J R Megee wrote:
This is cool thanks for all the great information. I do have this question.
If the foxtail locks up salt in it's cells and you leave it as mulch when it breaks down the salts won't go back into the soil?
have a question.... do you think foxtail barley would be a good thing for erosion control on a creekbank. the creek is not far from house , but bank is really eroding in places. would it interfere greatly with wildlife that uses bank as nests etc... meaning ducks, birds. dont really want racoons around. could kill my chickens. so i guess more than one question. also we have long grasses growing at top of creek. would it interfere and come up and take over my yard. yes we are that close....
Bill Erickson wrote:JR,
It looks like that is foxtail barley or horbeum jerbatum - and its best permaculture use seems to be as a way to pull salts out of the soil.Basically let it grow, scythe it or weed whack it down and transport off your property. Seems it is fairly aggressive in the way it holds on. It is also one of the nastier ones for critters and folks. I have pulled many of those stinking things out of my socks and skin as a kid. Used my google-fu to look it up and Wikipedia had some fairly comprehensive information. Linky Thing Here
Most likely the simplest way to get rid of it is to sheet mulch or hot compost.
Hope that helps, and others have suggestions for you as well.
C. Letellier wrote:
As for your foxtail it is barley foxtail. It is a common perenial weed. So no it doesn't die back in winter It is an indicator of soil troubles usually. It pushes most stuff out and is fairly tough to eliminate because of its large seed bank and the fact that those seeds have a long life plus being a perenial that tends to choke stuff out because of its dense growth. In this area it typically starts in fields at the bottom end of irrigated fields where they get to wet for to long killing most stuff off. Once started there it out competes most other pasture crops till it takes over. The seed is barbed and digs in meaning it can cause eye problems, mouth problems, digestive problems and skin problems in livestock. It is best avoided. Decent early soil builder. Permies compatible kill methods are mostly tough. Best is mechanical cultivation followed by a heavy seeding of something else. If it has to start from seed other things will out compete it. The control in this area for it at the bottom ends of field is to plant Garrison foxtail. Garrison will withstand the same over wet conditions and thrive and is good livestock feed. Problem is that Garrison is hard to establish. It does make good filter strips at the ends of fields if it is left undisturbed. Once Garrison is started it will push barely foxtail out over time anywhere that it gets enough water.