Buffalo was almost perfect. It was beautiful and fine textured, grew slowly, and was virtually drought proof, with roots that have been found as deep as 40 feet. Bermuda? Like here, but more aggressive, too tough to pull, and capable of sending shoots up from the tiniest root you didn’t get dug out.
Coping with grass is best thought of as modified warfare.
If you have the money, a truck and trailer loaded with equipment will stop out in front, several guys will appear and turn your jungle into a paradise that Keep (your city) Beautiful might come and plant a sign in front of.
I’m a do-it-yourselfer. About once a week, two forces line up to do battle. Me and grass. Grass has remarkable growth, rain that can help it grow faster and keep me out of it, and worst of all, a silent advance I might not notice.
On my side, a decrepit mower, a string trimmer and strategy. I keep grass at bay with barricades of landscape timbers, cut into octagons and secured with re-bar driven through holes.
Why octagons? They are attractive, cheap, and easy to make. Rectangles chopped out of landscape timbers work, but they lack appeal. The human eye craves the geometric rhythm of eight corners versus only four. I have Pythagoras to thank for how to make them.
Pythagoras lived on the Greek island of Samos more than 2500 years ago. He gave us his Theorem, which deals with the relationship among the three sides of a right triangle. If you take the longest side, the one he called the hypotenuse, you can use a little math to figure exactly how long each of the eight pieces of timber needs to be for the perfect fit around any tree or bush. Then all you need is a cut-off or miter saw, set at 22.5 degrees. If you Google “octagon” like I did, you will find you will only need the square root of two (1.414), along with the instructions you will find there, to calculate any size of octagon you want. Save the math for a fun puzzle later.
There’s still one problem: cats. With mulch, your octagons seem perfect (for them) litter boxes. I suggest adding two unobtrusive ingredients, that cats hate, as a top dressing . Try coffee grounds, if you drink coffee, or cayenne pepper, an attractive orange sprinkle. Apply with care.
Maybe I’m not winning my war with grass and cats. but there is a sort of armistice I can live with.