Yet another use for alpaca – weedmat!

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I am not much of a gardener, preferring to spend time on the farm or with the alpacas. However, I  love eating raspberries! So a few years ago I dealt with my anti-gardening prejudice and bought a few canes of raspberries, which have been producing delicious raspberries every year ever since.

As with all gardening, the worst part is the weeds, as as they grow when I am busiest on the farm, most years the raspberries have to compete with them, while I make the occasional effort to remove them.

This year I decided to try something different. I have long known that scrap alpaca was reputed to make a great weed mat, and as we had a number of odd scraps of alpaca lying around, I decided to make the effort to see how it works. After pruning, and hoeing the raspberry patch to remove as many weed seedlings as possible, I laid down a thick layer of compost to ensure the raspberries had sufficient food and moisture, and then carefully laid down a patchwork of alpaca fibre (quite a bit came from wool samples taken at our 2009 shearing and never sent for testing – it was a trip down nostalgia lane, as with one exception, all these alpacas had been sold).

So now all I have to do is wait and see how effective alpaca fibre is as a weedmat. I did strike a problem today when wind threatened to blow all the fibre from the garden, but got around that issue by dampening down the fibre.IMG_6006

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