In the midst of an experiment

terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)September 30, 2006

Hola,

I'm in the midst of an experiment that I thought might be of interest on several forums. I'm going to take the chance and post to the Allelopathy, Garden Experiments, Native Plants, and Permaculture sites with the primary post to the Permaculture forum and links to it on the others. I hope this passes muster with the administrators.

Background

Bermuda grass is one of the invasives in the Oak Woodlands of California. In this particular situation, it is spread as seed is blown from feed bales during transport along roadways.

I have dug the grass in an attempt to eliminate it and have had some success, but am unable to disrupt it where it is actually growing through the pavement. Instead of trying to kill the Bermuda by the standard means of herbicide, I thought it would be interesting to try, instead, to promote the growth of the native vegetation.

Process

From what I understand, Lotus scoparius (http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/403.htm) is allelopathic. I harvested the plant, roughly chopped it, placed it in a blender with water and pressed the liquefy button. I did the same with respect to leaves and steams of Salvia apiana (http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/604.htm). In approximately two gallons of tap water that had sit for at least a day to dissipate the chlorine, 1/4 cup of sugar and one 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast was added. Let the 'tea' steep or brew for at least a day.

I plan to spray solutions of various strengths of the tea to see what happens.

In other locals, one might find a native plant or two to make a similar experiment. The idea here is not to kill the Bermuda, but to promote the 'essence' of the natives and dissipate that of the invasive.

If anyone else has had similar thoughts or ideas, I would be interested.

Terran

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luisa

I'll be very interested to read the results of this experiment. Please keep us posted.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:47PM
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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

Though the Bermuda grass is now in its dormant season, before the weather turned cold, the spray seemed to debilitate its growth. It turned a tawny color, but did not expire outright where it was growing in dirt. Where it had come up through cracks in the pavement, the spray did not have as much effect.

More to follow when the weather warms up.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 5:12PM
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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

The mix that I made and sprayed may have deterred the Bermuda grass a bit, but it enhanced the growth of other leafy green plants that are not necessarily natives as well. Since the Bermuda is mixed with these other plants, it is a little difficult to see.

I've decided to continue to dig it out where possible and over fertilize where it is growing through the pavement to 'burn' it out since it has set seed.

At this point, I feel the spray may have been more effective if I had been more persistent with its use, at least once a week.

Terran

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:45AM
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