- Author: Betsy Buxton
I’m fighting – and losing at this point – with Bermudagrass (Cynodan dactylon). Have you ever had a gardening problem, be it a weed or much-loved plant which fails to thrive, which has you thinking that TNT might be a good herbicide? I have but I’ve decided that explosives might be frowned upon during an IPM discussion.
My foe came into my yard courtesy of my neighbor. Evidently, at one time, they had a lawn in the backyard which extended from the house to the back fence and almost as wide as the entire yard. I never had any stolons come creeping into my yard UNTIL they had a concrete contractor come to install a patio. Well, very soon after that, came little fingers of green from under the fence and into my side yard. Eek, a mouse, er I mean Bermudagrass!
Realizing that since I left to work at 4:30 a.m. and returned around 5pm, I had no time for this “little” green invasion, I put the other adult at home to work (or so I thought). My plan was for Bruce to use the spray bottle of herbicide on the grass slowly creeping toward my roses, but he thought the plan was to merely report the progress the grass was making! Pretty soon, it seemed like only mere minutes, my yard had disappeared under a sea of thick stems and fine leaves. What to do?
Since the day I discovered that “his” plan was not “my plan”, we have been preparing to do battle! Since merely pulling the long, knotty and rather strong strands of grass is not working and our backs are tired; we have gone directly to the last step of IPM and selected our chemical allies.
This process was rather easy since reading the labels on the containers (the 1st step) eliminated a number of products right off the bat. Using gyphosate will not do as it is a non- selective weed-killer and kills grasses as well as broadleaf plants. That left only the selective dicot (grasses) herbicides. By looking around, reading labels, and asking professionals for suggestions, we are using a product whose main ingredient is fluazifop which can be sprayed over the top of roses, daylilies, and other plants which are in my yard. Hopefully next year my acreage of Bermudagrass will be smaller and what I planted will be visible. That will be extremely satisfying to Bruce and me!
All in all, I guess I should be happy that my neighbors didn’t plant either “running” bamboo or horsetail reeds!