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Seeking Edge Suggestions and Solutions  RSS feed

 
A.J. Gentry
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Ohio
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I am having some trouble applying the permaculture concept of edge in a practical sense. Hopefully folks can offer some suggestions and solutions for my various scenarios.

(1) Edge between fence and grass on suburban lot.
Goal: Grass suppression. I would like not to have to run my edger any more -- ever. I would like a permanent solution to get me there. Solution could be short-term or long-term. And I feel this is an investment of sorts so I am willing to spend a little bit. I don't think I have quite enough space for chickens.

There is a thread on mowable meadows. And another one.

I could do a rock mulch, but in areas where I have tested this out the grass comes through. Mostly because I just put the rocks on top of what was there.

I could do low growing plants from the fence out a few inches away from the fence line. I saw a post where Paul mentioned Stepables. This is a possibility. These would grow low enough that I wouldn't ever have to edge the edge.

Would it be advisable to dig the grass out that is there? (lots of work, but I would do it if it were one time work). Or would the low growing plants eventually out produce the grass? What would the solution look like if I didn't dig the grass up?

Is there a mix of low growers that might be cool to try from seed? (This would be a much less expensive solution, I think).



(1.2) Does the type of fence matter? This is what I have along two sides of the back property.



(1.3) My aunt and uncle have about 2 acres. It seems like stepables might be expensive. Is there a larger scale solution to suppress grass from the fence line?

(1.4) Can I treat the foundation edge the same as the fence edge?




(2) Edge between garden and lawn.
Goal: More grass suppression.

I mulched the heck out of the walkway on the inside of the white fence. How to I take care of the really long grass that seems to be growing between the straw path edge and the fence? I don't want to have to run the edger there either.





(3) Inside and Outside edge of rocks in the front garden.
Goal for inside edge (mulched area): perennial low-growing plant solution.
Goal for outside edge (grass area): grass suppression.






On a side note -- I pull and pull and pull thistles... do I just have too much exposed planting space? The thistle comes up through the day lilies and all of the other plantings else except maybe the comfrey.


(4) Edge between grass and side walk.
Goal: Grass suppression.




Maybe I should rename this thread Grass Suppression situations.

Any suggestions or solutions are welcome.

Thanks all.

A.J.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1363
Location: northern California
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I wonder if your thinking could be improved by stacking more functions into your target areas. Those edges might contain hidden opportunities for additional yields from your system. Just from what I see in the photos, it seems that adding some vines, espaliers, etc. on the fences, and/or on trellices against the walls, might be a possibility. The solid foundation wall might be a protected niche for plants which might struggle elsewhere in the site. What I would start with is to consider what useful plants (or animals?) could benefit from, or at least tolerate, those niches. Aside from the direct yields from these things, having them there will motivate you to focus on those areas and maintain them with more diligence, since you will have additional goals in mind in addition to just grass suppression.
 
Ben Stallings
Posts: 159
Location: Emporia, KS
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Hi, A.J. I agree with Alder in that at least the edges with fences have potential for vine crops, so your grass suppression strategy should be planned to support vine production (e.g. peas/beans or grapes). Comfrey is very good at suppressing grass, but unless you're 100% certain you want to have comfrey there forever, don't get it started! Any other floppy (non-woody) perennial or fast-growing annual will also suppress grass, so some other good options to surround your vines include borage, tansy (choose a smaller variety), clover, yarrow, and feverfew. Feverfew in particular I have found to discourage aphids from grapes nearby, though I haven't done a controlled test.

For the edges around mulched beds, I suggest iris since in addition to discouraging grass, its foliage also helps contain mulch year-round. If the leaves get in your way while you're working the beds, just trim them to a more convenient height.
 
A.J. Gentry
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Ohio
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Alder and Ben,

Good, thought-provoking posts. Thank you both.

I had previously been thinking lawn alternative and less work. I think my new plan is going to be sit in each of these areas for a bit. An hour or two just observing and taking notes. It's is ironic because I do feel as if I still have individual elements as opposed to a system... I think spending thoughtful time on stacking will be very beneficial.

A.J.
 
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