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August 01, 2009



I let desirable native plants control weeds. I do not have a conventional lawn and dislike grass lawns. Grass is a weak defender against weeds, but many larger plants will fight to defend their turf and do a good job of keeping the weeds to a minimum. The few weeds I get (probably due to neighbors with grass lawns) blend in so you don't really notice them.


Hey GG,

I have a farming uncle who tried some biodynamic techniques and failed. I wasn't there, and didn't check if he used the techniques correctly. I once worked for a guy who just pulled up the weeds and threw them back on the garden. He had wonderful crops.

I'm a fan of no dig gardens, where you almost tuck-in your plants to bed. With this particular approach, merely turning over or building up the straw mulch over them uses weeds for biomass. It wont eradicate, but it's so easy.

And there is no digging. Well, not much.


The whole basis for what friable and nutritious we find on earth is weeds. Without that hardy organic ground cover you'd have washed out deserts. It's like a living skin on the planet. When we remove it to plant vegetables, it damages the skin and does harm to the soil. This is the reason we plant cover crops, to let the earth recover after vegetable farming.

That's not to say I like weeds. I don't. We have this thing here called "bob" that some idiot planted and now it rages out of control. It adapts its form to match the microclimate and land. You might think aliens designed it to terraform barren planets.

Hellbound Alleee

I think of weeds not as strong little things that deserve to be there, but plants that have no business there; aliens like Kudzu or Caine Toads. They were once native to somewhere, but I know it's not where I live.

Disturbed soil is not damaged. What use would worms be, after all?

The no-dig method (lasagna gardening) has been very successful for weed reduction. Constant mulching, smothering of weeds at the end of the season: that seems to do the trick. And not just an inch of mulching. I mean three layers each time. Green, peatmoss, brown, peatmoss.

At the end of the season, a thick pad of wet newspapers (providing for the cold season plants) and the whole system on top of the thing. If it's a bed put to bed, cover that up with black plastic and let it cook.


Yeah. Lasagna. Here in 'straylya we dig the name that implies less work.

My lasagna garden was so cosy and warm in 'winter' I had field mushrooms poking through my bok-choi. Mmm. Good combo. Pity they were poisonous... Actually- I think the mushrms caused the heat with their respiration.

If I poked a spoon into the straw-bordering, wiped it off and held it to my cheek- it almost burned.

Putting the bed to bed is great. It also helps kill root-diseases in case you can't rotate your patch as much as you'd like.

I've also met highly efficient gardeners use tumble-composers to heat their soil, keeping weeds out.


who used...

I've think I eated two many field mushrooms.

Larry In Seattle

"You can dump a bunch of weeds in a bucket of water and let them steep until they produce a distilled liquid, which you then spray over the ground. Or, you can burn the weeds into a pile of fine ash, which you then sprinkle on the ground. The theory is that after a full growing season the earth becomes resistant to those particular weeds and you never have to wield a hoe again....."

Wiccans have been doing that for a LONG time.......


I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Listener Bronwyn C.

I've concluded that "weeds" are just plants that are growing where you'd rather they didn't grow. Our yard is heavy, acidic clay in full shade. We can't grow flowers or vegetables, but we are overgrown with all sorts of plants. I leave the ones I think are interesting (including some really amazing-looking mushrooms, which I know aren't technically plants) and pull up the ones I don't like or that seem super-invasive. We have been pulling up the few tufts of grass in the front in hopes that moss will take over and make a pretty green cushion.
Thanks for yr. posts, GG--I enjoy 'em.


Nice, provocative post,
Very interesting Blog. Hope it will always be alive!

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