Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?

  • 7 Replies
  • 4602 Views
*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Does anybody have any experience of growing Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)?  ...Intentionally, that is!
 
I have some patches of it where I don't need it, and am considering transplanting it to a steep bare slope to test its soil-retaining abilities.
My chief concern is how well it will work in winter - when, supposedly, it is not in leaf. The roots are perennial, so I am hoping that even if there is little foliage (to take some of the rain impact), the roots would continue to bind the soil.
 
I am also presuming that if/where I need to get rid of it at some later time, I can use a gramicide to be selective (or RoundUp otherwise).
 
Refs:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynodon_dactylon
- http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7453.html
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

  • Hero Member
    • Email
Re: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 01:08:26 PM »
Mike, simply regard C.dactylon as a desirable species..  It responds well to water and fertiliser and even to broadleaf weedkillers.  It grows well in mediterranean countries.  It will turn brownish in the winter but will not die. You can cut it; the shorter the better to begin with as this will help kill off any broadleaves.

O Fillippi sells a clone named "Santana" but I found this to be a very fine leafed plant and not competitive.  There are many superior clones unfortunately not available in Europe.  For example google the University of Texas and "Tifway" grass. You will many clones with different characteristics. Perhaps you can import some or find a European distributor.

I cultivated a lawn around the swimming pool in the Languedoc simply by favoring the Cynodon and eliminating broadleaves.  Cynodon is a hungry feeder.  You need to give it a complete NPK dressing in the fall and a strong N topdressing in the spring.

Hope it works.  There are several articles in TMG about Cynodon as a lawn.

Good luck david
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 04:04:49 PM »
David, that's excellent; thank you very much.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) - beware!
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 09:26:10 PM »
I mention Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) as a warning.

I heard about it for the first time in Scientific American (July 2011, p.13, by Carrie Madren).
Some extracts, to give relay the flavour of the article:
- 'a powerful vegetative force that alters forests'
- 'established itself on over a million acres' in Florida, Alabama and nearby
- 'nearly impossible for native plants to survive'
- 'could become a greater threat than kudzu or Japanese honeysuckle'
- US govt spent $millions 'to fight the weedy scourge'
- 'very few methods of control'

Its behaviour in mediterranean climates may be somewhat different, but it would still seem wise to avoid it.

More info.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

ezeiza

  • Full Member
Re: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 12:48:38 AM »
Bermuda grass is the most common lawn grass here in Argentina. It is very tough and dependable and yes a voracious feeder, devouring organic matter for good. At least here herbicides (gliphosate for instance) are not effective on it. The foliage is burnt for good very rapidly but after a few weeks it resprouts from the matt of thick roots.

David Bracey

  • Hero Member
    • Email
Re: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 04:12:26 PM »
Mike, Imperata is a tropical grass and the bane of oil plam plantations in SE Asia.  I very much doubt that it would survive here. David
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

*

MikeHardman

  • Hero Member
    • www.mikehardman.com
Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) - beware!
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 07:23:57 AM »
Even the best of us make mistakes, and all the time we are learning, and revising our ideas (timid posters take note!)

I discussed this grass with David offline, and he concedes that he was wrong on this occasion.
It seems it does survive here.
Although I have not knowingly seen it here in Cyprus, Desmond Meikle, in his 'Flora of Cyprus', 1977, Vol.2, pp.1866-7, describes Imperata cylindrica as found in most of his divisions of Cyprus, and common on the central north coast. Also growing in 'W. and S. Europe, the Mediterranean region and eastwards to Central Asia...'. He gives the habitat as 'Sandy ground near the sea or inland, sometimes on river banks or by the side sof ditches; sea level to 900ft. alt.'. One of his cited localities is Polis - on my doorstep!
I have also seen Italian distribution maps showing its presence in many provinces.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

  • Hero Member
    • Email
Re: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) - still binds soil during winter?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 09:14:53 PM »
Mike suggest you pop down to Polis and see if its still there !  David
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.