Have I Mentioned That I Hate Bermuda Grass?

Kansas Viewpoint

For flower bed people, grass that grows over everything is the scourge of the Earth

Published on: April 14, 2010
There are two kinds of people in this world. There are the people who want their grass to grow right up to the edge of the house and the fence -- and let's face even across the fence into their neighbor's yard if that keeps their side green -- and then there are us sensible people, who like our edges a little blurred.

I am a flower bed/garden person. I like shape and form and color at the edges of my world. I even like a splash or two in the middle. Hence, my hatred of Bermuda grass, the grass of choice for people who want to see nothing in their landscape except grass.

I just spent a half hour or so trying to clean out the winter debris and early spring weeds in the flower beds that line the foundation of my house. These are nice, raised beds with some perennial bushes, climbing roses and space for annual flowers. They are the legacy of a previous occupant, who mistakenly thought that putting down a layer of "weed block" fabric would keep the crawlers of Bermuda grass that came out of nowhere to invade the once-Fescue lawn from encroaching on the flower beds.

HA!

All that fabric barrier does is protect the running roots of the Bermuda, which has snaked its way under the brick border and through the "block"  to surface in the flower bed. Now all the fabric does is make it impossible to pull the grass roots out. I pulled up fabric and all in a couple of spots and I could hear those roots laughing at me from their trailing habitat, which I suspect runs  straight down to the molten core of the Earth. Some people contend that's Hell, which come to think of it, is a pretty good choice for the origin of Bermuda grass.

Maybe I shouldn't have tackled the flower beds as a break from writing about invasive species and noxious weeds -- which you can read all about in the May Kansas Farmer. But just for the record, when I get to make the noxious weed list, Bermuda grass is going to be on there.