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How to discourage neighbors from damaging our plants on the property line?

 
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We are in Portugal and it has transpired that our neighbour uses Round Up on the fence boundary to keep weeds at bay.

We have spoken to him about the chemical but he isnt convinced it is terrible stuff.

What effective alternative could he use?  
We grow our weeds😜
What website could I share with him?


Killer question is what can I plant along our side of the boundary to deal with it? I am thinking comfrey or something?

Bearing in mind that I dont know what comfrey looks like but if woman can wee on it (woman weeing outdoors thread) I am thinking it is hardy.
 
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do you have room for walnuts or a hedge?

Taller trees will stop chemical drift and some plants will prevent weeds from growing underneath.
 
Jenny Ives
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r ranson wrote:do you have room for walnuts or a hedge?

Taller trees will stop chemical drift and some plants will prevent weeds from growing underneath.



I will look into Walnuts. It gets very wet and if I remember correctly nut trees like water. I can raise their feet through huggelkukter beds too if needed.  Thank you.

It is on the South side of our property so don't want to shade out the sun completely.
 
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Jenny, maybe your neighbor sees Roundup use as easier, or less labor than frequent mowing, or other methods of keeping the fence line cleared? In the spirit of "good fences make for good neighbors", maybe you could offer to mow the fence line to keep it clear so that he won't need to use Roundup on your boundary anymore?
To some extent, it is "your fence" too, for example if it keeps his livestock contained, it's in your interest to maintain it as well.
 
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I have a similar issue with neighbours and boundaries.  

After many times trying to talk to them, escalation to the point where we have arbitration and police involvement, and worse... I suspect if someone is in the mindset that they are putting toxins on your land, then they already know better than you and anything you say is a waste of breath.  (they don't actually know better, it's just how they see the world.)

What works well is better fences or to do the work for the neighbour so they don't feel obligated to trespass.  

We've been trying to grow heartnut and walnuts along that property edge, but the soil isn't right for these trees.  We might put a coniferous hedgerow along there but money is a factor, so I might just buy one tree and then grow many more from cuttings.  They also have horses so I have to be sure to choose something non-toxic and get something in writing from a horse vet that this tree is safe.
 
Jenny Ives
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:Jenny, maybe your neighbor sees Roundup use as easier, or less labor than frequent mowing, or other methods of keeping the fence line cleared? In the spirit of "good fences make for good neighbors", maybe you could offer to mow the fence line to keep it clear so that he won't need to use Roundup on your boundary anymore?
To some extent, it is "your fence" too, for example if it keeps his livestock contained, it's in your interest to maintain it as well.



The reason is the requirement here to have fire breaks and the tenacity of the things that grow.  It is trying to tame a wild land and make it conform to 'town' garden.  Plus he is often away. He spends hours trying to tame the weeds. The land has been ploughed over into oblivion.  I actually feel sad in my soul for the ground when I look at his land.

Hubby has made the offer and done weed clearing on his side and keeps our side clear.

When all is said and done our relationship with our neighbour is our priority.

Plus we are the newbies aaround here.
 
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r ranson wrote:I have a similar issue with neighbours and boundaries.  

After many times trying to talk to them, escalation to the point where we have arbitration and police involvement, and worse... I suspect if someone is in the mindset that they are putting toxins on your land, then they already know better than you and anything you say is a waste of breath.  (they don't actually know better, it's just how they see the world.)

What works well is better fences or to do the work for the neighbour so they don't feel obligated to trespass.  

We've been trying to grow heartnut and walnuts along that property edge, but the soil isn't right for these trees.  We might put a coniferous hedgerow along there but money is a factor, so I might just buy one tree and then grow many more from cuttings.  They also have horses so I have to be sure to choose something non-toxic and get something in writing from a horse vet that this tree is safe.



I am sorry for your troubles.  Hope things improve.  

I think walnuts will be the way to go. It is good he is downstream from us.  🌻This year it will be a gay row of bright sunflowers. 🌻
 
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r ranson wrote:do you have room for walnuts or a hedge?

Taller trees will stop chemical drift and some plants will prevent weeds from growing underneath.



Would the walnut nut be 'safe' to eat off these tree?  Makes me worry about walnuts I buy. Most times I try buy organic but still.
 
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 You might try growing flowering plants on property line. With some mulch under them most weeds would be easily removed and everyone like flowers.
I would mix in annuals with perennials so they flower right away. When perennials start flowering you can let annuals die out, or not.... Maybe some lemongrass every 10 ft. or so as well.
 
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Ralph Sluder wrote:  You might try growing flowering plants on property line. With some mulch under them most weeds would be easily removed and everyone like flowers.
I would mix in annuals with perennials so they flower right away. When perennials start flowering you can let annuals die out, or not.... Maybe some lemongrass every 10 ft. or so as well.



I have sunflowes going in there when they are big enough and some nice ideas there. Thank you.

The neighbour's whole lot is taken over ny dock weed. When you google how to control dock weed even Royal Horticulfure website recommends glysulphate and Round Up specifically 😭
 
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Jenny Ives wrote:

Hubby has made the offer and done weed clearing on his side and keeps our side clear.

When all is said and done our relationship with our neighbour is our priority.

Plus we are the newbies aaround here.



Maybe hubby can even do weed clearing on both sides of the fence, not just your side of the fence. Being sure to let him know that you aren't trying to steal his land, when you weed over on his side of the fence you are just trying to help him out and keep yourself sane and healthy.
 
Jenny Ives
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S Bengi wrote:

Jenny Ives wrote:

Hubby has made the offer and done weed clearing on his side and keeps our side clear.

When all is said and done our relationship with our neighbour is our priority.

Plus we are the newbies aaround here.



Maybe hubby can even do weed clearing on both sides of the fence, not just your side of the fence. Being sure to let him know that you aren't trying to steal his land, when you weed over on his side of the fence you are just trying to help him out and keep yourself sane and healthy.



He already does that. RU is used eksewhere on his property too.  
He is not convinced RU is the evil we say it is.
 
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:Jenny, maybe your neighbor sees Roundup use as easier, or less labor than frequent mowing, or other methods of keeping the fence line cleared? In the spirit of "good fences make for good neighbors", maybe you could offer to mow the fence line to keep it clear so that he won't need to use Roundup on your boundary anymore?
To some extent, it is "your fence" too, for example if it keeps his livestock contained, it's in your interest to maintain it as well.



Nobody likes using Round Up. Nobody. But some people do anyways because it is easier and quicker. I second that opinion that he thinks Roundup is the easiest solution.

If you offer him an easier solution (for him) than Roundup, he's going to say yes. Some sort of ground cover would be the best option for keeping out weeds naturally.  You could offer to plant it for him on his side of the line. Clover makes one of the best ground covers because it is easy to germinate, grows quickly, and won't grow beyond a certain size if the correct variety is chosen.  There are clover varieties that grow anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet tall and form a quick ground cover, making it difficult or impossible for weeds to germinate and reach the light. Mowing clover is entirely unnecessary, you just pick a variety that grows to the desired height. There are perennial and annual varieties, and some varieties with deep taproots once established. I particularly like the miniclover, which grows only 4 to 6 inches tall. They claim that after a few times mowing, it becomes "trained" to only grow about 3 inches tall.

This site is a pretty good starting point for exploring the diverse types of clover you can choose from, although I'm not sure if they ship to Portugal:

https://www.outsidepride.com/seed/clover-seed/
 
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The reason is the requirement here to have fire breaks and the tenacity of the things that grow.



1) Seek to understand their position better.  (To you, what appears to be hard labor killing weeds with machines and chemical concoctions may actually be enjoyable to the neighbor, believe it or not.)  Communicate your position gently, and in writing.  Make offers in writing so they aren't "on the spot" and reflexively defensive.

2) Rather than growies, consider some kind of thick landscape fabric, with attractive gravel on top to both prevent weeds and serve as a fire break.  

3) Try flipping the question back to the neighbor:

   "What living plant, structure, or other linear boundary element would we have to install, or...
       what service could we routinely provide...
       in order to prevent you from using herbicide?"

Have a palette of example perennial groundcovers printed out that they could choose from.  Maybe offer to install an underground rhizome barrier parallel to the fence to keep things extra tidy.
Have a list of services in mind, too: mowing, offering other landscape labor, offering fruits of your harvest.  

4) If they reject, go for a smaller sacrifice on their end instead of all or nothing demands:

   "What would it take to prevent herbicide use within just 30cm?"

   "What about 1 meter?"

5) Consider financial exchange, with a memorandum of understanding.  In other words, how much damage is this problem causing you, if you had to put a dollar sign on it? How much is it saving them, if they had a dollar sign on it?  Is it worth paying them a one time gift of €20?  What about €50?


 
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In addition to the suggestions to help mitigate his perceived need to spray, I have had success getting our local school district to stop spraying be emphasizing the impacts of roundup on male reproductive health. It is a pseudo estrogen, and plenty of research is easy to find showing its correlation with lowered sperm counts and testosterone, and increased reproductive system cancers. This makes sense because it works by creating uncontrolled cell division that nongrasses cannot provide the vasculature and support for, thus causing broadleaf plants to die. It basically causes something a lot like plant cancer, and we share the majority of our basic cellular processes with plants. So it should not be surprising we see a correlation with its use and cancer.
 
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I have an idea. What if you make plans with your neighbor to come to your house for a delicious, nutritious meal including several different wild edibles?

I would let him know beforehand that the meal will include those things, so that he doesn't get the idea that you invited him over just to feed him "weeds".

If he finds out just how tasty they are, and if you provide some literature about the nutrients found in the edibles, he may change his view of them. Not only will you get to know him and possibly start a friendship, but you may just gain some cooperation and get another person interested in permaculture. After all, picking and eating delicious edibles saves money on the grocery bill and is lots less work than a traditional garden.

Good luck!
 
Jenny Ives
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Ben Zumeta wrote:In addition to the suggestions to help mitigate his perceived need to spray, I have had success getting our local school district to stop spraying be emphasizing the impacts of roundup on male reproductive health. It is a pseudo estrogen, and plenty of research is easy to find showing its correlation with lowered sperm counts and testosterone, and increased reproductive system cancers. This makes sense because it works by creating uncontrolled cell division that nongrasses cannot provide the vasculature and support for, thus causing broadleaf plants to die. It basically causes something a lot like plant cancer, and we share the majority of our basic cellular processes with plants. So it should not be surprising we see a correlation with its use and cancer.



I will see if I can find material to share on effects on male reprpductive health. His previous response to it causing cancer was along the lines of 'who wants to live forever'
 
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I understand your situation. My neighbor regularly sprays his front yard, which my other neighbor is now trying to plant (go figure, not working).
I have offered to clear it for him, but he "forgets" (I think he feels bad about me doing it, he is an older wheelchair bound man and where I live women aren't supposed to be doing yard work unless they are retired and have nothing better to do; I`m the weird bird where I live). He says he has no other choice, his wife can't do the yard work. My rabbits used to love to eat what he grows in his yard, but those days are gone. Btw he still has to hire someone to cut the resistant weeds (facepalm).

I think talking to him is the way to go. Offer to plant something there that will be easy maintenance (crown of thorns?? LOL). Good luck.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:I understand your situation. My neighbor regularly sprays his front yard, which my other neighbor is now trying to plant (go figure, not working).
I have offered to clear it for him, but he "forgets" (I think he feels bad about me doing it, he is an older wheelchair bound man and where I live women aren't supposed to be doing yard work unless they are retired and have nothing better to do; I`m the weird bird where I live). He says he has no other choice, his wife can't do the yard work. My rabbits used to love to eat what he grows in his yard, but those days are gone. Btw he still has to hire someone to cut the resistant weeds (facepalm).

I think talking to him is the way to go. Offer to plant something there that will be easy maintenance (crown of thorns?? LOL). Good luck.



Thank you for your empathy.  He doesn't want anything growing on his fence.  His plot is full I mean FULL of dock weed.  My husband is more likely to have effect with continued dialogue.  I will try be an example and show off how well lazy gardening works for us.

In the mesntime I am having fun planning my hedgerow.
 
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oh man. i guess the best you can do is just let your spouse deal with him, and enjoy the parts of your life you can have some control over.
 
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Nathan Watson wrote:

Kenneth Elwell wrote:Jenny, maybe your neighbor sees Roundup use as easier, or less labor than frequent mowing, or other methods of keeping the fence line cleared? In the spirit of "good fences make for good neighbors", maybe you could offer to mow the fence line to keep it clear so that he won't need to use Roundup on your boundary anymore?
To some extent, it is "your fence" too, for example if it keeps his livestock contained, it's in your interest to maintain it as well.



Nobody likes using Round Up. Nobody. But some people do anyways because it is easier and quicker. I second that opinion that he thinks Roundup is the easiest solution.

If you offer him an easier solution (for him) than Roundup, he's going to say yes. Some sort of ground cover would be the best option for keeping out weeds naturally.  You could offer to plant it for him on his side of the line. Clover makes one of the best ground covers because it is easy to germinate, grows quickly, and won't grow beyond a certain size if the correct variety is chosen.  There are clover varieties that grow anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet tall and form a quick ground cover, making it difficult or impossible for weeds to germinate and reach the light. Mowing clover is entirely unnecessary, you just pick a variety that grows to the desired height. There are perennial and annual varieties, and some varieties with deep taproots once established. I particularly like the miniclover, which grows only 4 to 6 inches tall. They claim that after a few times mowing, it becomes "trained" to only grow about 3 inches tall.

This site is a pretty good starting point for exploring the diverse types of clover you can choose from, although I'm not sure if they ship to Portugal:

https://www.outsidepride.com/seed/clover-seed/



Apart from using Round Up he is at the Dock weed with a pick day and night.  So he is not scared of hard work just at the end of his tether. We have introduced him to the cover and smother approach, which he is trying too.  His piece of land has been ploughed and ploughed. For no reason. Just what they do here.

We are also treated with a 'just you wait and see' eventually we will also tire of weeds. So I have to create an example. I like that link that you shared and have just been listening to a podcast which talks about perrenial groundcover.

An intetesting point Dr Elaine makes is if we don't listen to Mother Nature he comes back harder.

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9pbnNlYXJjaG9mc29pbC5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw?ep=14
 
Ben Zumeta
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Another tack, in addition to pointing out that he is pointing out he is poisoning himself and everyone else downstream or downwind with a chemical shown to cause frog hermaphroditism, is to explain how herbicides are like antibiotics (glyphosate is a patented antibiotic) in how they inevitably breed more resistant weeds. They also kill the soil life, and leave a vacuum for the most herbicide resistant weeds. Another vacuum is in how those sprayed areas can no longer be safely grazed by animals that would happily have done his work for him.
 
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It's great that you're already friends with him.

I can understand his position on the grapevines. Where I'm from, grapevines DO take over and kill whole trees. You can't kill 'em. We tried salt, various poisons, pulling them, etc. They wouldn't die. There were vines so big around that we used to swing on them like Tarzan.

Good luck with your situation.
 
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Ben Zumeta wrote:Another tack, in addition to pointing out that he is pointing out he is poisoning himself and everyone else downstream or downwind with a chemical shown to cause frog hermaphroditism, is to explain how herbicides are like antibiotics (glyphosate is a patented antibiotic) in how they inevitably breed more resistant weeds. They also kill the soil life, and leave a vacuum for the most herbicide resistant weeds. Another vacuum is in how those sprayed areas can no longer be safely grazed by animals that would happily have done his work for him.



Which explains perhaps why the local sheperd won't graze his flock there anymore.
 
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This thread is locked while it undergoes moderator review.

Discussing toxic ick is confined to the cider press.  

We had HOPED that by changing the title we could move the discussion away from toxins and towards solutions to stoping the neighbour from damaging plants along the property line, but it didn't work.

It is possible this thread cannot be saved.  Mostly we need a moderator who is willing to spend about 4 hours working through what posts meet publishing standards and which do not.  Which to remove.  Which to keep.  Which can be saved by putting on probation and does the author of that post have a good history of working with us to save the thread.  I'm not sure we'll be able to get a volunteer so it might just remain locked.

 
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