Open Season

The end of August and most of September mark one of the best seasons for weed-haters: Bermuda grass destruction season.

See, at this time of the year, Bermuda grass sends out those thick, strong underground roots that burrow through concrete, kill other plants, and claim its territory for the winter. Of course, the side effect is that it loosens the soil around its roots and suddenly becomes really, really easy to pull out by hand.

Bermuda grass roots

What this means for me is that for the last several days I have been ripping the stuff out all over the place -- it only works in places where you haven't been irrigating and working the soil, but that happens to be most of the garden right now. I filled the green bin, let it settle overnight, and filled it again.

Bermuda roots

If manual labour is not your style, this is also the best time of year to spray Roundup on Bermuda grass to kill it. I usually go for the one-two punch: pulling it out with brute force, then spraying the stragglers.

The effectiveness of Roundup decreases here when the rain starts, so we basically get two months to go crazy. Of course, the stuff works at any time of year, as does pulling it. It's just that the effort you put in right now goes a lot further.

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posted by ayse on 08/26/06


Honest I just use roundup. It takes several applications for bermuda but the few remaining patches are not going to survive.

I like how you wait for the bermuda to at least do some good loosening the soil, then kill it off anyway.

I can't use Roundup in the back yard, because the dogs are irrationally attracted to it: they'll rub themselves all over any plant I've sprayed with it, and it gives them horrible skin problems. So back there I have to pull the bermuda by hand most of the time. (I have grand plans for a mobile fence thing.)

But yes, I think if you're going to kill a plant, kill it when it's done some work out there.

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