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11139Re: [fukuoka_farming] Controlling weeds and effect of weeds

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  • Jason Stewart
    Nov 7, 2010
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      Dear 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
      tools.."
      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
      must do.
      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
      -> http://www.schroeckenfux.at/index.php/en/
      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
      Indian kind

      of scythe/long-blade-long-handled sickle/like-a-Japanese-kama. To be more
      efficient and

      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
      sharp-* from

      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*
      machines

      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
      scyther*
      - 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
      cut

      once-only from their base. Straw & thatch are the words meaning this difference
      (in English).
      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
      to grow

      through it.

      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
      generalisation

      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
      they

      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!

      Enjoy!

      Biggest best wishes to all,

      Jase.
      S.E. Oz nature country.



      ________________________________
      From: Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...>
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, November 8, 2010 0:25:51
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Controlling weeds and effect of weeds


      Hi Jaison,

      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.

      Regards,
      Nandan




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