Bryant RedHawk wrote:Wholy Cow, what an awe inspiring discussion this thread has become, glad I've been watching in on the side lines.
Welcome to Permies, Jas! Glad to hear that this is working for you as well. Where are you posting from and what sort of gardens do you have?
I personally leave all “weeds” that aren’t growing becoming excessive. I chop and drop everything. Sometimes I pull them. There is a loss of microbes, but it also does small scale aeration of the soil, give some take some..
This would work with some of my weeds, but with many they would simply re-root and take off again (all my grasses, hawkweed, ox eyed daisies, hedge nettle, to name a few); this time they would root directly against my chosen crop plants.
i always pile pulled weeds around my plants
i don't have that problem because i mulch every spring w/ 3in. of green wood chips around all my plants and trees. the few weeds that come thru get layed on top of the mulch. no N available plus the mulch desiccates them further= dead weeds! ;)
Roberto pokachinni wrote:Hi Steve Bossie. I'm glad that this works for you:This would work with some of my weeds, but with many they would simply re-root and take off again (all my grasses, hawkweed, ox eyed daisies, hedge nettle, to name a few); this time they would root directly against my chosen crop plants.
i always pile pulled weeds around my plants
my chicks ducks and geese love weeds! plus the dandelions, lambs quarters and other dynamic accumulating plants are chock full of nutrients. i have a section of lawn under my pines i intentionally let grow just to feed to my birds. the eggs yolks are a deep orange and taste fantastic! just planted a corner of the yard with more ''weeds''. borage and nettle for us and the birds. ;) funny you mention the tea. I've done it using just meadow grass and truthfully, the tea is as good as the comfrey tea i make. free fertilizer!
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Method A, for readily rooting weed use, make a green weed tea maker, it is almost the same as a compost tea set up, gives back most of the nutrients asap and leaves compostable, non re rooting stems and roots.
Bag the weeds for easy removal, brew for one week (this drowns the roots). The safe side would then lay the brewed weeds on some sort of screen in the sun to dry completely before adding to compost or using as mulch.
Method B, sun dry root systems of readily rooting weeds for one week before using as; a, mulch, b, compost material, c, worm food.
Method C, feed to hogs, they love most any weed and will process them for you.
(just some ideas)
Tim Kivi wrote:Some permies say "there's no such thing as a weed". My gardening books all day that weeds rob the soil of nutrients meaning other plants can't access them.
What's the deal?
I've been putting on a mulch of pie seaweed on my garden bed. I top it with large dried whole maple leaves. Weeds and vegetables are all thriving. I have no problem with the weeds, unless my veggies could do better without the competition.
Now and then I simply pull a weed/grass out while picking my veggies, rip off the root from the leaves and drop it back on the ground as a mulch. Am I doing the right thing?
i agree. bare soil is dead soil. when im not growing a crop, i either seed a cover crop or let the weeds do it for me. the reson they show up in the 1st place. mother earth doesnt like to be naked and exposed. ;)
Ben Zumeta wrote:Great conversation. I look at weeds as carbon fixators and nutrient accumulators and chelators, as well as soil conditioners. I do not worry about it if a “weed” is not shading out my wanted plants, it’s better than bare soil and trades sugars and nutrients via soil life that become more available to all plants around it. Ultimately, Whichever plant has the greater photosynthetic surface area will ultimately win any transpiration powered tug of war for water and nutrients that may occur in times of scarcity. Unless you have more than enough organic matter in your soil, I’d let your weeds put it in there for you and chop n drop/feed to animals unless you have a choice plant to put there instead.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Plants gather most of the nitrogen they use from the air, soil nitrogen is used more by the micro organisms and the plant root tips. This means that most amendment nitrogen is not benefiting plants directly but indirectly through the organisms in the microbiome.
Michael Moreken wrote:You won't get nitrogen back by harvesting weeds.