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We moved into a bank owned home in August; needless to say the yard was a disaster after sitting for 20 months. Bermuda grass outside the curbing in all the flower beds higher and thicker than where it was suppose to be. We hate it (it quickly forms runners that loop and catch your foot) and want a different kind of grass for our small grass area. i have spent more hours than i can count digging and grubbing it out of the beds even tired torching it but still haven't got it all. Is there a way to kill it all with out toxic chemicals. From my reading Bermuda grass is a noxious weed in 48 states. Is there a grass that grows well and stays green in the heat other than this nasty stuff?

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With the digging etc we have pretty much got it out of our beds. I just am having difficulty adjusting to the lack of nice grass down here after so newly from Washington state. We have desert landscaping in the front with drip system and back is combo pool, patio, vegetable garden and citrus trees etc. We just have a small area in our back for our dog to use and an occassional bocci game. Our Washinton dog has just got to point of where she can do her business without grass. My main concern is the month or so each year my parents visit as my Dad has the shuffling gate of Parkinson's he will trip on the loops it quickly forms - I have caught my toe in it a few times without shuffling. We visited somebody's home down here and they had a type of grass (I thought he said it was a bermuda cross) they put in as sod and it does NOT loop and is the nice velvety texture and he mows it with a hand reel style mower - had a number in the name. Anybody know what it is?
I have no idea, but I'm sure if you ask around you can find it. I think there are literally dozens of bermuda crosses.

You may even be able to convert what you have using seed... if there's one thing that will take over bermuda, probably, it's more bermuda.

I didn't find I had the runners/loops when we kept ours mowed (since it was sitting a while, I am assuming it went a bit wild, and the roots were more on the surface than a lawn that had been mowed regularly). Maybe once you mow it regularly it will be less loopey as the roots, etc. go lower?

Also, bermuda dies off in the cold (hence, rye overseeding) so the winter dead look can be solved with that... and it will green up in the summer.
We have mowed 1-2 times a week since moving in in August and still have runner issues. Would power raking help?
Probably a St. Augustine. When well taken care of, its a beautiful lawn here in AZ.
Problem with bermuda and St. Augustine is the amount of water required to keep it looking nice. Thousands of gallons go into even a moderately sized lawn, and water is the one thing we have very little of. Its just not a good idea to have a water intensive lawn in the low desert. Futher, both require frequent and copious doses of N and Fe to keep them looking green. N encourages top growth, which requires cutting....basically its a LOT of work.
Buffalo grass is an alternative, but it does take a few years to fill in. Most warm weather grasses do if planted from seed or plugs, thats why most people use sod of the bermuda grass variety. As far as I know, no one offers buffalo grass in sod, but a lot of places offer plugs. The runners of buffalo grass (which reproduces from seed and above ground runners, not below ground stolons like bermuda) are no where near as thick as bermuda runners, and present much less of a trip hazard. Its native (more or less), and only requires 50% of the water of bermuda to look every bit as nice.
I also had need of a small lawn area for a variety of reasons. After many hours obsessively googling and reading everything I could find, I chose Turffalo for my back yard. Since I have no desire to spend hours manicuring my lawn, Im not terribly fussy about it looking perfect, and the first year it has slowly filled in most areas, with a few bare spots still be colonized. However, its low water needs are really rather amazing, and I usually water only once a week, though for long enough to get the water to soak in a bit (~20 min). Keep in mind that buffalo grass does NOT like shade. Mine can take 8-10 hours of full AZ sun (including full afternoon sun) and still want more. Sun is NOT a problem for buffalo grass, but lack of sun is.
I have another small area to do, and I think this time I will get plugs of UC Verde, which is supposed to thrive even better in the low desert. I can say that the Turffalo worked for me so far, and I have reason to expect that the UC verde may be an even better choice for PHX.\
Chad
Okay thanks I'll research into these. Our grassy area is a swoopy long oval about 35 by 12 feet has decorative curbing around it which after our 1/2acre lots in Washington of all grass except for garden plot seems very tiny.
I grew up in FL and TX... In FL people had St. Aug lawns but MOST were patchy. In TX people had Bermuda/St. Aug combo lawns. The Bermuda took the heat/sun and the St. Aug filled in under shade. And yes, it all needed lots of water.

I didn't know people had success here with St. Aug. Yes, St. Aug IS VERY LOOPEY. My parents have a St. Aug lawn (they live in St. Augustine, FL) and I constantly remind myself to pick up my feet. Feel like I'm marching.

Good news about St. Aug is you can definitely pull it out and cover it with a more dominant grass.
I was excited to read this post... I haven't seen much of an option from nurseries and/or big box stores other than Bermuda to survive here in the summer.

I was curious how your lawn(s) might be doing with UC Verde and/or Turffalo? From descriptions it almost sounds like they're evergreen grasses...

Do they do well during Monsoon, high heat, and the winter months?

I'm hoping to have a lawn for kids to play in, but am tired of the invasive Bermuda getting into the garden. How easy has it been to keep this grass from spreading to unwanted areas?

Thanks!

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