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Against every fiber of my being my kids finally wore me down I decided to plant a patch of grass. It is going to be mostly full sun. I know , I know  , it was not in my water conservation plan. I have gone 10 years and two different houses without grass my streak is now broken.. What really sucks is that I had to just fix my empty pool (per insurance co) ,so that is going to suck alot of water to. So my question is what is the best method to plant and design for grass,and what type? I also plan to backwash my pool water in there so I can at least reuse some water. Any ideas or suggestions would be very cool.  

 

Thanks Kenny.

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Thanks.

Kenny
Don't plant bermuda if you ever want to have a garden there! If you do plant it - contain it or it will take over.
I'm in Karen's camp. I've been fighting with Bermuda for years. I managed to get it mostly out of a 15' by 15' area that's bounded by the house or cement on all sides. In the open yard where there are tons of tree roots to get tangled up in that's another story. I think Chris and waterbug should start a bermuda removal service. ;)
Sign me up;)
Miss Flowers
Here's a photo of a mow strip my husband and I put in a few months back. We used Chris's dig it out method. Once you get the barrier materials installed, it's really just a matter of keeping the growth of rhizomes directed away from the garden bed. I have a discussion all about building a mow strip that includes photos of the work in progress. Since we installed the mow strip, we have found that by raking the rhizomes out of the mow strip prior to mowing, long, now up-right strands are easily nipped off. There will always be some spread of seeds, but shallow cultivation of the soil around the plants, along with mulching, keeps the grass at bay.

I agree with Rachel - with all the people posting for help on removing Bermuda, you should start a service.
Kenny, what about artificial grass? Not the plastic kind, but the Glendale Public Library at 59th Ave. and Brown (just south of Peoria) have used it up near their building and it looks fantastic. Pretty easy to take up when the kids don't care about it anymore!
Thanks for the replies, I am going to dig a 2 foot deep trench around the area and fill with concrete. We have about 8 garden beds and plan on doing more as well a attempting a edible forest garden throught out the yard , So yes I want to contain it. I thought about fake grass but it dose retain a lot of heat which I want to try to avoid. I am going to get it all ready buy fall sprinklers and such so we can plant then.

Kenny
I have St. Augustine Grass in my back yard, and its quite nice. Grows a nice thick layer of wide leaf grass... Dies in the winter, so you can seed with Rye or just let it stay brown. Then it greens right back up in the summer to a very lush color. It grows quite a bit slower than the bermuda I have out front.
Generally speaking concrete will not contain runner plants like Bermuda, bamboo, etc... if that is the intention. It cracks. Many people think the plants cause the cracks but normally it's just good old settling. It is of course possible to construct a concrete barrier that is unlikely to crack but that would have to be very carefully designed and the amount of rebar and concrete would be expensive. Even home foundations crack. Once grass is going through a crack it's a real problem because it has concrete shielding.

Much cheaper, easier, and more effective to use a plastic or metal barrier. I like aluminum flashing, 12" to 16" deep. For over laps you can use 2 pieces of aluminum bar like 1/8" thick or better, as a clamp, drilling holes for bolts every 1.5 - 2". You can use steel bar too, but really should have a gasket between the aluminum and steel. This clamping method is how barriers for bamboo is constructed.

Sprinkler pipe should go under the flashing, not through. A curb, if any, should go on the outside of the flashing. You can also have a 6" or so deep strip of decomposed granite (also called minus), sand or other loose material around the outside of the barrier so runners going over the barrier have a hard time rooting and are easy to remove if they do.

Telling the kids "no" isn't an option?
Thats a great idea thanks. I was still on the fence about the concrete barrier. I am looking into alternatives to normal turf, like natural grasses that are soft and can occasionally be mowed a litte. I been reading about blue grama and others. If there are any other ideas I am very open.

Kenny
Well I have a strange idea, nutsedge. I had it in a turf lawn I removed and while the Bermuda was easy to remove the nutsedge was not. As I was digging this stuff up and tossing it out I was thinking about how I would landscape the yard. What plants could take the Phoenix summers, require little water and look green and lush. Boy, that was a short list...there must be some plant...as I pulled another green sedge from the dry hot ground. Yeah, I'm a little slow.

I put some sedges in pots to see how they'd do in mass and so far they've been great. Thick and lush. 4-6" tall. Looks a lot like Mondo Grass or unmowed Buffalograss. I think it could be walked on but definitely not a high or even medium traffic turf. It can be mowed as it exists in lawns, but unmowed would look best imo or at least mowed high like Buffalograss. BTY, not sure if Buffalograss was mentioned, but that would be an option too.

I will have to contain the nutsedge and be sure to weed seedlings that fall outside before they can produce a tuber. For me it is a winner.

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