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?
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.
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On Jan 24, 6:36 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
On 12 Mar 2007 15:33:46 -0700, email@example.com 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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