En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
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

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Native plant landscaping
March 14, 2004 - How does native plant landscaping differ from xeriscaping?
view the full question and answer

Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
December 10, 2012 - Half of my small yard is in the shade of one big live oak and one kumquat. Nothing I plant grows in this shade. The other half of my yard gets sunlight. It is planted with Jasmine grass which grows w...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center