Common Bermudagrass, better known as wiregrass, is an invasive warm season grass that has become a problem in many home lawns across Virginia. Many ask why this grass has become such a problem and what can we do to get rid of it? In this article we will talk a little bit about what it is and why it’s invasive. In a later article we will discuss how to get rid of it!
Bermudagrass ‘aka’ Wiregrass is invasive for a couple of reasons. This grass is a warm season grass which mean it thrives in the heat of summer with minimal moisture. During these times the majority of lawns in Virginia are stressed and struggling to flourish therefore, this is a perfect opportunity for Bermudagrass to start its take over!
This special type of grass is vegetatively propagated through rhizomes and stolons making it very difficult to eliminate. This means that the grass is able to creep and crawl along yards and root new “plants” as it goes. The grass is able to do this during the heat of summer when the majority of tall fescue lawns are weakening due to high temperatures and low moisture.
Low mowing heights help promote the growth of Bermudagrass. This grass will tolerate mowing heights of less then 2.5 inches which actually promotes the growth of this invasive weed. While Bermudagrass thrives in these low mowing heights, tall fescue lawns do NOT tolerate this mowing height well. Mowing tall fescue less then 3” is very stressful on the grass due to the type of grass and growing habit.
Finally Bermudagrass is invasive in the majority of Virginia lawns because of the key factors outlined above. Bermudagrass thrives when cool season lawns are struggling. It creeps and crawls via vegetative methods making it difficult to control. Mowing cool season lawns like tall fescue too low promotes the growth of this invasive weed.
There are several things that can be done to help reduce the amount of wiregrass that will encroach on your cool season lawn. If you currently have wiregrass you are now in luck! Paradise Landscaping is one of a few companies who has the cure for wiregrass. Check back in our next news letter for control methods of wiregrass!