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[nafex] Weed fabric

   One problem everyone has to deal with is keeping the soil under trees and
vines clean, or at least well managed so weeds don't grow up too much.  One
approach I've been trying is landscape fabric around grapes and other
plants, for a couple of years.  The first year it was great - let water
through, kept weeds from growing.  But now I don't think it's going to be
good in the long run.  First, grass seed lands on top, starts to grow and
puts roots right through the fabric.  Second, gophers and mice love to
tunnel under it.  Third, no organic matter gets to the soil through it. I
took up a row of it and the soil had almost set like cement underneath it
with no organic matter reaching it.  Seems like organic materials for mulch
- hay, compost, etc. - are the best way to go.  They feed and improve the
soil and keep the weeds down to a reasonable degree.  That's my gripe with
using herbicides - every vineyard I have seen with rows treated that way
have soil like concrete under the vines.  I think if the aisles weren't
allowed to grow to grass, giving the roots an area of loose, living soil to
go into,  the vines wouldn't even survive in such soil.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, unusual fruits, writing, more, at http://www.hevanet.com/lonrom

Win A Guy ...and make him fix up your place!