Killing Bahiagrass: 5 Effective Ways To Kill Bahiagrass

Bahiagrass is recognized for its exceptional drought/heat tolerance and ability to flourish where other grasses find it difficult. While killing Bahiagrass is difficult once established, there are a few options at your disposal to help you control the grass.

The most effective way to kill Bahiagrass is using herbicides, particularly products with atrazine. Atrazine will only get rid of Bahiagrass if used as a pre-emergent. You can also control Bahiagrass on your lawn using sethoxydim and metsulfuron.

Getting rid of Bahiagrass is quite the task, but with time and consistency, you’ll eventually get rid of it. Here are tips for eliminating this grass variant.

Ways To Kill Bahiagrass

It’s difficult to eradicate Bahia grass once it has matured, making its management a serious challenge. Bahiagrass is a perennial grass that grows annually, and the grass will perish during winter yet reappear in spring.

Bahia Grass can be challenging to control due to its tolerance to numerous herbicides and its ability to spread rapidly via rhizomes.

Typically, killing Bahiagrass requires an abundance of chemicals and labor-intensive manual work. The technique used to kill this grass depends on the season and type of lawn it is growing in.

Below are ways of controlling this grass.

1) Utilize Herbicides

The most effective way to kill Bahiagrass is using herbicides. Spray a post-emergence herbicide in May. May is the ideal month because, during this time, Bahiagrass should be small and just beginning to grow when the first application of herbicide is administered. 

Read the packaging carefully to ensure the product will not hurt your turfgrass species. The type of herbicide you utilize depends on the desired grass growing on your lawn.

Here are a few examples:

  • Bermudagrass lawn – Use metsulfuron
  • St. Augustinegrass lawn –  Use atrazine
  • Zoysiagrass lawn – Use imazaquin or metsulfuron

As the herbicide kills the Bahia grass, your lawn will have bare places. To prevent other weeds from invading these areas, fill the bare spaces immediately using the desired turf.

To guarantee that all seeds, rhizomes, and plants have been removed, you must reapply the same herbicide between four and six weeks following the initial application.

To prevent Bahiagrass from sprouting, apply the herbicide to the garden or bed at least three days before planting flowers or vegetables.

If Bahiagrass reappears after you’ve planted your flowers or vegetables, you can eliminate it with sethoxydim. Sextoxydim, a selective herbicide, will remove grass weeds without destroying your plants or veggies.

How to Apply Herbicides

Follow the mixing instructions on the package. Always use the herbicide while wearing gloves and protective gear. Using a pump sprayer is the most effective instrument for this purpose.

After filling the sprayer with the herbicide mixture, begin spraying. Take your time while spraying the herbicide. Ensure that every blade of grass is thoroughly covered; else, you will not achieve the desired results.

Ensure no children are near the lawn while you spray the herbicide to prevent anyone from inhaling the product.

2) Manually Uproot Bahiagrass by the Roots

If Bahia Grass has taken over your lawn, the most effective way to control it is by pulling it up by the roots and removing any rhizomes.

Wait for the rains or dampen the grass bed to make it easier to dig out the bahiagrass roots. While this option is tiresome and may take time, the results are worthwhile.

Place plugs species of grass currently growing in the bare spots left by the removal of Bahia grass to prevent further growth of Bahia grass.

3) Mow Your Garden Frequently

Regular mowing prevents Bahiagrass from producing seed heads and spreading. Mowing will effectively deter the grass from becoming unruly and excessively tall.

If you continue to mow your lawn regularly and do not allow the Bahia grass seeds to grow, the grass will eventually die out and disappear.

Ensure you cut the grass with a sharp blade since cutting the grass with dull blades will leave the grass with brown edges. Bagging is recommended when mowing.

4) Cover Your Lawn With Mulch

Mulching is a great strategy for eliminating perennial weeds. Mulch functions as a barrier to bury weeds, where they would eventually die from lack of sunlight.

As blocking light often takes at least 2 to 3 inches, if you detect weeds developing in the mulch, you may need to increase the thickness of the layer. Ensure you also replace mulch as it decomposes or as it gets blown away.

Mulch is most effective when combined with pre-emergence herbicides as part of a multifaceted strategy. When applied before weeds appear in early spring, pre-emergent herbicides effectively prevent weed growth in mulch. However, this technique is barely effective if the Bahia grass has already grown.

To use pre-emergent herbicides with mulch, follow this technique:

  • Step 1: Rake mulch to one side
  • Step 2: Hoe or pluck any existing Bahia grass to prevent their emergence
  • Step 3: Employ the herbicide
  • Step 4: Apply the mulch with caution to avoid harming the previously treated soil. You can boost protection by applying a second herbicide coating to the mulch

Mulching, just like fertilizing, kills two birds with one stone. Save for killing the Bahia grass; mulching will greatly help your desired grass by keeping the soil moist and your plants’ roots cooler during warm weather.

5) Water the Lawn Only When It Exhibits Signs of Dehydration

Excessive watering can accelerate the growth of Bahiagrass and other weeds. Wait until the grass develops a bluish-gray hue, the soil is dry and hard, or footprints remain for several minutes.

Consider installing a drainage system if you reside in an area with plenty of rainfall.

How To Prevent Bahiagrass Growth

While killing Bahiagrass effectively restores your lawn’s normalcy, preventing the growth of Bahia grass is significantly more effective. Because Bahiagrass is so invasive and aggressive, it may be impossible to eradicate it. However, as your first course of action against Bahiagrass, employing preventative measures is your best bet.

The most frequent strategy for preventing Bahiagrass is to avoid putting Bahiagrass seeds on your lawn. Clean your mower thoroughly to prevent introducing Bahiagrass seeds unknowingly to your yard. Cleaning the mower removes any seeds trimmed on a previous lawn.

How To Identify Bahiagrass

It’s vital to ensure the grass you want to get rid of is Bahiagrass before attempting to eliminate it. Several species, including Bermuda grass, centipedegrass, and crabgrass, resemble Bahia grass and could be mistaken for it.

Bahiagrass forms an open canopy with a coarse texture and light green hue. The easiest way to distinguish this grass from its counterparts is by its famous “Y”-shaped seed head.

Bahia Grass is commonly found in pastures, roadsides, and other disturbed places.  It can endure heat, dryness, and poor soil but doesn’t do well in the shade.

Final Thoughts

Killing Bahiagrass is not easy. Therefore, ensure you eradicate this grass while it is young or as soon as you observe it growing.

The best way to eradicate this grass is by using atrazine, sethoxydim, or metsulfuron. If you are unsure how to go about the herbicide technique, it’s best to incorporate the services of a professional.

Frequently mowing the lawn helps control the growth of Bahiagrass. Consider manually uprooting Bahiagrass if it has completely taken over your yard.

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