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I could bring up the subject of removing Bermuda grass in the desert any time of the year. It is not unusual for people to try killing the grass by starving it of water and nutrients. I have even seen others rent a bobcat and scrape it down. The truth is there is a definitive proven process for removing  grass in the desert. It may seem a bit strange at first, but if you sit back and think about it, this method does make sense.

Bermuda Grass (cynodon dactylon) ia a perennial grass native to tropical and subtropical Africa. It is well adapted to the heat, drought and alkaline soils of the desert southwest. It takes over 40 inches of water a year to keep the grass looking green. Removing a Bermuda grass lawn in the desert takes a bit of time and perseverance.

To do the removal you first need to start with a chemical, the most effective is glyphosate. This chemical can be found in a few products including Doomsday, Kleenup and roundup. Keep in mind the chemical is systematic meaning it is absorbed through the grass roots.

The best time to remove Bermuda Grass in the desert is when it is thriving and healthy. In fact some landscape contractors add a fertilizer to the treatment. This is necessary for the herbicide to work effectively.

One week before the first application of the treatment, water the lawn for 30 to 40 minutes. Remember we want the grass to be as healthy and full of vigor before we begin to kill it. Also, do not mow the grass for one week before the glyphosate is applied.

The best time to start the chemical part of the procedure is in the morning. Be sure there is no wind when spraying. Most people do not realize how much is involved when trying to rid a yard of grass in the desert. In fact I was told once by someone that the roots of Bermuda grass may reach three feet deep.  I don’t know how true that is but it sure does seem to answer a lot of questions.

Wait about a week, and repeat the process.  In the repeat process you only need to water a few days before this second application.

I do not think it would be wrong or over the top to have a third application, most of the grass should have been killed on the first application. Even if you were to do this third application you still will have some stubborn grass sprouting up, plan on this happening for some time.

The idea of laying plastic over the area always comes up. Do not do this. What you can lay down is landscape fabric which is porous. Even if you were to lay pavers in the old grass area I would still do an underlayment. The only time I would not do an underlayment is if I were pouring concrete were the removed grass was. I hope this makes sense to you and helps you along if you choose to go this route.


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