You might want to look into the Latin American system of frijol tapado. They let a patch go wild until woody weeds start to dominate. Then they hack those down chop-and-drop style and sew beans in the mulch. The beans then have an advantage as the dominant weeds are slower woody ones. Apparently, a large percentage of Costa Rica's beans get grown this way. You might try it out and trow in corn and squash into the mix and see if it works.
Douglas JE Barnes
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