[nafex] Living mulch garden update OT
Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Fri Jul 20 09:54:02 EDT 2001
I found it.
This might make a nice companion article to go along with Dan Hemenway's
permaculture articles in the most recent POMONA...
>Subject: [grazersedge] living mulch garden update OT
>Thought it would be fun to post about my garden, waited for a light day....
>I started using living mulch of white clover three years ago. My goals are
>pretty straight forward; keep the soil covered to suppress weeds ,
>eliminate soil splash and the resulting diseases and generate plenty of N.
>So far my goals are being met beyond my expecrtations. By suppressing the
>clover with mowing and narrow tillage many crops seem to do well. Tomatos,
>peppers, and curcubits do great, smaller crops need more help. Each year
>I've done this has been at a new location, and of the three attempts at
>establishing the clover, the best was seeding into sod I killed with
>roundup. almost no hand weeding was needed. This year I'm working in an
>established garden and the best seeding is coming under the annual weeds.
>I have been mowing off the weeds very short and the clover is breaking
>through and starting to smother the weeds. Two mowing so far, probably one
>more to go. I also have a weed torch which I dearly love, kills or annoys
>all plants and has replaced the weed wacker around the landscaping. I've
>found the torch works great for frying the weeds out of beds before veggies
>germinate, greatly reducing weeding.
> The clover seems to have other benefits as well. Several pest
>seem to like the clover better than the veggies, slugs and rabbits for
>example. It is also habitat for toads (though I must admit I have built a
>little toad palace for them) and also at least one short tailed shrew. The
>shrew is a savage carnivore, about 2 inches/7 cm long. I caught the little
>mama and was treated to a vigorous biting, amazing how loose their skin is
> Other plants are showing promise as mulches and other parts of
> the system.
> I have bands of buckwheat planted as habitat for beneficial insects, and
>have been very impressed with the wild black medic (a prostrate legume)
>that is coming along. The clover also loves the buckwheat as a nurse crop.
> I guess that's about all for now. I would love to try and integrate
>poultry into the system, but thats not possible where I'm living now.
>Maybe Fred needs some chickens?
>Poultry Reaserch Labratory
>University of Wisconsin - Madison
>mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
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