ArceyJohnson
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@ DoubleDog -- we have heritage crosses; none of them are pure-bred (better genes that way we think). The boar is a Large Black-Hampshire, two of the sows are Duroc crosses, the other sow is a Tamworth cross (and she loves the forage more than the others...she prefers greens over dried grains any day!). The piglets are a mix of all of those :) They would prefer the woods in the hot, sunny season, but we haven't fenced in that part yet so they have to make do with scattered trees and scrub.

The pigs bring an enormous number of volunteers to the pasture...squash from the excess zucchini that I gave them last fall, LOTS of corn and oats from their feed, and even some tomatoes from the end-of-the-season green tomatoes that I couldn't keep up with canning. They are amazing at clearing and aerating the land. Sod gets chomped and then flipped over so they can get at the roots. I'd recommend them to anyone who has the space.

I do like the tall grass; and it does indeed bring snakes, which I also like (but of course ours are non-poisonous!). The birds seem to like the tall grass too -- red wing black birds perch on the goldenrod. Last year I had such a terrible slug problem until the birds found my garden...

I feel like in other years I could stand being a bit more lax on "weeds" in the garden...this year has just been so dry that I feel like I need to spirit away all the unplanned greens to save every drop of water for the planned things!

Nature's Babe
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Arcy, we had a long drought too, you can help your plants by encouraging fungi, which attach to roots and bring up nutrients and water from deeper layers, we are into another hot dry spell now but plants are doing well despite the drought

https://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/depts/NFfield_trials/0604/factsheet.shtml
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
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hewitt12
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You'll never know when snakes and other rodents may enter in your garden. Might as well be extra careful to avoid incidents in your household.
virtue is an option.

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rainbowgardener
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snakes and other rodents? Snakes aren't rodents, they are reptiles. Rodents are furry mammals.

And in most places of the US there is little reason to "be careful" of snakes. Most parts of the country (not all!) any snake you would find in your urban/ suburban garden will be harmless and likely way more afraid of you than you are of it. I consider myself very lucky to catch a glimpse of a snake now and then. I do have a lot of little lizards, but they are also totally harmless and they are cute.
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rainbowgardener
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trying to do weeding...

I told a friend I would water and weed her garden while she was on vacation, so I was doing some of that today. I realized my expanded perceptions have made me perhaps not as good a weeder as I used to be. :)

Started pulling weeds and then went oh maybe I shouldn't pull those, lambsquarters, dock, and purslane are edible. Maybe I shouldn't pull that, clover is a nitrogen fixer. Maybe I shouldn't pull that the goldfinches love the thistle seed. Maybe I shouldn't pull the wild grapevine, it's a good trap crop for Japanese beetles. Maybe I shouldn't pull the asters, they are native wildflowers ....

I don't mind pulling bindweed, tree of heaven, and devil grass though.

(it occurs to me if I give tree of heaven its other common name stink tree, the real nasty weeds become obvious by their names - bindweed, stink tree, and devil grass!)
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soil
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Started pulling weeds and then went oh maybe I shouldn't pull those, lambsquarters, dock, and purslane are edible. Maybe I shouldn't pull that, clover is a nitrogen fixer. Maybe I shouldn't pull that the goldfinches love the thistle seed. Maybe I shouldn't pull the wild grapevine, it's a good trap crop for Japanese beetles. Maybe I shouldn't pull the asters, they are native wildflowers ....
haha exactly
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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applestar
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:lol:

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Vorguen
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I need to get good at identifying weeds, other than sheer experience, how do you all do it? Say you bump into a weed you don't recognize

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rainbowgardener
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Experience is the main thing, but there's still plenty of weeds I don't recognize. In my friend's garden if there's a weed I don't recognize, I probably just pull it. In my garden, I tend to leave one or two (but pull the rest if there's a crowd of them) to see if I can identify them later.

Plants, including weeds, are usually easier to identify once they flower. Then you can look on line or post a picture here. There's lots of weed identification sites. Here's one with pictures of a bunch of common weeds (you have to scroll down past the ads, that's how they support the website)

https://www.growinganything.com/identifying-weeds-pictures-of-weeds.html
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soil
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funny half of those "Weeds" are eatable and delicious.

i second getting to know the whole cycle of the plant before pulling it. just don't let it go to seed fully until you know if you want it or not.

as for identification, i find the best source is just local people. chances are SOMEONE around you knows at least the common name for the weed. which can help you search for the true latin name.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

CharlieBear
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I have really enjoyed watching this thread evolve. Note, there are things that work well one place on the planet and not another. For example in the UK some cultivate Queen Ann's Lace. Here in the Pacific NW it is everywhere, by the road, in alleys and in the water sheds. It is ubiquitous and has to be controlled. I love the post on dandilions being good weeds, not here, but in some places in the US they are cultivated and you can buy seed- if anyone needs it I can ship you pounds of the stuff if you like. We have pig weeds everywhere, but in indochina they are cultivated as a food crop, where I live they are a weed that would take over everything if allowed to. So, yes what is a weed is in the eye of the beholder and where you live.

Artemesia
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Weeds and mycorrhizal fungus

When I grow crops that have no mycorrhizal relationship, I do not worry much about the weeds. A few weeds then are good to keep the fungus alive. So I always leave a few weeds in the brassica and beets.

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