'Controlling' Weeds

Any questions or comments you have about Natural Sequence Farming processes. These could include general questions or ones about your personal problems.

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duane
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Postby duane » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:48 am

Muzza

I have spoken with Greg from Gippsland who reports the he and Peter have successfully repaired the tunnel erosion on his property.

He is going to post photos and a report. I have emailed him about your issue and will report back to you soon.

mondo45
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:37 am

Postby mondo45 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:32 am

It is now over 18 months since I learned about Peter Andrews methods, and decided to stop spraying to control weeds. So I thought that I would give a bit of an update on what has happened since then.

We have had a pretty good couple of seasons, and have good groundcover of a wide range of grasses and some 'weeds', particularly on the paddocks by the river. The clovers and medics are recovering well, and it is clear that the groundcover is helping to retain moisture in the soil.

We have done some slashing to assist the recycle process, and the mulch adds to the ground cover. One of the surprises to me, having worried incessantly about Paterson's Curse over the previous ten years or so, is that even though we are doing nothing to control it, we have only a very few rosettes on the place.

I haven't been game (due to the ire of neighbours and the weeds inspector) to not control serrated tussock, and have recently chipped it out on half of our pastures, and sprayed the balance. We don't have that much, but I didn't want it to get away. Maybe I will eventually get to the place that says I trust nature to the point where I can let serrated tussock go.

We have also spent quite a bit of money on replacing all of our fences, and dividing the place into five paddocks, each of which has water. The reason for doing that is so that we can rotationally graze stock as a means of managing the pasture as well. We are not yet decided on whether to use cattle or sheep (Jan has discovered Dorpers), but will put a few head on shortly.

We are continuing to learn more about Peter's approach, and to understand it. It is not that it is so hard to understand. Rather, it is a matter of changing how we think about the issues, and how to work with nature, rather than against her. I particularly notice the 'mindset' issues when I talk with other property owners, or members of our Land Care group. They all seem to find some reason to worry about NSF, sufficient not to take it on. Peter/Duane have addressed nearly all of these questions, but I find that people tend to stick with their belief patterns.

The Ray Martin program is particularly useful in that it shows compelling evidence about just how effective the NSF approach is. I have forwarded the links to that to our LandCare group.

The other discussion we have at the LandCare group relates to willows in the river. I suppose that we are now about equally divided between those who are enthusiastic about ripping the willows out, and those who are just as enthusastically opposed. We are in the latter camp.

I am looking forward to this coming spring to see where nature will take us this year.

In the meantime, we remain enthusiastic supporters of Peter's great work.

mondo45
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:37 am

Spring 08 Update

Postby mondo45 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:12 pm

Well, 2 years since I stopped spraying (except for serrated tussock). So how is this spring shaping up?

Amazingly (to me) we have very few PC (pattersons curse) this year. There are some St Johns Wort, fleabane and thistles, but also a lot of different grasses and clovers. In fact, the re-emergence of clovers has to be one of the major benefits of not spraying, as well as the reduced spray cost, diesel, and time. On one paddock we have a lot of red sorrel. In fact, there is quite amazing diversity of plant species in our paddocks.

We are lucky to have had good rains in the springtime, and the pasture is burgeoning! (What really does that word mean?). Anyhow, touch wood, things are looking pretty good at our place.

I didn't do anything to control PC last year except slash at flowering to minimise seed set. I really don't think that made much difference given the substantial seed bank in the soil, but it would have helped. Much more important is likely to be the fact that conditions this year haven't really suited PC, thus giving other plants an opportunity to 'go"!

Still watching, with keen interest.

duane
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Postby duane » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:51 pm

Ray

One thing would have been certain. Slashing your PC would have added OM to your topsoil thereby retaining more moisture, cooling the ground and encouraging other species.

But, more importantly, I bet your soil pH has changed from an acidic to a more alkaline range thereby enhancing the range of plants which can grow in the more favourable pH conditions.

If you can do a soil pH test my guess your soil would now be between 6.8 and 7.2.....let us know

PC is really a plant designed by Nature to correct soil pH (amongst other things). Where it is a major problem is in those highly acidic soils.

My bet would be where soils are pH neutral or alkaline there would be little PC.

Foxdale
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:15 am
Location: Goulburn

Controlling Serrated Tussock

Postby Foxdale » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:07 am

Hello to all, I joined a while ago, but this is my first post.
1. I thought this started out as a weed thread, but anyway. To Mondo45, I have only a few so called weeds compared to you. Some horehound and rose briar. I now don’t consider thistles to be a weed. But as you, I have a load of serrated tussock. Yes, I agree with Duane, they are a desert weeds. We have a large scar on our land, it started out as erosion and then salt affected and is after earthworks and banks to control the water it turned into white powder, mostly clay I think.

Like everyone else I was told to spray out the tussocks, and like everyone I used a flupropenate mix. Dumb ! Now no-one told me the side effects, I should have read more, but then again this was 8 years ago, since then lots has been written. (Dr Warwick Badgery) for one has written that it is not the cure.

It wiped out all the native C3 and C4 grasses, made a dessert out of a paddock and 100 times worst, there was more erosion (wind and water). So I said no to that chemical and just used Glyphosate (Round-up). Not nearly as bad but not much better. So that covers from 1998 up to 2002. I had started an Organic Farming course, I had also started breeding alpacas. (South American Natives). In the course we studied Biodynamics, Permaculture and lots of industry practices. I gave the Biodynamics a go.

· Side note to tantawangalo, A lady in the Hunter Valley used to spread chicken manure all over her paddocks where ever Fire weed was and it would disappear. It’s that nutrient rule again.

Anyway back to ST, I settled on Permaculture to be the go, and after meeting and talking with Peter in Widden Valley for a day. (Hunter Valley Biodynamic Group outing well worth it.) I went back to the farm and diddn’t do much chemical spraying. It was the draught so it was disheartening to see my soil disappearing before my eyes.

Anyway we came out of the draught 2 years ago, and I started mowing. I had swales already started so I started incorporating our horse manure into the swales and then after reading Peters books, I put the manure above the swales. I thought I wrote the very same comment that Dan wrote. The chemical approach was a disaster. ^ months down the track and I noticed that the soil where I was mowing was getting softer. (Mulch) and then I noticed the ST dieing back and grasses coming through the mulch. Bingo. I went and Uted in a couple of loads of Horse stable clean-up. (Manure, urine, sawdust) I piled that along the top of the ridge. Now I approach the farm and see it has a green tinge to it, where all the others along the way are reddy-brown.

So I started doing more mowing in the next paddock (highest setting of about 6”). And looking but at the original paddock at tussocks of 4” diameter the centre of the tussock has rotted out. Yes there are green young ones on the outer ring but there is also grasses and clover coming into the mix, where before there was none. It’s that Nutrient and Mulch thing again. I have also sprayed malaises out over the 1st paddock, it all seems to be working.

The area that was that white clay dead zone has now got a good solid cover of Serrated Tussock over the lot, It’s the first thing that has ever grown there. (It’s that desert zone thing). Anyway I was gutted last week by a weeds Inspection. The WI said “I want you to spray everything.” “I want it all gone by November”.

But what about the Best practice Manual on page 83 about mulching and mowing. He said “No the 1993 act said it must be destroyed”. I said what about the carbon and mulch that is needed to repair the soil. It will only come back again”. Response – “Yes I realise that, but the council says it has to be destroyed, and if you don’t do it by 3 months I’ll give you a notice and see you in court”. Can he do that, I think so.

He didn’t actually give a definitive method he wants me to use. That’s up to me. But he did suggest 200mls (Flupropanate) plus 400mls (Glyphosate) in 100litres of water.

I have used flame weeding during the winter and it knocked the young ones about. I know that mowing and mulching knocks the crap out the adults. I know that the amount of mulch I am getting from the mowing I would have to bring in a semi load to match it. I know that the raising of the nutrient level is bringing back pasture.
WHAT AM I TO DO ???? Mow what I can and spray the rest, the parts I can’t get to..and spray molasses over all of it. I’ll also mix in some worm juice as well. [2 cups of molasses and 1 litre of juice mixed in 100litre]

I have asked him to read both the books, and I even quoted the pages concerning Serrated Tussock. What floored me was that he looked over the area I had started mowing 2 years ago and said that “That looks a good paddock”
WHAT ! Hang on, you just can’t see the fluffy ducks, can you. You just see a mowed paddock with mulch lying all around.
I was floored. And gutted and screwed.

Few that was a lot… but there is more. But later…
Keep it Simple, Keep it natural and be sustainable.
You can't fight against stupidity, but I'm trying.

duane
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Postby duane » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:23 am

What a tremendous POST!!

There are a growing number of these personal experiences and anecdotes supporting Peter's and other practice methods.

The MAINSTREAM approach continues to be spray and poison.

We need to put the onus BACK to the poison police. If I spray this YOU are responsible for any damage I do to the environment and the community.

CALL THEIR BLUFF.

NAME AND SHAME THEM ON THE INTERNET.

PUT THE COUNCIL, THE ENFORCERS NAME OUT THERE AND LET THE WORLD COMMUNITY BE THE JUDGE.

SAY YOU ARE GOING TO PUBLICALLY NAME THEM AND THE TACTICS THEY ARE USING.

WE WILL STAND BY YOU.

Foxdale
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:15 am
Location: Goulburn

Controlling Weeds - Chemicals

Postby Foxdale » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:47 am

OK Duane, here goes.

Council - Goulburn,

Used to be Mulwaree Shire, but Goulburn was almost bankrupt, so with the amalgamation our rates went up, for no return of course.

Chemicals suggested. - Flupropenate. - Linked to Non Hodgekins limphoma. / Not to be used where lactating animals are or any mamals for that matter. Kangaroos and Wallabies lasctate too.
Not to be grazed for 4 months not the 14 days so called for.

Glyphosate - Frog killer - Big hammer, changes soil composition and has a half life of months not just days or weeks. linked to cancers and luecemia and is a close relative to Na-palm. Same company made it back in the 70's.

I'll have to use somthing on the areas I can't get a mower to. So I'm using a Bio-active. Supposedly a waterway safe chemical. Bulls*#t, what chemical can be called safe.?

Interestly the NSW Agriculture Dept (Goulburn) won't stick their neck out even when I pointed out the denuding and land degradation via erosion caused by the practice of spraying.

I don't even know why the weeds are a council thing. apart from money raising. It's a land/Agriculture thing. Soil and fertility thing.

Another thing, we should start getting the 1993 Act overturned or re-written..Any ideas in that department.....

PS -Alpaca manure piles have killed off the tussocks around them. So I'll be placing that along the upside of the swales too. More nutrient run-off.

cheers
Keep it Simple, Keep it natural and be sustainable.

You can't fight against stupidity, but I'm trying.

novaris
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Location: Mooroolbark, Vic, Australia
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Postby novaris » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:58 am

Hi foxdale,

your post made very interesting reading, could you please tell us a bit more about your property? How much land, what you produce, where you see it going etc?

cheers
David
Everything in moderation, including moderation.

duane
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Postby duane » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:06 am

We are in Canberra tomorrow and will put this Poison Police policy direct to the pollies.

They will be on NOTICE.

Foxdale
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:15 am
Location: Goulburn

Controlling Weeds

Postby Foxdale » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:22 am

Foxdale - 100 acres in the rolling hills past the gundary Plains.
East of Trentham/Springfield. Due south of Goulburn.

Have Alpacas. quite happy with them. they stay put, don't push on fences, don't run away. good on the land, and yes you can eat them.

Would like to breed up enough numbers to provide meat.
trying to run the place under Permaculture/Organic principles.
This would work fine if they left me alone.

The swales are working in spreading out the water and nutrients. i can see the difference.
Once the boys are out of school and working we will move there on a more permanent basis.

Duane : Excellent news. Over turn the 1993 act and bring in Hollistic management- "Best Practice" it is working...
The chemical attack doesn't work, It does cause de-nuding and erosion, turn around this thinking. Ploughing doesn't work either. There is a property down the road that has not mowed or mulched but was ploughed and re-seeded some 8 years ago. it is very sparcely vegitated now.

MAY THE NSF FORCE BE WITH YOU.
Keep it Simple, Keep it natural and be sustainable.

You can't fight against stupidity, but I'm trying.

Dougal
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:17 am
Location: Gippsland

Postby Dougal » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:06 pm

Just a general comment on the whole weeds issue. I wish we could all just accept that whatever is growing well on a particular section of land at a given point in time is going to do the most good for the planet.
Over thousands of years birds must have brought thousands of species of plants to this nation as well as the winds.
I personally love seeing so called weeds at work. Think about the blackberry. It drops loads of organic matter onto the soil, protects the soil where it grows, provides valuable sugars to other plants growing in the vicinity and only thrives in areas that need repairing. It does not do well where pasture is naturally thriving.
We used to have bathurst burr and once again, what a brilliant plant for repairing the soil. Deep tap root, protects the soil in its immediate zone with nasty thorns and only thrives where the organic matter has been burnt up by cultivation. I used to note how the soil we didn't cultivate had no burrs and seemed to stay greener during summer. Sure, on the whole the cultivated ground grew more, but at what cost? Loss of organic carbon in the form of humus.
I met a local for the first time the other day and the subject of willows came up, once again a plant most people consider a weed. This person was telling me how the willows were causing the banks of the creek to erode!! I was gobsmacked! I just bit my tongue and had a close look at the particular creek in question. Just as I thought the willows were providing more stability and life to that creek than any other plant along it apart from where there were reeds, which of course people around here view as weeds also.
Peter must have so much determination to have done what he has against all the negativity about nsf principles.
Thanks for your time.

Angela Helleren
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 6:45 am
Location: Victoria

Postby Angela Helleren » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:41 am

Thanks for you very interseting posts, Mondo45 and Foxdale.

Personally, I suspect there are some people getting a financial kick back for promoting the use of these chemicals.
In the US there have been several instances, over the years, where the FDA has approved various products despite great health concerns which later were proven justified.
I call it PPP! ( people positioned for profits)

Have you seen the doco, Patient for a Pig ?
Google it's availble to view on the net!

Foxdale, why not start a petition to change the laws? Approach ABC's Stateline programme to come see your improved pasture without the use of dangerous chemicals... draw attention to the issue on ABC radio or any other talkback radio.
Let others know so they too can voice their experiences.
When the problems associated with the use of these chemicals is exposed to the greater public, they will demand a change in practises. They will look for better options for their own properties/gardens. :wink:

Cheers!
Many hands make light work.
Unfortunately, too many hands stirring anti clockwise, has spoiled mother natures recipe.
Back to basics.

novaris
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: Mooroolbark, Vic, Australia
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Postby novaris » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:26 am

Angela Helleren wrote:Have you seen the doco, Patient for a Pig ?
Google it's availble to view on the net!
Sorry but I don't seem to be able to find the one you mean do you have a link?
Everything in moderation, including moderation.

novaris
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: Mooroolbark, Vic, Australia
Contact:

Postby novaris » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:36 am

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Foxdale
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:15 am
Location: Goulburn

weed control

Postby Foxdale » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:06 pm

I know that Monsanto are the devil company incarnate. and someone should drop a nuke on its HQ. But lets just stick to weeds and carbon and sequesting.

I'll deal with Monsanto in my own way, buy Organic, Grow your own food, buy seeds from Edens or Diggers. Start a school vegi garden. (which I am doing) Tackle this corporation with a ground swell from the bottom up.
Educate the next generation. tell the kids and they will be telling their family.

Place a black ban on all Monsanto products, companies and subsiduaries. Find out who they own. Did you know Yates is owned by Orica (a chemical company owns a seed company. Same as Monsanto. Actually does Monsanto have ties to Orica. ????)

Now go back and mow, mulch and manure. The grass is greener for it.

Peace to all.
Keep it Simple, Keep it natural and be sustainable.

You can't fight against stupidity, but I'm trying.


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