How do I prevent Bermuda grass from growing up in my ornamental beds?
Many people like to have trees and ornamental beds with their Bermuda grass lawns, but don't like to have the grass grow into up around the trees or in the beds and through the mulch. If preparing new beds, the use of borders around the beds that are at least 6 inches deep and the use of a good quality landscape fabric will control Bermuda and weeds very well. Mulch the beds with at least 3 inches of wood chip mulch. This method is expensive, takes time and will not last forever because eventually you will want to rearrange the plantings in the beds.
The old way of controlling the Bermuda is to get down on your knees to dig and pull the offending plants. Most folks don't have the time or patience for this. An alternative is to use herbicides that specifically kill grasses. For trees or shrubs that have thick bark or the foliage is trimmed higher, you can carefully use glyphosate. Other herbicides for the control of perennial and annual grasses include Fluasifop (Fusilade) or Sethoxydim (Over the Top II is one brand). These products will control grasses around most broadleaf ornamentals including flowers and some garden vegetables. Be sure to read the label for restrictions, uses and application rates.
For more information contact the OSU Extension Center, 14001 Acme Road, corner of MacArthur and Acme Road in Shawnee or 273-7683.