Is pampas grass allelopathic?

vall3fam(9 CentralCA)November 2, 2008

On moving here 6 years ago, we inheritated a huge clump of pampas grass about 15' around, which had probably been there for years and years. Five years ago, I had it removed.

Of course, under the clump was many years of duff and organic material that had accumulated over the years. This was not removed. I am curious as to if anyone has had the experience that this material makes the soil sterile or difficult to grow plants where pampas grass has grown? Since it's removal, very few things have sprouted there, including bermuda grass. It doesn't absorb water very well and remains dry and hard all summer.

I haven't planted anything there to see if it would grow or not, but weeds have no problem cropping up everywhere else that they can. I am wanting to use the space this spring for making a bed for asparagus and wonder if it will affect my plantings? I was wanting to incorporate about 50% more mulch/organic material to build up the area before planting the asparagus.

If anyone else has had this experience, I'd like to hear how you've dealt with it.


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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I would not plant asparagus in that area. It has been isolated from the air and rainfall for so long I would think it would be 'dead'. For the next couple of years I would let it lie fallow, only cultivating to insure water penetration. Congratulations on getting the pampas out. Al

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:22AM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Thanks for the input, Al. I'll till it up after the rains get it a little moist and see what happens. As far as getting it out, we tried ourselves and were repelled by the knife sharp edges of the leaves. How the guys I paid to get it out did so, I don't know, but they walked away with their skin intact! ;)


    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 4:31PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Two weeks ago when I came home with a gallon pot of Pampas grass my wife almost refused to let me in. My friend in the nursery business swears this dwarf will not produce viable seed and will not make a mound more than two feet in diameter. I may live to rue the day, but I do have confidence in this nursery owner. The beauty of the plant and what it can add in texture to the garden helped. Al

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:02AM
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I personally hate pampas grass. If you like grasses, plant native bunch grasses. Or even native blue-stems from the mid-west.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:49PM
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I think the Pampas grass was my number 1 gardening mistake. That and the teensy sprig of ivy I planted...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 3:21PM
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