Fencelines are a
problem. If you’re not willing to use herbicides, weeds tend to
grow up along and through them, and if you’ve got vines like Japanese
honeysuckle around, the fence might soon bow down under the weight of
the plant life.
Even though chickens
like the protected areas behind these “vine hedges”, I’d rather keep the chaos a
bit controlled. One hypothesis I have for achieving that control
without too much work is that a vigorous planting right along the
outside edge of a fenceline will keep weeds at bay but will not be
demolished by chicken beaks. If the plants want to spread, they
can grow into the pasture and be eaten, but some will always stay
protected on the outside.
Comfrey and Jerusalem
artichokes seemed like good fits for this fenceline planting, so I kill
mulched about ten feet of fenceline and installed our living weed
barrier. The comfrey is the Bocking
4 I ordered from
Coe’s Comfrey a few weeks ago — it came in great shape, three for the
price of two. I’ve got plenty of my unknown-variety comfrey that
I can spread along other fencelines next year if this experiment works,
and both the Bocking 4 and Jerusalem artichokes should be ready to
divide up in a year or two as well.
Do you have a favorite
way of maintaining fencelines without a lot of work or chemicals?
waterer that makes chicken-keeping fun.