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

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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.

 

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