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Crabgrass pros and cons...

Category: Vegetable Gardening | Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 am

I pulled the rest of the crabgrass, leaving some around the watermelon a little while back, but now I'm wondering about that. I noticed that the crabgrass seemed to hold the moisture in the soil. I guess the dew would drip down to the soil and since the crabgrass was so thick, it stayed wet along the bottom of the blades. Once I pulled the crabgrass out, I noticed the soil dried out very quickly. It is raining again and I'm not sure which is better, to leave the crabgrass or pull it.

Pulling pros
plants are getting more sun
more nutrients are available for the plants

Pulling cons
It hasn't happened yet, but I'm worried about rain washing out my plants
Moisture seemed to be held by the soil longer

Does anyone have any thoughts?

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growergirl wrote on Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:00 am:

I leave crabgrass be in areas I don't have the resources to change, because:
a) It's green almost year around where I live.. and..
b) it does tend to shade the soil, and therefore conserve water a bit

I guess it depends on your ecosystem and what you're trying to do with it?
I do like the fact that you at least question it, instead of just getting some Roundup and killing it 'cause it ain't pretty :)


Jewell wrote on Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:08 pm:

How about getting the benefits of the crab grass without the drawbacks? Cover the grass thickly with cardboard and just a little mulch to make pretty. It will smoother it ... Mostly ... The roots and plant will add organics to the soil as the grass dies as well as mulch and water retention. Crab grass is tenacious and it will find any cracks in the cardboard but will be easy to pull in the mulched soil. I used this method in my front area that has crab grass and restart the bed. It might be something to think about trying.


Beeker wrote on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:01 pm:

Thank you, Growergirl and Jewell.

It is a tough call to make. I did leave some around the watermelon.

I will definitely keep the mulch idea in mind for next time... I'm sure there will be one!

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