Marian, I really like the natural look you have created. Is that all it takes to get the grass to not grow there? We struggle with bermuda grass out here. Round-Up takes MANY applications, over and over and over, to get rid of it.
MaryMcP - Our house was built in the mid-70's. If this area were being developed today, there would be four or five homes where there are now two or three. It seems today's homes have larger living areas, but smaller lots.
If I had the money, I would have the interior ripped out and rearranged to bring it into the 21st century.
We have the middle lot in the cul-de-sac so it has the largest lot, nearly a third of an acre. This one was built in the 70's as well. And had original carpet! UGH. We yanked it and are living with cement and area rugs until cash flow improves. Someday.
I've got a big area to rake. Lots of oak leaves this year. I got started this past weekend. I was really enjoying getting out and working in the cooler weather. My garden buddy, Santo the Corgi, was sitting in the cart and enjoying watching me work when I heard scuffling behind me and in the next pasture. Out of the woods popped two ferral hogs! I left in a hurry and very glad I did not let Santo down to jump in the leaves (which he loves to do). Will work on getting more leaves this coming weekend but this time with DH in tow. I do love mixing oak leaves into the beds.
I'm not really fond of those hogs. They've really done a number on our pastures this year. We've shot one a while back. It was in a herd of about forty adults and young right up agains the fence (electric) surrounding our house. Once you shoot one in front of the others, the herd won't come back for a bit. But they're back again! Thus DH and his trusty .30. We only shoot them if they won't back off or scare off. They seem to be very bold this year...
Anyway, I'm getting my leaves. Hogs or no hogs (they're probably after the accorns). Composting must go on!
[quote="HoneybeeNC"]Does it need to grow on a trellis like cucumbers and melons? I have what I need to grow it this way. I can't remember if what I grew in Florida had tendrils.[/quote]
They can be trained to a trellis but for most varieties it would really be a good idea to provide some support for the fruit if you're planning on growing it in the air. I've heard mesh bags nailed or screwed to wood stakes will work, but I haven't personally tried it. They do just fine on the ground, especially if you can provide drainage under the fruit (don't let them sit in a hole).
I'm hoping to expand my garden enough by summer to try out some Kabocha varieties. Kitazawa has a good selection, but most seed companies sell at least one or two. Some of them are quite small, weigh one pound, light enough to be supported by a lightweight trellis strong enough to grow cucumbers. Most are in the 3-5 pound range. The variety Sweet Mama grows on relatively short vines, fruit around 2.5 lbs.
honeybee...are you going to grow them in a raised bed? If so, you can lay a piece of lattice across the bed, let the plants sprout up through the lattice and when the fruit comes in, the lattice keeps them up off the soil. I have this setup now for three very prolific Black Plum tomato plants...now if we don't have a freeze this week I'll be good. Low's in 30's are projected.
Here you can see what I'm using. It's not actually a lattice, which may need cross-wise reinforcment, this is part of an old bunk bed set that DH found in the alley. It's made of steel and works GREAT.
Honeybee, when you're choosing your summer squash seed check for either tolerance or resistance to powdery mildew. There are some new varieties that are pretty resistant. High Mowing has a yellow variety and also a cantaloupe that is resistant.
HoneybeeNC, I grew Zucchini Tromba d'Albenga two summers ago. I'd never grown it before and thought it sounded cool. I planted without a trellis and the vines grew to epic proportions rivalling the watermelon I was also growing that year. I had yards and yards of zucchini and watermelon vines! They quickly escaped the boundaries of their beds and moved into a nearby rose bed. I had a heck of a time unwinding the vines from the thorny roses! If you received zucchini Tromba d-Albenga I think you could grow it over a rose trellis and it wouldn't skip a beat. I think it could give kudzu a run for its money--at least for that one perfect-storm-for-watermelon-and -zucchini season! This past year I grew yellow eight ball. It was a "bush" variety and the plants stayed well within the beds.
I would grow both varieties again, but definitely a trelis for the Tromba!
HoneybeeNC, the ones I grew were light green. The smaller ones tasted fine, not too strong and a bit sweet--I scooped out the seeds. But as we let them grow larger they can get meally. But the big ones were the ones the chickens liked, so everyone was happy.
terri_emory, do you feed the chickens the squash leaves, too? Mine love eating the leaves at the end of the season. If I chop the hollow stems into little "o's" they love that, too. The spines don't seem to bother them any.
The hens and the compost pile have to take turns with the spent leaves and plants. The hens and the peacocks do love anything I throw to them.
I can't let the hens run loose as we have a red-tailed hawk couple patroling the skies. Not to mention the coyotes, various other hawks and eagles, and the owls. We know the red-tails have a nest somewhere on our property and we think we know which tree, but we've been staying away and we don't want to scare them off. We know they had at least on chick this past season and he/she is a teenager now and one of the adults chased it off just before Christmas. The teenager spend two or three days feeling sory for himself on our front fence and trying to figure out if Corgis were the same a bunny rabbits. The found out they weren't (the hard way) and he left for gentler pastures.
So anyway, the hens will take any greenery and seem to love it all exept the tomato plants. They were once rejected so I just don't give them those. Probably for the best... I've found that they also some "past due" jack-o-lanterns as well and pumpkins (cut up). In addition they really like chunks of watermelon.
For those who have wire grass or bermuda grass or quack grass, there's a new herbicide that only works on grasses - and I think bamboo is a grass too; unfortunately, corn, wheat, etc., are grasses also. It takes about a week to work and you have to combine it with a sticking agent or it just runs off the blades. I found out about it on one of the other discussion groups, because they mentioned it can be used among perennials with no ill effects. I still found browning of the tips of peonies and some others, so I try not to hit them while I'm spraying the grass. There is a long list of plants that it will NOT kill attached to the label.
There are two brands, one is called Grass Getter, but I can't remember the other. Probably a well-stocked nursery will carry both. They're kind of expensive, but when one considers the HOURS of work to get rid of all traces of roots, it is worth it.
One other name for it is Over the Top. I used Grass Getter a few months ago on bermuda grass in my cactus bed. It seems to have worked well, not sure if it will kill bamboo. It *is* expensive, $45 for a pint, I think. It mixes with water. j_mooore, I did not have any 'sticking agent' so just went ahead anyway. It was still effective.
Honeybee, do you want me to send you a small sample to try? It's stinky stuff too.
since I use no chemicals I put heavy layers of newspaper over the area, wet them down to keep in place, then cover with the leaves. It will take a little time but in the end all the grass is dead and you have a better soil.
A second shipment of really strong men would be welcome here too! ;-)
However, here's another thing that *could* work. It does it's thing really well on big fat pokeweed plants. Cut the plant off at ground level and then paint the stump with FULL STRENGTH Round-up. Maybe if you scraped the bark off the bamboo before painting, more of it will penetrate. Good luck!
[quote="Frank65"]Had a friend who used round-up on bamboo and it worked but it took many, many applications![/quote]
It must have to do with how solutes are transported through the plant. Bamboos have very impervious outer epidermal layers compared with any other commonly-encountered grasses, and many in addition exude a waxy coating that would be almost impossible to penetrate with any water-based chemical. That would certainly impede uptake and effectiveness of any of the common herbicides. There may be some internal structural differences as well that could inhibit translocation within the plants. And another possible issue: "running" bamboos grow so fast as a rule that it's unlikely anything applied on new growth would make it back to the older rhizomes or culms, which could be many meters away - or for that matter, to the new growth which sends out its own roots as it spreads and doesn't require much in the way of nutrition from the older parts of the plant. It could finally also matter a great deal at what point in the growth cycle the herbicide was applied. Bamboos are tropical grasses, more or less continuous growers as the temperature allows, and have one of the most unusual flowering/seeding habits in the entire plant kingdom.
[quote="JoParrott"]I haven't used Roundup for ages, but I thought it had to be applied to the foliage in order to work. Maybe I'm wrong-[/quote]
Research indicates "Up to 70% of absorbed glyphosate can translocate out of the treated leaves to the root and shoot apices. However, glyphosate translocation is self-limiting and only occurs for the first 48-72 h after application." (http://www.ncwss.org/proceed/2006/abstracts/94.pdf). So if the plant is not actively growing when the Roundup is applied, the effects will be minimal or nil - it needs to be used when the plant is making lots of carbon ring structures (e.g.: amino acids, auxin, etc.), because it works by interfering with that process. Application to leaves is typical for the simple reason that they represent the greatest amount of surface area for absorption.
One alternative method of herbicide application that minimizes the hazards to surrounding plants or deposition on the soil surface that has been reported is to cut a section of stem above the ground and insert the root side of the cut directly into a bottle containing some of the herbicide. For most plants, using a standard dilution of the herbicide may be more desirable for this than using a "full strength" concentrate. The carrier (solvent or oil base) may so damage the exposed plant tissues that it interferes with uptake, or the concentrated material may be so viscous that it is not easily taken up by the plant.
I just dig the sod up before making a raised bed...less labor in the future...even if you are in a hurry now...
I hate bermuda grass...nothing kills that crappy grass...The roots live like cockroaches. I hurl if i see a cockroach .
I throw fits when I see the bermuda If that stuff gets a tiny anchor in a potted plant, you have to throw out the soil and start over.
I am ready to spray it with concentrated round up. Take that! #%$^%&
Maybe Kudzu killer will kill it?