Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bermudagrass is on the moon

Back when we first started tackling Bermudagrass in the backyard, I totally thought of it as "Bubba's Thing".

Like, he's the one with problems related to the existence of Bermudagrass and he's the one who thinks it's necessary to turn an entire lawn out into the streets to fend for itself while sifting and shoveling and raking and HUNTING HIS FINGERS TO THE BONE searching the remaining soil for remnants of Bermudagrass.


Not me.

I'm normal.

And then it cropped up near my vegetable plants which I think you know meant that FUCK THAT.

So, then it became my Thing, too. Because it encroached on my precious vegetables and I can.not.have.that.

But I mentally drew the line there.

Bermudagrass is only my problem if it gets near the vegetables, but otherwise, Bubba can fight it out with that nonsense and in the event that I see it around, I will pull it out, but I won't go down the dark and winding rabbit hole of trying to eradicate it by means of removing everything it its path and going at it with a shovel and my bare sifting hands.

Or will I?

Yeah. See that harshly pruned fountain grass in the back corner and the lower growing iris greens beside it and the daffodils and some of those poppies next to the maple tree?


The shit found its way to the front yard. Because of its intense evil and because it can grow under pavement, without light or water FOR 150 DAYS.

Yes. Absorb that information, will you. In our mild NorCal climate where it doesn't freeze but it will suddenly rain for no reason on a September morning at 6am for 30 hard minutes so that everything has a chance to soak up a little moisture, Bermudagrass can thrive. And I also imagine that this sudden September rain shower happened on Day 149 of No Rain, so all of that Bermudagrass that was on the ropes of life and almost about to bite the dust received a life-giving boost that empowered it to take on the front yard.

To thrive, if you will.

And thrive it did. All the way under or around or through (it could happen) our house and into my front yard meadow.

Which I then, of course, ignored for a solid six months. Like, I saw some signs of it out there when I was pruning the fountain grass (RIP, buddy) or deadheading the bulbs or hunting wild animals in the Serengeti that is our wild meadow, but I dug those bits out and called it a day.

Done. The Bermudagrass is handled.

But it SO was not.

Which Bubba brought back to my attention a few weeks ago and hasn't let me forget. I do believe there was a "Come on, peckerhead." in there somewhere, too, just so that he knew that I wasn't going to conveniently only listen to the sound of our contractors NOT FINISHING THE BATHROOM GAH! instead of heeding his warning of the encroaching Bermudagrass.

Eventually, though, I had to do something because, at least, it was in stark contrast to the complete powerlessness I was experiencing with regard to the rest of the disasters unfolding in my house.

This I could do something about. I had the power. I could also rage my fricken face off at the Bermudagrass and no one would file a lien against our house in the process, or say, drop a deuce between the new drywall.

No, Bermudagrass is defenseless that way. It can't come into my house, tear down my bathroom and leave me showerless for 2+ months.

But this isn't about our forever-taking bathroom project. It's about my Bermudagrass rage and how I punched a hole in the atmosphere with our sprinkler system again.

You see, friends, when I realized I was going to spend my weekend digging and sifting through the hard-packed hasn't-seen-rain-in-forever-because-we're-having-the-driest-year-on-record front yard soil instead of going to Tahoe to gallivant around for Oktoberfest, I was none too pleased.

This is not fun for me - digging about looking for evil invaders.

So, you can imagine that when I headed out to the yard in my full yard work regalia (doo-rag included) and my heftiest and pointiest shovel, my rage was on full tilt.

I was ready to slay me some fucking Bermudagrass.

Also, sadly, it meant that I was going to have to remove the fountain grass altogether because The Evil was all up in that thing like it was a stairway to heaven or something crazy.

So, to keep myself from going blind with rage and sorrow and frustration and WHY ISN'T MY BATHROOM DONE NO I DON'T CARE THAT THAT'S UNRELATED TO YARD WORK, I consoled myself with the fact that at least I'd be able to divide the irises that had been growing into an ever-denser clump over the five years they'd been in the ground.

"I'll divide the bulbs!" I said.

"I'll replant them in a huge drift where the fountain grass used to be!" I said.

"It'll be beautiful!" I said.

Do you know what I did not say?

"We'll have a geyser in our front yard where the fountain grass used to be!"

Nope. Never said that. Except that's exactly what happened.

But first, I actually did dig up everything, toss the fountain grass, divide the bulbs (HOLY HELL THERE WERE ONE MILLION) and eradicate the mother effing Bermudagrass.

That's a 5 gallon bucket, friends. OF IRISES. When I planted them 5 years ago - there were a dozen. 

This is our yardwaste bin. CRYING.
Just an extra bucket of Bermudagrass I pulled after filling the yard waste bin. THAT'S ALL.

Dug the giant hole. Added compost.

Replanted one million divided irises.

Covered it up to pretend like nothing happened.

Mulched the ever loving crap out of it and roped it off so no one decided to use it as a walkway which would have totally happened. 
And then Monday morning came around.

I was sitting in the backyard covered in all of my textbooks doing all of my homework and studying for class when my neighbor peeked his head through the dutch gate and advised me of the Tallest Fountain in America Award which I was now winning thanks to the new water feature in our front yard.

Apparently, in all my rage-shoveling, I sliced through one of our 1/2" irrigation lines.


And then did I mention that our irrigation system is totally haunted ever since the contractors unplugged it during the re-piping of our house so now it comes on twice on the days it's scheduled to run?

Because I got to experience the second coming on of the sprinklers AS I was inspecting the irrigation line for the alleged leak.

Hooray for my extremely clear sinuses. And the vicinity of the emergency water shut off valve. And our stockpile of sprinkler fittings and couplings. And the fact that I was caffeinated and vitamined (I should update you on the vitamin regimen - good times) and thinking clearly and rationally. And the fact that I'd burned out all my rage doing the too-aggressive shoveling over the weekend.

Because I actually managed to give the Tallest Fountain in America award back to our friends in St. Louis after only about 20 minutes of sorting through couplings, muddy digging about in the yard and replacing of iris bulbs from those that landed on our roof in the fountaining process.

And I'm proud to say throughout that stratospherically damaging event, not a single sprig of Bermudagrass was seen, so I can only assume that it was shot into space where it shall remain until such time as suburbs become commonplace on the moon.


  1. Just taking a moment to say that I love you because I soooo needed to read something funny in the midst of doing something no parent should have to do. While I didn't Ha Ha out loud, I did an inside chuckle and I really needed that.

  2. That's . . . Um. Well . . . I really don't know what to say about all this. Congratulations? I'm sorry? I . . . yeah. I got nothin'.

    1. I don't know either. I ended up with. "OK, fine then."

  3. This sounds familiar to my little niece exclaiming "Ohhhhhh water in the front of the house" which led to a sinkhole in our front lawn. The water main to the house was leaking - 4 feet down - AND in Phoenix (I kid you not) it started to rain while we were digging for the leak source. It never rains... and well - when it rains, it pours. =)
    I cannot seem to sign off using my wordpress - so if you ever want to see what we are doing - check out - we are the 40-year old vegans.

    1. Wow, like the world was all, "OH YEAH WELL TAKE THIS!". The world can be rude like that. And I will check out your veganness.

  4. Bermuda grass, what a pain. I have a strip of lawn out front COVERED in the stuff. And the earth is dry and hard, very hard. It taunts me. Jenny

    1. Give it a good soak overnight and then PULL THAT SHIT OUT. Amen.

  5. Yep I read this a week ago when you wrote it, but I just spent 2 hours pulling up grass in about 30 sq ft of that little strip that borders the driveway. Do you ever get so exhausted you're kind of wobbly? That's my method. Those good old days when we had Roundup - poison a garden to save it, hah.
    You're a funny lady.

    1. Um...yes. Every time. I believe our methods are similar. Glad you're alive to comment ;)

      Burn the village to save the village indeed.


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