cynthia_h
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Gixx, it was more a response to your phrase "It is now my mission...." I wanted you to be aware that this phenomenon was identified by the American "longshoreman philosopher" Eric Hoffer, who coined the phrase "True Believer." The words "It is now my mission...." brought his name to mind.
The Helpful Gardener wrote:
Cynthia, knowing of your appreciation for the work of Fukuoka-san, I am surprised by your abbhorance of weeds.
"Weeds play their part in building soil fertility and in balancing the biological community. As a fundamental principle, weeds should be controlled, not eliminated."

From the Third Principle of Natural Farming
The One Straw Revolution
Seems they might provide more than lessons... :P
Oh, they do, all right. They do. :x They provide

1) toxins which cause Heinz-body anemia, fatal to dogs b/c it makes the blood too thick to circulate [wild onions],

2) burrs which torment my dogs' feet and legs [burclover],

3) stickers which can get into their toes and noses [redstem filaree],

4) foxtails (grass awns, look like wild oats on steroids) which have barbs and skin-weakening enzymes, so they can enter the skin and make their way to vital organs [foxtail], and

5) multiple other "benefits."

I haven't really waged a campaign of elimination vs. the mallow or oxalis b/c they don't threaten the dogs as far as I can tell; they're just annoying.

Which is why my specific sequence of weed extirpation was chosen: the most threatening weeds (remember: unwanted plant in unwanted location!) went first. And the bodies of these weeds--the non-seed-bearing parts--often go into the compost, so all the nutrients are not lost. But the dogs are outside with me when I work in the garden, and I don't want to worry about their safety with regard to the plants.

OTOH, the safety of all of us is threatened by the use of such products as Roundup, esp. in the hands of householders who don't read the label instructions and for whom "more is better." I live with one such, so these products cannot live here. I'm also a migraineur, and anything with VOCs in it is an instant migraine trigger. :evil: Another reason not to have such garden chemicals around.

Cynthia

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A truly terrifying thought Gixx; the unsighted chaperoning the unable-to-see... :lol:

HG
Scott Reil

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cynthia_h wrote: Seems they might provide more than lessons... :P


Oh, they do, all right. They do. :x They provide

1) toxins which cause Heinz-body anemia, fatal to dogs b/c it makes the blood too thick to circulate [wild onions],

2) burrs which torment my dogs' feet and legs [burclover],

3) stickers which can get into their toes and noses [redstem filaree],

4) foxtails (grass awns, look like wild oats on steroids) which have barbs and skin-weakening enzymes, so they can enter the skin and make their way to vital organs [foxtail], and

5) multiple other "benefits."
1)you mean the same toxin found in all onions? Are we talking chihuahuas here? A dog has to eat lots of onion to get sick. A lot. We give leftovers with onion all the time. source: https://www.vetinfo.com/dtoxin.html

2)I agree that would be a nuisance and thus perfectly rational to eliminate. It's bad enough if they run off and come back with em.

3)again nobody suggested leaving truly nuisance plants.

4)again it's a danger no one suggests leaving that in your territory. Same goes with porcupines.

Do you uproot everything, or do some things get mowed? And what happens next?

I don't see all that much disagreement with what's been said in your posts. Just a different emphasis.
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cynthia_h
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We don't own a mower. I take individual weeds out with my weedstick. Which means that, if I miss a piece of tap root, I get to re-acquaint myself with that very weed the next year.

W/regard to onions, yes, it is the onions themselves:

Sophia Yin, DVM (UC Davis) told the harrowing experience of when she was on a senior in veterinary school. Her 72-lb Boxer nearly died from eating a snack-sized bag of onion chips. The newspaper story I read a couple of years ago had much more detail, and I remember it differently from Yin's blog entry, but the point is the same: onions can kill dogs.

The dog had helped himself, naturally, and an E.R. visit was the consequence. The much-abbreviated blog version is at https://askdryin.com/blog/tag/dog/ ; search for September 2009.

My dogs occasionally get stomach upset and go outside and eat eat eat the weeds/grass they can find. It's almost like watching a sheep crop the grass, I imagine. It's my responsibility to ensure, absolutely, that nothing my dogs can find will hurt them.

Yet *another* reason not to use chemicals on my plants--don't want doggies to eat those chemicals! Aieee! :shock:

Cynthia
Last edited by cynthia_h on Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yah you are probably ok with the wild onions. a bag of onion chips is a lot of fresh onion.

btw, off topic, but since I started occasional EM in my dogs' water bowl, they don't seem to get so many upset stomachs or liquid poo events. IDK we changed some other stuff and made big behavioral changes so it may just be that.
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Cynthia, points well made and taken... you have examined your weeds and found them wanting; the key thing was that you looked them over first before killing them off. You didn't make things worse by randomly killing off the lot, leaving a vacuum to be filled by the first one to show up (likely your yellow star thistle) or using toxins that do heavens knows what to us and our animals and plants...

But did you rip them out (exposing the weed seeds they dropped three years back and depriving the soil of the roots and associated biology)? Did you cut them at the surface (my tactic of choice with my trusty action hoe; avoiding the last bit of the last sentence). Perhaps there are weeds that might help you...

I am importing my weeds this year; using fire to fight fire. That last nasty spot of glechoma (that just won't go away no matter how many times I rip it out) is getting an overseeding of lambs quarters to shade it out and out-compete it, the newer part of the wild border is geting a red cultivar of the same to add some foliage color, build some nutrition, and out-compete the grasses that keep popping up, and my yet to be built new Three Sisters bed will get an underplanting of purselane to fill in things untill they grow together, sort of a living mulch. And I can eat all these as salads or field greens! Weeds ain't so bad...

It's all how you view them...

HG
Scott Reil

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I don't feel so bad now I don't have any of these crazy take over weeds. Just clover, if you consider that a weed, dandelions and a few others. The only ones I really don't want is the crabgrass.

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The crabgrass is likely the number two target for RU, but it is so easily controlled with smart lawncare, that the horrible case I started with here 5 years back is almost gone, just a touch around the edge of the driveway and along the street.

I simply started cutting at 3 1/2" cut, That did most of it. The corn gluten in spring every year helped. The early seeding with white clover the first year helped alot. The center of the lawn pretty much booted it out in year two, and the strips around those hot spots (good turf is a C3 cool season beast; crab is a C4 tropical and loves the heat.) I cut out the worst strips last year and put in turf (from edging my beds) along the driveway which should clear up this year.

A little seeding with native fescues in the long grass in fall, cut it back to two inches (in two different cuts) at the end of the year. I didn't water last year once and had the greenest lawn on the street in August. Almost no Number One RU target, dandelions, this year because I had them pulled last year; got the ones that popped up early when they were young and easy

The backyard is mostly clear; it is just the bottom that we haven't quite gotten clear, but it is a good sized back yard, and we'll finish this year. There are still plenty of "weeds", but the occasional buckthorn is good to have around for beestings, the self-heal is kinda pretty, and I wouldn't even try for a lawn without clover. The long cut makes grass outcompete the clover, so not an issue. When there is enough nitrogen the clover starts to dissappear anyway...

Round-up? Nah, forethought...

Strategy, not tactics. Especially chemical warfare.

HG
Scott Reil

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HG I cut my grass at 4 inches and will start using corn gluten this year. Didn't know about it till this site. That is the problem people don't know there are alternatives. They are taught one way and the mega companies beat it into your head even further. Not to mention the alternatives are just now coming onto the shelves.

I will be seeding this year, thinking about doing the Paul Tukey method spreading light compost than seeding. I did not seed at all last year we couldn't afford seed. But I made sure we had money from tax time set aside for a few lawn and garden things.

Oh and about "my Mission" that was too strong of a statement. Never fear I won't be kicking peoples doors down and kicking their butts for using RU and such. I'll be subtle, plus I'll wait for them to come outside. I could break my foot kicking in a door. :lol:

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