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  • Connie Kuramoto
    Hello all, Thank you so much for the good info on vinegar. We alsouse a flame torch with decent results. Although I had originally agreed that weeds are
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
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      Hello all, Thank you so much for the good info on vinegar. We alsouse a flame torch with decent results. Although I had originally agreed that weeds are plants that are growing where you do not want them I have redefined my definition. Weeds now to me are the plants that are the thugs and bullies of the plant world. I adore plantain, chickweed, sourgrass, cress, and many others. The bullies and thugs are plants like bind weed, HImalayen blackberry, and others like it that will take over and kill everything else in their path. They are the ones that need to be controlled a bit tomaintain the peace.


      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John Warner
      Sent: Fri 7/29/2005 5:26 PM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: How I Currently Garden--slugs and weeds

      Thanks, Irene, for your kind words about my website, www.WholeSystemsAg.org and thanks to all those who responded to your concerns about slugs and difficult perennial weeds.

      Here, brown snails are a problem and we just use the regular bait that has a methel alcohol related active ingredient. It's just the regular stuff they sell at the big box stores and garden centers and we prefer to distribute it in stations more or less in the open. It, of course, is good for slugs too and it kills by dehydration so if you toss it into wet, dark places it is less effective. Bantam chickens do too much damage to the beds but there may be a kind of duck that will do a better job without scratching up the I'm getting a predator snail, Decollata rumina, established in my garden but they take a long time to establish themselves and may only survive in warmer climates. They were introduced to control brown snails in citrus groves and have worked well. They may be effective on slugs too. Try a search on them. But in the end, when the collapse hits and industrial products may be no longer available and we have to live off our garden, we're going to eat them. After all, that's what they were imported from Europe for! If you don't know about the collapse try a search on "peak oil" and visit some of the several websites related to it. The most scholarly is Jay Hansen's www.dieoff.org.

      As for difficult perennial weeds, such as bindweed, johnsongrass, nutsedge, bermuda grass and others, if they get established in no-tillage cultures the organic gardener should probably consider moving. These weeds, I believe, are the main reason Ruth Stout's permanent mulch method has not been able to sustain very much interest over the years, either among commercial or home gardeners. And this is why I consider the use of glyphosate herbicide [RoundUp] just about essential for backyard no-tillage operations. But, if one wants to be pure, organic to the letter, the best trick is transplanting in a very vigorous cover crop to a cleaned up and thickly mulched bed, Ffield corn or sunflower spaced one foot apart work well. This could be considered a kind of cultural control. Where this is done in my beds, weeds of any kind are just about zero. It is true that dilligent hand weeding will control just about any weed but, for myself, I'm unwilling and unable to give it that kind of effort. I'd have to cut my garden area down by 80% or so just to keep even with the weeds! Other "organic" practices I've used incluse smothering weeds with used carpeting laid crossways in strips across the beds and smothering large infected areas with good sized pieces of it. The strips are lots of work and don't add much effectiveness to the organic mulch. I covered a large section of bed infected with nutsedge with carpeting for a 10 or 15 week period, all the while applying water so the nuts would germinate and become smothered, but success, though good, was not complete.

      Good gardening, everyone, and please visit my website at www.WholeSystemsAg.org.

      John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, CA
      Hand-scale market growers since 1996.

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