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Preventing weed encroachment

17 years ago

My neighbor does not maintain his front yard - it is "Weed Central". He doesn't mow, but instead uses a string trimmer which of course broadcasts seeds and clippings all over. Along our property boundary, bermuda grass is filling my garden beds and has now encroaching into my St. Augustine lawn.

I use organics in my yard, but this grass has become such a beast that I am open to anything.

Any recommendations? Also, has anyone had luck with any kind of physical barrier (edging, sheet metal, etc.) placed along the property boundary. I really don't want to go to the expense of a solid fence.

Thank you all in advance for your words of wisdom!

Comments (5)

  • nandina
    17 years ago

    Please check the Lawn Care Forum here on GW where this a frequent question. There is a thread on the subject under discussion right now. Do a search there for helpful (and discouraging) ideas. Good luck!

  • pls8xx
    17 years ago

    I live in Arkansas. Bermuda grass can be found everywhere the sun hits the ground. It's in my neighbors yard and my yard. Total eradication is not possible, but control is.

    The trick is to know the enemy. Bermuda grass has a good tolerance to oxygen deficiency. On compacted soils in sun, it has the advantage and will out compete almost all plants. It's weakness is shade. Even moderate shade will sap it of it's vigor. It also is rampant only in day temps of over 80 degrees, so timing can be a useful tool.

    It is possible to grow some plants (those that can be made to shade the ground) alongside bermuda with no barrier. Start with the soil. Beds should be amended to achieve a high permeability to prevent oxygen deficiency in the top 15 inches of soil. Thus plants can be tight spaced to produce the shade that will protect the plants from bermuda encroachment.

    In the photo below I show a bed in March, 4 weeks before the bermuda seen in the foreground will start fast growth.
    It would seem the bermuda is poised to take over this bed.


    The photo below is 4 weeks later. The bermuda is now ready to take off, but it doesn't have a chance against the shade in that bed. The best it will do over the next 10 weeks is a couple of weak runners across the bed that will be easily pulled from the loose soil mix.

  • Embothrium
    17 years ago

    That certainly is a bed in march. Where are the petunias going?

  • rosesr4me
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    pls8xx - what beautiful petunias! Using a timber as edging may be my best option (as well as the shade aspect). I have used plastic edging and the stuff just grows right over it. My bed is partially shaded due to tall shrubs and yes, the weed is less prolific. However, it seems to spread more via rhizones in the shady area - through my 6" deep mulch layer!

    I have cross-posted this on the Lawn forum and several people have been very nice to respond. Turns out, the beast is not bermuda after all. Anyone have any ideas? Others have thought of quackgrass, meadow grass and highway grass. Its stolons can get several feet long as they wind through my shrubs and ferns (shady area).

    If anyone has ideas of what this beast could be and any other ideas how to control it ...please respond!! Thank you!



  • Embothrium
    17 years ago

    At least some weeds are always going to try to inflitrate parts of the garden, especially if it is not heavily planted with tall plants that shade all of the soil quite well. Wispy bits of grass here and there like you are showing in your pictures I would dig out with a fork until I got all of it. A few stems popping out of another plant too dense to dig around in with fingers/tools I would just break off when noticed.

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