My dear friend Kavita over at BODAAT very kindly sent me a load of information from a landscaping class she has recently taken from the City of Chandler. Included was a great little booklet about removal of Bermudagrass which is an insidious type of grass that everyone grows here in the desert for it's hardiness and drought resistance. It takes a LOT of water to maintain as I have posted here before, and is very difficult to get rid of because even if you don't water it it goes dormant and springs back to life sometimes after months of drought. It also grows very deeply and therefore is almost impossible to remove by digging out.
There have been many discussions of this issue over at the Phoenix Permaculture Guild and they have actual classes on Bermudagrass removal because it can be so tricky.
This has REALLY made me think about our horrible patch of grass at the back that I can't stand. I know that even to keep it barely alive and looking awful it takes endless water and this goes against everything I believe in. During the winter we let it die back and then that looks worse, but at least it isn't using up precious water. I am newly determined to speak to R about removing it, or most of it. He is resistant for some reason saying Xeriscaping the back will look wierd and be too hot, but I have an idea that I think he might go for! We could remove nearly all of it, just leaving a very small area and xeriscaping the rest. That way we could have grass that looks OK and is easy to maintain, and uses way less water. I would also be happy because I could truly feel that I am following my principles of water conservation. I wonder what it would take to remove the grass we have without damaging the other plants? The booklet recommends a herbicide which I am loath to do because my entire garden is organic and I never use these. I will have to look into this further and see.
Thanks Kavita for inspiring and motivating me! This is long overdue.