11139Re: [fukuoka_farming] Controlling weeds and effect of weeds
- Nov 7, 2010Dear Nandan,
Sorry i wrote the message very late at night (about 2am) in some haste to sleep
and i left many writing/editing errors in it making it difficult to read &
comprehend in some places.
I'm glad still it was useful to you. Earlier today i corrected my copy of it. I
have added it corrected below.
I'm glad you contact them about scythes.
I'm not sure what this means?: "that skythe can work closer to oil powered
The banana yes may well have not done well due to root competition, rather than
doing fusing of roots, this all depends on so many variables.
Growing as much ground-layer plant-growth-mass as you can (including legumes and
more) and then scything it into 'straw' over the top of
just-recently-a-few-weeks-earlier-sown seeds works, including for the little
mentioned reason that this sequence of activities encourages more of the
root-grafting/fusing, and less of the root competition -as a generalisation- it
The just-recently-a-few-weeks-earlier-sown seeds may have germinated by the time
you walk through it with scything and hence they, as young seedling plants will
get the advantage of a head start while the scythe-cut-plants recover their
growing-stems, some little bit of trampling while scything will cause them to
strengthen their grow-supports not really any harm (this is dependent on your
working out the timing well); Then in-turn-hence root-grafting (fusing) directly
or through grafting via mutual fungi-'roots' gets encouraged by the cut plants
because they are trying to photosynthesise the easiest way the can - if they can
get energy(-photosynthate-or-its-carbohydrate-products) from other plants
grafted to them then that works for them.
I must dig up some references-detail for this root grafting and research new
references. (when i've time).
I use an Austrian brand (expensive but very high quality) scythe to cut large
areas, several acres, of grass - see
From an Australian distributor for me -> http://www.scythesaustralia.com.au/
*(expensive meaning: AUD$450 for two blades, a long 95cm one and the shortest
heavy-duty "bush-blade" one, together with a full kit of the long-handle with
adjustable hand-holds (called the snath), sharpening stone and field-holster,
pining-jig, DVD instruction video, etc.)*
They have USA distributors too -> http://www.scytheconnection.com/
If you're interested, you'll have to look for distributors in/to India - i
haven't looked that up.
You can make your own with India practical know-how - know-do *- do-how -* in an
of scythe/long-blade-long-handled sickle/like-a-Japanese-kama. To be more
practical in grass than machinery it needs to be *long-handled,* long-bladed,
strong-hardened-steel-bladed, with-a-correctly-soft-steel-blade-edge so that it
can be regularly sharpened and kept very-sharp, razor sharp.
These tools are much quicker than a brush-cutter/whipper-snipper because the
blade is much longer, blades up to 95cm long*. It* swings around the front of my
body, covers up to 2m wide (swathe) in one swing*; And* is much sharper *-razor
my sharpening it for about 30 seconds every 5 minutes or so. Believe it or not
it even is quicker than a push-mower. (If you do the energy life-cycle
accounting on slashing grass, it's much more efficient than oil-based *slashing*
too, like tractors).
Smaller heavier, stronger blades can be used to cut heavier woody plant stems up
to max. 1cm stem-diameter. It sounds counter-intuitive at first, but it's a
practise not a rhetoric. Practise teaches us that it is quicker and a better
cut, because it cuts the base of the grass clean off, and sweeps the whole of
the lengths of *cut* grass stems to one-side all in one motion - leaving *piled*
rows of straw *to the side of the scything line at the edge of the reach of the
- instead of slashing the grass stems up into small pieces which then stick
together -gluggy- in the field, matting-together, and *many types of *growing
plants don't get
through that gluggy mat of thatch. Growing plants do easily grow through straw*
randomly loosely *laid* *straw-,* consisting of long whole intact stems of grass
once-only from their base. Straw & thatch are the words meaning this difference
Straw, loose, is what we (as a generalisation) need as mulch, not hay (as one of
my family members
S of Sydney, Oz, accidently purchased), not grass-clippings-thatch,
ideally-not-slash if it has
been chopped-up & chopped-up again many times* - by a slasher (as per the
slashing process)*. The geometry of straw on the
ground made of long stems loosely lying in part on top of long stems (of straw),
long straw stems lying on other long straw stems-, all long and so loosely lying
all on each other, explains this different phenomenon compared to slashings.
Once you have such a tool or two of your own (a** personal investment), then it
is wonderful, no** rent has to be paid to any merchant, and you can get out and
use it when and where you feel like, in accordance with the earth, the plants,
and the weather - and with Great Spirit God.
Anyway, thrashing the weeds, from a standing vertical position to more-or-less
horizontal may be even better, and less thick, more loose, and even cheaper of
course - this depends on ** the conditions and how much shading-covering you
need. Scythed & loosely mulched grass-straw will cover *(more thickly)*more than
it bent over, but less than a
mat of gluggy-thatch which is too much cover from many *types of* plants trying
Depending on the conditions and requirements, if I was planting bananas in
tropical areas of such grass, i may even just plant them in the grass without
even thrashing it, depends on the grasses conditions, and on the expected
weather in terms of what the bananas 'think' of the weather.
Scything or the *like* to make straw-mulching is the most reliable
advice IMHO. I think it will work in the most varied circumstances and
conditions around our Earth. Doing less than straw mulching or refining it in
some ways is IMHO dependent more on the local conditions, and expected
conditions with weather and with everything (too many variables).
The ultimate advice is love your soil, and look after it - the roots of the
grasses in it can naturally fuse with the roots of your crops including bananas,
and thereby the feed each other through their joined roots. Tilling/plowing
breaks all those pre-existing joins so such joined networks don't re-form for
sometime. If overly-bred (hybrid soft pioneer type) crops which have been bred
to grow alone *-exclusively-* are sown they would like this situation having no
joined network - even while the plowing/tilling has done damage to the soil.
*If* Plants which haven't been overly-bred for artificial conditions are sown
will grow roots fused with the pre-existing plants' roots and end up much
stronger to vicissitudes like drought, flood and so on because they are all
helping each other through their joined root systems. The sum of all together
values to much more than the sum of the parts counted separately!
Biggest best wishes to all,
S.E. Oz nature country.
From: Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...>
Sent: Monday, November 8, 2010 0:25:51
Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Controlling weeds and effect of weeds
Thanks for the information on skythe, have sent them a mail asking about
distributors in India. It is quite encouraging to hear that skythe can work
closer to oil powered tools..
Earlier I had planted banana in thick grass, but it hasn't come up well. Not
sure why, one reason is that root competition from weeds caused the banana to
grow less. This is why I thought, I should replace the weeds with legumes. In
Fukuoka san's mandarin orchard he had planted clover. So I am also looking to
plant some legumes, probably daincha which grows vigorously..but some one was
saying, this may cause nitrogen content to be more than wanted, to be seen what
is the truth about this.
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