Stacy Witscher wrote:I generally weed my raised beds at the beginning but underplant with desirables to compete with weeds later on in the season. So a corn bed will have annual herbs or small things like radishes growing in it to compete with the weeds and give me an additional crop.
In other areas, my weeding is plant specific. Unfortunately my chickens aren't fond of grasses, other than their seeds, but I weed lots of plants that the chickens love and I don't, like cow parsnip.
Joylynn Hardesty wrote:We eat a lot of our weeds. Eat The Weeds by Green Deanne is my favorite site for identifying what we can eat. For now, I am only allowing those things that I already know what they are, to stay in my garden beds. ... So, for the next few years, I'm only going to let the things I know very well stay in my garden beds. ...
If you want to learn edible weeds from a book, I think Samuel Thayer's books are the best ones out there.
Lew Johnson wrote:Mulching in the raised bed is possible... I've mulched with rice hulls (a common garden amendment around here). I also tried mulching with old leaves. The timing seems to be very important in these cases. Mulch before sprouting and you block your crops, mulch very young sprouts and the rice hulls jump onto the sprouts when it rains or they get watered. Mulch too late and the weeds quickly outpace the crop.
My goal is to be as lazy as possible and get amazing results. Hah! But really I'm just tired of trying to fight nature with brute force... because I know I will lose.
I might do some botanical documentation with photos and discussion about particular pressures then. It would surely help me to think about it while I'm documenting it, and maybe help some other people think about weeds too. There might be some visual cues as to when to weed, or particular plant features to watch out for. Discovering and documenting these would be valuable for me.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Another weed that I just learned a great use for from Patrick from Vermont--pokeweed--which is the American version of daikon radish, sort of, since it has a huge deep taproot. But the new use for it is to let it go to seed for birdfood to draw fire from them so they don't shoot your crops. I don't know quite how this would work out in spring, but if they've overwintered in your area that works well. (I doubt they're in Japan, but who knows).
Manu Imam wrote:What, if at all, does mustard and radish do to prevent or control weeds?
Abraham Palma wrote:I have the same doubt.
We have a grass here called gramma grass which is very similar to bermuda grass, and experienced farmers hate it to the heart, and it's widely used in parks and gardens. Whenever farmers can, they remove it.
However, in the year I am learning, I have not weeded it once, only before I seeded my crops, I cleaned the spot first. So far, gramma has not been an issue to my crops (water and heat are).
My rule of thumb for now is this:
Is this weed touching the crop? Yes -->
Is it of the same family than my crop (root vs root, herb vs herb)? Yes --> Chop at ground level.
Is there already enough mulch?
No --> Drop it as mulch.
Yes --> To the compost bin.
The reason to use the compost bin is that the soil is very dry, so droped herbs don't become naturally humus, but instead they become dust. In the compost bin there's some humidity.
I also try to grow very intensively, so the bed leaves no room for weeds.
Maybe in the future I will learn how evil this grass is, but for now we haven't had an argument.
Again my point if you don't want to do a lot of weeding plant desirable weeds. Many of the things we plant in our gardens started out as weeds and were selected for their desirable attributes. Selective harvesting seems less of a chore than weeding. Today I harvested the kale leaves that were shading the yacon that needs space for the large roots to form. A few lambs quarters with them that weren't shaded out by the kale.
Lauren Ritz wrote:A few years ago I planted zucchini and then neglected to "weed" the seeding lettuce. The zucchini inside the lettuce shield had no squash bugs for the entire season. Zucchini outside was decimated. Since then I tend to let a lot of the weeds go, hoping they'll protect my plants.