Burclover. Does it have any redeeming qualities? My chickens won't eat it.
I know what I don't like about burclover. You ever step on one of the burs? It stays stuck in you and if you try to pull it out, it pulls your skin up into a little baby mountain. You have to just wince and keep pulling until it finally wrenches free. It goes right through bike tires...I had to replace the inner tube on my jogging stroller twice last summer, and I hardly ever use the darn thing!
Have I mentioned my little boy doesn't like to wear shoes?
I have spent most of the spring planting season on gardening infrastructure as opposed to actually gardening (I know, I know...) and so the burclover sort of ate our vegetable garden. I noticed the other day that I was almost out of salads and the thought of actually having to buy lettuce at the grocery store, or even the farmer's market pains me. Time to clear things out in the hopes that I'll have something other than chard and carrots to harvest.
So, aside from scattering about a zillion little burs all over the darn place, thus ensuring I have an even more abundant bounty of burclover next year, what did I notice? The burclover kept the ground underneath moist and soft - huzzah for living muclches! There wasn't really anything else growing under it - let's go weed suppression! Big, stubborn, deep roots - aerating the soil! Lots of critters - spideys, snails, grubs, caterpillars, ladybugs, ants...I know some of them eat my food, and some of them sting the heck out of me (why, ants??!?! why?!?!) but it's always a good thing when the microherd is movin' and groovin'.
That's my "un"compost pile to the left. It's just a cylinder of wire fencing. I put yard waste in there that I don't want mixed in with my compost - bermuda grass, weeds that have gone to seed, the big spiky "leaves" of the palm out front - anything that would overwhelm the compost bin, or deposit unwanted seeds. There's all the burclover I pulled sitting on top. I'm not sure what else to do with that stuff. It will break down eventually. I never seem to run out of room in the "un"compost pile, so something's happening down below;)
Here's what the interwebz had to say about burclover, or Black Medic...it fixes nitrogen in the soil, prevents erosion, builds quality soil, and mines minerals from the subsoil. A significant percentage of the seeds are "hard seeds" meaning they can take 2 or more years to germinate.
I think I like burclover. I think I like the name Black Medic even more. A lot of what I found online related to the lengths people will go to eradicate it from their lawns. One woman actually suggested using a shop vac to suck up the seeds to prevent them spreading in the yard! And of course the usual suspects suggested broadleaf herbicides. Crazytown and Twitsville.
I'm not going to let it take quite so many liberties with the vegetable garden in the future (famous last words) but a shop vac?? I'm going to let it be. Suggest the boy wear shoes. Stop taking shortcuts across the grass with my jogging stroller - maybe if I actually jogged with it, there'd be no need for shortcuts.
Combat Peak Soil with weeds!!!