How to fight bermuda grass in a vegetable garden?

Walters, OK

I had my first garden last year, and it started out pretty well. I tilled, then added compost, including horse manure. Over the next couple of weeks, the bermuda grass infested my garden. I hoed whenever I could, but it quickly became unmanageable. I really want to have a garden this year, but I'm discouraged because the grass makes for so much work. I don't want to spray chemicals because I want to garden organically. Should I give up? I'm in sw oklahoma too, btw...

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Bermuda grass can be a pain and it is pretty much chemical resistant. Fortunately it it is not a major competitor to most vegetables and is shade intolerant. The best solution for me is the to remove as many stolens as possible during soil prep. In a small garden, a potato hook is the best implement, Just rake out the stolens in the loosened soil and dispose of them. Big plants like squash, tomatoes, eggplants, okra, cucumber, melons, etc usually grow fast enough to shade down the smaller sprouts from the roots you miss. Small plants like carrots, will still have a problem. But if you get the majoity of those wirelike roots and plan to leave no bare spots it is manageable.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

No, don't give up!!!!

We've dealt with the same issues. Just keep pulling up the grass as you see it, don't hoe it back in (it seeds itself to transplant as well, don't want those seeds going back down).

If you have any kids, make it a game with them, see who can get the most grass! They'll learn to work and love you (maybe later) for the garden!

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)


I'm going to have the same problem this year I suppose. I have a small garden that was covered in bermuda grass that was tilled in. Hopefully, I won't have to bad of a problem I mulched the aisles heavily w/ leaves and will mulch the rows once it warms up.

Missouri City, TX

I think bermuda can tell when/where we cultivate - sort of a "Y'all come" shout out to that member of the grass family.

Grew up in Tulsa and worked after school and weekends at a couple of apartment houses - cleaning, vacuuming, waxing inside, and keeping the grass mowed and the beds clean and neat - learned to dispise bermuda.

By keeping the perimeter of the garden tilled, I catch most of the "rascals" before they are sending runners half way across the garden, but there are some days I think they grow 3 feet over night.

Heavy mulch and shade do seem to help. Maybe its natures way of enforced exersize, for us gardeners - LOL.

Walters, OK

Thanks for all the replies. I'll definitely try the mulching. My garden last year was unorganized too, which didn't help. I've heard newspaper covered with straw or pine needles works well too, but it sounds messy. I'll probably try it around the perimeter and in the walkways.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

bermudagrass always grows best in my vegetable garden ;o) I trench, I mulch, I have raised beds, and it still weasles its way in.

I hate to say it but chemicals are often the best way to keep it at bay. (I'm not a fan of Round-Up but it has its uses.) I've also been told that Poast will work on bermudagrass, but it's pretty pricey for the average home gardener.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

You might try horticuticural grade vinegar.

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