Now Is A Good Time To Get Rid of Bermuda Grass

Now is a good time to get rid of the burmuda grass in your garden. When the soil is soaked down to eight inches or so you have better luck with not breaking off the runners as you pull them up. Each runner has a tuft of roots every inch along it, and a nub for stem development, and can grow underground for two feet. New plants will come up from along any runner remaining in the ground.

A four pronged garden spade let’s me lift a clod of dirt and flip it over. Then I beat it with the prongs until the dirt falls off. A handful of runners, like a birds nest, is left to dispose of. It’s slow going because every inch of soil has to get moved, but having a short handled fork and knee pads let’s me plod along with only my arms and shoulders getting tired.

My seeds popped up in three days thanks to the seed starting mat. It stays ten degrees warmer than the surrounding temperature and keeps the seeds from rotting in cold soil. Now I have a spring garden in a tray, the start of a new cycle. Winter doesn’t feel so long now because I’m gardening again. I enjoy watching them ‘green up’ a little each day. It’s a slow process because the winter sky has less light than a grow light, but I don’t want them to get ‘leggy’.

I turn off the mat as soon as the seeds germinate to slow their growth down too. At six weeks I like to have the flexibility of either planting out or holding for inclement weather to pass. I also have the option of planting under plastic covered hoops if I’ve got root bound starts.

I peeked under my occulting tarp and found lots of long, pale yellow burmuda grass runners. They are so abundant and tender looking that I wonder if they’re edible. Surely they could enhance a stir fry 🙂

They are all coming from the other side of the fence where they are getting sunlight, so no matter how long I leave the tarp on they won’t die. I’ll dig them up, because I’m retired, and that’s what good gardeners do. Spraying herbicides is for people with no time, and I don’t qualify. Lots of younger gardeners won’t use herbicides because it introduces an unnatural substance to the soil. Its effects are not well understood over the long term and there is a growing body of information that indicates it’s detrimental to soil fungus.

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