Rob's plants
home garden plants wildlife seed photos
plant sale journal topics plantlinks fun guestbook

Garden journal entry


May 21, 2022. In our neighborhood, the HOA decides a lot of things for us. One of those things is the type of grass in our front yard: it must be Bermuda. While I have my quibbles with Bermudagrass (it is one of the worst weeds of my garden borders, for one), I have accepted this edict as established law, and at least appreciate its low water requirements. As it turns out, the HOA does not regulate the grass in the back yard (as long as it doesn't grow taller than our fences, I guess), and my one-time neighbor decided St. Augustine would be good to establish in some areas of his plot. A few years have passed, new neighbors moved in, and St. Augustine has steadily extended its reach. It tries to invade my backyard from under the fence, but perennial borders line the fence the whole way, so it's not too difficult to spot and remove the coarse St. Augustine runners. But the front yard is a different story: St. Augustine has crept underneath the neighbors' fence and pretty much taken over the lawn in that area – and nothing separated their front lawn from mine, so I found myself waging a losing battle against marauding runners; I know it would be only a matter of time before the HOA would insist on a complete resodding of the front lawn if it goes to mostly St.Augustine. This spring it was clear I needed to take decisive action, so I installed a line of bricks separating our lawns. St. Augustine, as far as I can tell, spreads only by stout above-ground stolons, which eventually burrow into the soil and sprout roots along their length. So I did not need a root barrier – just a way of spotting the runners before they have time to get too cozy with my lawn. After laying the bricks, I spent hours manually removing all of the St. Augustine that had already established (see photo at top right to appreciate to what extent the coarser grass was winning the battle), accumulating quite a pile of stoloniferous debris. I expect to spend more time clearing up the bits I missed through the rest of this year. In the aftermath, the contrast between the lawns is stark. The left side with St. Augustine looks lush and deep green, while the right side, where Bermuda had been under attack for some time and the invader removal process destroyed much of what was left, is frankly a mess. But I hope for a revival in the next few months, and will maintain vigilance from here on out, using my concrete fortifications as line that shall not be crossed.

Your name

Your comments

home garden plants wildlife seed plant sale topics guestbook journal plantlinks

Last modified: September 09, 2009
Contact me