I’ve alway liked a tidy space, and the outdoor spaces I have managed are no exception. I love a clean, weed free bed, and bare pathways.
Since we are committed to a reduced tillage growing system, we have been experimenting with ways of adding organic matter and mulch to our soil without applying loads of costly compost or purchased straw mulch. The main system we’ve been working with is covering cropping. Generally, cover crops are tilled into the soil, but there are ways to deal with them that allow them to leave behind a nice mulch, and there by suppressing weeds, locking in moisture, and reducing our reliance on tilling.
This is all well and good in theory, but in practice, its been a bit of an adjustment. Our fall greens have a splendidly tall and green carpet of field peas growing in the pathways, that we will soon knock over and leave in place. My clean and tidy brain winces when I see the peas though, and can’t help but think, “weeds!” when I spy them. But a weed is only a plant in a place where you don’t want it, and for now, we want the peas in the pathways, so there they will stay, until we knock them back so they can return to the soil from wench they came.