Permaculture forum: weed eradication using sheet mulch: maybe pigs would be useful

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hazelnut
Sep 29, 2014 6:39 PM CST
http://permaculturenews.org/2014/09/30/sheet-mulching-aggres...

Here is a detailed article on clearing overgrown land using sheet mulching. What works, and what doesn't.
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!
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dave
Sep 29, 2014 7:26 PM CST

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I'm such a fan of sheet mulching. It's how we start all new beds. So easy and labor free.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 30, 2014 7:28 AM CST
Do you have any of these pesky hard to kill vines in your area? trumpet creeper. Mine are wisteria, autumn clematis, ivy --so far even sheet mulching for 2 seasons has not killed the ivy infestation, and the wisteria will tunnel under the sheet mulch and come up at the first opportunity--very persistent. I learned early on Round Up will not work on them, and now I am determined not to have it on my property--I don't want my dogs exposed to it. Maybe season 3 will kill the vines.

And I have a thing about pigs, having been chased when I was little by a giant pig named "Elmer".
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!
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dave
Sep 30, 2014 7:50 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We do have Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) here but it hasn't been a problem for us. It is mostly present down in the bottomland and that's zone 5 for us. Thankfully we don't have any invasive weeds around our zone 1-4 areas. The worst we deal with is bermuda (occasionally) and Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) - the latter is controlled with Sedgehammer and we are winning the battle!

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 30, 2014 11:17 AM CST
could you explain the sledgehammer technique, please?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Sep 30, 2014 11:26 AM CST
Nutsedge: I just tried cutting it back to about 3" tall last week, then sprayed it (protecting all good plants around it) with Ortho's Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer (undiluted) and it worked. My aim was to kill not only the nutsedge I could see but the little nut at the end of the root, which develops into a pest the following year. I'll take photos when the rain stops. I also had to resort to using it for the Campsis Radicans, which had spread by underground runners, and the occasional Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' that still haunts me now and then.
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
Sep 30, 2014 11:28 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sedgehammer is the brand name of an herbicide that directly targets nutsedge, and it's pretty much the only herbicide we use. I ordered it from Amazon.com actually. It takes a couple weeks before you start seeing the plant turn yellow and die but it sure is effective. Best of all, it doesn't kill most other plants so I can spray it without being concerned about killing my daylilies and other desirable.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Sep 30, 2014 11:34 AM CST
Great to know! We have some in with our asparagus and it sounds like Sledgehammer would be the ideal answer there.
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
Sep 30, 2014 12:25 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sedgehammer. There's no L. It's like a hammer for your sedge.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Sep 30, 2014 12:42 PM CST
Regarding pigs: They can definitely take care of undesireable plants and reduce an area to plain bare ground. I've seen an area that had been covered with blackberries completely denuded by a small group of pigs.

Pigs are maybe harder to control than the weeds, LOL! Also, this is something I saw at a friend's place; I don't have experience myself, raising pigs. But having dealt with blackberry thickets in other ways, I can tell you, I was very impressed with the work of the pigs.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Sep 30, 2014 12:54 PM CST
Thanks, Dave.
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
Sep 30, 2014 1:02 PM CST

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I tip my hat to you.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 30, 2014 1:46 PM CST
o.k. I got it Sedgehammer. Hi Pirl! You have rain? I havent seen any of that stuff for a few months here. Pigs. I may come to terms with pig-culture yet. Elmer was a huge pig, who ran me up a crab apple tree several times--maybe he was just having fun (!). Most pigs are not as big as him, and now, I might be able to teach them whose boss, if they would clean up an overgrown field for me.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Sep 30, 2014 2:13 PM CST
Yes, we have rain today. I think we could use "Rent a Pig" but they have to be trained not to eat any desirable plants!

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 30, 2014 6:19 PM CST
Here's another article on goats.

http://permaculturenews.org/2014/09/30/goats-better-chemical...

But again, I would say people seem to think goats will eat anything. They need browse to stay healthy. Teaching them not to eat desirable plants. A favorite thing for my goat to do was to get out of her pen and go to the neighbors' rose bush. The lady would hit her with a broom--goat take another bite, another swing with the broom, goat takes another bite, until I finally caught up with her and took her back home. I think the only way to teach a goat to stay out of the display roses, is to grow her some field roses of her own--that she is welcome to eat!

And, speaking of using animals as weeders, one thing I have noticed here in Alabama, is that kudzu fields can be cleared just fine by allowing cattle to graze the kudzu for a season. I have seen kudzu infested fields turned into productive gardens in one years time.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 26, 2014 6:53 AM CST
I just stumbled onto this forum. My son has goats and I asked him if we could borrow them to clear the poison ivy but he reminded me they will eat all my good plants as well. Our property backs up to a woods but that edge is the only area I could grow shade plants. Maybe if I built a strong fence in that area...
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
Oct 26, 2014 6:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

The goats will eat the poison ivy leaves but they won't kill it unless the animals are penned in the area permanently. The plant will return from the root so without continued animal pressure on it, it'll just keep coming back.

If there is an actual real good non-herbicide solution for getting rid of poison ivy, I haven't found it yet.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Oct 26, 2014 11:29 AM CST
Aha, I didn't think about the permanence factor. And I refuse to use Roundup or other poison.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 26, 2014 2:10 PM CST
Fire also does not work and releases the PI toxins into the air. I tried that wand that contains gas (flame weeder) and it did work on small weeds but nothing that has major roots like Houttuynia.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Nov 3, 2014 10:21 AM CST
So far for poison ivy Ive found that painting round-up on the stalk cut close to the ground is the best solution. At least by painting the stem, you are not spraying it all over the place. This is the method Im using for an investation of English ivy growing up trees also, cut off at the base and paint the stem.

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