[permaculture] Controlling crab grass

Dieter Brand diebrand at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 15 15:41:39 EDT 2007


Tom,
   
  Many thanks for the idea about the calcium, I hadn’t thought along those
  lines at all. That does seem to be a useful book.
   
  The question with soil deficiencies often is: does the soil really have a 
  deficiency or does the low biological activity caused by abusive agricultural
  practices make it difficult for plants to access certain elements?
  In my case, crabgrass has spread to most of the fields ploughed by the 
  previous owner, while the surrounding hillsides, which are free of crabgrass,
  are covered by perennial native plants. It is clear that years of ploughing
  has compacted the soil and reduced soil organic matter, which is most
  likely the cause for the crabgrass. Hence, I have converted to no-till and
  return most of the organic matter to the soil as a mulch layer, so as to 
  improve the soil biology over the long term. I will, however, give the idea
  with the calcium a try and see what happens. 
   
  I didn’t quite understand the thing with the mould though. Why does it 
  favour crabgrass and not other plants? Does the book give an explanation?
   
  Dieter Brand
  Portugal
  
Tom Golodik <t.golodik at verizon.net> wrote:
  According to Charles Walters, in the second edition of his book "Weeds: 
Control Without Poisons," the presence of crabgrass indicates soil low in 
calcium that cannot support molds that begin the decay process. He suggests 
calcium lime and sulphur or gypsum to adjust pH. Effects will be seen 
quickly. I recommend the book highly.

Cheers,
Tom Golodik
Closter, NJ


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dieter Brand" 
To: 

Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:38 AM
Subject: [permaculture] Controlling crab grass


Hi,

I'm not sure if the term "crab grass" is used in the US. Anyway, it is
the kind of grass that propagates by whitish rhizomes underground,
by runners on the surface and by seeds. It is extremely invasive during
the summer and goes dormant during the winter.

Whenever I dig out some of this grass from my vegetable garden I'm
astonished by the quality of the soil which seems to be far superior in
places with crab grass than in places without. I always regret having
to disturb the soil and thereby destroying its structure in addition to
removing the organic matter of the grass itself.

Hence I wonder, is there any way of controlling crab grass, for example
by crowding out or by means of allelophatic properties? Or better still,
are there any crops that can compete with crab grass during the
summer, which would allow me to leave the grass in the soil?

Dieter Brand
Portugal


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