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Thread: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

  1. #1
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    Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    We are in the process of planning a backyard redo. We are going to remove the Bermuda grass and convert to a more natural desert landscape. The one issue we have to work around is that we have a desert tortoise. He just went into hibernation for the winter and now would be the perfect time to lay down chemicals. Problem is that everything I have read says that you need to apply in the summer when the grass is growing most aggressively for the chemicals to work. The lawn is about 50% brown already. Has anyone had any experience in removing Bermuda? If so what method did you use and was it successful? Am I going to be fighting random shoots for the all eternity? Thanks.
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    Dig up the top 1/2-1" of soil under the grass then put down plastic, The thickest blackest plastic you can find to go under the rocks, and make sure to overlap it a couple of inches with each layer.


    How old/big is your desert tort, does he have full range of the yard? Ours is about 4 years old and also just went down, but she's in her own enclosure still since she's so small and I have small kids, about a 10x14 foot area. We used these in combination with 2x6's to fence it off. They can also be reused to fence off larger/smaller areas as needed. Just have to cut the wood. Its been nice to give her her own space where we just let some grass with dichondra grow wild, and have some other bushes for her to snack on, drip lines to keep the water dishes full. maybe an idea for next summer if you do need to spray chemicals down.

  3. #3
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    We had our backyard done this past spring. The landscaping company sprayed this yellow kill/pre-emergent over the whole grass area and told us to keep watering it. Within about 2 weeks it was all dead. We did no plastic as that can be problematic with gravel over it. You may want to consider using 1/4 minus gravel, very fine but after walking on it and a little rain becomes pretty solid, enough to drive over even. Easy to roll wheeled dumpsters or wheelbarrows through too. Very easy to rake leaves off of it too. No grass will grow well under it, just have to spot kill the very little grass that comes up.
    Last edited by aheath4; 11-21-2017 at 10:13 AM.
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    I spoke to my superintendent here at HIGLEY school district that runs the grounds and maintenance and he suggested the chemical Andy mentioned or a salt mixture thats available at garden centers!
    Put down the heavy plastic and a 1/2 to 1" rock of. Voice!

    Dave
    Im back to the drawing board
    STAY TUNED!

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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    I'd prefer to skip the plastic, it will eventually degrade and be a mess. We don't plan on rocking the entire area, would like some more desert like dirt/rock and we also plan on planting quite a few cactus, bushes, and plants. Ideally, I'd kill it all and then be able to start from scratch with just dirt, then add the plants and rocks in specific areas. I realize that i will be fighting weeds in the unrocked area at a higher rate than rocked.
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    I'm really happy with the 1/4 minus and how it turned out after it settled.
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    We put down plastic in the front yard 27 years ago and it is still doing its job.
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    Just getting back to this, thanks for the responses. We'll see what happens in the spring. I went ahead a applied some killer and will continue throughout the winter. Then hit it hard come spring.
    It's like an LJ... only bigger.

  9. #9
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    Re: Removing Bermuda Grass, Converting to Xeriscaping

    To piggy back on this conversation, I have landscaping rock as a border in the back yard. I want to remove all of this before I lay down the smaller rock. Right now I am relagated to shoveling and sifting so that I retain the dirt in the back yard. I am moving it to the front yard since its getting a little bare. Anyone have a better method? Is there a machine I can rent that is small enough to get around the existing plants? Is it worth paying for? All ideas welcome.
    It's like an LJ... only bigger.

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