Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Bermuda is REALLY Dead

OK - I think it really is dead - NOW - finally. I have watered, fertilized, it has rained twice at least an inch each time and NO NEW SHOOTS have poked through the ground. Compare the picture above to the same shot on my first post. Do you agree with me? Of course you do!

Look at Mike's grass at the top of the picture, in fact there's Mike in a blue t-shirt working in the driveway on something. His grass is nice a green -not mine - It's dead - NOW - finally.

YIPPEE - Stage ONE is done.

OK so NOW what? Of yeah, time to remove all of the dead grass. Don Titmus recommends getting a sod cutter and slicing off the grass, throwing it away. Then hand dig the rest out around areas the sod cutter can't reach. Sounds like a lot of work and it is still 110 degrees outside.

HHMM - time to find a little help me thinks! Maybe some hourly labor or someone who needs a little extra cash? Who do you know? Send them my way!

STAGE TWO begins after the grass is removed - so stay tuned!

Doreen aka the Garden Goddess

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dead Bermuda gets Mowed Down

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to mow I go -----

Ok - The heat must be getting to me. Now I am singing Disney songs - and where are all those elves when I need them anyway? Why is it I seem to tackle my gardening projects in the heat of the summer?

The darned bermuda grass has dictated the timing of this project. You must kill bermuda when it is growing vigorously. That means HEAT, fertilizer and lots of water.

The monsoon rains have helped with the water. I got 1.3 inches of rain last Thursday night. I played in the rain again! My daisy-chained barrels worked beautifully and I got ALMOST 2 BARRELS FULL - 110 gallons! Plus the 30 gallon trash can was full! I was also emptying all of the small buckets into it as they were overflowing - silly me came in twice and changed my clothes cuz’ I thought I was done playing,(oh yeah I was also holding an umbrella and I couldn't carry buckets and the lightening was too close!) so the last time I went out, I remembered I had a rain poncho!

Ever notice how much the garden perks up after a rain fall. And lightening brings nitrogen to the earth. I just love a good rain! But I digress.....

It has been one week since I sprayed the grass. It is pretty brown in some places and still green in others. I decided to mow (bagged the grass and put it in the trash, just to be safe and not contaminate my compost with glyphosate) since the grass was pretty tall and had now fallen over when it died.

Here's the before mow and after photos:

I wanted the fertilizer to get down to the soil. Yes fertilizer! I know I am killing the grass but I want to be sure it is REALLY gone so I am testing to see if there is ANY life left in the deep roots. After I fertilized the entire lawn, I watered it in well and will begin a regular watering schedule to see if my grass comes up in the dead areas. I know I will need to spray at least one more time since I had the green grass in some areas.

In the meantime, I had the old tree stump ground out and pulled out the lantana around it. Just having them gone has opened up the side of the yard. With the grass cut so short, I can start to see my 'garden' out there - if only in my mind.
Until next time-
Happy Digging!
Doreen Pollack

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Big Spray

Well, I sprayed – it took me an hour and a half the first morning (it got too hot by 10:30am to continue) and an hour the next day, but it is done. I may have overdone it with the amount of Glyphosate I applied, 7 gallons for about 600 square feet. The back of the bottle said one gallon treats 300 square feet. But they have not seem how thick and lush my grass is, so I feel pretty certain that I got all of the grass blades wet. That was my goal, to wet the grass enough so the chemical would be pulled into the roots and start to do their thing – kill the grass.

One small event happened that MAY have made all my hard work for nothing – It rained about 12 hours after each spray! I was both giddy and upset when it rained at my house Sunday night. I got a chance to watch the rain fill my newly installed barrel. Those thirteen minutes of rain turned into several gallons in my barrel and other catchment devices (kitty litter buckets, watering cans, old trash cans).The weather man had said a 10 - 30% chance of rain, and since we hadn't had much rain yet, I gambled - and lost. But I blogged about it at the Phoenix Permaculture website and thankfully my grass removal mentor read my pitty-party post and responded: “You should be fine...the chem would have moved into the root zone in a few hours and so the kill will happen. Don’t Panic. Don”

You can visit Don’s website here to see the recommended process I am using.

Thanks goodness! Of course it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but I feel a little relieved.

So far now, I go out and look closely at the lawn when I go to my car and watch for the tell tale signs that it is dying. I understand from a fellow gardener –Fred, who is also following the same process, that his took about a week. So watch for my celebratory post in about a week from now!

Until then – Happy Digging!
Doreen Pollack

Sunday, August 3, 2008

391 Bricks Later

Well the work is done. At least the bricks are removed. It took me two mornings to remove the brick sidewalk in 90 degree heat. I could only work for about 2 hours each morning before the heat got to me - and that was at 6:30 in the morning! It's not only about loosening the bricks, but it's putting them in the wheelbarrow (with the almost flat tire), pushing it down to driveway and then taking them out and stacking them. So each brick actually got handled twice, so it was more like moving 782 bricks!
And YES I did find more black plastic, landscape fabric and sand under the bricks, so that had to be pulled out. Black plastic was used many years ago as a weed and grass barrier. It is not recommended now as it also suffocates the soil. It was so old it fell apart as I tried to pull it up. Whatever is left will get removed when I take out the dead bermuda grass.

I also ran across tree roots. The Mulberry tree is on the other side of the yard, but I guess the roots travel far for water. They are about a half inch in diameter. I am concerned about cutting them, so I will ask an arborist before I do.
I trimmed up the rest of the bushes around the edge of the yard so I could get to the grass growing under them. I actually sprayed that grass last Sunday after I trimmed the bushed and it is already dying.

My friends all think I am crazy. My grass is looking so green and lush, everyone is complementing me on it. When I say that I did that to kill it they all look at me funny. Then I explain and they just shake their heads and their eyes glaze over. I guess not everyone is as excited as me about re-landscaping. I am turning into a gardening nerd - and I love it!
The next step is the BIG Spray! Off to shop for a sprayer and the Glyphosate. I am getting excited now.


AZ vegetable gardens (12) arizona gardening (12) compost (10) Garden Goddess (9) Down 2 Earth Gardens (8) Phoenix (7) permaculture (6) vegetable Gardens (6) AZ (5) bermuda grass removal (5) community garden consultant (5) edible gardens (5) gardens (5) monsoon rains (5) Garden planning (4) seed saving (4) Community Gardens (3) Companion planting (3) Garden design (3) Soil (3) apple trees (3) beets (3) computer garden design tools (3) desert (3) fall planting (3) herbs (3) low desert gardening (3) low desert winter gardens (3) mosquitoes (3) mulching (3) rain harvesting (3) Garden Maintenance (2) Gardening tips (2) Master Gardeners (2) Rain barrels (2) Squash Bugs (2) Swiss Chard (2) Three sisters garden (2) amending soil (2) apple (2) basil (2) bats (2) citrus (2) design (2) earth day (2) edible (2) flowers (2) gardening (2) green peppers (2) mint (2) nematodes (2) pruning (2) rain guage (2) rosemary (2) soil secrets (2) sustainable gardens (2) tomatoes (2) tree (2) "Bill McDorman" (1) ARMLS (1) African marigolds (1) Blossom End Rot (1) Christmas Cactus (1) Clay (1) Coirn (1) Companion planting. (1) Contest (1) Cornville (1) Corriander seed (1) Deswrt gardening (1) Doreen Pollack (1) Double digging (1) Fall garden clean up (1) Fall gardens (1) Gambusia (1) Garden Tools (1) Garden books (1) Garden workshops (1) Grden Journals (1) Healing Gardens (1) Heirloom seeds (1) Home Staging (1) Humus (1) Japanese beetles (1) Johnny Jump-ups (1) Kohlrabi (1) Loam (1) Mesquite Flour (1) Microorganisms (1) Phoeniz (1) Pole Beans (1) Red amaranth (1) Sand (1) Sierra Club (1) Slow Food Phoenix (1) Soil Food Web (1) Squash (1) Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes (1) Toby Hemenway (1) Tree Pruning (1) Wildlife habitats (1) amaranth (1) artichoke seeds (1) bachelor button (1) bermudal grass removal (1) bird netting (1) bok choy (1) broccoli rabe (1) brussel sprouts (1) bugs (1) cilantro (1) compost. bugs (1) corn cups (1) cutworms (1) dandelion greens (1) digging (1) dirt (1) earthworks (1) eating from the garden (1) edible cactus (1) edible container garden (1) feeding fruit trees (1) fertilizer (1) fleas (1) flies (1) flower gardens (1) food (1) frost (1) fruit trees (1) garden (1) garden bed preparation (1) garden coaching (1) garden disease control (1) garden journal (1) gardening quiz (1) grass (1) green (1) green beans (1) green features (1) green gift giving (1) grren beans (1) harvesting (1) heirloom (1) holloyhocks (1) home selling (1) how much to plant (1) infections (1) injury in the garden (1) ladybird (1) ladybud (1) lavender (1) leafy greens (1) leaves (1) lettuce (1) mosquities (1) mosquito control (1) mycorrhizae (1) native foods (1) native seeds (1) natural mosquito repellant (1) natural mosquitoe repellant (1) new garden (1) olive trees (1) on-line garden club (1) oregano (1) palo verd tree (1) pansies (1) peach (1) peach trees (1) peaches (1) permaculture design (1) permaculture design course (1) pest control (1) pesticides (1) plastic (1) poor drainage (1) praying mantis (1) prickly pear (1) professional gardener (1) protecting fruit trees from birds (1) radicchio (1) radishes (1) rain water (1) rain water harvesting (1) ratoons (1) recycle (1) root rot (1) second crop (1) soil building (1) soil secrets. nitrogen (1) soil testing (1) southwest vegetable gardens (1) spinach (1) squash vines (1) stock (1) summer (1) sunflower (1) sunflowers (1) surface water (1) sustainability (1) sweet peppers (1) tilling (1) tomato (1) transplant (1) trash (1) trees (1) vegetable (1) vegetablvegetable Gardens (1) violas (1) water use (1) waterharvesting (1) watering a garden (1) weather (1) wildflowers (1) wind (1) xeriscape plant (1) year-round gardening (1)