Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass

While pre-emergent herbicides are excellent for preventing weeds from taking root in your Bermuda grass lawn, what do you do when weeds have already sprouted? That’s where post-emergent herbicides come into play. These products are designed to tackle weeds that have already germinated and are visible in your lawn. In this guide, we’ll explore the most effective post-emergent options for Bermuda grass.

At a high level, if you combine Celsius and Certainty, you can kill 99.9% of weeds in bermudagrass without harming the grass. Celsius kills nearly all broadleaf weeks and Certainty kills all grassy weeks. Although it may look expensive because of how concentrated it is, we actually did the math and it’s very comparable to other options, but more effective.

What Are Post-Emergents?

Post-emergent herbicides target weeds that have already germinated and are visible above the soil. They are designed to kill or control these weeds, either by affecting their growth or directly causing them to die.

Identify The Weed

Before we get into the list, it’s best you download the Google Lens app and take some photos of your weeds. This will tell you what kind of weed you’re dealing with. It’s not always accurate but it’s accurate enough to work with. Once you have a list of weeds you’re trying to target, you can analyze the labels for each of the products below to see if it is designed to kill that weed. For example, Certainty is fantastic at killing grassy weeds but if you try to kill broadleaf weeds, your results will be less than optimal.

Top Post-Emergents for Bermuda Grass

Celsius

  • Strengths: Highly effective against a broad range of weeds and has no temperature restrictions. When combined with Certainty, this will kill 99.9% of weeds in bermudagrass. It will also harm your grass less than big box store brand herbicides like Image.
  • Weaknesses: Slow to show signs of damage to the weeds; may take up to 2-3 weeks to see complete die-off.

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Certainty

  • Strengths: Also effective against a wide variety of weeds and has no temperature restrictions. When combined with Celsius, this will kill 99.9% of weeds in bermudagrass. Certainty kills poa annua and nutsedge effortlessly.
  • Weaknesses: Similar to Celsius, it takes time to show visible results.

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2,4-D

  • Strengths: Great for broadleaf weed control and is relatively inexpensive as it’s available in diluted quantities at big box stores.
  • Weaknesses: Has temperature restrictions, usually between 85-90°F, which can be limiting during Bermuda’s prime growing season. It can slow the growth of Bermuda grass for 1-2 weeks.

Quinclorac (Drive XLR8)

  • Strengths: Excellent for killing crabgrass and St Augustine.
  • Weaknesses: While effective, Celsius may be a better option for hotter temperatures.

Dicamba (Fahrenheit)

  • Strengths: Controls a wide range of broadleaf weeds; effective in combination with other herbicides.
  • Weaknesses: Risk of vapor drift and damage to non-target plants; environmental concerns particularly in waterways.

Metsulfuron Methyl (MSM Turf)

  • Strengths: Effective on tough broadleaf and some grassy weeds; low application rate required.
  • Weaknesses: Slow action; care needed to avoid harm to nearby desirable plants.

Sulfentrazone (Dismiss)

  • Strengths: Effective on nutsedge and other resistant weeds; provides fast results.
  • Weaknesses: Higher cost compared to other herbicides; may not be effective on all broadleaf weed species.

Rimsulfuron (Negate)

  • Strengths: Highly effective on a wide range of grassy and broadleaf weeds; useful for controlling perennial ryegrass in Bermuda grass. It has a selective action that allows it to be used in established turf without harming Bermuda grass.
  • Weaknesses: Delayed action, as results may take several days to appear; generally higher cost compared to more common herbicides like 2,4-D. Limited effectiveness on some broadleaf weed species; potential for resistance development if overused.

Application Tips

  • Temperature: Always check the temperature restrictions on the label, especially for products like 2,4-D.
  • Timing: For slow-acting herbicides like Celsius and Certainty, apply well before you need the lawn to be weed-free, as they can take weeks to show full results. It appears to be a coincidence that the herbicides that act slowest are also the herbicides that cause the least stress to Bermuda grass.
  • Safety: Always follow the safety guidelines on the label, including wearing protective gear when applying the herbicide.

When to Consider a Restart

If your lawn is so overrun with weeds that it requires a strong herbicide like MSMA (cancerous and not labeled for residential use), it might be worth considering a complete lawn restart. In such cases, you can use a non-selective herbicide like glyphosate to kill off all vegetation and begin anew with a healthy Bermuda grass lawn.

Conclusion

Post-emergent herbicides are an essential tool for maintaining a beautiful Bermuda grass lawn, especially when weeds have already made an appearance. Whether you choose Celsius, Certainty, 2,4-D, Quinclorac, or even consider the drastic step of using MSMA, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each option will help you make an informed decision. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well on your way to reclaiming your lawn from the clutches of invasive weeds.


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