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My Garden Nightmare: Wire Grass

May 11th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Ugh! More wiregrass than garden

Ugh! More wiregrass than garden

My own personal gardening nightmare has happened.  We can’t run the cultivator and after years of being a yard, the garden is being taken over by wire grass.  I swear if I wanted to grow grass it would be barren but I have found no effective way to eradicate wire grass without creating a wasteland where nothing will grow.

Our plan was to use the garden tractor and the cultivator to literally rip it out of the garden.  Unfortunately, the garden tractor is still being repaired and the wire grass is taking over.  We currently have about 6 rows of corn, 2 rows of beans, 2 rows of limas and 2 rows of onions in the garden.  These are sprouting wonderfully but they will soon be taken over by the grass.

One of the reasons that I was trying out the Seven Deadly Homemade weedkillers was to try to get rid of it in some other way.  After researching it though, I have found that even Roundup has a very limited effect on it.  I don’t want to spray poison in my garden if there is any other way.

I have spent hours researching ways to eradicate it but there doesn’t seem to be any good alternative to just pulling it out.  Sigh…   This means that I am going to be out in the garden, hacking it out with a hoe and then raking the roots out.  There really isn’t much choice unless we just let it take over.

Once we get it out of the garden whether by hook or crook, it will be progressively easier each season.  Wire grass grows on runner roots.  You can grab hold of one and pull and it might pull up several inches to a foot of grass.  This is why the cultivator works so well to get rid of it.  The roots get tangled in the cultivator blades and it just yanks it right out.   Then it’s just a matter of making sure that you get as much of the roots out of the garden as possible.

At the moment, the ground is so wet that I cannot get in the garden to work it with cultivator or hoe.  It’s going to have to dry out for a day or so before I can do anything.  In the meantime, the little veggies are growing and so is the wire grass.

Most vegetation can be added to the compost heap.  Add wiregrass remains at your own risk.  One small portion of root can grow into a square foot patch seemingly overnight.  The best advice that I have found is to either burn it or bag it and throw away.

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Tags: Gardening

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Annie Langley // Jul 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    When it comes to grass, apparently tilling only makes it worse. Believe me, I too am dealing with the woes of a grassy garden and watching all my hard work and preparation turn into an overgrown grassy, nettle-infested patch of the lawn from hell!! Everything I have read suggests that part of the problem is the tilling because it cuts up the rhizomes and redistributes them throughout the soil and then brings weed seeds to the surface. One thing I’ve stumbled across that looks promising is lasagna gardening. Google it to find better descriptions than I could provide but the benefits seem to be 1) you do it over the problem area rather than having to weed the area 2) you can use materials which you already have for most of it 3) it provides great soil for your plants. Good luck!

  • 2 Cindy // Jul 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I will have to look it up. Thanks for the tips.

  • 3 Have You Started Planning Your Garden? | Small Homestead // Jan 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

    […] with our garden last year, will be solved with the square foot or raised bed gardens.  First we battled wire grass and then we had the bunny wars over my green beans.  Unfortunately, last year we lost both of […]

  • 4 Garden Calendar: April 13, 2010 | Small Homestead // Apr 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    […] rows with the tractor.  This is a new experience for me but he SWEARS we will not be over run with wire grass this year.  The tractor means that we have much, much more space between the rows and we are […]

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