Here is my situation I have a 10,000 M/L sq ft garden in
Lufkin TX. My soil is a nice sandy loam. I have been
raising a garden in the same spot for close to 15 years.
When I started there was no bermuda grass in it but over the
years using the roto tiller I have managed to spread it over
aproximately 60% of the garden area. I till but it survives
in among the plants. I tried spraying the area with roundup
as a last resort last spring but it was a waste of money.
Is there any sage advice you can give to git rid of that
grass, or convince me that bermuda grass is not hurting the
garden other than my desire for a garden free of grass.
ps Just got my Mantis till yesterday
All walk ways nicely tilled and bermuda grass free.
There are wire grasses that are more agressive than Bermuda so be thankful. My
father use to say that the only way to get rid of a wire grass was to die and
leave it. It is extremely difficult to remove from an open or cultivated plot.
I usually just try to keep it down with drag cultivation. ie coulters that
catch the rhizomes and pull them to the surface. In a small plot a hoe fork
(potato hoe) will do the job. Key is removing those "wires"
In our region (SW Low Desert), if you irrrigate you will get Bermuda grass.
It is spread by birds, wind, people and probably some other things. It is
the easiest lawn grasss to grow and maintain and landscapers, garden
centers, cooperative extension and others keep recommending it. So one
needs to develop a tolerance level. Because of its allergenic properties,
there is a city ordinance against letting it go to seed but it is not
enforced - the city is one of the biggest violators of the ordinance.
Before rototilling, I always dig out whatever I can with a long spade.
Later , whenever I see it in the vegetable garden, I dig it it out with a
long slim trowel and get as much of the root as possible, down to a foot or
so. This discourages it for week or so before it reemerges. On landscape
plants, you can keep it under control by wearing a cotton glove over a latex
glove, spray the gloved hand with Roundup or any of the other glyphosate
compounds, grab the foliage and stroke it. But you will need to do all of
this every week or so. Olin
Obviously by rototilling you are continuously kicking up new seeds,
not to mention damaging the soil structure.
If you are willing to go one season with plants only, cover the garden
with cardboard or newspaper, cover it all with woodchips or leaves,
and then plant through the mulch. The existing grass will die. Don't
rototill as earthworms should be doing that for you, without kicking
up new seeds. Later (two years down the line maybe) when the mulch is
consumed, existing seeds will float up and you may have to either weed
or repeat the treatment. What's the point of rototilling a sandy loam
I thought the problem was due to the immortal rhizomes, not to seeds.
Rototilling chops up and spreads the rhizomes and the Bermudagrass comes
back from that. It will not grow through the newspaper (requires light) but
it will live under it for a long time. Olin
On 24 Apr 2004 10:36:56 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (simy1)
I always till the garden in the spring to till under all the
I have a mantis cultivator that I use now to weed the rows.
Just got the mantis last Thursday. Dont know if it will
help eliminate the weeds tho.
If you are using manure, especially horse manure, be sure the horses
are not being fed bermuda grass hay. The seeds survive the passage
thru the horse and sprout like little weeds wherever the manure is
spread. This is how I got all my bermuda grass! No rototiller
There are chemicals that specifically kill bermuda grass, tho I don't
know if they are safe for an edibles garden. Myself, I just be
diligent with the potato fork. If you pull it up carefully, and it's
less than a year or two old, you can usually get most of the rhizome,
but in some soils it can get over 6 feet deep, so once established
it's really hard to get rid of.
(just passing through :)
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