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Land Clearing

 
                    
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I'm very glad to have found this excellent forum.  Here's the problem.  I'm now making the move to organic lawn and garden practices.  I've spent several years clearing vines and brush from my property .  Once things are cut, of course, the stumps and weeds regrow rapidly.  (Welcome to New England.)  I've used Roundup to control the growth while I'm waiting to have things dug up.  Other than getting a brush-clearing mower (expensive!), what can I do to keep things clear in the meantime?  There's way too much to weed by hand.  Thanks.  Michael
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Toss some seed out there that will outcompete whatever is there and the conveniently die.

How much land are we talking about?

Are pigs an option?
 
                      
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Actually, I have discovered the joys of the propane weed burner. 

You don't actually burn the leaves, you essentially "boil" them internally, effectively killing the roots.  MOST of the time.  Sometimes it takes more than one treatment, but at least you're not using chemicals.

http://www.flameengineering.com/Weed_Dragon.html

This works admirably along fences and where there is not a lot of flammables.  (It's good to do this after a rain shower-- cuts down on small brush fires.)  Not sure how much area you're talking about, but it's still easier than pulling by hand. 

I also managed to clear a large section of weed by mowing them down and THEN torching the survivors.  Just a thought.

Good luck!
 
                                
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Location: Middle Georgia
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Well if you want an organic lawn and garden you definately dont use roundup. You have to wait at least three years before that stuff is out of the soil system before I you can plant food crops there.
The problem with tilling and clearing an area is it exposes the soil to weed seeds. Nature will find a way to cover the bare earth and it does so quickly I know how you feel.
Other than tilling, weeding and all there is no way to keep out everything.
Like one poster said try a clover or vetch that will over compete the weeds and provide you with a green manure to till back in when you are ready to start growing.

Spraying vinegar will help NATURALLY kill the weeds unlike the roundup which is definitely not organic.

Its hard to keep a piece of bare earth.
you could try mulching it heavily.
Cardboard and wet it slighlty so it doesnt blow all over your yard.
Its organic and breaks down easily and I am allowed to use it under NOP Organic standards.
Newspaper works as well.
 
                    
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Land clearing blamed for climate change
October 28, 2007 - 5:34PM

Land clearing has led to climate change in Australia, a University of Queensland-led report says. - Sidney Morning Herald

Check out Homesteading Around the World: Report from Wangaroo Station by Kathy Boladeras. - homesteading.org.

Can't homestead without clearing land.

[Impact of] Land Clearing

native plants and Wildlife
Land clearing poses the most direct threat to wildlife in Australia – it destroys their habitat, shelter and food sources.
When a patch of bushland is cleared the few animals that survive have nowhere to go. Even if they make it to another suitable habitat, competition guarantees they rarely survive. The altered landscape is unsuitable for all but the hardiest species such as magpies, some cockatoos and the larger kangaroos. The rest simply die.
Currently, over 240 species of plants and animals are under threat of extinction from land clearing including over 56 birds, 22 mammals, 12 reptiles, 4 frogs, and 140 plants species.
Woodlands and grasslands, unique ecosystems hosting thousands of native species are now reduced to a fraction of their original area, yet broadscale land clearing activity continues in these areas. Islands of bushland are all that's left in many areas. Surrounded by cleared land they are vulnerable to invasion by weeds and feral animals.

Salinity
Land clearing is the no.1 cause of dryland salinity. When native vegetation is removed the rain moves down to the water table, causing it to rise and force the soil salt to the surface. This situation is almost impossible to reverse and ruins not only the native life but devastates the agricultural value of the land.
Land clearing directly leads to the degradation of fertile farmland causing millions of dollars of lost production and negatively impacting upon farmers and rural communities. 
Huge ring tank, Coolarenebri, NSW
Research undertaken in NSW has found that the cost of damage caused by salinity is $1 million per year for every 5000 hectares visibly affected by salinity. It is estimated that over the coming century between $600 million and $1 billion per year will be lost for the entire Murray Darling Basin due to salinity.

Greenhouse Gases
When trees are burned or left to rot after being cleared, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The amount of land clearing in Australia is so extensive that the greenhouse gases produced rival the amount produced by cars and trucks. Putting a stop to land clearing would be a step forward to reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

from Australian Conservation Site




 
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