Evil crabgrass is trying to kill my precious little baby bermuda grass!
The thing is, crabgrass is sneaky and manipulative – especially to a novice gardener like me. I didn’t know that when I planted the bermuda seeds in my yard. I didn’t know that when little green shoots started peeking out of the ground very quickly after I planted the seeds. I had never seen baby bermuda grass, so I thought the little green shoots were baby bermuda grass coming into the world. Well, now I know — it’s crabgrass!!
Now that I’ve seen baby bermuda grass, I know better. If I had been smarter, I would have checked it out on the internet before now. But no one told me it was crabgrass. Even the young man who has mowed my yard didn’t know that the little green shoots were crabgrass.
I did ask 1st Son-in-law about some of the bigger, ugly stuff in the yard. He has a gorgeous lawn! First family came to visit for Mother’s Day, so I asked him about the big, ugly stuff. He told me that it was crabgrass. Of course, I still didn’t realize when the perky green shoots started coming up in the section I had seeded that they were babies that would grow up into the big, ugly stuff. That I found out after deciding to research crabgrass on the internet.
Now, to the manipulative part. The little baby crabgrass looks very cute and innocent at first. It manipulates you into thinking that it is baby bermuda grass. In fact, my internet research confirms that baby crabgrass can be mistaken for bermuda grass.
The vertical arrows show the toddler crabgrass. The horizontal arrows pointing left show the baby bermuda grass. And the horizontal arrows pointing right show tiny baby grass that may be baby bermuda grass or it may be baby crabgrass.
Then the baby crabgrass gets bigger very, very fast. It takes over!
Can you even see the baby bermuda grass struggling underneath? Maybe this will help.
I took this picture after clearing out some of the toddler crabgrass. Again, the vertical arrows show the crabgrass. And there’s the baby bermuda grass (see horizontal arrows) still struggling to live.
And still the sneakiness and manipulation continue. Here’s a picture of teenage crabgrass in another section of my yard.
All the vertical arrows point to parts of one teenage crabgrass. These are all connected in the middle under the ground. The one baby crabgrass grew into this in no time at all! And do you see any bermuda grass underneath or around it? No! The crabgrass has choked the life out of the poor bermuda grass. The thing is, there was bermuda grass there last summer. Really!
But wait! Then there’s the adult crabgrass that gets really sneaky and manipulative. It flattens out so it can take over even more of the yard, and you can’t even reach it to mow it down.
See what I mean? The arrows are all leaves from the same adult crabgrass. If it keeps going, the bermuda grass that’s still there will disappear. Aaaghgghg!!!! (That was me screaming).
(Oooops! Song interlude.)
Now, how do I get rid of this evil creature? According to my internet research, the best thing to do before seeding with bermuda is to use a special crabgrass killer on the prepared dirt because crabgrass loves empty dirt. But I didn’t do that because I didn’t know about it until after I seeded and baby bermuda grass started coming up.
Once the baby bermuda grass is coming up, evidently, the most effective way to get rid of the baby/toddler/child crabgrass is to pull it up. Hey — I guess I should have been more obsessive about pulling up that stuff earlier. At that point, it’s not difficult to pull up because it doesn’t have really deep roots. But it’s very time consuming and tiring. And the worst part is that, no matter how careful I am, sometimes the baby bermuda grass comes up with it. It just breaks my heart when I see the baby bermuda grass coming up — or, worse, feel it in my fingers letting go of the earth as I pull. Waaaaaaa!!
I just keep telling myself that it would all die if I left the crabgrass. “It will all die if I leave the crabgrass.” “It will all die if I leave the crabgrass.” “It will all die if I leave the crabgrass.” Waaaaaa!
I’m so sorry, baby bermuda grass.