Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good Bye Bermuda Grass

Today is the first day of the bermuda grass removal campaign at the Goddess’ Gardens! Oh what an exciting day it is! This journey will ultimately end up with a wonderful edible and sensory garden right in my front yard! I can just smell the lavender and taste the peaches now!

I am tired of mowing and fertilizing a lawn that does nothing but sit there! It does not earn its keep as a play ground for children or pets (we have a back yard for that) and I spend lots of my time and money making it look good. (Well not that good.) And more importantly I use precious water to keep it green. I would rather use water for plants I can eat and use. And with a garden V.S. a lawn, I can use the rain water I collect and re-route off the roof to water the plants.

Oh but wait – first the Bermuda grass must DIE! I have been telling people I was going to do this for months now, but just didn’t know HOW. There are several ways.

Dig it out - but the roots can go down several feet!
Solarize – but that would also kill the roots of the other plants and trees I want to keep!
Or use a chemical – Glyphosate (i.e. Round Up)

I thought and researched about this. I went from thinking about renting a bobcat to dig it out and haul the dirt/grass away and then hand digging around all the border gardens; to laying down plastic and bricks and letting the sun cook it away (but how would I get all the grass growing in the border gardens?); to using a chemical even though I support using earth friendly products and being as natural as possible.

Then I attended a class through the Phoenix Permaculture Guild ( where we were taught how to use a chemical responsibly! Imagine that, use a chemical to kill a plant! (Bermuda grass) and then bring the soil back to life!

So this is my journey. One where I will make my Bermuda grass look the best it ever has – and then I will kill it off! This will take several months to do. Then I amend the soil and plant a cover crop; nurture and harvest it; and throw it away! Only then can I begin to plant my edible garden. My goal is to plant a peach tree in January 2009 as the start to my edible front yard.

This is what my lawn looks like now – not yet ready for the first spray. I must get all of the bricks removed, so I can get to all of the roots below them and all the grass that is brown is still alive below the surface, so it must be growing well above the surface for the Glyphosate to work its magic. I will water daily and fertilize weekly to get it healthy and growing so it will be able to bring the chemical down into its root system. Of course unless the monsoon rains help me out!

I will share my journey with you here – all the tips, tricks, mistakes, all of it, so you can benefit from it.

You can also get more tips on my website at and
Happy Digging,
Doreen aka THE Garden Goddess


Suzanne Muusers said...

What a great idea! Edible gardens make so much sense in this economy. Eating locally grown fruits and vegetables in gardens previously used for looks is apropros.


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