Spraying weeds is an ongoing event. The chemicals being sold are of questionable safety and effectiveness. The weeds get all frizzled up and appear dead for a short time and then before you know it – they’re back. These chemicals cost a lot of money and depending on who you ask many answers will be given in regards to their effect on humans and the environment. The ‘Ohi’a forest is being affected by fungus that is causing large numbers of trees to die. it is unknown what roll landscape chemicals play in this event. Here are a few chemical free ways to keep weeds and cane grass under control while ensuring that the garden is a safe place for the keiki (children) and pets to play.
1. Bamboo leaves as mulch –
Bamboo leaves make an excellent weed barrier, not much other than bamboo will find its way up through a good thick layer of bamboo leaves. Also, bamboo leaves allow water to pass through, while preventing evaporation, allowing moisture to remain in the soil longer.
2. Old fashioned weed pulling by hand –
Pull the weeds by hand. It is very meditative and effective. Weeds can be composted adding more organic matter to the soil, great for the earthworms; healthy earthworms = healthy soil.
3. Hire a few chickens –
Not only will chickens remove every weed in your yard and your neighbors yard, they will thank you by giving you eggs. Chicken weed removal crews are great multi-taskers. While scratching up weeds these feathered exterminators are eating up your less desired bugs, you know the ones; the roaches, grubs and centipedes. Chickens are intelligent enough to know not to mess with the bees. Chickens can’t catch dragonflies. They will try to chase down a butterfly though and it is hilarious. Got a centipede problem, get chickens. Centipedes are a delicacy to chickens. The birds will actually work as a team taking turns pecking at the centipede until it is dead, then one lucky lady will run off with her prize. Thus lessening the chances for centipede pinches while taking care of the garden. However, you will need to put a fence around anything you do not want the chickens to destroy.
10 ways to help protect the MauiʻŌhiʻa from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death:
If you haven’t heard about the ʻŌhiʻa forest being at risk, you are just in time. RapidʻŌhiʻa Death is threatening the life of the Hawaiian forest. The ʻŌhiʻa trees that make up the largest part of the forest are a keystone species. Keystone species are the backbone of an ecosystem, if the keystone species of any given ecosystem were to disappear that ecosystem would be affected greatly or even collapse entirely. Take the honey bee for example, another keystone species, no honey bee = no food. It doesn’t get more straight forward than that. One does not have to be a scientist to recognize this relationship between bees and food.
The high reaching treetops of ʻŌhiʻa forest gather rain and moisture from the air directing much needed water to the islands aquifer. These beautiful trees also provide a canopy for other plants and countless creatures. The flowers give sweet nectar to bird, bees and other pollinators. We must all do our part to save these trees and the environment they support. Here are a few ways you can help.
1. Avoid injuring ʻōhiʻa.
The fungus can easily make its way into the tree through cuts in the bark. When using a weed-eater around the base or tree do not allow the whips to come in contact with the trunk, as girdling trees make them susceptible to illness. A sure way to kill any tree is to cut the bark all the way around it. Read more »