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Interview With Mark Shepard of New Forest Farm
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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Location: York

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use black permeable membrane.

No-one who talks about "mulching" with biodegradeable stuff (e.g. leaves, grass-clippings, bark) ever, ever, explains what to do with the stuff afterwards: are you supposed to take it off again later, or do you just leave it and let Nature take its course? For the latter with bark (for example) that'd take a lot of Nitrogen out of the soil.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The grass-clippings will add a lot of nitrogen. All swings and roundabouts in the permaculture world.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murf wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote:
Murf wrote:
Interesting like. One question he kind of dodged though was:

Quote:
How can those with only a small, urban backyard participate in restoration agriculture?


I'd be interested to hear how this kind of idea might be put to work on the scale of say, an allotment plot.
The RenewablePlot is attempting precisely that. In the face of a massive bindweed infestation, but we're working on it Smile Also see (somewhere) my pic of the 2m by 2m "world's smallest forest garden".


Good stuff. Let me know how it goes!

I've got bindweed all over my allotment too. This is only my second year of having the plot, but last year I managed to keep the bindweed under a reasonable amount of control by just pulling up the stems from ground level most weekends and dumping them in a bin with a lid on it. Also by just putting a tarp over the worst affected area.

It hasn't reappeared so far this year, but I'm fully expecting it to. Whether my harvesting it will weaken it longterm I've no idea. I shudder at the idea of digging all the roots out though.

The area of couch grass I'm turning over at the moment is bad enough for that.


Murf, Candy

I'm reading up what I can about bindweed at the moment (yes, yes, I know...) and came across this post in the permies forum:

Quote:
I attended a fascinating presentation last week on dealing with this specific situation. The presentation advocated for applying oyster mushroom mycelium to any areas that have problems with rhizome-based weeds.

Applied in the late winter, when the rhizomes are dormant, the oyster mycelium colonizes and consumes the rhizomes, greatly diminishing the weed problems by summer. The oyster mycelium is highly competitive in the cold soil conditions of early spring, and then naturally dies out come the warm and dry conditions of the gardening season.

The oyster mycelium can be applied as charged biochar, or as a diluted spray solution. I used the biochar myself last week, and plan to follow up with a spray innoculation in early spring. The fellow, John Buerger, who gave the presentation has been developing this techinique of weed control for years, and has found excellent results. Now is the optimal time for application, while the soil is cold and wet.

Sorry no pics, but I really hope John Elliot and others add to this discussion, this is a concept I am very excited about and hope to learn more from the fungi folks here.


Haven't yet found out much about this Buerger guy.
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, thanks! But...won't the same stuff gobble up any root crops we try and grow afterwards (e.g. the following winter. Or even through a 2012-like "summer")?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Interesting, thanks! But...won't the same stuff gobble up any root crops we try and grow afterwards (e.g. the following winter. Or even through a 2012-like "summer")?


Not sure - maybe it dies off - but it's worth looking out for. There's not that much on t'interweb but your man is doing talks.
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featherstick



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
The grass-clippings will add a lot of nitrogen. All swings and roundabouts in the permaculture world.


If you have enough of them. If you are mulching with bark, straw etc. then a liquid feed of household liquid diluted at least 1:10 if not 1:20 can be applied, or a chicken-manure tea. Desist from both for at least 3 weeks before harvesting. If you do this you can leave the mulch on to rot in.

I know some on this forum don't agree with its use, but Mypex is an excellent weed control fabric either before cultivation, or in semi-permanent application like paths. It is expensive but it lasts a long time.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OH reckons bindweed roots avoid french marigold roots, though there doesn't seem to be much info. on this. Don't plant them near cabbages or beans; apparently the roots give off a kind of herbicide.

We're doing something right because bindweed is rampant all around us for miles - along verges and in neighbours' gardens - but not in our spot. The odd time I've seen it in the garden, I've simply pulled the leaves off and bunged them in a plastic bag. Trying to get all the roots out when you're digging is a good idea but awfully time-consuming.
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featherstick



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid getting all the roots out is the only approach. Last year I wondered why my squash were so small despite good preparation and feeding. When I dug them up I found bindweed and nettle roots the thickness of a pencil at least had strangled the squash roots by heading straight for the manure and water and out-competing them.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading about one guy who put down old roofing sheets, vertically, a few feet into his soil as part of his raised beds and then methodically worked his way through the soil within the resultant compounds. That would be a very safe solution if you're really stuck.

So yes, digging them out is recommended. Our spot is bordered thickly with bindweed down the road side of it so short of putting down a physical barrier as above, we'll have to just continue to deal with it as and when.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5267
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We use black permeable membrane.

No-one who talks about "mulching" with biodegradeable stuff (e.g. leaves, grass-clippings, bark) ever, ever, explains what to do with the stuff afterwards: are you supposed to take it off again later, or do you just leave it and let Nature take its course? For the latter with bark (for example) that'd take a lot of Nitrogen out of the soil.

Just leave it and let the microbes digest it and release the nutrients it contains. Might need to sprinkle on a bit of lime to neutralize wood chips which can be acidic.
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