Daikon and grass seed.

Elfpermacl at aol.com Elfpermacl at aol.com
Tue Oct 20 12:25:39 EDT 1998


In a message dated 10/19/98 7:12:51 PM, you wrote:

<<Any advice on the following?:

1. I am considering planting daikon on a fairly steep and denuded bank (Bobcat
machinery-damaged). Will any long white radish do or should it have the daikon
name?

2. I've been given some lawn seed and want to use it. Is it OK to apply it to
the
less steep area as described above? Advantages? Disadvantages?

For those who followed the Q & A around my Douglas fir embankment, it is
coming along
slowly but steadily. If I get a good picture I could post it here. Would that
work
from the list's standpoint?

Jeffrey Newman>>

Jeffrey:

Grass is much better on the steep bank than daikon.  The radish is good for
breaking through compacted soil, according to  Mollison, though I am
personally skeptical.  (Lets hear from people who have tried it.)  I call such
plants "organic crowbars" and they include wild carrot, comfrey, chicory,
dock, burdock, etc.

For a quick cover to hold the soil, broadcast rye (NOT ryegrass) and cover it
lightly with burlap or straw.  Rye has a phenomenal mat rooted structure.  Add
some clover for come organic crowbar benefits and if you get a procumbant
species, additional and more long term soil holding through adventitious
rooting along the stems.  I hesitate to suggest a species because I don't know
your rainfall. If you are in a low-rainfall area, you have a difficult
situation and you may want to look at mat-rooted succulents, which are also a
good fire barrier.  You will want a mix of grasses, legumes and forbs,
eventually, for the various properties of each.  In dry climates, different
grass species come on during different parts of the growing season, often.  No
on on the internet, nor everyone combined, can give you as much relevant
information as you can observe on what has worked out in the vicinity.  Don't
overlook the cacti as soil holders.  many of them are quite good.

Free grass seed is "worth" trying.  however you may want to spread it thinly
and fill in with natives or naturalized exotics.

Whatever you do, do not depend on daikon to hold a steep slope.  It sends its
roots down, you need something that fills the soil with a web of roots.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
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