[permaculture] Crabgrass, Bermuda grass, etc.

Lisa Rollens rollens at fidnet.com
Mon Jun 18 14:39:41 EDT 2007


Jamie,

Your reply is not inflammatory, it was right on the money and we needed to 
be reminded.  I have been listening intently to this discussion about 
Bermuda grass hoping for a solution to get rid of mine.  Most of my "design 
area", my yard, is covered with Bermuda grass, and having lived in the south 
USA for 20 years, I know that gardening with Bermuda grass is frustrating, 
to say the least, a waste of time, to say more.  I tried every different 
method known to woman to get rid of the Bermuda, and the only thing that 
works for me is to dig up the roots.  then, when the pieces you don't get 
the first time come up, you must be diligent about digging them up as soon 
as they appear. I  leave the soil unmulched for a while so I can see the 
shoots.  I have tried mulching them out with everything, and nothing kills 
the rhizomes.  They just keep going until they find light on the other side 
of the mulch.

In Edible Forest Gardens, Jacke talks about modifying the site and 
minimizing unwanted plants from the start.  That would certainly refer to 
Bermuda grass.  The idea is that with patience at the beginning, the end 
result could be greater productivity, and certainly less work, in the long 
run.

I have crab grass here and there but it is nothing compared to Bermuda 
grass.  I really do feel that growing areas need to be free of Bermuda for 
the most productivity, and least work.

If anyone else has any solutions to the Bermuda grass problem, please speak 
up!

Lisa, in the Ozarks, USA


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jamie Nicol" <souscayrous at gmail.com>
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 4:34 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Crabgrass, Bermuda grass, etc.


> Warning: This answer is deliberately inflammatory!
>
> Dear Dieter, why does nature offer you so many problems?
>
> There is no single technique to destroy a single plant because no plant
> grows alone - it is the result of a relational context of which we can 
> only
> have the dimmest of notions.
>
> Crab grass is the result of cleared vegetation (perhaps due to your 
> efforts
> to clear your land for fear of wildfire?). Broadscale, bare field
> agriculture (whether no-till or not) is the necessary condition for
> desertification in droughty areas (Savory's 'brittle landscapes'). Crab
> grass (and the madrinho you have cut down) is simply the momentary, 
> natural
> progression toward revegetation.
>
> Crab grass is just the result of human action.
>
> Cease swimming against the flow of revegetation. Learn how to move with 
> the
> flow, subtly effecting the changes toward your desired landscape. Allow
> everything to grow and continue to expand the possible plant diversity by
> continuing to cast seeds and seedballs.
>
> Food does not grow from out of a growing medium but from soil and soil 
> does
> not exist where there is not a diverse array of plants filling every 
> niche.
> You know this, we all know this! So why do we continue to focus 
> exclusively
> upon a 'weed' or a particular crop...
>
> List of seeds to cast: ground cover - luzerne (alfalfa), black medic, 
> white
> clover and never remove native leguminous plants; vegetables - all kinds 
> of
> beets and radishes, asparagus, miner's lettuce, parsley, white mustard,
> chicory, coriander (cilantro), borage, cardoon, artichoke, Jerusalem
> artichoke (sunchoke), calendula, sunflowers, rocket (rucola), phacelia,
> tomato, aubergine, lentils, chick peas, peas, soya, cereals - maize, 
> millet,
> amaranth, tef, wheat, barley, wild oats (always reliable!), trees - black
> and silver wattle (Acacia spp), apricot, peach, nectarine, pomegranate,
> jujube, pistacchio, almond, black locust, honey locust, carob, wild 
> cherry,
> feijoa, fig, loquat, black mulberry, persimmon, tagasaste, holm and cork
> oak.
>
> If you do not have the time to move with the flow of nature then you can
> plough, spray, smother...conventional and organic farming do get their
> returns and so will you, unfortunately this includes desertification.
>
> Rain does not fall from the sky but grows up from the ground.
>
> Jamie
> Souscayrous
>
> PS Read Meister Eckhart on 'gelassenheit': leben ohne warum.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 6/18/07, Dieter Brand <diebrand at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> Paul,
>>
>>   Plantain will grow pretty much anywhere. If anything, my fields with
>>   crabgrass have worse drainage than other places.
>>
>>   Regarding the rye, I have bad news. The crabgrass already shows
>>   through the patches where I had rye in the winter. The rye does of
>>   course display allelophatic properties towards weeds; however, the
>>   allelophatic function weakens after you cut the rye, even if you leave
>>   the straw as mulch. This makes the rye option useless for me since
>>   I don't have enough humidity to grow rye in the summer.
>>
>>   I will try seeding the plantain into the crabgrass invested fields.
>>
>>   Dieter Brand
>>   Portugal
>>
>> Paul Cereghino <paul.cereghino at comcast.net> wrote:  I associate plantain
>> with poor winter drainage. Perhaps that is what the
>> crabgrass can't take. I recall from unknown sources that winter rye is
>> allelopathic, and so makes a good smother crop -- so confirmation
>> through hearsay.
>> Paul Cereghino
>>
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