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Old 07-08-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


I need good ideas for dealing with our driveway border problem!

We're in Zone 7a. We have an asphalt driveway. Next to that is a wire grass-filled border, about 30' x 3'. A low wooden edge, right at ground level, is supposed to separate the yard from the driveway border.

It was mulch-filled when we moved in, with small shrubs planted there. We didn't know that right under that mulch was a carpet of wire grass, which soon grew right over to bite into the edge of the asphalt driveway. Under the wire grass, about 10" straight down is a THICK layer of construction gravel, and red clay soil...and the little shrubs were new plants that promptly died under terrible growing conditions when their roots baked over the thick gravel layer in August. The mulch washed away over the winter. Nothing left there but the wire grass.

Thought about making our wiregrass border into a brick or stone walkway, leading to the mail box...even though I'm not sure how to do that yet! Or apply a layer of little white landscaping pebbles, with stepping stones between the landscaping pebbles for a walkway.

A couple of weeks ago, I put weed killer on the wire grass border, and it all turned brown, but it has since started growing back. We tried digging it out, but the tough wire grass roots run about 9" or 10" under the dirt, are super-durable, and there's always more of it to come back! I think when you try to dig it up you just make it grow back better than before. We think wire grass thrives on a thick layer of hot construction gravel mixed with pure clay soil.

Should I apply more brush killer, or get the kind of stronger weed killer that stays in the soil for up to a year? (that seems more environmentally dangerous?)

The main need right now is to keep that aggressive wire grass from tearing up the asphalt. Secondary desire is that it would be pretty instead of ugly. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:38 PM   #2
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


might read this info on wire grass:
http://turfgrass.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000007-2.html

also saw this on another wire grass:
http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/4h/Wiregrass/wiregras.htm

do some googling if you've no luck here.

good luck!

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:09 AM   #3
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


Got some good ideas for trying to hold it back.

This stuff spreads pretty deeply down in the dirt. I've dug its root runners out of flower beds as deep as 9" or 10". Nothing seems to deter it from thriving and spreading! If you leave behind only a tiny fragment of root runner, you will soon have a whole new wire grass plant.

Maybe I can put down a physical barrier that's about 12" deep, and maybe not many of the runners would get through to my driveway border...and maybe even fewer would make it through to bite into the asphalt!
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


To slow down future growth, since the conclusion is that you can't just dig this stuff out and be done with it!

Then will have to figure out how to make this weed border into a walkway!
Sure wish I would just wake up one morning and find a beautiful, natural stone sidewalk there. =)
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


Get some super concentrated roundup and double or triple the recommended amount you put in to the sprayer. Spray it, it will die quickly then spray any that comes back about 2 weeks later. I'd wait another 2 weeks then make one final spray if needed.

That should do it, however, any bermuda that's left nearby that you didn't spray could spread back into the area you just killed.

My whole front and back yard is bermuda and I love it. It does require weekly edging to keep it from spreading.

I've had it for 7 years now and it has never spread into any of my beds or borders as I properly maintain it.

Also...This is a big thing...make sure you put down a pre-emergent after killing it and do the same again in the spring or it will come back via seed.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


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Originally Posted by KHouse75 View Post

Also...This is a big thing...make sure you put down a pre-emergent after killing it and do the same again in the spring or it will come back via seed.
Thanks for good advice on the 2-week plan for this re-emergent problem! Wire/bermuda grass gives new meaning to the word "perreniel."

About that pre-emergent: does the pre-emergent need to be applied through growth while it is still living and able to carry chemicals down to its roots? Or is the pre-emergent applied to bare soil ,or to brown grass/weeds after growth has died?
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


I used to try to get rid of my bermuda until I saw how dense, green and drought tolerant it was. I decided to mow the remaining fescue low to kill it off. Now I have a very nice lawn that stays green for a long time without rain. It's brown in the winter and early spring but you can overseed with ryegrass to get the green during the winter and spring.

It depends upon the instructions for the pre-emergent. I don't use it on my yard because I have a dense bermudagrass and don't need it to control any weeds. The bermuda does that for me. I also have a concrete driveway that it doesn't hard like it does asphalt.

My guess is you have to time it pretty close to when the seedlings will begin germinating and water it in good. Sometime in the early spring while it's still dormant. Some seeds may stay dormant longer so you may want to apply again a few times during the warm season. If you want to plant something else there from seed, you won't be able to as it will stop the seeds from growing.

Oh! Make sure the bermuda is active growing when you apply the herbicide. If you spray it while it's dormant, it won't don't anything to it.

Last edited by KHouse75; 07-17-2008 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:51 PM   #8
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


Whatever you spray, I would make sure that you put down landscaping fabric after it dries. If you are going to put stones or some type of permanent mulch, I would make sure that I put down the fabric. If you live near a Sam's Club, you can buy it rather cheap there and it is very high quality.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


Quote:
Next to that is a wire grass-filled border,
Quote:
Wire/bermuda grass gives new meaning
Just asking, but you do know that Bermuda grass is not the same thing as Wiregrass? Lots of people call Bermuda wiregrass because the runners are wire-like, and some people in this world just repeat what they have heard others say. Any reasonably knowledgeable pesticide applicator will tell you that you first have to identify the problem. Yes, weeds and herbicides are a category of pests/pesticides.

I would strongly suggest that you take a sample of your weed to either your local extension service or a good garden center and ID it first.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #10
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


No Comment! Later Cliff.

Last edited by KHouse75; 07-21-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:00 PM   #11
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Driveway border filled with "wire grass"


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Just asking, but you do know that Bermuda grass is not the same thing as Wiregrass?
It would be cool to get a positive ID on this aggressive culprit! Maybe I'll be able to get in contact with someone who really knows their weeds and grasses! I could *almost* tell from an internet search, just needed a slightly better photo...

Yup, definitely repeating what I've heard other people say, for lack of a more definitive name for it.

I am humbled by its will to live and to conquer the earth...and to bite holes in my driveway. *sigh*

Virginia Tech has an internet ID program, the WhizID Keying System for ID-ing an unknown grass weed sample. We'll need to study ours a tad closer, then we can try running the info through this system!

Link: http://whizlab.isis.vt.edu/servlet/wid?table=grasses

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Last edited by Beth777; 07-21-2008 at 11:23 PM. Reason: To add in a link
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