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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Bermudagrass lawn
has me buffaloed

Mary Barfield says buffalo grass takes less water and mowing than Bermudagrass, so I thought it would be worth a try in my front yard. Two big mulberry trees had killed out most of the Bermuda anyway, so I had nothing to lose.

Of course, killing the Bermuda and weeds is the first step. So I used a method I read about on the Internet; that is suffocating it to death. Theoretically, if you put down a clear plastic cover to seal off the wet lawn and let the sun warm it for three to four weeks, the grass and weeds will die and turn to compost.

So I went to Gibson’s and got two rolls of plastic. One pretty much covered the section of the yard most in need, so I put the other one back for a future project. Most of the weeds under the plastic died, but a split required to bypass a tree let in enough oxygen to keep some of the Bermuda growing. I have sprayed that with Roundup twice without much success.

It was after I started digging up the “dead” grass that new problems emerged. One little section where I applied the grubbing hoe has a good stand of Bermuda already, and it sure does look healthy.

I’ve tried before to kill Bermudagrass, and to date have not been successful. In the backyard, I sprayed it twice with Roundup, dug it up, then laid down a layer of landscape cloth and a layer of wood chips. Up comes the Bermudagrass through the landscape cloth. A few weeds dot the “landscape,” as well.

Jerry Workman tells me that buffalo grass looks like little Bermudagrass, so maybe I can just let the two grow together and mow when the Bermuda gets too raggedy. That’s not the ideal, because I have a pretty good stand of wildflowers, which I like to encourage.

In the backyard where I set out three trees for chicken shade, yellow and purple flowers dot the lush Bermudagrass. I have used a Weedeater to trim the ugly wildflowers (I guess you might call them weeds), leaving the pretty ones intact.

Gophers have so riddled the backyard that having a smooth lawn is out of the question, anyway. I have a few more little trees to transplant, so the whole area may soon look like a forest.

I know I’ve written on this subject before, but I found precedent for it in the Bible.

“It doesn’t bother me to repeat what I have written before…” Timothy 3:1b, TEV

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager. Contact her at HYPERLINK ""

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