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4241Re: [fukuoka_farming] Natural Gardening in Long Beach

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  • benonthenet
    Jul 5, 2004
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      > I'd like to know more about gardening without tilling. We have a
      lot of bermuda and johnson grasses here. How do I get rid of them
      without tilling? They kill everything we plant if we don't till.

      Mary Joy,

      If you have grasses that form root mats like bermuda grass, you'll
      have to do an initial digging to dig them out. If they are pretty
      established, you'll wind up digging out a foot of roots and top soil.
      I would not suggest sifting the the roots to get some of that soil
      back into the ground. If any little pieces of root end back in the
      ground, you'll be stuck with the grass again.

      I had to dig out my community garden plot I recently started. The
      good thing is that once you dig out the grass, it's so much easier to
      control. Part of the solution to dealing with grasses after getting
      the garden started is working with plants that can survive with some
      grass. It may be helpful to also plant the border with something that
      will keep the grass at bay like sweet potato or a variety of clumping
      bamboo. If you use bamboo (they come in dwarf varieties too), you
      don't want a bamboo that reproduces by runners. Bamboo is a grass and
      the running types will produce a root mat that is virtually
      impregnable.

      Another part of the solution is to plant so that very little to no
      light reaches the ground. Grass are sun lovers. Exposed and desturbed
      ground or open stretches of land is where they naturally thrive.
      Deprive them of light and you eliminate them.

      Benjamin
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