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Lespedeza on terraces

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 278
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Hello friends. Over the last few months I've built two Swales and two hugel/terraces. The problem is I believe I've identified lespedeza not only on the terraces but surrounding them on all sides. I see this as a big problem but should I? Also, if I do need to destroy all of it what's the best way? I won't be using roundup or other poison. Are there any uses for this stuff? Thanks guys.
 
Andrew Mateskon
Posts: 82
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Lespedeza is Nitrogen fixing, which is good, but you don't want it taking over your Hugelkultur bed. You could keep your gardening areas safe[r] by using a layer or cardboard to kill everything but what you plant, just make a slit in the cardboard to put in your plants.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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If you don't want to poison it (and who would?) you can use the cardboard mentioned above, Or; several newspaper layers with a mulch layer over it, this works really well, black plastic with a mulch layer, or any other combination that will keep the sun from hitting the grounds you want weed free. I have a neighbor that laid out some artificial turf carpet and left it on his lawn for two months, nothing has started to grow there yet, and it has been gone for over a month and a half now.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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A volunteer nitrogen fixer on a new hugelbeet - I am not clear why that would be a problem?

Quick google search shows lespedeza as a pretty good forage crop for cattle and sheep.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 278
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thanks for all the replies. Once I finally identified it I freaked out a bit due to its invasiveness. I didn't realize it was a nitrogen fixer so now I feel a bit better. I'll give it more thought before I act and only dig up where I plan to plant for now. Thanks again, you guys are the best.
 
Dan Grubbs
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Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Depending on which variety (cultivar?) it is, you might find a goat herder who would love to have it for the goats. If it's sericea lespedeza, it contains an amount of tannin that is beneficial as a natural dewormer. However, as I've continued to investigate this, the tannin levels go down the longer the forage is cut and not consumed by the goats. There is a peak time when it should be harvested for highest tannin content. Maybe you can harvest the lespedeza and trade with the goat herder for some meat or dairy product. It is a bit invasive, so on a huglemound, I can see it could take over. I just planted 1/2 acre of sericea lespedeza between two swales for the very fact to feed it to goats. But, we'll see how the experiment goes.


 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 278
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thanks Dan. I'm still looking at how to handle this but the goat idea is a solid one.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3304
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Is it on your state's noxious/invasive weed list? If it is, you need to keep it under control or they will force you to roundup it if they find it.

Otherwise, it is a pioneer so succession through it to what you want.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 278
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Great news! I have a neighbor that will let me tie his goat out to eat it!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I never thought of lespadeza as an invasive...we have some popping up on it's own several places and it gets cut with the sythe of sickle along with other chop and drop plants. It is in our garden area but just a few plants here and there....doesn't seem to be taking over and as a nitrogen fixer it has my blessing
the BERMUDA GRASS, though is silently creeping in along the edges.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 278
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I've got so much of this stuff I'm now thinking of getting some goats. Thanks again for the help I received from all of you.
 
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