My New Bed - Neighbor's Bermuda Grass

I'm establishing a brand new bed that borders my property and that of my neighbor's. His lawn is overrun with bermuda grass. Is there anything I can do to keep his bermuda grass from meandering into my new bed? Can some kind of barrier be driven into the soil to keep it out? If so, how deep must it go? Would a raised bed with black plastic stapled at the bottom as a floor be effective? Are chemical weapons of any use? Perhaps a hydrogen bomb?
-Fleemo
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Bermuda grass is insanely invasive. It is very deep-rooted and reproduces by seeds, rhizomes (below ground), and stolons (ground level). The standard answer to "how do I control it?" is "asphalt" (and new, uncracked asphalt, at that).
Any attempt to hand-pull is more an act of propagation than eradication. Any bit of root that survives will start a new plant. If your neighbor is casual about mowing, you will also have seeds to consider.
Your battle will be on multiple fronts. A raised bed or even just timber edging should keep stolons from creeping into your bed. If you use a copper-impregnated, water- and air-permeable mulching fabric in your bed, the copper will help prevent germination of seeds already in the soil and any that arrive later.
I would leave a double-mulched (fabric + wood chips) 'killing zone' with no plants between your property boundary and the bed. Besides giving you access to the back of the bed, you can also get out there with the Roundup and discourage the Bermuda grass during the hot summer weather that makes it feel feisty.
RE: the black plastic lining the raised bed. Imagine a very large container with no drainage. Not plant-friendly.
Good luck.
-- Karen
The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org =================================================================="If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ^and cats -- Cicero ==================================================================On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002 and 2004
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Karen, thanks so much for your thorough response. :)
So is there anything to combat the rhizomes, or is my battle primarily with the stolons and seeds?
-Fleemo
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You will be fighting the rhizomes and stolons the most.
On 26 Jan 2007 14:23:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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Google <bermuda grass puller> for some relatively new tool options.
On Jan 24, 3:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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On Jan 24, 6:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

1) put down a rhizome barrier (old or excess vinyl sidings buried to a depth of a few inches is fine). Rhizomes will go under the bed sides if they are just at ground level
2) leave a mowing strip of about one foot, sod stripped off, plastic sheeting on the bottom, covered with crushed limestone, between your bed and the neighbor lawn, Rhizomes die off at about one foot. leave no gap between plastic and bed siding, that is the plastic should go under the siding
3) ask your neighbor to send the clippings stream away from the bed when mowing
4) if the bed is for veggies, cover it with cardboard weighed down by mulch at planting time, then punch holes through the cardboard and plant through it. This latter method will exterminate most weeds while providing mulching for the season. Applied year after year, it provides a fairly seed-free topsoil layer which is also crumbly and overall good for new seeds.
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Wow, excellent advice, simy1. Thanks to you and the others for their advice. Gives me a glimmer of hope that I can be victorious in the Battle of the Bermuda.
-Fleemo
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I've received some excellent advice here, now I'm just wondering how deep my barrier needs to be below the soil surface to fend off the bermuda grass' rhizomes?
-Fleemo
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On 12 Mar 2007 15:33:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Honestly, I have seen with my own eyes bermuda as deep rooted as 24 inches. I know that sounds drastic, but bermuda is extremely invasive and very hard to get rid of. Dig down as far as you can get. Where we live in Texas, we have soil about 30 inches deep in spots, then a thicker layer of caliche, which is basically dead, white limestone.
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I've received some excellent advice here, now I'm just wondering how deep my barrier needs to be below the soil surface to fend off the bermuda grass' rhizomes?
-Fleemo
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