“Carefree Gardening” is an oxymoron in Nashville, Tennessee. The naive think they have discovered the secret of it when they come home with a bolt or two of weed barrier cloth from Home Depot and order a dump truck full of bark mulch. The garden pictured above was covered with both mulch and fabric. The blackberry bushes and the Bermuda grass show how effective this was. The owner asked me if I could just remove the invaders and leave the barrier intact. The answer to that is the last photo. One must remember too that earth beneath the cloth will not be renewed by the humus of fallen leaves or the decay of the bark.
And what awful things we find beneath when we tear out the fabric. Wormy Vampire pale stolons of Bermuda grass, that regenerates like the Hydra when we cut it to pieces. If the garden’s owner forbids chemicals, we will be on our knees grubbing it out for the rest of that garden’s life.
Bermuda grass is also known as Devil’s Grass, and after one has spent an hour attacking it in its lair in the rock hard ground using a trowel and an old serrated bread knife, one quite agrees.