How to Keep Bermuda Grass Out of Your Fescue

— Written By and last updated by Kerry Jones
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How to Kill Bermuda Grass in Fescue Lawn

If you have a Fescue lawn then you probably hate common Bermuda grass. The very thing that makes Bermuda a favorite grass for some people–its vigorous growth and hardiness–is exactly the reason why it can be such a frustration for those with Fescue. In fact, it can outright kill your Fescue lawn if it’s not beaten back.

In the past, all we could do was dig Bermuda grass out or spray it with a non-selective herbicide and risk killing everything near it. Now, we are lucky to have another option. There is a targeted herbicide, called Ornamec,  that will allow you to kill Bermuda grass in a Fescue lawn. The active ingredient is known as “Fluazifop.” 

According to the label, to kill Bermuda grass in a Fescue lawn, use .5 ounces of Ornamec plus 2 teaspoons of a non-ionic surfactant to one gallon of water to treat 1000 square feet of lawn space. The first application should be made in the spring, when the Bermuda grass is breaking dormancy, and then again in Sept/Oct. when the Bermuda grass is preparing for dormancy. NOTE: applications during the hot seasons should be avoided! Even when applied at the proper times, your Fescue lawn may initially show some discoloration or stress. Don’t worry– it should recover within 10-14 days. 

Ornamec is also labeled for use over the top of many ornamental flowers, trees and shrubs, but refer to the label before applying to determine if it is registered for what you want to spray over. If you are a Fescue lover, though, Ornamec may be your new best friend. You have to love modern science. Happy Spraying!

Note: The use of brand names in this article does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service of the products and services named nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.