That Pesky Bermuda Grass!

It has been an excellent rainy season for lawn conversions and sheet mulching. Susan Garbert (Petaluma’s Duchess of Mulch) recently alerted me to another residential project on the East Side she had just completed…

Sheet mulching is an effective and economical way to transform a turf landscape. I have written about this technique to a veritable fare thee well.  (See Journal Of A Lawn Junkie)

However, there is one situation where it is a somewhat problematic solution–lawns with a significant amount of Bermuda grass are not amenable to traditional sheet mulching. And so it was for the one remaining patch of turf in our back yard–the secret turf stash held back by this Lawn Junkie –half of which was Bermuda!

Nonetheless, there are some ways of dealing with the Bermuda problem and we took on the challenge last December.

The approach recommended by Susan was to remove as much of the Bermuda as possible before sheet mulching. 

In anticipation of the project, I made the traditional last cut…

Then, I placed the last remaining piece of lawn equipment in the driveway with the usual Petaluma Disposal Sign…

Within the hour, the neighborhood mail carrier claimed the lawn mower.

A few weeks later, Susan Garbert showed up with her crew to begin digging out the ubiquitous, persistent Bermuda grass… 

In short order, the ground was ready for cardboard and mulch… 

A few months later…February 2010 to be precise…a new landscape ready for Spring…

So far, there are no signs of any new Bermuda grass. However, we will keep an eye out for attempts by the Bermuda interloper to return.*

The next few months will be spent “planning & planting” the new landscape.

*NOTE: From time to time a question comes up about sheet mulching over sod lawns. Lawn sod has plastic netting in its base and a few people have asked me whether it has to be removed before sheet mulching. According to Susan Garbert: “You still just sheet mulch it. The plastic from the sod is there, and you have to tear through it when you plant. As the soil texture improves, it is not that much of an issue at all. Remember that all perennial plants are put in. It’s not like you need to have it clear for roto-tilling and planting rows of corn.”
For additional information on sheet mulching over Bermuda lawns…

Peet’s Coffee–New Greeters, Ginger & Bronx

For those who follow this blog, you may recall past articles about Murphy & Max at Noah’s Bagels. I can report that they are doing well. However, this Sunday morning I spotted a new potential canine attraction at Peet’s Coffee a few yards away.

Just outside the door at Peet’s, I encountered Ginger & Bronx (aunt & nephew) on station as greeters. They served to brighten up a cloudy morning…

Hi! Welcome to Peet’s…

Check on the pastries…and…if you might…perhaps a dog biscuit for us?

You all come back!

New California DMV Driver’s Test!

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: It is Saturday Nite (Sunday Morning on the WordPress Server) and the staff and officers of the Famous But Fictional Petaluma’s Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino have taken over this blog.  


The Research Department at the Instituto De Vino Wine has developed a simplified  written examination for the California DMV! 

In these days of the Great Recession and budget deficits,  we propose a single question essay test to reduce DMV administrative costs and help balance the state budget… 


Q–Which of the following road signs should you ignore and which should you obey…and in what order? 


CLUE–As with most things in California, there are no right or wrong answers…unless you give the wrong answer. 

Good luck! 

Respectfully submitted,  

Petaluma’s Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino 

  • Chief Wino &  Solo Vine Manager (We have only one vine)–Frank
  • First Secretary-Vinnie Parducci
  • Second Secretary- Guido Marcucci
  • Third Secretary-Gustav Von Da Vee
  • Treasurer-Minnie Da Moocher
  • Counsel–Horace Rumpole of Chateau Fleet Street Claret
  • Vat & Barrel Managers-Jay Gaulo
  • Restaurant Manager-Al Fresco
  • Food Director–Sushi Tira-Misu
  • Director, Financial Planning-Two Fingers (as in “a-one-a,” “a-two-a”) Sabastiani
  • Director of Protocol & Arbiter of Taste–Marthe Stuarda
  • Tour Director-Expresso Camino Freeway
  • Movie & Video Critic-Francois Fjord
  • Bouncer–Sumo Cum Laude “Big Fish” Sashimi
  • Chats du Vin Extraordinaire—Hannah Sue & Gracie Mae (The Claret Kitties)
  • Director of Cheap & Trashy Personal Counseling–Tristan E. Isolde
  • Director of Catering–Enchy Latta
  • Senior Citizen Wine Consultant–Jerry Attrick

Presidents’ Day–St. James Community Garden

DATELINE: St. James Catholic Church Community Garden, Petaluma, CA February 15, 2010

On this foggy morning, several volunteers showed up  to plant, perform maintenance, and conduct a first harvest of spinach and bok choy from the winter garden for the Petaluma Kitchen.

At present there is quite a variety of vegetables planted or planned for the garden–spinach, cabbage, turnips, peas, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, herbs, etc. One side of the garden is already planted with fruit trees (apple, pear & apricot) and the plans include another row of  fruit trees on the opposite side.

A few photos from the day…

First Harvest…

Planting bulbs…

Veggies ready for the Petaluma Kitchen…


Additional photos are available on Petaluma 360 (Click Here)

Mary’s Pizza Shack supports the St. James Community Garden. See Mary’s Pizza Flyer St James

Huzzah, Hooray & Hallelujah

The City of Petaluma’s web page has a new feature I think you are going to like. They have added a new menu that will make it easier to…

  • Find answers to your questions
  • Report concerns
  • File complaints

FROM THE  CITY’S WEB PAGE: ” New ! - Check out the “I want to…” pulldown menu on the upper left. We want to make things easier to find. If you have a suggestion, contact Webmaster

Take a few moments to examine the various options on the new menu.

This new feature goes a long way towards addressing the suggestions raised in Petaluma’s State Of The Union–Part II

For all I know, it was there when I posted the suggestions in my blog. 

If so, my bad.

But what is important is that it is there and you should use it!

A big thanks to the staff for putting it together!