Smother crops

Jack Rowe jackrowe at compuserve.com
Sun Nov 2 13:44:41 EST 1997


Lamb's Quarters is a good choice as an early-spring/summer smother crop,
Lawrence... you're right, it sure is tasty, though some Leaf Amaranths are
mighty good. Interesting about it smothering Bermuda grass, a true
acid-test. Another I've found that works well if beds are fall-prepared is
ryegrass, because it gets very dense in the spring and lives past the time
when the summer plants want to have been germinated and become
already-established. I've even had it kill out about 90% of the established
bermuda grass in an area (This in Texas, 30 degrees N lat., summer plants
start about March and ryegrass lives into May before the heat kills it,
gets very tall, dense). Hairy vetch is an excellent companion for the
ryegrass and dies about the same time, both will have gone to seed if not
prevented.

For summer the L.Q. is good -- big leaves, good cover -- and sorghums
and/or cowpeas are fast and thick-growing, drought-resistant but start late
(when it's already warm and summer weeds are already at it -- could hoe to
kill weeds, sow sorghum/cowpeas/L.Q), could thus go in after the rye-vetch.
Mung beans are the fastest-growing legume I've ever grown, set seed in 40
days, good dense cover, nice small beans (easy to spread). Corn can be
planted early, gives good cover quickly if planted a little too-closely
(that's how they get those wonderful baby corns). 

I wonder how many cycles it would take if the weed seeds were allowed to
germ., then hoed, then allowed to germ. again, then hoed again...? 



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