In an effort to reduce the amount of summer weeds that grow and fill the gardens while the students are away on summer break, we tilled the larger gardens in June and planted “Lab-lab”, an African bean plant traditionally used here in deer feed plots on hunting ranches. The bean grows well in the heat and after being watered for two or three weeks requires no additional watering. Due to its aggressive vining growth, “Lab-lab” fills in the row quickly and attains canopy cover within a few weeks and easily out grows most summer weeds here except the dreaded pigweed. We planted Lablab extensively at R.T. Barrera Elementary, and Grulla High School. Though we have had a hotter summer than expected, the Lablab grew swiftly. The plant did a great job beating the grassy weeds and caused to gardens to have very few weeds this summer. We are currently conducting “kill” tillage, a shallow tillage meant to kill all the weeds and plants in the garden and leave them near the soil surface while avoiding “planting” the weeds seeds with a deeper till. With a little rain in the next two weeks, the weed seeds will germinate, but can easily be killed with an additional tillage just prior to planting.
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