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Bye bye grass!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Over the last month or so, our neighbor has kindly been delivering fallen leaves to us (he has a newspaper route.)

As of today, the last patch of grass is literally knee deep in leaves! I'm hoping to extend our vegetable garden next summer into this area. We haven't used even half of our extensive backyard!

Goodbye grass, I will never miss you!

Photo taken July 5th 2010

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

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.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Your garden is beautiful.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

My garden wants to be your garden when it grows up.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

MaryMcP - unfortunately, to rid ourselves of the Burmuda Grass, we had to dig it out by hand, being careful to get every last piece of white root!

The area that we just smothered in leaves is an unknown grass that should (fingers crossed) die from lack of light.

We still have yet another area that has been invaded by running bamboo. THAT is proving to be a real challenge!

So far, we have used a little less than half of our entire growing area. We chose this house because it has such a large back yard.

I hate the house, but LOVE the yard ^^_^^

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Funny, we bought the yard [and the patio] too, the house just came with it.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

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.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

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.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

MaryMcP - At least our house had new (cheap) carpet & artificial-wood flooring when we moved in.

The first thing we replaced was the original refrigerator. Later we replaced the dish washer. I keep hoping the GE 27" stove will give up so I can replace it, too!

Once my car is paid for, I plan to replace the HVAC system - bet it doesn't last as long as the 36 year-old one!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

If you need advice when HVAC time comes, get in touch. I have HVAC ppl in-house. ;-)

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, MaryMcP - that's good to know.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

terri_emory -

Quoting:
Out of the woods popped two ferral hogs!


Protein on four hoofs! LOL

Quoting:
With about 2 million feral hogs roaming the state, as of 2010, Texas has plenty of opportunities for the hog hunter.

Feral hogs have no season, bag limits, minimum size requirements or possession limits. Hunting can take place 24 hours a day by using a hog light


http://www.ehow.com/about_6327340_feral-hog-hunting-texas.html



Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

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!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

terri-emory -

Quoting:
Composting must go on!


Spoken like intrepid gardeners everywhere!

(Hog droppings make great great compost, too)

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I think I'll steer clear of the feral hog droppings. Some of those guys carry some nasty diseases! But the leaves should be fine. And my roses, not to mention the veggies, love oak leaf compost!

HoneybeeNC, what are you going to start with in your new beds?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

terri_emory -

Quoting:
what are you going to start with in your new beds?


Squash! I have never grown winter squash, so I'm starting with Buttenut and Acorn.

I tried growing summer squash many, many moons ago when I lived in South Florida, but it died from powdery mildew :( So I plan to grow some here.

Perhaps you could answer a question I have about squash...

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. LOL

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from 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.


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.

-Rich

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

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.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks for your input, Rich and Mary

I have a couple of these:

http://www.gardeners.com/Cucumber-Trellis-Vegetable-Support/VegetableGardening_Supports,37-476RS,default,cp.html

they should make good supports for squash, don't you think?

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Oh yeah, that's great. I could put some legs on mine! Would be easier to test the soil moisture and allow some air. Thanks!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from HoneybeeNC :
Thanks for your input, Rich and Mary

I have a couple of these:

http://www.gardeners.com/Cucumber-Trellis-Vegetable-Support/VegetableGardening_Supports,37-476RS,default,cp.html

they should make good supports for squash, don't you think?



I think it will depend on the size of the fruit. For acorns (at least the ones I've seen) it should work, but I've seen some big butternuts, though.

-Rich

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

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.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Calalily - thanks for the suggestion regarding buying powdery mildew resistant squash seeds.

Actually, a fellow DG member has kindly sent me some squash seeds, so I'm going to try them next summer. We don't get a lot of summer rain here, so I'm hoping they will do well.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

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!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

terri_emory - I have seen Zucchini Tromba d'Albenga in the supermarket here from time-to-time. I think one of those would feed hubby and me for a week!

Do they taste like regular zucchini? Maybe I'll let some grow into the "bamboo forest" behind my house, and give IT a run for its money!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Is this the same as trombocino? This one was 'discovered' hanging over the chain link fence into my neighbors yard.

Thumbnail by MaryMcP
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Mary - the ones I saw in the supermarket were greenish, but they were very similar to that one in the photo.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Centreville, MD

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.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

j_moore if you know of something that will kill running bamboo, please let me know. Yes it is a grass. Thanks.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

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.

Charleston, SC(Zone 8b)

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.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Mary - I found this link for "Over the Top" but it does not list running bamboo.

http://www.pbigordon.com/professional/page.php?ID_PRODUCTS=778

The bamboo that we have has rhizomes that are as thick as my thumb, and send out runners up to 20ft in length! I don't think this product will kill it. (sigh)

What I really need are a few strong men with spades who can dig up this cursed stuff faster than it can grow! - Can you mail me some of them? LOL

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hah! Around here some folks go to the local Home Depot where day-laborers hang around outside the parking lot. They are for hire for a day - - - or more.

Here's Grass Getter: http://www.outsidepride.com/herbicides/grass-getter.html

http://www.outsidepride.com/assets/image/products/content/18030//grassgetter.pdf

Does not actually list bamboo, maybe you could contact them? Good luck.

Centreville, MD

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!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

j_moore - a neighbor was having his yard sprayed last year and I ask the guys if Round-up would work and they said it would not.

I also have a "thing" about purchasing anything that Monsanto makes!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

yeah, I got a huge 'horse syringe' from my vet friend and injected Round-Up into cat claw vines. The cat claw didn't even blink. but you could try it!

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