It Begins

Along with all the pretty little vegetable, herbs and flowers the weeds are coming up in abundance. We are a no/low spray farm, and with a few exceptions we never spray chemicals on our land.  The one exception is for Field Bind Weed, it is taking over, and there really isn’t a good way to get rid of it other than spraying. Our weed management consists of two main approaches: pulling and covering. We pull and pull and pull weeds all summer long.  We also cover our weeds in a few different ways. Sometimes we will put down a weed barrier and mulch on top of that, that is my least favorite way of using cover, its limiting to me, plants can’t naturally spread and its difficult to add new plantings.  We also use deep mulching, laying down 4-6 inches of chipped wood and leaves, this not only has the advantage of choking out weed seeds and seedling, it also helps retain water and adds fertility and the weeds that do come up are easy to pull.  The last covering method we use is black plastic, we lay black plastic over large areas that need to have invasive grass and weeds cleaned out and let it sit for a couple weeks, the sun heats up the plastic and basically cooks the weeds and their seeds, this is quick and effective.  IMG_6131
When ever we pull weeds we keep them in place, its a method of deep mulching.  The weed is pulled and laid down right in place. It is important to pull these weeds before they go to seed. it acts like the wood chips or leaves, choking out weed seeds and seedlings, but it also keeps the nutrients from the weeds in place.  Weeds in and of themselves are not bad, they are only bad because they keep the plants we want from thriving.  Weeds are place holders, the are land restorers, land cleaners.  Weeds come into disturbed land, pulling nutrients from the ground and the sun, depositing them on the surface, allowing for long term native plants to eventually come in and repopulate the land. Understanding this, I have a hard time pulling weeds and hauling them off, they have a purpose too, and I like to honor that by pulling and using them to nourish the plants that I want to thrive there.

One reply

  1. Erika says:

    Nice thoughts on weeds. I dislike tilling. It disturbs everything, and it’s loud and harsh too. We have a pig this year that loves weeds we have him in an area to help rid us of horse nettle which is a horribly invasive weed that is hard to get rid of.

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