Saturday, May 17, 2014

This Stuff Sucks almost as much as Morning Glory

Sorry I been quiet the last two days. I ended up having to work yesterday and today which figures they would call after the rains stopped when I needed to get the grass mowed.... AGAIN. So when I got home I immediately jumped on the mower and got busy until the sun went down. Last night I was too tired to post anything and didn't even get to catch up on anyone's blogs or anything.

I finished the lawn around the Small-Hold this evening and even had a bit of time left to attack Small-Hold enemy number two before it got dark.

See that stuff in the picture? Can anyone guess what that is?

It's the rhizomes of whatever variety of Crabgrass we get around here. I hate that stuff almost as much as Morning Glory but only because the rhizomes are large enough that I can do pretty significant damage to it when I dig it out. With Morning Glory and other Bindweed the roots are so thin there is no way I can get as much of it, I always miss some and it comes back. It is at least possible to get ahead of the Crabgrass eventually but you have to watch it close and jump on it as soon as you see a shoot poke through. It especially sucks when I get a patch mixed in with my corn as the shoots look almost exactly like corn shoots at first.

Those rhizomes you see in the picture are laid out on a 4x8' sheet of particle board plywood and were all dug out of a section of the garden that didn't even measure two foot square. They were also down as deep as twelve inches under ground. I will need to quarantine that section of the garden now and dig it up frequently to sift through the dirt and find all the little pieces of the root/rhizome that I missed. Otherwise all those pieces will soon sprout new shoots of their own.

Those roots I dug up will stay on the plywood sheet where they can't do any damage until I burn off another brush pile when I will throw them on the fire. The rhizomes can live out of the ground for years I have heard and will simply start the life process over if they earth they can send their little evil tendrils down into.

The stuff is pure evil.

Crabgrass and Bindweed are the two things that laugh at wood chip mulch too. In fact they thrive in it and once I see either of them pushing through the only thing I can do is rake the wood chips away and dig the offending plant up as best I can.

Anyway I get a day off tomorrow to finish some bee hive checks, baiting some traps and get the other two lawns I take care of mowed.

I will try and catch up with everyone's blogs tonight and tomorrow night and hope I don't get called into work Monday because the garden needs some serious attention right now before the next rains hit.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. It may be what we here in Oklahoma call "Johnson grass". It looks just like corn for a bit....if you pull it out it has little roots but it's actually attached to a larger thick horizontal stolon which can be as far as a foot underground. If you don't get the stolon the shoots keep coming. I usually water the area deeply and the next day go out there with a garden spade (handled tool with a long slim blade), dig deep, and sift through the dirt until I find the main piece. You have my complete sympathy.

    We also have Bermuda grass which sends thin tough stolons underground. If any piece of the stolon is left in the dirt it WILL sprout.

    Gotta fight for those veggies - good luck!

    1. Ya Johnson grass, elephantine grass and many other grasses look almost exactly the same and have those nasty rhizomes. When I have looked into them they all look so much alike it's hard to tell them apart so this maybe Johnson grass. Around here everyone calls it crabgrass but that doesn't really mean anything.

      It sucks.

      I will wet the ground but usually in the garden by the time I have noticed it I have already tilled over it enough that I can dig it out. The real problem is I rarely manage to get it all and it will come back eventually.

  2. Wouldn't a couple of squirts of herbicide get rid of that stuff. I use Home Depot Poison Ivy spray to get read of the stuff around the house.

    1. Harry - The herbicides will kill the part above ground and may even kill the plant down into the root a bit but the rhizome is so far down and so big it doesn't get it all and it will send up a new shoot in a few short days. Like Morning Glory the plant is too big, spread out and underground to get it all.

      That and if I use a herbicide it kinda defeats the purpose of attempting a self sustainable small farm. I don't think roundup will be available after the collapse.

  3. We have Johnson grass and crab grass, it is a real problem with few cheap solutions.

    1. Sf - Ya it sucks. I hate it almost as much as Mornign Glory.

  4. I'd try a bi-weekly dose of Round-Up...keep it sick until it dies. As you know its one of the few herbicides known to travel to the roots bottom. Since the company's license has expired many other brands contain higher doses of Round-Up at lower prices, KillsAll (check spelling) comes to mind.

    1. Stephen - I have tried spraying it and it never seemed to kill the entire plant. It would set it back for a while though. I read you could try and build a reservoir around the shoots and literally soak em in the stuff and eventually kill em but using any herbicide means I cannot in good conscious claim my produce is chemical free. I am really trying to avoid any and all poisons if at all possible and digging it up does work eventually.

  5. I will dig out the Johnson grass and NOT use Round-up, first because I keep my garden organic and second, because I WILL NOT give any money to Monsanto.

    I have a neighbor who advises Round-up for Bermuda grass, sprays his potato plants, sprinkles insecticide on his in Oklahoma it is Chemical Land. Last year I handpicked the potato bugs (actually didn't have too many of them), sprayed the squash bugs with soapy minty water and also picked off the eggs (lost a few plants but once the butternut squashes got established they came through okay, and started seeing toads, skinks, lizards, garden spiders and other garden helpers proliferate. My neighbor shook his head but I think I did fairly well. We all make choices, I don't have to deal with his, only with mine.

    1. Anon - I think you have the right idea. I hand pick most of the bugs as well and attempt as much companion planting as I can. For instance tobacco seems to keep the hornworms off my tomatoes and letting the lambsquarters grow seems to give a number of other insects a plant they like more than my veggies.

      I only use herbicides very rarely in areas far from anything I am growing. Sometimes I will spray the area around where I split wood to keep the bindweed down but that's about it.

      Besides my wife would faint if she saw me spraying anything with Roundup :)

  6. PP,

    I hate that stuff!!!! My front flower beds had this stuff and it's terrible to get out. Finally, after digging a major distance down in the ground, my husband and I got all of the root and grass out. I think this grass is a plant from the democrats :P

  7. We battle Johnson grass as well as Bermuda. We don't (and won't) use Round-Up. It does more harm to the soil and continues to do so year after year. I know we are only on the third year of this garden but what we are aiming for is to eventually to eradicate as much as we can. We've dug out by hand every bit of it as possible and slowly but surely the Bermuda is dissipating some. It's a full out battle every year. We've now got all the rows done for now, but that sh*t just keeps coming up. If you miss even one joint of the plant it seems to go crazy trying to reproduce. It's really hard to get rid of. Mars has even tilled around the entire garden about a foot around the whole thing. . It's a slow process but seems to be helping knocking it back. It's no small task to dig that stuff out either. We've been digging it out for at least a foot underground and still can't get it under control.
    LOL@ Sandy's democrat grass. It really does seem to hang around until you can get to the "root" of the problem.

    Unfortunately here in Oklahoma it seems that most folks tend to use round-up. We've got a few wheat fields/soy bean fields really close to us and I worry all the time that it will eventually make it's way to our land. Another problem is that we have no idea what previous owners have done to the soil here.
    There is an garden show on the AM talk station here that actually pushes Monsanto products on yards and fields. Then he goes on to talk about not using it in the garden. Go figure.
    Good luck with your fight!


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