The aggressive growth of zoysia and Bermuda grasses make them very invasive species of grass. It is also a warm-season grass, meaning that it’s only green during the warm months of the year when it is actively growing, which also happens to be the best time to kill it. To effectively rid your yard of these pesky species and to reseed with a fescue or bluegrass, you’ll need to start earlier than you think. Follow the steps below to kill zoysia or wild Bermuda grass in your lawn. 

Late July – Water and Feed the Grass 

To kill zoysia and Bermuda grass the grass needs to be green and growing. This means we will kill the grass during its growing season in early August. However, preparation begins in late July. Since our summers can be hot and dry, it is recommended to fertilize and water the warm season grass areas two weeks in advance of the first application of herbicide. Water the grass a few times a week during the end of July, aiming to get at least a half inch of water down with each watering. Infrequent and deep waterings will produce better results than a little bit of water here and there. 

Early August – Apply the Herbicide

Once the grass is actively growing and not stressed (aka, it’s nice and green and no longer has any brown), spray the  areas of zoysia or Bermuda grass with Eraser, a non-selective herbicide, to kill all the grass and weeds. Be sure to use Stik-It while spraying Eraser to increase the effectiveness, and be sure to spray the Eraser at the rate specified on the label and not any heavier. Over applying can burn the leaves of the plant off and prevent the herbicide from getting to the roots of the plant. 

Uncle’s tip: Do not mow the week prior to first application of Eraser. More leaf surface exposed to the herbicide will enhance its effectiveness.

Mid-August – Reapply the Herbicide

Ten to fourteen days after initial Eraser application, if you still see any green in the grass, spray those areas one more time with Eraser and wait another ten days. The lawn should now be nice and brown. Mow the lawn to remove any dead top growth and spray an additional application of Eraser to any newly emerging shoots. After mowing the lawn, rake up the dead debris and remove it from the yard. 

Early September – Begin New Seeding 

Now that the zoysia or Bermuda grass is gone, we’re ready to start seeding the yard. Aerating and verticutting  the yard prior to overseeding is recommended. Overseed using the Grass Pad seed of your choice and fertilize with Golf Course Starter or Renovator. Repeat application of Golf Course Starter or Renovator 4 weeks later. Apply Snowman winter root builder in November.

See Related: Do a Total Lawn Restoration after killing unwanted grasses


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