If your ground-cover has been chosen well, then within the cultivated area, the ground cover will win against most of the weeds. As the more aggressive weeds are cut, you are favoring your ground cover in the battle. At the edge however, the weeds have an advantage and will continually invade the cultivated area, causing much work.
A line of well-chosen plants at this edge creates a barrier to the weeds slowing down their attempts to expand into the cultivated area. This is called a "Weed Barrier".
The exact species-list for a weed barrier will depend on your climate, and what the weeds are. Here we show examples for sub-tropical Australia, where the worst weed is Kikuya.
Plants and Propogation
Most of the plants that make good weed barriers are easy to propogate, the best way can be to ask a nearby system for a few plants, and put in the most essential places, for example where exposed earth (a swale for example) meets grass. Then when these are established, they can be used to propogate to the less neccessary locations such as the edge of a sheet-mulched area.
Prepare the plants for the weed barrier, this will depend on the plants chosen - see the species database - then dot these along the edge you want to protect, for example you might place a arrowroot bulb every meter, with lemongrass, and comfrey between. If you are protecting a sheet-mulched area, then they can be planted a short distance behind the edge to give it a chance to get established ahead of the weeds.
Credits: Authored by
, from information supplied by Geoff Lawton of Permaculture Research Institute.
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