch will do the same thing as plastic or fabric.
I would not discount the use of Roundup herbicide for
control of such things as bermuda, poison ivy, and
Solarization with clear plastic mulch has been shown to
work in southern regions (where the sun is intense).
This involves tillage of the soil, followed by irrigation,
followed by coverage of the whole patch with a huge piece of
clear plastic. The solar rays catch underneath and heat the
soil to temperatures lethal to rhizomes etc. This takes
A double layer of plastic, or amendment with manure,
have both been shown through research to increase the
solarization effect and reduce the amount of time needed
to achieve lethal temperatures; i.e., 30 days instead of
Tall, shade producing crops like corn, when combined with
inter-rown tillage, are methods to weaken and suppress
I will never hand dig a bermuda lawn again. I would use
the no-till smother method.....whether plastic, fabric,
It is also important to keep a bermuda-free zone of 2-4
feet away from the edge of your garden, if possible.
Otherwise, it will creep back in and become a nuissance.
> The growing season is coming on-line, and I find myself once again
> confronting two of our eternal "challenges" in the Ozarks: ticks and bermuda
> grass. Now, I know some people say you can control ticks with guineas or
> chickens or ducks or geese, but I've never known anyone in real life who had
> any success with these techniques. As for bermuda, I've tried everything
> from Round-up to buried flashing to digging out beds and laying landscape
> fabric down first. Eventually, bermuda snakes its way in. How are you
> folks dealing with these challenges? Rebecca Bryant