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Re: New Polyculture, rotations, and weed control....

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  • della99999
    I wonder what you mean by red clover mulched while still green . I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when they get very big. It does
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 2, 2008
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      I wonder what you mean by "red clover mulched while still green".
      I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when
      they get very big. It does work well for me for weed control in the
      aisles although it drives my husband nuts. He's rateher conventional.

      Also I have done the 3 sister planting. Unfortunately my site was too
      wet this year and nothing grew as big as it should have.


      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <shultonus@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I recently finished a book,
      > (The End of Food by Paul Roberts)- Against the Grain by Manning is
      > much better.
      >
      > But I did manage to learn a thing or two (two to be exact, lol)
      >
      > One of the paragraphs mentioned a reasearcher at my alma mater, Iowa
      > State. Matt Liebman
      >
      > Anyways, he's an endowed chair (meaning his research isn't funded by
      > agribusiness)...
      >
      > He has some interesting theories (he's got a book out),
      > but anyway
      >
      > he's working on developming Low External Imput (LEI) agriculture,
      the
      > ideas is to use minimum (although some is allowed) artificials...
      >
      > He found that
      > Red Clover mulched while still green (still green is important)
      > reeduced weeds for 3-4 weeks
      > Sorguhm and rye (also mulched green) also had effects (though he
      warns
      > rye tends to suck up too much nitrogen)
      > this is called alleopathy
      >
      > anyways, this is one of three solutions he uses to decrease weed
      > competition (I get the feeling that we would like to achieve no
      > outside herbicide, and doesn't mind the occasional weed)
      >
      > the other two are crop rotation and incouraging weed predators..
      > aka mice, beetles crickets and birds..
      > apparently the right mice (deer mice and white footed) can consume
      the
      > majorit of the weed seeds....
      > they harvest 10 times the amount insects do.. the bird thing wasn't
      > elaborated on...
      >
      > crop rotation.. being in Iowa.. Liebman modified a corn-soybean
      > rotation...
      > he tested adding tritacale or wheat,(with red clover winter cover)
      > or two years alfalfa
      >
      > and indicated where you start your rotation when taking on a new
      > management affects the long term consequences of weed seed bank...
      >
      > specifically, soybeans are the weakest link (hence the popularity of
      > round-up ready soy)... and then just starting with corn, vs soy can
      > reduce long term weeks by 20%+
      >
      > Anyways, I thought this might be something people on this board
      might
      > appreciate.
      >
      > Well non related to the book,
      > I stumbled across something I consider even more dramatic...
      >
      > its a cold-climate adaption of the three sister's concept...
      > http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/fiw/030703.html
      > it uses wheat, canola (rape), and field peas
      >
      > a staple, oil seed, and legume..
      > Which seems to compare favorable to a two species system like the
      > Bonfil's method for wheat...
      >
      > I'm going to try and track down a scientific article on this for
      more
      > details...
      >
      > but if this concept holds true it would open the door to all kinds
      of
      > possibilities...
      >
      > The low growing oilseeds
      > mustards, rape (canola), crambe, sesbania, radish, flax(?), seasame
      (?)...
      > not sure about the last two, they might be too close to staple
      growth
      > forms, also a consideration would be sunflower, but that might be
      too big
      >
      > other staples..... sorhgum (with sunflower!!), millet, buckwheat
      (with
      > flax/seasame), ....amaranth (with flax/sesame) Quinoa (with
      > flax/seasame), Potatoes (with sunflowers?)
      >
      > other legumes ... cowpeas, red clover, field peas, (SOYBEANS?),
      edible
      > beans, lablab, faba, winged bean, adzuki bean, crimson clover,
      peanuts
      > (groundnut), ....
      >
      > what about a vegetable version
      > brocoli (oil seed?), string beans (legume), and staked
      (indeterminate)
      > tomatoes
      >
      > dry-land rice, brocoli, soybeans
      >
      > what about cucumber sunflower and soy or string beans, or yard long
      >
      > (getting away from the oil-staple-legume)
      > the legume seems necessary.. but I think the other two are changable
      > based on growth form....
      >
      > the staple (or substitue) would be tall and later, or any and early
      > the oilseed (or substute) would by short and early, or shade
      tolorant late
      >
      > the problem is they haven't figured out how to mechanize this
      > harvesting....
      >
      >
      > btw.. anyone have experience with three sisters...
      > how far apart do you plant...
      > I'm never seen a working model...
      >
    • Jeff
      ... ok so the red clover when still green- this effect is lost if the clover is harrowed (cut) and left to dry, before baling and transport to the garden/field
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 2, 2008
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        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "della99999" <della99999@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > I wonder what you mean by "red clover mulched while still green".
        > I plant clover in the aisles of my gardens and mow them high when
        > they get very big. It does work well for me for weed control in the
        > aisles although it drives my husband nuts. He's rateher conventional.
        >
        ok so the red clover when still green-

        this effect is lost if the clover is harrowed (cut) and left to dry,
        before baling and transport to the garden/field (if the clover is
        produced off site)

        it also refers to the effect being lost if you decide to compost it...
        ie you don't want to use it as sheet compost with other mulches if you
        want the est weed control
        so.. if you want the extra mulch for moisture control or extended weed
        control, and soil enrichment.
        you should wait 3-4 weeks until the clover effect is used up
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