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Pardon Me, Your Weeds are Showing!: 12 Tips to Avoid Embarrassment

John Dysinger

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John Dysinger

Bountiful Blessings Farm

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  • December 1, 2017
    10:30 AM
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Do you all struggle with weeds in this trial here. When. I go really well did he did you feel comfortable. You know this is this is the number 1 challenge of organic gardeners and so it's something that needs. Needs a lot of thought and effort but unfortunately often there's over look I want to start with a quote here that to me make. A little more important starting and he she. He who kills the soil is to make his work in the object lesson of the careful thorough work which must be done in the culture of the soil of the heart. So the question is what kind of object lesson is your guard. That's that's setting a pretty high standard there. But people should becomes your garden say wow I want my heart to look like this you know how do you do this and you know the beauty of the garden is that if you have people coming to your garden and saying how do you do this then you just have a open door to share the gospel with them right it's amazing. So so weeding is not just about efficiency and about. A balance making it easier to harvest or whatever it's really going deeper What does the you know. There is a philosophy among many organic farmers that a few weeds are OK You know what do you think God would say. If if if we needs represents. How many weeds to we want in our garden. OK so we're going to have this through this but I think I can give the main ideas and then. The South can do if we need to in my last draft we can come back to it so I tried to put them in a little bit of order as far as what I think are maybe the easiest things to to accomplish transplant as much as you possibly can and to me there's many many good reasons for transplanting but 1 of the biggest is for we control. And does that make sense to you you plant a seed and you can't cultivate any time to soon and tell the plants come up in for tourists pending on what time of year it is that can be 2 weeks or more and by then the weeds can be. Way ahead of you so. By transplanting you can cultivate the same way you shouldn't need to. Cultivate the same day gives you 3 or 4 week head start use type plant spacings to shade out we so this is a real key to the bed method you want to do your spacing such that the canopy covers the soil when and when there are 3 quarters mature and so basically as soon as the soil shaded the weed germination and growth goes way down. So there may still be weeds under there but they're not going to for the most part there's always exceptions but for the most part they're not going to go wild on you does that make sense. And when it comes to spacing. All these guys in these books that I've shared with you will give recommendations for plant spacing I would point you to Jay and his book probably 1st off in the back and you know what they'll do is they'll go through all the vegetables they grow 1 by 1 and tell you plant spacing is preferred cult preferred cult of gold bars just give you their tips for growing these plants is really valuable information and they'll tell you know how many rows are been added how much space between the rows and then you use your market rate and do that so tight plant spacing can really help with with we controlled to do that does anybody know what stale sea beds are you familiar with that concept this is this is the best thing to do all it takes is a little planning ahead which it seems like human nature is not very good at. All you have to do is pretend that you're going to plant your garden today and vendors soil. Bromide for yet rake it do everything get it ready to plant and then let it sit for 2 weeks and water it as if you seeded it and what's going to come up are your weeds are going to Germany and they're going to come up. And you have a number of choices then you can if you have a claim leader you can claim you have a heart you can cut down Heart in 1 if you have. A stare at home over Colin in your home you just very lightly work the surface you're not you don't want to bring up more money but I didn't really you do that twice at least you know water to the bed get the weeds to germinate cultivate it lightly maybe rake it in gently wired again let a section flush come up I thought I'd tell you if you do this 1 step you've probably eliminated I'm guessing 70 percent of your wee problem oh boy you know you are coming out of you be OK The question is do you do you have fewer coming out yes you if you stay on top of your wee You will have less each year will you get rid of all we know because they blow when you track them in a new shoes you're never going to get rid of weeds totally but. You will definitely the pressure will keep going down yes you. OK Well come to that we're going to have to just keep going otherwise we're not going to get through it all so that's a simple thing to do like I say all it takes is a little planning ahead you specialized cultivating homes we've talked about this. Colinear holds the spear of homes there we'll hold 1 more that. Not a very good picture but this is 1 that Elliot Coleman just came up with recently glace are supposed to be making this but I have 1 of my prized possessions is a set of these that Eliot gave me. Basically it's a metal coat hanger. But what's needed is it's got a bolt so you just screw on the head or screw it off and it's I've got 3 different sizes and again it only works with with small and loose soil but that's how all your beds how you want them and you just you're just scuffling the soil super easy works really well. So hopefully that will be. Available commercially soon. He called it. His suggestion for the name of the path of this whole. Pass of the poem you're not killing weaves you're just. Disturbing them. Schedule time for cultivating this is another simple thing but. You know it's so often over look you just have a set day every week Mondays we're going to spend 2 hours cultivated obviously that someone weather dependent so you may have to adjust but the point is put it in your schedule if you wait for a time to weed it's never going to happen right and you're going to regret it later on. In time saves 9 you've heard that. It's. No better place to see that in the garden you can cultivate 10 times faster than you can. Probably 20 times that. It's. Little attentions and often repeated you shout oh hey here's a picture of the tell ther that's the healthier I was typing and. Not sure where that is. But. Where. In. Concord if I'm here yeah yeah yeah that may be I don't remember where this was. Often times a game I told you that hands on whether you're O.C.D. or not hot or quick or always strings as Rose. I like to string my rose. To get you. I'm. OK O.C.D. means that obsessive compulsive You know your New You have to have everything just so. So the point is shallow the tiller Dotel a lot of these market gardeners are going to learn what they call no tail no in the States no till conventionally is bring everything with round. We're not talking about that we're talking about just not you know if you drive for the soil but you don't turn it over this would be considered shall of till now why is that important. Well it's because there is. Years of accumulated weeds the in your soil and every time you kill you bring them to the surface. So if you are just working the top inch or 2 of the soil. Those we see stay there and eventually hopefully they'll die right. As long as they don't see the light of day so don't keep don't turn over the soil don't heat telling it deeply because you're just adding to your weed problem so it makes sense later and. Yeah that's the point. You know we're trying to imitate although I think there's limitations there and I don't have time to go into it because you know most organic farmers don't take into account and our sin changed things but for the most part. Yeah we just have to keep going here so use plastic mulch or fabric maul shall this is kind of. I don't like using plastic but we do use it on some things this is a picture. Of Us planting our strawberries we plant our strawberries in plastic as we've tried it in every every other way and. This is the only way we can make money have it go by he cried I think we do have a biodegradable plastic if not crazy enough it's not a crude or organic production. It's it's a little more it's a little harder to work with but the beauty is you don't have to pull it up and dispose of it. So I suggest you follow the 60 day rule that means and of course if you were here yesterday you're trying to grow stuff that doesn't take more than 50 day but those things that do like tomatoes anything that's going to be in the garden for over 60 days used either plastic or fabric multi I think Rod said you call it and we have here something on woven fabric that you can burn holes and it'll last for many years so that's the advantage of that it has some disadvantages over plastic tube as far as plant growth but we won't get into that so just keep that rule in mind anything in the garden long term use some kind of mulch and. You'll save a lot of time. And. OK so yeah why not organic mall Well here we go. Obviously the advantages of organic mulch are that it's adding fertility to your garden long term which is a wonderful. And if you have your own source it's true so you can't be deaf but there are some definite disadvantages to organic mulch number 1 it can keep the soil cooler which in the spring is not a good thing it may be it may be a positive thing in the summer so you know depends on the time of year it also holds the moisture maybe too well you can get a lot of rot at the stem of your plants if you're not careful Another thing is that the harbors live in other undesirables where as the plastic are in there we. Doesn't do that as much. So you have to weigh it all out and if you don't have your own source of most Actually it's a lot more expensive if you're having to buy it to use organic moral. So you have to weigh all our perennial plantings are our blueberries and stuff we call each with with wood chips it works wonderfully love that we have 3 but over the years as the wind shifts accumulate and break down you have less and less we so we do use organic malt shit on perennial plantings We've also been experimenting with the root of the asparagus Spirit is a challenge to grow organically. A big challenge. So yeah organic mulch is great but just understand there are some definite negatives to it. OK try flame waiting this is a picture of of my son's Pyra weed or. It's. This thing with flame waiting most people think you're you're burning. To oblivion but you're really not all you have to do is raise the temperature of the water in the cells and as you know water spans under in the cells burst in that's all you have to do so it's very quick. It's very effective It's really amazing to see a you know when you 1st go over a bad debts that's weedy. It doesn't really look away you kill them they kind of will a little bit but they're still there. But you come back in a few hours on a sunny day and they're. Here and did tell us. You. Will. Have someone. Who will believe they. Did it again this this only works good on small leads. Anything with a Taff root. Well obviously if they're small the Taproot hasn't really developed but if you're trying to burn dandy lines or something with the teeth half root you have to do it multiple times it doesn't work as well on grass. You have to get really small and it might take more than what it works best on your Bryan leaf. But it can be very effective. Is it organic Yes it is approved organic. Production. OK so that's flame weeding. Use sorry alleged heart. I will just say that side of the sharpest have have transformed our farm probably more than any other single thing now do you all know what psychologist types are. You have dairies here in the I'm sure you and they in fact Rod Bailey was telling me he's got a neighbor a dairy neighbor that he's getting them from worry now. Because he only uses them once and throws them away to say I was sharp is basically heavy duty. You'd be treated plastic now it normally is black on 1 side and white on the other and people asked me does it half of the black on white and I have to say I don't know I'm not sure anybody done it there are many other there are some advantages because you can use the whites for thing I'll just tell you quickly. A couple things we use the white side 4 of the choice in our tomatoes in the greenhouse anything we grow in the summer big things like made of 200 peppers we have the white side up to say keep the soil cooler and reflect light up on the plant so that's a nice thing use your old silents headed out the silos for coated up and use it between your roads are made of those or other greenhouse crops The other thing I've heard of people doing the white side I have a friend with a farm in Tennessee who this year seeded all his carrots. Watered them well and covered it with the silent hard life side up. And it is soon that he just peek under it every day since he saw the fairy German he will live on he got tremendous Germany and that is that half the soil evenly more weight. Than good temperature so those are a couple ways to use the white side Normally you use the black side because that heats up the soil more so we saw this 1st at J.M. is. Probably 4 years ago and I was just blown away when when he pulled back the cover in the ground with was literally powdered with worms this big earthworms It was amazing. I couldn't believe it and as I say here. It's the closest thing I've ever found to no work bed preparation. What you can do if you have a flail mower you know if you have a cover crop or a previous crop just vote that down close to the ground make sure the soil is wet you want a good place. Cover it with the Cyrus tarp put some sandbags around the edges to keep it from going anywhere and wait for a month and when you pulled out I was her back you're going to have this this. Crumbly is the oil you've ever seen. It's unbelievable the worms if you've got good. Soil biology the worms in the microbes will get rid of all that dead plant matter to pull it down into the soil. It's amazing now again it's plastic and I don't like that. But it has transformed our part you know because we do a lot in the spring we have we all are all our space is full and spring but what happens you know we do our best to cultivate. As the big you know eyes as the foliage gets big their maturing to the time when all the grasses start to Germany so it's very hard to keep on top of that so by the time we get the wheat to be. There's a lot of wheat beginning to grow there when the past we're spending our time and energy cultivating and the bed that's not you know that's not lean. That's what. The Japanese call her weight. You're wasting your time you're not earning any money cultivating in bed. So as soon as we pull it beats out we just cover it let it sit through July and August and time to plant our fall crops we pull that tar off and it's ready to plant incredible Now there are some questions as to you know are the chemicals in the plastic. Hurting the soil I've tried to do a little research on that in there's not a lot that I've been able to find. J.M. his point and I tend to have to agree at this point is you know if it's hurting the biology in the soil I'm not seeing it because those worms are loving this you know it's them it keeps the soil moist all the way to the surface so the worms come all the way up you know rather than staying down on top which I don't yeah right exactly if dark so it's wonderful that the weeds you create this climate where we'd germinate you know it's it's more nice than dark in warm perfect germination temperatures but they can't grow because there's no light so they just die. So why. Now because it won't it won't warm the soil enough to really do it I've experimented with that I know enough to know that you don't want the whites say that we dislike the rolls of holes we will put mold on top of things OK yeah yeah you can and I've heard people using the old carpet you know there's a lot of different things you can use but this now I will say that it's hard if you have any sort of size you know ours are already in by a 100 that's that if you really have the Trying to the friction of the soil you'll need to retrieve people the pull it around specially when it gets water on it but you'll figure out techniques for using it but boy it's amazing. OK to use clear plastic for solar ization now I have to say I've never actually done this personally but I've seen pictures of farms that have done it and. This solar ization So basically the way it works you you fill your soil get rid of whatever we you have rape kits. Moisten it really good and well and then you cover it with clear plastic and then you want to bury the edges you want to make sure it's totally sealed off and you let it sit for. A month in the heat of the summer and it basically cooks your soil about 3 or 4 inches deep and it will kill all your weak see it will also kill a lot of these or. Now obviously the next question is well it's going to kill all your beneficial organism and from what I've been able to tell and from what people have used to tell me is that the beneficial organisms of course many of them are down deeper than what it can build them and they will repopulate the soil very quickly. So again I've never done it I've seen pictures of a farm that had tremendous do you have chick weed here. Chick weed is the bane of winter growers because it grows so fast and it goes to seed so quickly that it will very quickly take over a winter greenhouse. So I saw a farmer that had chickweed problems benefit chickweed problems they solar arrays did and the next year they had pictures before now here is quite dramatic. So so that's another possibility and the last 1. Never left we go to see there's a saying in delete Coleman's book he quotes 1 year's seeding is 7 years we did. That shit is sending shivers down your spine. 1 year's seeding in 7 years we so the bottom line is do whatever it takes to keep those weaves from going whether that's getting out the mower or I learned a new word here whip or snow when we go we call it and we either. Whipper snipper right here I mean we've had a rush that was snappers that rush. With you know snip snip. We're going to snip on. What is it line ball and yeah well that's we sometimes call a string trimmers. Yeah so whatever it takes you know go out there and whack it down all before the seed had developed in the early otherwise you're going to regret it for the next 7 years and I had 1 more but where there are computer issues I don't want us to. I was going to give you a farmer's doesn't you know you always want to give a little extra. Smothered crops have you heard of some other crops cover crops you're familiar with covered crops sowing a crop that you just. Plow in to improve soil but some of those grow vigorously enough that they call them some other crops. Some examples that we use in the summer would be how peace or soybeans. Buckwheat very fast growing. And the other 1 that we use sometimes is sort of Him sedan grass I don't know you have that those all are so vigorous that they will outcompete the weeds and basically smother them and then you turn them in Yeah well the whole turning and on the home garden scale is a challenge that we didn't do here is we're not talking about home garden. That's another option in the winter you can use. Right green is very right actually has some a little path effect which means that it exudes chemical compounds that if it weeds them early. Why not Ryder wheat or oh we've used all of those. Combine with that sure clover and you can get a nice map will will help compete with the weeds we've calculated for his brain you know yeah green manure is that terms are kind of interchangeable but green manure is pacifically 1 that Roane for improving the soil and yes quite we need to emphasize any look good which of course counties are lagoon are fixing nitrogen in your soil so it's actually building nitrogen Why I've seen that amazing with that. Just the other year we grew a really good crop of that and then just mowed it down in. And didn't do anything with it actually and the weeds that grew up where the vats was were. 3 times as big and beautiful as the weeds right next. Anyway so I suggest that you view these tips as tools in your tool chest all may not be relevant to your situation but the more strategies you use the better the chances of you keeping your weeds from showing so. You know don't just focus on 1 particular strategy. Combining them keep in mind that it is very shortsighted to allow other farming activities to take priority over cultivating Conard create more of that I talked about yesterday we needing is his. That thing. He says you know that's the most important thing you have to do on your own if you can get them under control everything else becomes easier. And I think I told you yesterday you know we went to his farm and you had this. Really. And the last 1 a week girders will be a much more enjoyable place to be just the bottom line if you've got a lot of weeds discouraging you don't like to be out there but if you've got a garden that is. This you love. And you want to have a garden that she's. OK I'm through and it's time to go on. 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