**Warning:  Anne is going to talk about gardening again, you have our permission to skip this Blog, LOL.

Spring is the obvious time for most of us to be outside doing yardwork. If you can’t tell by looking outside, you can tell by all the television advertisements for yard maintenance stuff.  The weeds already have a head start, and it seems by the time you notice one, there are millions of them everywhere!  For now, I’m ignoring the milkweed and letting them grow.  Milkweed is supposed to be good for butterflies and bees, but what I’m actually seeing on the milkweed is lots of ladybugs, and I want them to stick around to help me in the garden.  I’ve started tomatoes and cucumbers, the lettuce and strawberries are going strong and I have lots of seeds and seedlings waiting for me to put them in the ground!

Most importantly, this is my 4th and (hopefully) final year in my plan to eliminate the Bermuda grass from my back yard.  Oh you may laugh, ho ho, and say, “Anne, it’s impossible to eliminate Bermuda grass!” and you would be right.  I will never totally eliminate the Bermuda, but now I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

We have lived in this house for about 38 years.  The Bermuda grass was there before we moved in.  Someone probably planted it on purpose, Bermuda is a popular choice for a tough, heat loving, drought tolerant lawn.  Over the years, any effort on my part to plant a garden or flowerbed has been thwarted by Bermuda grass running into it and choking out everything else.  Bermuda is a survivor….it has 3 ways of spreading, and it spreads fast!   

1) Seeds that blow in from other areas or carried by birds or other animals  

2) Spreads across the ground surface 

3) Spread by tough, thick stems that go deep underground. 

I’ve tried many organic (and non-organic) methods of eradicating Bermuda.  After so many years of trying, I got tired of waiting for my dream-garden-food-forest so I decided to start digging! I had to eliminate all of the stems that were underground because any piece of a stem left in the dirt can grow roots and start a new patch of Bermuda.  The new seeds that sprout from the top are easily pulled out annually with the rest of the spring weeds, but what happens underground becomes a big problem!

Every year for the past 4 years, I’ve spent my “home time” (the very brief amount of time we actually are at home between concert tours) planting, harvesting and pushing back the Bermuda.   I sit under my trusty umbrella (5 square feet of life-saving shade!) I push the Bermuda back, and I plant garden rows in its place, with a generous mulched area in-between so I can watch for new patches of Bermuda that might appear from below.   

Looking at the picture on the left, Jim (blue shirt- working on irrigation) is standing by the tan-colored barn.  The little red house on the left is a utility/laundry room.  Bermuda eradication started at the barn, and now the only Bermuda that remains is the small patch in the foreground with the milkweed.  The picture on the right shows how deep I have to dig to get the stems out from underground.  So far I’m lucky, I haven’t found many stems going deeper than 1 foot (but google says it can go underground up to 3 feet!  Yikes!). 

I am happy to see the end of this chore.  I would like to focus all of my time and attention on growing food and truthfully, at my age and into the future I won’t have the strength to be pushing around so much dirt!  It’s good though, to set a goal and see it through.  Even though it took a very long time to figure out HOW to do it, there is a lot of satisfaction in getting it done.  

Are you working on a project that you’ve been dreaming about?  Let me know about it in the comments!