If you’re struggling to keep weeds at bay in your lawn, you may wonder if Bermuda grass is the solution you’ve been looking for. This warm-season grass is known for its aggressive growth habits and dense canopy, making it a popular choice for lawns across the southern United States. But will Bermuda grass really choke out weeds and give you the healthy, lush lawn you’ve been dreaming of? The short answer is yes; Bermuda grass can effectively choke out many types of weeds.
Because it grows so thickly and has an extensive root system, it is one of the few grasses that can be used as a barrier against invasive plants. However, it’s important to note that not all weed species will be affected by Bermuda grass, and some may still be able to take hold of your lawn.
In our guide, you can learn more about your Bermuda lawn and does Bermuda grass choke out weeds naturally. By the end, you’ll better understand more about grass care and how to obtain the Bermuda benefits and have the best grass to choke out weeds, no matter what grass you have covering your yard. (Read Can You Burn Grass Clippings)
What is Bermuda Grass?
Bermuda grass is an excellent option if you are looking for grass that can choke out weeds. Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that is drought-tolerant and can grow in a wide range of soil types. It is known for its aggressive growth habits and ability to form a dense canopy, making it an excellent choice for a healthy lawn that can resist weeds.
Characteristics of Bermuda Grass
Bermuda lawn has several characteristics that make it an ideal choice for a weed-resistant lawn:
- Aggressive growth habits: Bermuda grass can quickly grow and spread through above-ground stems called stolons and below-ground rhizomes, forming a dense turf that can choke out weeds.
- Drought-tolerant: Bermuda grass has deep roots that can help it survive periods of drought stress.
- Shade-tolerant: Bermuda grass can grow in full sun or partial shade, making it a versatile choice for a lawn.
- Low-maintenance: Bermuda grass requires minimal maintenance, including mowing, watering, and fertilizing.
However, Bermuda grass does have some drawbacks. It has shallow roots that can make it more susceptible to drought stress, and it can be invasive and difficult to control in areas where it is not wanted. Additionally, it may not be the best choice for cool-season grasses or regions with acidic soil. Maintaining a healthy lawn is essential to encourage healthy growth and eliminate weeds.
This includes mowing at the appropriate height, watering regularly, fertilizing with a slow-release fertilizer, and removing excess thatch. With proper care, Bermuda grass can grow thickly and choke out most other weed species, giving you a healthy and beautiful lawn.
How Bermuda Grass Choke Weeds
Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that grows aggressively during the summer months. An extensive root system allows it to absorb water and nutrients from deep in the soil. This deep root system also helps Bermuda grass compete with weeds for resources. When Bermuda grass is healthy and thriving, it can create a dense canopy that can shade weeds shades out weeds, making it difficult for them to grow. (Learn How Much Preen To Apply)
Factors Affecting Bermuda Grass Ability to Choke Out Weeds
While Bermuda grass has the potential to choke out weeds, several factors can affect its ability to do so. One of the most important factors is the health of the lawn. A healthy lawn with good soil fertility, proper watering, and regular mowing will be better able to compete with weeds than a weak or stressed lawn.
Another critical factor is the type of weed species present. While Bermuda grass can choke out many common lawn weeds, some may be more difficult to control. For example, Bermuda grass may struggle to compete with cool-season grasses like annual bluegrass or creeping Bentgrass.
How to Promote Bermuda Grass Growth
Fertilization and Irrigation
Bermuda grass needs proper fertilization and irrigation to promote healthy growth and choke out weeds. During the growing season, fertilize your lawn monthly with a slow-release fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for the grass to thrive. Water your Bermuda grass twice weekly, providing about an inch of water per session. This will help the grass grow deeper roots and create a dense canopy, which will help to choke out weeds and other unwanted plants.
Crabgrass, in particular, can be effectively eliminated by Bermuda grass. New lawn weeds can be stopped from growing early in the spring using crabgrass preventer fertilizer. Apply before the 55°F soil temperatures cause the crabgrass grass seeds to sprout. It may be late January or early February in the far south and west.
Mowing and Thatching
Mowing and thatching are also essential for promoting Bermuda grass growth. Mow your lawn weekly, maintaining a mowing height of around one to two inches. Avoid cutting more than a third of the grass blades in a single mowing session, as this can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to weed growth.
Dethatch your lawn regularly to remove excess thatch and allow the grass to grow more thickly. This will also help to encourage grass to promote stronger grassroots and denser turf.
To eliminate weeds and promote healthy Bermuda grass growth, it’s important to control weed seed growth. Bermuda grass is naturally drought-tolerant and can thrive in warm-season climates but is still susceptible to weed growth.
Use weed killers targeting specific weed species and seeds in your lawn and apply them at the right time to prevent weed growth. Shade out weeds by maintaining a dense canopy of Bermuda grass and remove any invasive plants competing with your grass for nutrients and water. Promoting fresh grass growth is the key to choking out weed seeds and future growth to create healthy lawn grass.
5 Methods to Choke Out Weeds in Bermuda Grass Naturally
Maintaining the right lawn mower height is crucial to encourage Bermuda grass weed killers growth. Mow your lawn at the height of 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) to shade out weeds. This mowing height Bermuda is ideal because it encourages healthy growth and allows Bermuda lawns to develop a dense canopy that will prevent the growth of unwanted plants.
It is also an excellent recommendation to mow weekly and not remove more than a third of the grass blade. Remember, if weed heads are cut among your grass clippings, don’t throw them in the compost bin; bag them up and get rid of them in the trash. (Learn How Is Transported Soil Different From Residual Soil)
Balance Soil pH
Testing your soil pH and applying lime is essential for a healthy lawn. Bermuda grass flourishes in slightly acidic soil, with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. By balancing your soil pH, you can create a less weed-friendly environment and encourage your Bermuda lawns to grow thickly.
Fertilize Bermuda Grass Frequently
Fertilizing your grass regularly is an excellent way to choke weeds naturally. Use a slow-release fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to encourage healthy growth. For Bermuda, around three pounds per thousand square feet of a basic lawn turf fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are ideal.
Bermuda Watering Schedule
Bermuda watering, scheduled fertilizer all help get healthy Bermuda lawns from weak grass, yet watering correctly is vital to maintaining a healthy lawn and choking out weeds. Water Bermuda grass with twice weekly watering sessions, giving the shallow roots an inch of water each time. This schedule helps promote deeper roots in the Bermuda root zone and obtain its drought tolerance while the dense lawn prevents weeds.
Dethatch Bermuda Grasses
Remove excess thatch from your Bermuda lawn grasses for maintaining a healthy lawn, choking out weeds, and preventing crabgrass seeds from germinating. Thatch is a layer of dead grass and other organic matter that accumulates on the soil surface, blocking water and nutrients from reaching the grassroots with all that growth from the fertilizer you applied.
Use a dethatching rake to remove the thatch layer and encourage stronger grass growth. Aerating the soil at the same time can help; once you have the soil plugs, you can leave these on your lawn to break down and act as fertilizer for your warm-season grasses.
What Type of Grass Will Choke Out Weeds?
A well-maintained and healthy lawn is every homeowner’s dream, and choosing the right type of grass can play a crucial role in achieving that goal. You may ask, will centipede grass choke out weeds? It can, but it requires some assistance.
However, some grasses can naturally choke out common weeds better than other grass varieties.
Will Bermuda grass choke out weeds? Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass known for its aggressive growth and ability to form dense turf. Its robust growth habit allows it to outcompete weeds and choke them out.
A Bermuda lawn spreads through stolons and rhizomes, forming a thick mat that can effectively smother weeds and prevent their growth. Regular mowing, watering, fertilization, and other maintenance practices can further enhance Bermuda grass lawns’ ability to choke out invasive weeds and avoid drought stress in a hot growing season.
Zoysia grass is another warm-season grass known for its dense growth habit and ability to form thick turf. It spreads through stolons and rhizomes, forming a tightly-knit mat that effectively chokes out weeds. Zoysia grass has a slow growth rate, requiring less frequent mowing, and is less likely to be invaded by weeds.
Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass that forms a dense and thick turf, making it difficult for weeds to penetrate. It has a robust root system helps it compete with weeds for nutrients and water. Kentucky bluegrass requires regular mowing, watering, fertilization, and overseeding to maintain its density and choke out weeds effectively.
Tall fescue is a cool-season grass known for its deep root system and ability to form a thick turf. Its deep roots allow it to access water and nutrients deeper into the soil, making it more resistant to drought and weed competition. Tall fescue requires regular mowing, watering, and fertilization to maintain its dense growth and effectively choke out weeds. (Read Bermuda Grass Killer Guide)
St. Augustine grass:
St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass known thick and dense turf. It spreads through stolons, forming a mat that effectively chokes out weeds. St. Augustine grass requires regular mowing, watering, and fertilization to maintain its density and weed control abilities.
In conclusion, choosing the right grass seed for your lawn can significantly impact the warm season grasses’ ability to choke out weeds. Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Tall fescue, and St. Augustine grass seed lead to some grasses known for their ability to control weeds naturally.