Sunday, July 28, 2013

Asphalt-Eating Plant


One of the sillier things people do is plant Bermuda grass next to asphalt. In another place and another time, I advocated for using native seedmixes for planting the bare ground next to new biketrails, so the trails could become corridors of native diversity. Another approach, in some ways preferable, is to stabilize bare ground with an annual grass that will allow the local flora to reclaim the ground in succeeding years. Instead, the powers that be planted Bermuda grass, a perennial turfgrass that excluded native species and proceeded to eat the asphalt. Counterproductive, to say the least.

I've seen this effect in Princeton as well, where a homeowner probably threw down some Bermuda grass seed to fill a bare spot. The grass then spread through the lawn to the driveway, where it began eating away at the edges. Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass, which means it can be most easily spotted in a lawn during the winter, when it turns brown.

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