Turfgrass

Wild Bermuda in St. Augustine

Wild Bermuda in St. Augustine

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seed – posted 24 January 2001 17:25

Recent Question: I have a reasonably good St. Augustine lawn but “wild” Bermuda is creeping in. How can I get rid of it, short of killing everything and starting over? Are there any new developments and do you know of anyone working on it?

Answer: Regrettably, your chances are not great to get rid of bermudagrass from St. Augustine. There is only one product, Prograss, which is available to professional pest control operators, and labeled to “control or suppress” common bermudagrass in St. Augustinegrass.

I have used the product and it did not eradicate bermudagrass. Having a little bermuda is like being 5% pregnant. The protocol requires three applications starting at the “spring greenup” of bermudagrass which could be anytime from February to April. In south Florida we have no spring greenup, but there is a flush of bermudagrass growth as soon as it warms, about March. I suspect that the real reason for the timing is because the protocol also includes two tank mixtures with atrazine, and atrazine can be harmful to St. Augustine during hot weather.

If (and this is the big “if”) you can find a commercial lawn applicator who is of course licensed (not just the occupational license, but has the appropriate pesticide license) and who is also familiar with Prograss and would like to do it for you, then you may be in luck. It’s obviously a nuisance to have to make multiple applications to what may be only a few patches, for a product that is upwards of $80 per gallon and is only available in, I think, 2-gallon and larger containers. But please take the time to call around, and I would be curious to know if you are successful or not.

Another approach is to spray the infested areas with Roundup, and resod. Starting over is not exactly that feasible, because it will still probably require 2-3 applications to completely eradicate the bermudagrass.

Phil

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