Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Iowa Street: An Epic Battle

We built our Iowa Street garden in a formerly-vacant lot in the city. To prevent erosion, the city seeds its vacant lots with some crazy, evil, invasive grass, which we’ve been battling since the beginning.

We’ve mulched around our raised beds to keep the grass down. Not only does the grass try to grow up in the beds, it also sends runners horizontally from the outside.

As you can see, the horizontal roots look like zosia on steroids. We’ve pulled out roots easily over a foot long.

The grass invaded our sweet potato bed before we had a chance to plant our sweet potato slips

Grass dug out, sweet potatoes planted!

We built our keyhole garden in the beginning of March and had planted some melon and squash seeds, but they couldn’t compete with the invading grass- despite the double layer of cardboard we had underneath.

With some help, we dug out all the grass so we could start over. The only remaining plants were Jerusalem artichokes. Today Eric transplanted squash and melon plants, which will hopefully be well established before the grass tries to return.

This grassy area was getting out of control, so we laid down a plastic tarp and burlap sacks, added a container garden with tomato and basil plants, and finished with wood chips. 

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2 responses to “Iowa Street: An Epic Battle

  1. musingsoftheamusingmuse June 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    My arch nemesis is Quack Grass. Its stealthy and insidious… you drop your guard for a while because you don’t see and shoots coming up in the beds and then ka-pow! It hits you, seemingly overnight, a whole crop has risen from the dead. I hate Quack Grass.

  2. Becca June 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    That sounds a lot like our current enemy… so frustrating!

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