GARDEN JOURNAL // After the rain…

Bermuda Grass roots  and rhizomes coming off a shoot and

Bermuda Grass roots and rhizomes coming off a shoot

After the rain is the best time to go after Bermuda grass (and if you are brave poison oak or ivy). Why, what do these two undesirables have in common? Runners! Both of these plants spread from rhizomes or root crowns. This means they send out shoots and where those shoots touch the ground there is the potential for roots to grow from that shoot thereby starting a new plant that then establishes itself and starts sending out runners or shoots of its own. It just keeps encroaching deeper and deeper into your garden if it’s not weeded out. If you don’t want to use herbicides in your organic garden then after the rain is the perfect time to go out and pull up the Bermuda grass that may have been sneaking into your garden this summer. This happens in my garden because it was a converted (shudder) Bermuda grass lawn. I compost just about everything EXCEPT Bermuda grass (and poison oak). Bermuda grass has a strong will to survive, there is a reason it is used to cover sports fields! If you toss your pile of Bermuda grass weeds into you compost pile, over the neighbors fence or leave them just sitting in a corner of the garden they will anywhere they touch the ground that will start to propagate themselves all over again, so Bermuda grass is one of those things I bag up and send off our property.

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