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Bermuda grass barrier around hugelbed?

 
frankie santagata
Posts: 1
Location: Texas Hill Country
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Need some help deciding whether or not to install 12 to 18 inch deep flashing around perimeter of new Hugel bed in the midst of Bermuda grass. I feel it is not going along with nature and will not be in line with permaculture. Wife is afraid grass will find its way into beds. I contend that everything will be so hearty inside the bed, the Bermuda will not stand a chance of being invasive. Opinions to settle argument please!
 
John Elliott
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Oh, it stands a chance of invading. A very good chance. It's trying to invade my hugels, but I pull it regularly.

You're not going to keep it out with flashing. If you dig down 24", some little bit of stolon will be down 25" and will find a way to make it in. Metals rust, plastic cracks, and each little hole or fissure is a new place that the bermuda grass stolons will find. The only way you are going to keep it under control is by regular culling during the growing season. If you are in a place with freezing winter weather, it goes dormant for those months, and you can get well ahead of it.

Permaculture is a process of applying constant pressure to nature to bend it toward our needs. Part of that constant pressure is to selectively remove plants that are too exuberant (commonly know as 'weeding') in addition to applying TLC to plants that have a little difficulty getting started. One positive about the weeding of a hugelbed is that the soil around all that buried biomass is so loose that the bermuda grass comes right out in one pull. Quite different from trying to clear a patch of compacted high-clay soil where you yank 3" of stolon and the other 18" stays in the ground to sprout again.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Frankie - Bermuda will ALWAYS find away. Always. That is one of it's innate characteristics. It will eventually even get through the barricades. I've been trying to keep it out of my garden for 15 yrs..... One needs to be constantly vigilant with Bermuda grass. The only thing it really doesn't like is shade.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I don't have Bermuda grass but keeping the bindweed from taking over our hugels kept me up at night a bit.

I don't think I'd want metal or plastic flashing but a barrier is a good idea. Constant pulling is, it seems, a fact of life in my garden. Lee maintenance someday...

I find thick wood chip mulch over layers of cardboard to be a good barrier. Maybe wooden boards could help, if you had some around
 
John Elliott
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Matu Collins wrote:I don't have Bermuda grass but keeping the bindweed from taking over our hugels kept me up at night a bit.

I don't think I'd want metal or plastic flashing but a barrier is a good idea. Constant pulling is, it seems, a fact of life in my garden. Lee maintenance someday...

I find thick wood chip mulch over layers of cardboard to be a good barrier. Maybe wooden boards could help, if you had some around


My bindweed problem has practically gone away this year. Last year I had quite a bit of it tangling up everything, but this year just a little here and there. I wish I could tell you cause and effect, but I'm puzzled why the bindweed is on its way out.

I did let the centipede grass overrun the parts of the garden I wasn't using. I started building hugel beds last January and decided to leave the back half of the garden fallow. That's where most of the bindweed was, but not anymore, it's pretty heavy centipede grass now. Which I don't mind near as much. At least it's ground cover and if I want to plant a bed of vegetables, it's easy to yank out.
 
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