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personally buggy no more in virginia

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  • robin
    i have been working on a new idea that ya ll can comment on as you see fit, if you would like to. some of this may seem obvious to many of you, but if you are
    Message 1 of 2 , May 11 7:12 PM
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      i have been working on a new idea that ya'll can comment on as you see
      fit, if you would like to. some of this may seem obvious to many of
      you, but if you are a
      tad crazy like i am, you may not have thought about this at
      first either.

      when i determined to take fukuoka-san as my guide several years ago, i
      realized i had neglected many areas of my rather large yard, and parts
      were hardpan and devoid of good soil. so when i chopped some trees
      down, i cut the branches up and covered the bad places with them and
      just let it rot for a long time. well, tons of vegetation grew up and
      i would cut it down when it got to be too thick and tall and just
      mulched it in place.

      well, after a while it got to the point where it was too fertile, if
      you can believe it, especially up close to my house. bugs were
      starting to crawl in through the cracks. so, i couldn't stand that. i
      love nature, but not aggressively growing out from under my house!

      well, i had heard about what people used to do before there was
      gas-powered mowers. they had dirt yards, and they swept them, until
      they were hard and packed like stone. i have been working on this
      project for a few days, and it is going really well.

      i just recently constructed a garden fence, so i began raking a five
      foot perimeter around my house and taking the considerable mulch and
      putting it around the inside of my vegetable garden fence. i planted
      vegetable seedlings and fruit bushes in the garden into spots with
      exceptional tilth and cut the neighboring grass, weeds, and legumes
      down and mulched
      around the plants. i'm making the garden into a big bowl of
      fertileness, a big mulched and fertile nest.

      so, i remembered seeing pictures of fukuoka-san's house, how there
      were trees growing very close to the house and lots of vegetation all
      around the house. this i cannot do; i prefer it sterile, dry, and
      sanitized from my house out for a short distance. having grass
      fields, i'm scared of fire; i don't want my house go up in a
      puff of smoke from too close vegetation. i can still keep several
      small shrubs around the house for dog-shade, but i'm taking out the
      rest and glad of it.

      i love the fukuoka way, and i want a diversity of plants, and i'm not
      afraid of tall plants like tall grasses, etc., oh, and i want nature
      to choose the way it wants to be (with help from my seeding
      indulgences), but this is the way i have felt it necessary to be at my
      place:

      -a mown perimeter out from or adjacent to the swept dirt part (yes,
      mown with a push power mower)- i found that i just can't do without
      that right now for neatness sake;
      -a fenced and mulched garden ala dieter (yes, you were right about
      that, but luckily i planted plenty of legumes that grew up with the
      grass, and
      i have the grass right there to use as straw mulch! but over time i'm
      having less grass in the garden and more clover,vetch, and herbs);
      -and then the rest is (my favorite) fields of grasses and flowers or
      whatever
      grows there, with mown paths throughout and around for easy access. i
      hope to
      create swept dirt paths over time so that i can dispense finally with
      the mower. when the vegetation gets high and overgrown in a field i
      will scythe the grasses,cut the scrub , scatter seeds of stuff i want
      to add to the field, and return the dried straw over the field, like i
      usually do. the important thing is the paths through and borders
      around the fields- they have to be neat, delineated, defined in some
      way or i get overwhelmed and become worried that it's all getting away
      from me. if i can get the set-up and process right, i'm sure i will be
      able to grow some serious stuff in those fields someday.

      does anyone have any experience with swept dirt paths and immediate
      yards, such as any pitfalls to this type of method? all i know is i
      need some order in my life, while still sharing my space with nature's
      other inhabitants. i need a plan that does not involve me working
      myself to death, trimming things just so prissy. if i have to fool
      with something, i'm going to cut it down, period. that's why i like
      grass plants so well- they grow back! and when you let them grow big
      and tall and then cut them you are getting double benefit- the roots
      will die back some under the ground when you prune the plant above
      ground- that's mulching underground without digging!

      i look forward to truly "doing-nothing", just sweeping my paths,
      mulching my veggies, and looking out at my fields grow and teem with
      healthy natural life-seems almost too good to be true, but here and
      now is good too, i'm not yet too old to enjoy the work! ***robin
    • john
      If you are only mowing a small area there are several mowers that would be suitable that add no pollution to the air. Reel type mowers, man/woman powered. I
      Message 2 of 2 , May 12 5:59 AM
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        If you are only mowing a small area there are several mowers that
        would be suitable that add no pollution to the air. Reel type
        mowers, man/woman powered. I don't recommend them for a large area
        (although I mow my yard 85 by 145 feet) with one. They don't work as
        well as a gas mower and if you let the grass get too high it's hard
        to do and some areas need several passes. But maintenance is a snap,
        spray a little oil here and there to keep it moving smoothly. While
        my neighbor is changing his oil, driving to buy gas, trying over and
        over to start his mower, etc. I'm almost done and I get to listen to
        music whilst I cut.

        New member. John

        On May 11, 2008, at 10:12 PM, robin wrote:

        > -a mown perimeter out from or adjacent to the swept dirt part (yes,
        > mown with a push power mower)- i found that i just can't do without
        > that right now for neatness sake;



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