En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - February 09, 2007

From: Phoenix, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes
Title: Tired of mowing
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help, my husband got tired of mowing the lawn (bermuda grass) and recently decided to do a desert landscape by himself. Without researching, he mowed the dead grass and covered the whole area with "Weed Block" and topped it with 3 tons of granite thinking that without direct sunlight and water the grass will surely die. I'd like to believe that this will work but if not, what would be the most effective and least backbreaking way now, to ensure that the grass will not grow through?

ANSWER:

"Weed Block" generally does a good job of suppressing plants (weeds, grasses) underneath it unless they have stiff leaves with sharp points that can push through the fabric. Bermuda grass should be soft enough not to penetrate the fabric. You are going to have an advantage there in Phoenix since you don't get much rainfall and bermuda grass does need water. Unless you water the area with the "Weed Block", the bermuda grass should die out. At any rate, I think you should get very little, if any, grass growing through the fabric. Should you get some, hand pulling or digging up with a garden trowel (be sure to get roots) is your best bet. You can read about other Weed Control Methods.

For general recommendations on how to rid your lawn of bermuda grass, please see a previously answered question in Ask Mr. Smarty Plants.

 

More Xeriscapes Questions

Low-maintenance native plants for Arizona
March 12, 2009 - Will you please suggest some Native plants that can be left without care for the summer and survive - other than cactus?
view the full question and answer

Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
December 02, 2014 - I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
view the full question and answer

Non-native zoysia and bermuda grasses in Austin
July 11, 2013 - We have Bermuda grass in the front and Zoysia in the back yards. The back grass is fine but the front yard Bermuda isn't. We have watered once each week during the spring and during the past 3 weeks...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
May 04, 2014 - I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center