Our Scarecrow’s mandala garden is one year old and some weeds like sneaking in as we eat the veggies up. Aged grass clippings work perfectly to keep the seedling snug and warm over winter. The chickens patrol the borders to help deter snails and the geese poop uphill to maintain fertility. This garden was popular with people on our last open day because it showed them how much you can grow with fun in part shade.
Trees produce a lot of goods and services worldwide. Observation is the key to Permaculture. Through observation we build our knowledge and community understanding of plants and their beauty. Here is April’s celebration about what there is to love about Trees.
Convert your weeds into liquid manure and enrich the soil. After eliminating most of the weeds this is our strategy for remaining weeds.
What is a weed?
Firstly, lets define the word weed. For us, a weed is a plants that does not support diversity. Weeds usually want to dominate the area. For us, the first challenges were the Kikuyu grass, Lantana and Maidera vine. All three of these weeds can climb up young trees and weight them down. After 5 years we had removed the lantana (Lantana camara L.) And after 25 years we had eliminated all the Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum). But don’t expect to ever be free of the Maidera Vine (Anredera cordifolia). So, instead, we have animals and strategies that keep it low. For some people a weed is anything easy to grow.
Some people say Mulberry and choko plants are weeds. But we are not interested in proving our growing expertise. We are more interested in finding what grows easily and has other functions such as fodder for geese or produces good mulch. So, for us, there are fewer weeds than someone trying to grow indigenous plants only.
Liquid manure, a rich fertiliser, is regularly made at PermacultureVisions demonstration site. Any noxious weeds were stored in an air-tight, dark container. We bought large waterproof containers at the local recycling centre which is next to the rubbish tip.
Water was added, the lid was sealed and then it was all left to rot for months. The amazing thing was that the form or shape of the tubers hadn’t changed much. These tough tubers scared us at first. Perhaps we hadn’t waited long enough? But after 18 months it proved to be ok. The weeds didn’t pop up again out of the residue. And the fermented residue of liquid manure finally enriched the soil.