Permaculture forum: Quack grass barrier?

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caitlinsgarden
Jul 10, 2015 6:32 AM CST
I am very interested in a permamulch around and in my flower beds, except for the irises. My main problem is quackgrass creeping in from around the beds. I try to keep a border trench cultivated but whenever I let down my guard it comes back in. I am also a bit worried about carry over of pests from chop and drop type of culture, although this is pretty much what I do now! And comfrey was planted to use for permamulch, but it likes to go everywhere and now I am trying to get rid of it. HELP! What are the best books to read on this subject?
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 10, 2015 7:42 AM CST
My first year using chop and drop and still learning. I did recently see a bit on "Gardening Australia" about chop and drop - don't drop the chopped bits around the plant you just chopped from. Move the chopped parts to another part of the garden. Does this address your concerns? My comfrey has been in the ground for years and grows in a lot of clay in mostly shade. It does travel a bit but not that much considering how long it's been there. I usually edit the plants during spring cleanup when the foliage looks ratty after winter. Seems to keep it in check here. I don't have quack grass so can't offer suggestions about it other than an impervious edging product. I have a small trench around a lot of my beds, bordering on fescue lawn and do have to clear the trench a couple of times during the growing season.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 10, 2015 8:31 AM CST
Thanks, Cindy, that would probably be a good idea - chop and drop in another spot!

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Jul 11, 2015 7:14 AM CST
Permaculture seems to have quite a lackadazical attitude toward invasive plants. For example, to get rid of blackberries, Bill Mollison suggested throw in apples, then wait twenty years until the apples grow into trees. Then you run in cows or pigs. Even then it takes a while. Not a right-now solution.

Mostly permaculturists suggest "rethinking" the problem. Anyhow, here are some suggestions from Permies.com. http://www.permies.com/t/7165/plants/invasive-weed-idea

In my yard (I am in kudzu country) I am fighting kudzu's cousin--wisteria. I think the best suggestion is to cut the invasive off at ground level and cover with cardboard. Aesthetically, you can cover that with mulch. You could make a path along the boader to your bed. Line with cardboard, and cover with the mulch of your choice. This would probably have to be renewed periodically, but it should eventually work to keep the quack grass away. Also, think animals: ducks, goats to graze where you think the source of the quack grass might be. they can be managed with a moveable pen, so they don't get into the parts of the garden you dont want damaged by them.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 12, 2015 6:24 AM CST
Cardboard seems like a good choice!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Jul 12, 2015 8:20 AM CST
I use the large brown paper garbage bags to cover weedy patches.

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