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

Surface tree roots hurting grass in Houston
March 21, 2013 - We have 2 mature Arizona Ash trees in our yard (30-40'). One of them is in a sunnier location and has developed an extensive network of surface roots (up to 1 to 1 1/2" Dia.) between the tree and th...
view the full question and answer

Management of xeriscape garden and rock mulch
December 09, 2007 - I have a large xeriscape garden; unfortunately, it is located near some pear trees which drop tons of leaves each fall/winter. The garden is difficult to clean of leaves until I cut back the plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Drought affecting native trees from The Woodlands
August 18, 2011 - I've been trying to grow native trees in my yard for the past 3 years and I'm starting to question whether the amount of time required to spend watering them during the long hot season in Texas is r...
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

Recommendations for native plants for Dallas Co., TX
May 12, 2007 - Looking for a Recommendation: Can you suggest a plant that meets the following requirements? ENVIRONMENT -- - I live in Garland, in Dallas County, TX. - The soil is primarily clay. - Full sun...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center