I did something today that I never wanted to do — ordered an herbicide to kill off the Bermuda grass that’s taking over my lawn and choking my new lawn to death. The lawn isn’t really new anymore — it’s ten months old — but in places it’s really regressing, and I want to try to rescue as much as I can.
If I can.
The two biggest areas of grass are doing well, probably because most of the weeds had been dug up beforehand. I’d dug the weeds out of one section, and the people who did some of the rock work around the house dug up the other area almost by accident, but it turned out to be a good thing. The problem arises in those areas where the sod was laid over existing weeds. I remember asking if we should dig up the weeds but was told there was some sort of weed barrier to keep the weedy grasses from working their way to the top of the new sod, but apparently, that wasn’t true.
So, now a large swath of my cold-weather grass has been eaten by the warm-weather Bermuda grass. I’m hoping that the herbicide — which is specifically geared to this very situation — will help. Then I can simply reseed the lawn in those areas. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to dig up the Bermuda grass and then reseed my lawn.
So not my idea of fun!
I could, of course, let nature take its course, but then I will end up how I started — with Bermuda grass and lots of weeds. What will be working in my favor is that the weather will cool down eventually, the Bermuda grass will go dormant, and the cool-season grasses will (with any luck) take hold again.
It’s for this very reason (the complications of having a lawn) that I considered putting in a wildflower field instead of a lawn, but if the area where I did plant wildflowers is anything to go by, that sort of yard is just as problematic. Grass and weeds grow thickly among the wildflowers. I manage to keep the places I can reach looking okay — or at least I did until I all but gave up when the weeds overtook my ability to deal with them — but so much of the wildflower area is beyond arm reach.
It looks as if I will be doing a lot of digging to clear out as many weeds as possible this fall, though as I have learned, they will simply grow back. The weeds, especially the weedy grasses, are just too well-entrenched, which is why, as much as it goes against my nature, I ordered the herbicide.
Just because I ordered the grass killer, though, doesn’t mean I will use it. I guess it depends how herbicidal I feel when I receive it. Today, I wouldn’t have a problem using it. I went outside to get a photo of the brown swath mixed with Bermuda grass across the path from the pretty green area where the lawn is doing well to show what I’m talking about, and I couldn’t take the picture. It just looked too pathetic and made me feel sad and herbicidal. Instead, I’m using a photo of my zinnias to accompany this post and add a bit of cheer.
Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.