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Re: RE: Misplaced Plants in the Garden

  • Subject: Re: [cg] RE: Misplaced Plants in the Garden
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 16:26:20 EDT

We're a third of an acre, so we never resort to Round Up or other poisons of 
that sort -  But if you're clearing out cover for Drug Dealers and other 
no-goodnicks in an area near the garden - maybe that might need that kind of work 
(outside of paving it over or putting something like  "affordable housing" on 
it. ) 

Ah Alianthus - aka - the "Tree that Grows in Brooklyn" - gee talk about an 
invasive foreign plant.  If you have seen the flawed, but wonderful "Gangs of 
New York" then you can see the milieux into which alianthus was introduced into 
this country.  The seedling came into Manhattan on a clippership from China, 
and managed to spread all over this country - like those damn pigeons, which 
were brought here by a German immigrant who thought that "German Rock Doves" 
would be splendid along the Hudson - his new Rhine.

Of course, there was this community gardening movement that started up in 
lower Manhattan in the early seventies ( after lying dormant in the remnants of 
the Victory Garden movemnent of the first and second world wars.)   Oh, and the 
first electric power plants were here too - damn New Yorkers - not far from 
that Liz Christy garden -  trouble makers all. 


Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

Cheers, 

Adam Honigman
<< Subj:     Re: [cg] RE: Misplaced Plants  in the Garden
 Date:  7/25/03 3:11:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  dboekelheide@yahoo.com (Don Boekelheide)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    LTanenb50@aol.com, community_garden@mallorn.com
 
 Hi, all,
 
 Laurie, you raise a good point, weeds can compete with
 crops for water and light and to some extent for
 nutrients as well, especially when veggie seedlings
 are emerging. That's a reason I let weed seedlings
 sprout for several days after preparing a bed, then
 knock them back (skim them with a hula hoe) just
 before planting.
 
 My feeling, though, is that with the exception of
 invasive exotic weeds and persistent garden pests
 (bermudagrass being my least favorite), most
 'problems' with weeds in our area _are_ indeed
 cosmetic! True, we get 1200mm (48 in) plus rain a year
 - the situation might be very different in more arid
 regions.
 
 My observations here are that 'problem' weeds often
 occur in places and times where they are not competing
 directly with crop plants in community gardens.
 Examples are neglected and abandoned beds, when beds
 are left bare after vegetables are harvested, along
 fencelines and edges well away from beds, in paths and
 in 'unclaimed' zones around the garden margins. In
 unused beds and other such spots, especially on
 sloping land, a cover crop is the best idea, followed
 by mulch, but I still strongly feel weeds are far
 superior to bare soil (on condition that you don't
 allow them to set seed). My reasoning comes from
 research I did for my thesis on nitrogen use
 efficiency. The greatest losses of N occur when there
 is no plant growing to 'fix' N and incorporate it into
 biomass. With different mechanisms, the same holds for
 other nutrients such as P and K.
 
 Within planted beds, I think you are right, Laurie,
 you must control weeds. Common sense to me. There are
 those who dispute this (Fukuoka) based on reasonable
 arguments from plant ecology. After all, if we
 'companion plant' to create a symbiotic effect, can't
 we do the same with managed weeds in our beds? I'm not
 willing to just let weeds take over, but I'll admit I
 don't worry much about a shallow rooted ground hugging
 outbreak of chickweed in my winter cabbage patch.
 
 The silent shadow looming over this discussion, of
 course, is chemical weed control, usually using
 'Round-up'. Given a weed outbreak, Laurie, would your
 garden opt for control with a chemical program, or can
 you keep things in good shape with cultural controls?
 Do other folks use Round-up or other herbicides
 routinely in their community gardens for weed control?
 
 
 In our case, we are under a fair amount of pressure to
 keep things 'tidy', but usually manage without
 Round-up. The two exceptions are with poison ivy in
 areas where kids play and when a Sheriff's 'crew' is
 sent in to defoliate a very overgrown hill
 (honeysuckle, multiflora rose, Ailanthus - man, what a
 jungle, great for drug deals...) behind a garden at a
 homeless day program. Actually, it's Round-up plus a
 Bush Hog.
 
 Meanwhile, since I'm a backer of having all kinds of
 people in a community garden, including folks on the
 margins, I guess I'm consistent when it comes to plant
 diversity - even a place for weeds <:)!
 
 Don Boekelheide
 Charlotte, NC
 
 --- LTanenb50@aol.com wrote:
 > A thought on weeds in the garden. Weeds compete with
 > whatever your trying to 
 > grow for available nuitrients and water - If they
 > were only beneficial for 
 > water conservation then the weed issue would only be
 > a cosmetic one.
 > 
 > Laurie Tanenbaum   
 > Grounds For Growth
 > 773-489-0167
 > 
 
 
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 To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com
 
 To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  
https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden >>


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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