Sowing the Seeds of Evil

I was at Home Depot this evening, and I decided to take a turn through the grass seed because the lawn could use some overseeding in spots (apparently grass doesn't care to spend three months submerged in rainwater). And just look at what was sitting innocently on the shelf, waiting to ruin somebody's life forever:

Bermuda grass seed

Oh, yes. Apparently somebody is under the impression that because you can't kill it, it makes a good lawn. The fact that it is invasive, that it will grow into every other bed you have and into your hardscape, growing through anything and everything, including concrete (and by the way, through concrete means through your foundation), that does not seem to deter seed companies.

More Bermuda grass

I can only pity the ignorant masses who plant this stuff. Look: lawns do not do well in this climate. This is California, not England. Even Bermuda grass goes dormant; it's just that when it wakes up it goes for the jugular. If you have a lawn here, you are not going to avoid the dry season by planting a noxious weed. Either deal with the climate we have here or move somewhere else where the climate is what you are looking for. Don't plant this horrible, evil grass so you can play lord of the manor.

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posted by ayse on 05/09/06


There's a "Stephen King meets Martha Stewart" horror story just waiting to happen here.

Oh the horror! Seriously. We had this for a lawn in one of the houses that I grew up in. What a nasty mess. And the growing season was completely off. When everyone else's lawns were lush and green, ours was a crunchy brown. It felt awful underfoot and everyone tracked it into the house. Terrible, terrible stuff.

Bermuda grass is grown very commonly in more arid places (say Arizona / Southern nevada). All my elementary school play-yards had it growing up, hardy, relatively easy to maintain, tolerates the heat, uses less water than fescue etc. Plus you can get hybrid versions that are less spreading and have finer blades (you see this a lot at golf courses). for control of Bermuda grass you can use Esther (or something like that) that you can pickup from a nursery.

I don't know how the fact that the stuff is grown in areas where lawns are even less appropriate than Alameda makes it OK. Certainly it doesn't make it any better to be selling it here, where it is an invasive and grows out of control. What on earth possesses people to try to grow lawns in the desert?

For control of Bermuda grass, I have found that nothing but a combination of physical removal and Roundup works. Not even paving over it, because it grew up through the old driveway. In my garden in Berkeley, I put down heavy black plastic weighted with boards and a month later the Bermuda had grown up and thrown off the cover.

EVIL! :)

So evil that it's sold in innocent looking bags! Although, if you ever wanted revenge on someone locally.... ;)

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