Bermuda Grass in Garden? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-13-2006, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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We planned our garden in the only reasonable spot ... my grandmother gardened there years ago so I asked my uncle to come break the ground & he said it would be a waste of time b/c the bermuda grass is so bad there?! :
So is there anything I can do about it.

I REALLY want (need) a garden & am so lost and worried its not going to work out.

~Tia~ Mom to 3 girls
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#2 of 5 Old 02-13-2006, 07:41 PM
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I'm not sure what Bermuda Grass is (born & raised in the midwest), but have you considered Square Foot Gardening? Rather than break ground, you just put your garden on top of it. You can use newspaper or cardboard as a barrier to keep the old grass from growing into your new garden.

If you're interested, be sure you get the new version of Mel Bartholomew's book, as the old one did recommend breaking up the soil before planting. (The official release date for the new verion is tomorrow, but my Borders already had it when I went there yesterday.)

Ulrike, mom to:
Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#3 of 5 Old 02-13-2006, 08:14 PM
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Bermuda is nasty - it's the one weed that keeps me from 100% organic practices.

It WILL come up through a raised bed unless you snugly lay a fairly strong weedblock at the bottom of the bed. If you have a serious infestation in the area that's allowed to seed, you'll get bermuda in the raised beds, but if you tackle the outbreak immediately, you can probably keep it from taking foothold in them. (I've learned to ID a baby bermuda plant when it's only about 1/2" high to really keep the upper hand with this nasty bugger.)

It's such a sneaky and destructive menace, I can't help myself. I use roundup if I have to. And I use grass-getter occasionally if I find monster bermuda strangling a rose bush or such (I wouldn't use grass getter in what will be a bed for edibles, no way). Bermuda is so easy to kill with herbicides, and so hard to kill any other way, at least for me. If I were planning to put an edible garden where there's now bermuda grass, I'd make sure that bermuda was dead dead dead before I went any further. And be warned, digging will bring up long dormant bermuda, so the process of completely eradicating the bermuda can't be rushed or you may unhappily find you didn't get rid of it all.

The community garden in my town is 100% organic and I see these blessed souls trying (and succeeding) to grow veggies and such despite the fact that the bermuda is a hugely labor intensive nuisance in each and every one of the beds there. I don't have it in me to make that kind of commitment.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-14-2006, 12:14 AM
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The grass is annoying. Last year I put our garden in the last 1/3 of our grass yard. First, I rototilled it. Then, I went through and picked out all the grass and threw it away. After I planted my seeds, I just had to periodically go back and weed out the grass. It is annoying, but manageable. If you really want a garden, go for it. Just understand that it may take a bit more patience and know that you have to stay on top of pulling up the grass. I didn't think it was totally overwhelming though...Good luck!
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#5 of 5 Old 02-21-2006, 10:18 PM
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first of all, you go to chanley's or my garden & spend some time pulling the bermuda. an internship, practice, you know.

um, i hate to say i've gotten the roundup out too, but it is vile, just vile. (i think the chickens have just about eaten everything green that's not actively poisonous. which is everything but daffodils. )

chickens or roundup are pretty drastic, but bermuda (esp in clay) is bad. (and re: weed barriers under raised beds; mine are two ft deep under many lasagna layers of cardboard and newspaper, and it didn't phase it for a month. i'd use about 8 inches of cement & a rubber sheet. or something. or you can borrow my chickens.) good luck.
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