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Bermudagrass Contamination in Tall Fescue

January 28, 2008
by Fred Yelverton

Bermudagrass Contamination in Tall Fescue
Bermudagrass in Tall Fescue


Bermudagrass Contamination in Tall Fescue
Bermudagrass in Tall Fescue

Beware, there is a good chance if you have a tall fescue lawn in North Carolina, you will have bermudagrass contamination in the summer of 2008. Why? Because last summer had above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall. In fact, even October was warm and dry. What this means is that tall fescue suffered and bermudagrass thrived. As a result, much of the tall fescue became infested with bermudagrass. This will be a major problem for tall fescue lawns in 2008.

When is the best time to tell if you have bermudagrass contamination in tall fescue? January, February, and March, before bermudagrass comes out of dormancy are the best months to scout. The picture below is very typical of what we see out there right now. Dormant bermudagrass has not greened up and tall fescue is green and happy right now.

What can you do about this? Nothing can be done now. But during the summer, there are selective controls for bermudagrass control in tall fescue. It involves 3 to 4 applications of Acclaim Extra tankmixed with Turflon Ester. (see Bermudagrass Control in Tall Fescue) This application can only be made by lawn care companies and cannot be done by homeowners. The only other option is to completely renovate the lawn in late summer by making 2 applications (or more) of glyphosate and then reseeding the lawn in early September.

For More information see the TurfFiles Presentation: Bermudagrass Control in Tall Fescue and 
visit the Weed Management Decision Aids enter Bermudagrass weed in Tall Fescue Turfgrass.