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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Correcting a 50 year mistake?

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  • Mary Jo Terry
    Gloria, That makes sense. I will try it on one of my gardens for the next few years and see what happens. Jo_Al ... From: Gloria C. Baikauskas Sent: 7/27/2004
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 3, 2004
      That makes sense. I will try it on one of my gardens for the next few years and see what happens.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gloria C. Baikauskas
      Sent: 7/27/2004 11:30:00 PM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Correcting a 50 year mistake?

      > It won't happen if you follow what we talk about here and selectively
      > cut the weeds down at soil level...leaving no stubs. In other
      > words...you are thinning the weeds out.
      > If you spend time observing, you will see that what weeds grow in a
      > given area change from year to year. It is because Mom Nature puts
      > in the soil what She needs to bring what is lacking to the
      > soil/garden.
      > Keeping the weeds gives some shade to the plants when it is hot, and
      > it also provides a cover for predator insects. The various weeds
      > will also repel some plant diseases. Weeds have very deep roots that
      > can bring elements from deep within the soil...as well as micorrhizal
      > fungi. They give a garden so much.
      > I know it sounds impossible to you. I had to learn it on my own.
      > Weed utility is amazing. The soil is nearly always richer where
      > weeds grow. It means that any plants you add to the area are also
      > richer.
      > I suspect part of your thoughts are because you grow in rows, or
      > blocks perhaps? I stopped doing that a long time ago. My garden
      > beds are haphazzard almost....and they are totally mixed with annual
      > and perennial herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruits.
      > It is a matter of maintenance to keep the weeds in check, much as you
      > would if you were just pulling them out. Pulling them out gives you
      > no benefit that they were ever there. Leaving the roots to rot in
      > the soil means the nutrients stay in the soil. It is much like
      > growing legumes. If you grow them, and then just pull them from the
      > soil, roots and all, you don't get much benefit they were ever
      > there. If instead you cut them off at the soil level, the rich
      > nitrogen in their root systems stay in the soil to nourish the
      > garden. Cutting the weeds back keeps them from shading out the other
      > plants. Thinning them out in the manner I mentioned also still gives
      > you all the benefits from their growing there....but allows the
      > introduced plants you added a better chance.
      > I hope that answers your questions. It is like using them as a cover
      > crop I suppose.
      > Gloria, Texas
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