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Can perennial weeds be defeated?
Many questions arise from those gardeners who risked switching to natural farming. Here is one of them: “I decided not to plow the area for potatoes, but now I am painfully watching it overgrow with sow thistle. What to do?" … Immediately I remembered how a bindweed ruined all the asphalt at a neighbor's dacha. This brazen aggressor weed grows even through such a dense cover. The conclusion immediately suggests itself: the bindweed began to grow because the neighbor paved the parking lot. Or I'm wrong?
I have friends. They plow in the fall and spring, and in the summer they sadly watch the field overgrown with weeds. Why? Yes, just weed laziness … Gentlemen, farmers, do not dissemble! Perennial weeds do not grow because they have not been plowed. They grew before, you just pulled them out in time. What prevents you from doing the same on an unplowed site? By applying the principles of natural farming, you will gradually reduce the amount of weeds. A layer of mulch will keep annual weeds at bay. But you still have to work with perennials.
Of course, if you purchased a neglected area that is completely covered with perennial weeds, then it is worth taking long-term measures. If everything is not so bad, then you can sow green manure that can suppress weeds. For example, sweet clover. In two years it will displace unwanted vegetation, and in one and the soil will heal. If you really do not have time for such drastic measures - take up the plane cutter. But without despair.
There are interesting facts. The forests near the village where I live are plowed. These are the so-called fire strips. They are plowed every year. In the middle of summer they are visible from afar - huge plants of sow thistle and milkweed rise on them. But nearby, on the edges and in the forest, they are not. Question: why are there no weeds where the land is not plowed, and why are they there, where it is plowed every year?
For a long time there was a pile of clay behind my shed. It didn’t seem to interfere, and they didn’t even get my hands off. In the second year, sow thistle and rape plants appeared on it, then spurge. A year later, wheatgrass climbed onto the heap. So gradually the pile was overgrown with weeds. When I decided to remove it, I discovered on its surface a five-centimeter layer, similar to meadow litter, in which there were "granules" of black earth.
The grasses that we call malignant weeds are actually soil orderlies. They grow on plowed areas, on heaps of construction and other debris, in general, wherever a person has disturbed the natural state of the soil. If you cut yourself, then the skin is trying to recover - the wound is healed. So is the soil. Nature abhors a vacuum, seeks to restore what we have spoiled. Moreover, everything happens wisely. Each disease has its own medicine. Different weeds grow on different soils, exactly those that can most quickly restore soil fertility.
At a low temperature in a person, doctors do not advise to knock it down - let the body fight. Otherwise, immunity is lost, and a person may die from a mild cold. The growth of weeds can be compared to those processes that occur during a human illness. Temperature is very unpleasant - but it is an indispensable companion to recovery. Likewise, weeds, we do not like very much, but they are the best helpers in restoring soil cover. We do not understand enough why this or that weed grows in our garden, how it can help restore the soil. But our ignorance in no way cancels the laws by which nature lives. The principle of natural agriculture is not to interfere with the soil itself from recovering. This means that weeds have the right to be. It is only necessary to restrain their activities within reasonable limits.
If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade out of it. Since you cannot do without weeds, you need to change your attitude towards them. For example, a sow thistle has its roots in the subsoil deeper than four meters. And from the lower horizons it extracts nutrients, converting them into a form assimilable by cultivated plants. What is not an assistant! Most weeds are able to use in food that which does not suit the cultural forms. And, dying, they create food for our pets. Keep this in mind when weeding. Is it really infuriating for you to carry and scatter humus or compost over the beds, fill the beds with mulching materials? So rejoice looking at the cut weed - it is both mulch and fertilizer.
It interferes in the garden bed - cut it and leave it in place. Lacking green mass, the roots will gradually deplete and die. But, despite your efforts, the weed will still have time to work to restore the soil. As in that joke about medical workers: "We treated it this way, treated it this way, but he recovered anyway!" Yes, dear doctors will forgive me … But in fact it turns out that way. The soil gives us signals about its disease by the appearance of weeds and with their help it tries to cover up its wounds. And we pull them out - and behind the fence, that is, we rip off the bandages. But it should be the other way around - cover open areas with mulch or plant ground cover crops.
How to get rid of perennial weeds at once and at the same time not violate the principles of natural farming? I dont know. Who knows, tell me. In one of the Internet forums, I found an example of a radical solution: The owners got tired of fighting weeds and … sold the dacha. Also a way out. But for me this solution is not acceptable.
I remember a case from my childhood. I am 12 years old. Most of all I love fishing. The nearest body of water is 14 kilometers from the house. Even after dark I get up, get on my bike and go to the river. And in the afternoon you need to go back. Headwind, heat, tiredness from lack of sleep. Somewhere after half the way, the thought in my head: “I will never go to this river again! Well, is this ten carp worth such torment! Moreover, I don’t eat fish …”. I get home exhausted. And at night, as soon as I close my eyes, I see a quivering float. I wake up without an alarm clock, take my fishing rods and get on my bike again …
Therefore, I think that if you do not have the patience to put up with constantly appearing weeds, everything is simple - buy vegetables and fruits in the store. And if you cannot part with the garden, “get on your bike”. It is not for nothing that the people say: "Patience and work will grind everything …"