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Grass

 
Luke Prior
Posts: 11
Location: Limousin, France
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Hello there, my first post so im sorry if its in the wrng section...
We are still knew to the ideas of permaculture and are in the planning stages of our garden...
We have a 2 acre piece of land in the limousin region of france.
At the moment is is grass and weeds. Now the soil has not been used for anything for a very long time and is actually good soil under the grass...
We want to start a food forest and we dont know whats the best way to start
should we dig the grass up? Should we plant fruit trees first and mulch around them? Or cover with plastic to kill the grass first then plant useful plants along with fruit trees?
Any comment we would find helpful.
Thank you for your time i know it is precious.
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
Posts: 357
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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Luke Prior wrote:Should we plant fruit trees first and mulch around them?


That. Don't forget bushes and grapes and things, too! You might have to smash the grass and weeds around where you want to plant before sticking a tree in. Small trees don't like competition.
 
Luke Prior
Posts: 11
Location: Limousin, France
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Great thanks any other inputs?
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
Posts: 357
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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Swales would be good. If I'm not mistaken it gets pretty dry in France, so the more water you can collect the better.
 
Luke Prior
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Location: Limousin, France
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Can you combine hugelkulture beds into swales? Or am i just being silly? We have an idea to make a few ponds intergrated pumped up to the highest point then gravity fed to the lowest... Does this sound doable? Thanks for replying again
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
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Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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Luke Prior wrote:Can you combine hugelkulture beds into swales? Or am i just being silly?

You're not the first person to think of it. I think it would work best if your swales were more like infiltration ponds and formed on contour.

Luke Prior wrote:
We have an idea to make a few ponds intergrated pumped up to the highest point then gravity fed to the lowest... Does this sound doable? Thanks for replying again


I've heard of similar things being done. I think it's more complicated than a purely rain-charged gravity system, but that's just my opinion. If you have good water retention then irrigation may not be necessary. And lol, I'm bored and it's just early or late for most people on the forum.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Luke Prior wrote:We have an idea to make a few ponds intergrated pumped up to the highest point then gravity fed to the lowest... Does this sound doable?


That's what the Bullock Brothers do on their land, I think it's described in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW7LcNAYBWg
 
Luke Prior
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Location: Limousin, France
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Thanks that is a great video!
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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Other tools for grass removal would be

Fowl (chickens, geese, muscovies)
Aggressive groundcovers (sweet potato, winter squash)
Sheet mulch (layers of cardboard/manure/woodchips/etc)

Those all work well in my experience.
good luck!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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if the area has been grass for a long time you might want to go to some place where there is woods and get a couple bucket loads of some forest soil and stick that in the ground around the trees when you plant them..as your grasslands will be mostly bacterial micro organisms..rather than fungal..and you really need fungal to support your tree roots..this will give them a much much better start.

 
Luke Prior
Posts: 11
Location: Limousin, France
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Wow thanks Brenda what a great tip!
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 123
Location: Western North Carolina
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Wood chips! We love wood chips. You can see photos at my sons's Facebook page. See link below. We use wood chips for all sorts of projects. To get rid of grass and weeds, just layer cardboard and newspaper and top it off with wood chips.

Here is a link with good ideas about how to save water too and they built berms too. Look at all the links from their site too:
http://www.oasisdesign.net/index.htm

Here is another one:
http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

And you can find our wood chips photos at the FB page below. Good luck!
 
John Polk
master steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I recommend strongly against using the plastic to kill the grass.

This technique, called 'solarizing' builds enough heat (and blocks oxygen) to kill the grass.
This also kills most of your soil food web. You end up with dirt, instead of soil.

Enough mulch will actually kill the grass, and feed your soil food web at the same time. Slower, but much better.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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