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Rhody prunings to smother grass?

 
B.E. Ward
Posts: 79
Location: Aside the Salish Sea
bee books forest garden
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So.. Bought a new property and it has a lot of lawn. I want to kill off some of it for permie stuff, but I don't want to smother it with cardboard (for the reasons Paul frequently gives). I have an overgrown rhododendron and pruning it has created weeks of yard waste.

Then I had an idea.. use the rhody prunings to smother the grass, especially as the rain will start to come back in the next month or so. But, I've also read a bit about rhody toxocity and I know that some don't want it in hugels.

So.. Rhody prunings to smother grass. A good idea or am I just poisoning our future fruits and veggies?
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Rhody-on-grass
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I would do it. Check out the many videos concerned with no till potatoes. I have succeeded in killing grass using mostly hedge clippings as mulch around potatoes. Cardboard goes on top of the mulch as a sun blocker. Summer is dry. The cardboard doesn't break down. I've moved some of it three times.
 
B.E. Ward
Posts: 79
Location: Aside the Salish Sea
bee books forest garden
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Thanks, Dale. I'm definitely leaning towards 'it's ok'.. as I'm really not doing much more than what would happen if a big rhody died or chunks came off in a storm. It's just more concentrated.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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B.E. Ward wrote: But, I've also read a bit about rhody toxocity(...)Rhody prunings to smother grass. A good idea or am I just poisoning our future fruits and veggies?

As far as I know, there's not many plants that actually poison other plants (if you know what I mean )
Grass clippings are great too-you must get a few of them...
the nitrogen and anaerobic mat they make easily kills off clumping grasses.
If you have a running grass, I'd say you'll probably need something less...permeable...than prunings-
that stuff is virtually indestructible!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Agreed. A base of something that forms a dense mat is good. I use cut grass and leaves that form a mat. The hedge clippings preserve moisture and block more light. The top layer of cardboard is a great light blocker and it provides cover for a million little critters that feed on the mulch and the grass that we're trying to kill. The cardboard on top really cuts down on evaporation. The grass shouldn't be just smothered. It should rot and be attacked by an army of sow bugs or whatever processes dead material in your mulch.

When I first watched those no till videos, I thought, "What a great idea. The cardboard should be on top with rocks to hold it down." After trying it both ways, I am sold on my way. I want the mulch and the grass to stay moist and decay. I don't want to deal with half rotten cardboard.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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