ATP Podcast #54: Weeds? Weeds!: I love goat weed...

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ATP Podcast #54: Weeds? Weeds!

By dave
April 29, 2014

In today's podcast we talk about weeds. What to do about weeds? Is there such a thing as a good weed? What weeds can be tolerated, and even used to your benefit? And for the rest, how do you get rid of them? We cover all that, plus the usual segments, along with a bonus pinboard of bad ideas, in today's episode!

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Name: Misti
Farrrr NW Houston (Zone 9a)
[url=www.oceanicwilderness.com]www.
Region: Texas
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Misti
Apr 29, 2014 1:06 PM CST
I love goat weed from the perspective of a native plant enthusiast! I actually had to google the common name to figure out you were referring to Croton capitatus. I'm partial to C. punctatus, a dune version of this genus.

As for Pinterest and copyright: I was an early Pinterest adopter back in 2011 when you had to get on a waiting list to be invited on. When an artist I follow, Kal Barteski, began having copyright issues with her work (she was using Pinterest too) that's when I left the site and closed my account. There's plenty of information regarding the copyright issues surrounding Pinterest and instances just like you had Dave...photos not linking back to you or crediting you, people taking their own liberties with them, etc. And in some cases, photos and artwork being used commercially because "I found it on the internet and isn't it public domain?" Not that Pinterest isn't the only place for this to happen, but there's been an explosion of copyright issues coming from the site.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 29, 2014 1:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It almost seems like pinterest was designed to allow republishing other work without attribution, or with very little attribution.

Yep, Texas Goatweed (Croton capitatus) is the one I was referring to, and it's the only one that I'm aware of up in this part of the state. Looks like Gulf croton (Croton punctatus) doesn't grow up here.

This is what our property looked like the day we bought it:

Thumb of 2014-04-29/dave/d9f094

That tree on the left, is the same tree as the one on the right of this photo:

Thumb of 2014-04-29/dave/11d63f

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 29, 2014 7:59 PM CST
Dave, you and Trish listed many "good" weeds in that podcast, each with different drawbacks.

Can I wheedle you to type up a list of them, with virtues like "edible", "smothers other weeds" and "easy to uproot before it goes to seed"?

Or do you know of a link somewhere with that sort of list?

The idea of fighting weeds with weeds really appeals to me! Especially if I can compost "good weeds" since I've learned for sure that I can't afford to compost "bad weeds" with seeds.


Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 30, 2014 5:10 AM CST
I could hear this podcast so I listened all the way through. I am up early because of threatened tornadoes, but thankfully they didn't show up here in west Alabama this morning! I especially appreciated your description of shovel skimming as a method of weed control. Shovel skimming is the preferred technique for clearing archaeological sites, so for any archaeologist, we tend to get attached to our shovels! Mine is a Razorback Ive had since the 1970s. Here in Alabama we cut off the front tip of the shovel, so that it is straight across instead of shaped into a rounded tip. I had to throw away my first shovel, because some helpful person decided to sharpen the back of the shovel. The shovel has to be sharpened to a chisel edge, working with a file facing the shovel handle to make a razor edge along the top of the shovel, never the back. If you sharpen the back of a shovel it will never work for shovel skimming. I keep my shovel razor sharp. And now that its a garden tool, sharpening my shovel is one of the first garden chores each spring.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 30, 2014 6:06 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Rick, I don't really know a list. The book Gaia's Garden has some really nice tables in which they list "weeds" and other plants, along with their benefits. I think an online list like you're describing would be an extremely useful resource. Maybe one day we'll organize an effort and make it happen.

hazelnut: I know what you mean about a sharp shovel. I have an expensive shovel that is made out of all steel (including the handle) and I love it, and keep it sharp exactly the same way you do. Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 30, 2014 4:56 PM CST
I guess I should find some time, re-listen to the "good weeds" part of that podcast, and take notes.

It occurred to me yesterday that "soil type" might make a big difference to how the same weed would grow roots in different areas, and how easy they are to eliminate by pulling.

For example, I can pull 8-10" of dandelion root by hand, if a feral dandelion gets that big in my best-amended raised bed. But the "wild" ones that grow in my rock-and-hard-clay basic "soil" leave all of the root behind unless I excavate around them with the sharp end of a pick and a spike bayonet. (The rocks are too hard on the edge of my mattock to use that.)

Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
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grizzlyjoe
Apr 30, 2014 5:14 PM CST
Different weeds will also show you what is missing in the soil. As Dave mentioned all the weeds have various rooting depths and work to fill in niches that the soil is missing. Dr. Elaine Ingham has a lot of talks on you tube about soil microbiology that are a real eye opener into why weeds are growing where and what they can tell us about what we can do to further along the soil health. I love that this podcast didn't label weeds as bad guys, they are the pioneers!

Pinterest is horrible. I work in the art field and it has completely destroyed it.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
May 1, 2014 8:09 AM CST
Rick. Search "Dynamic Accumulators" and you will find.

Here is one article on nutrients accumulated by weeds. http://permaculturesource.wikispaces.com/file/view/Nutrient+...

Dave: I meant to say also that you don't have to be a brawny guy to handle a shovel. Now I am not so sure about a steel handled shovel, or the most recent fiberglas handled shovels, but the traditional Ash handled Razorback shovels, still made to day, are perfectly balanced, and its the balance of a long handled tool that gives the momentum to slice into dirt, either skimming or digging. I am 5 ft 6in, 130 lbs, and Ive moved literally tons of dirt with an Ash handled Razorback. I must say at the end of season you have more muscles than earlier in the year! Shoveling as explained to me (by a master shoveler) gets its momentum to cut from the bending the legs. It is a whole body movement, not just using the biceps and forearms. {He also said that the key to shoveling for 4 hours or more on a hot day, was chewing tobacco--and learning how to spit correctly without hitting the toes of your Swartzkoff boots.) At 75, I am still a pretty good shoveler, but I never did get the tobacco spitting part.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
May 1, 2014 9:23 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I got a great laugh out of that, hazelnut. Smiling I can't imagine shoveling for 4 hours or more in a day.

Those razorback shovels are reasonably priced, considering their quality.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
May 1, 2014 4:09 PM CST
Thanks for the link! That's a long list. I had to think for a while before filing it under "cover crops" instead of "weeds"!

I could start with those names that I recognize as "weeds" or don't recognize as "crops".

That list identifies elements each crop accumulates particularly well. I would look up which ones thrive in what soil types, drought tolerance, what temperatures or seasons, and how easy they are to uproot cleanly before going to seed. Maybe the way to tell where they are easy to grow is to research where they are considered invasive!

Here are some names I recall, some from Dave's podcast:

Yarrow
Valerian
Tansy
Sorrel
Shepherd's Purse
Sorrel
Savory
Purslane
Pig Weed
Lamb's Quarters
Henbit
Dandilion
Comfrey
Chickory
Chickweed
Cattail
Burdock
Borage








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