Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LOL Tip #3 for Living Healthy on a Healthy Planet

Ummmmmmmmm . . . . . . no to the scythe. The scythe enthusiasts say it's "meditative". Not in any way can I see that point of view. Sorry all you scythers! I also checked out the story on Surprising Weed Killers and one of the other suggestions they gave was a sickle. No to that also. The others I've listed are doable.

Buy a Scythe
Scythes aren’t just for Grim Reaper Halloween costumes. The grim reaper approach to weeding lets you cut down tall weeds and grass without having to burn fossil fuels, or add dangerous chemicals to your soil and water. If that seems too dramatic, see our story on Surprising Weed Killers for other weeding solutions that won't expose you, your family, or your yard to dangerous poisons. Search online and you’ll find there’s a large community of scythe enthusiasts who still use them for mowing fields and trimming grass. In fact, some scythers are so fond of them that they refer to the practice of trimming weeds and grass in smooth circular motions as “meditative.”

#2: Sickle
Kin to the scythe but easier to carry is the sickle, more commonly associated with communism and the Soviet flag than with trimming grass or cutting grain. A sickle is essentially a scythe with a shorter blade and handle, so they’re better for small-scale weed trimming or slicing bunches of herbs out of your garden. You’re also less likely to disturb the neighbors when you haul it out of the toolshed.

# 3: Tea kettle
Next time you have weeds cropping up in decorative gravel or in between the cracks in your driveway, put the teakettle on and boil some water. Boiled water is a free and extremely effective weed killer. Although you’ll be burning some sort of fuel to heat it up, the resulting carbon footprint is likely much smaller than what it took to make and transport a chemical weed killer. A word of caution: Boiling water doesn’t discriminate, so it’s best for spot treating. It kills the roots of all plants, even roots that spread underground. Therefore, use it only on weeds that are growing far away from the plants you want to keep.

#4: Charcoal
Healthy soil is key to preventing weeds from growing, and a study presented at an April 2008 meeting of the American Chemical Society found that charred wood and other blackened forms of agricultural leftovers (cornstalks, tree leaves, and such) fertilize soil better than compost, manure, and all the other traditional soil amendments. Not only that, it continues to work for thousands of years. The scientists stumbled onto their discovery after finding that some of the most fertile, rich soils in the world exist in the Amazon basin, where 1,500 years ago, tribes mixed their soil with charred animal bones and tree bark.

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