How to get bermuda grass out of a raised bed
I have my raised asparagus bed laid our and sides already staked in. Because the area has never been tilled, we sprayed it twice with extra strength Roundup to kill the wild onions and bermuda grass. Today I tilled it, then raked to get as much of the bermuda grass out as possible, but there has to be millions of spikes still in the dirt. Now how do I get rid of all of them before tilling in the leaves and sand I plan to add to the existing dirt.
I planted my long row of asparagus two years ago and have dutifully allowed the 40 spears or so to grow up and out into dill-like plants as needed for all new beds. This spring will be the first year that I can begin harvesting my bounty. You guessed it, in the meantime, ordinary Bermuda has fallen in love with my well mulched and naturally fertilized bed... the whole length. Here's my plan... I will kneel, with my digging tool and lovingly dig up and pull up as much of the Bermuda as decides to come up with my spears. The bed is "soft" enough with all the amendments to make this an easy if not tedious process. Good luck to you, Lanelle!
A useful tool for removing bermuda from asparagus is the Water Weeder available from Lee Valley Tools. It softens the soil around the roots so lots of the plant can be removed at once.
Just now viewed the blow-up of the Water-Powered Weeder & read the "how it's done". Wow, they invented the very tool that I've always dreamed could be made! I used pull my hose around the yard with a tight coned nipple on the end and crank up the pressure to "try" to do what this neat product does. Oh... and looks to be so very less MESSY than my method.
From your comments I assume the asparagus has not been planted yet. It does take wet soil to be able to pull Bermuda grass out of a raised bed and "hand pulling" is about the only way to get it out. When you till the area you break the "strands" of Bermuda so each small piece has to be pulled out; if you leave even small pieces they will grow during the summer. A steel rake or a spading fork will help turn the soil to remove the Bermuda. The Water Weeder may speed up the process. It is going to be alot easier to get the grass out before you plant the Asparagus - even if it means not getting the bed in place this year.
Thanks for all the suggestions, especially the one about the water weeder. I see I may have a long road ahead to clear all the bermuda grass. I grew up on a farm and know the evasiveness of it very well. I am going to spray the ground one more time before I add the amendments, then go from there.
At first glance I thought you said "Walter weeder". I did not think Walter made housecalls to pull weeds.
Having helped Walter's mom with some of her yard issues, maybe Walter will come over and help fix my issues when his very busy schedule ever slows down (big smile here).
I like taking a new bed, watering it very well then covering it with plastic, and let the sun cook everything underneath it. After about a week, I till the soil up as best as I can and then repeat the process a second time. I find this gives me a good head start in preventing any wanted vegetation. And of course the "Walter weeder" sounds good too!
I've accidentally left black plastic out on a portion of grassed and noticed that... good idea! Sure would save on the cost of weed killer or the backbreaking stooping of weed pulling.
If you really want to get rid of the bermuda grass than this site will help you do that. http://joshualeeblog.com/wp/how-to-get-rid-of-bermuda-grass-and-other-pesky-weeds-in-your-garden/