Food Forest Weeding or Forest Garden Weeding is about advantaging wanted plants and disadvantaging weeds in the first two years of a food forest.
I put in a food forest, also known as a forest garden two years ago. Because the plants are very expensive, I bought them small to save money or propagated them myself. With the plants being very small, they can easily get buried in the weeds.
The food forest will get weeded a couple of times and each time it is done, the plants I put in will become advantaged and the weeds will become disadvantaged. The first thing I did this time was to cut the unwanted weeds and grasses down as close to the ground as I could get them.
Next, we wet some cardboard. The cardboard should be free of any tape or staples. Then use a hose to wet the inside and all sides of the outside of the cardboard. Wetting the cardboard will prevent it from becoming hydrophobic and causing a problem later. It will also allow the cardboard to conform to the shape of the ground more and make it better for the worms. Worms just love wet cardboard, so about the time that the weeds have died off, the worms will be pushing through. This will allow water to get through that layer and access the soil.
Plants and soil microbes both love to be covered with mulch and there is no better mulch than leaves. I have put leaves down several times in this area before, but the wind always blows them away. This time I put down a heavy layer of leaves on top of the cardboard and wet them down. Then I covered the leaves with wood chips.
The wood chips I received were delivered for free! That’s right. Free. I found a tree trimming company that was trimming trees around the power lines and they delivered the mulch to my house. Otherwise, they have to pay to drop them off at a landfill or recycling center.
Not All at Once
I will not do the entire food forest all at once. We will spend an hour or so at a time and just do the worse sections. Eventually the whole thing will get done, but we are not going to stress over it. In a few years, we will just do chop and drop and not use any external inputs.
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