Tarpaulin Gardening

The recycled old Tarpaulin is one of our favorite tools. Today we pulled aside the Tarpaulin that we had used for the last 2 years to pile the weeds on. (There were also some nasty weeds below such as privet, maidera vine, coral tree seedli
ngs, tobacco.) So at first the Tarpulin worked to kill weeds then we rolled it over, emptied the dead weeds to make a swale and used the beautiful soil underneath. Then we set it up to use again. In this photo you can see we have to surround the new seedlings with branches to keep the geese and chickens off.Recycled Tarpauline Gardening

Why Contours Matter

Here is a clear example of why it is vital to know your contours and not just put a gate where the fencing wire runs out.
For hundreds of years this hill was a Maori Pa, the food was grown on carefully levelled contour beds lined with clay.
Lately the area was fenced off.  You can see here the gate has caused people to walk off contour, and this small change has created a source of erosion.

The path drops to meet the gate, and so does rainwater. Then the rainwater continues to run downhill eroding all the fence posts.

How A Weed Succeeds

Weeds venture where other plants fail to go.

They quickly colonise places where something has changed the landscape. The landscape change is usually done by conventional farming methods sucvegies growing in old chook run with composted lawn clippings as mulchh as digging but it could be from a catastrophe such as flood 0r landslip.  The weeds are well adapted to a short life and are highly re-productive with little dependence on the quality of the soil or water supply. Before you remove the weeds have a succession plan. Permaculture deals in modelling systems and seeing what the surrounding landscape has as a plan.  In a rainforest the succession plan involves plants that are happy to start in deep shade and will suddenly rise to the occasion when a mature tree falls.

What Weeds Are Good At

Weeds are excellent adapters. They can mine the on-site resources better than most other plants.  Weeds will mine minerals, sop up excess nutrients on a site and cover bare ground which builds organic matter in the soil.  If you remove a weed, you need to plant something almost just as strong or have a plan to nurture the next plant. There are easy ways to nurture plants, dig swales to bring water to them, cover the surrounding soil with mulch and build a tent of leafless branches to protect plants from too much sun, frost or animal damage and keep a regularly watch on young plantings.

Plan For A Time After The Weeds

When we remove a weed and send it away we are losing minerals and fertility from our site.  If we slash a weed before it goes to seed we get the benefit of the mineral rich organic matter as mulch.  When we do nothing and let weeds and non-edibles rule our site we miss out on the opportunity of having a balanced diet of fresh food and herbs.  Enjoy outsmarting a weed and implement a natural succession plan for a fruitful forest.  Living mulch is ideal to stop future weed invasion especially if it is edible.