Weeds and insects...
Hi Permaculture fans,
I have a few questions for you all out there... I've been trying to follow some permaculture principles in my suburban garden - I've gone entirely chemical free, have made several fruit tree guilds, and am embracing all nature has to offer. Two of those offerings are the weeds and the insects.
I've been reading up on my weeds and now know that the lambs quarters, plantain weed and dandelions are my friends and make nice additions to a salad. :-) However, here in MD the wild violets, wild grape, creeping charlie and Virginia creeper are taking over my yard. I like the violets. And I have read that the vines provide shelter and fruit for the birds and many other critters (bees LOVE the blooming creeping charlie - better than clover). But the wild grape has now grown over most of the top of my dogwood trees, and I'm afraid its 's going to kill them off soon (this is after I cut the vine back last Fall). For you permaculture folks out there, what do you do to keep on top of particularly persistent and vigorous weeds in your area? I don't want to use chemicals. & Pulling isn't going to amount to much headway, I fear. I've been mulching 2x per year, and this seems to actually feed these beasties (particularly the wild grapes and Virginia creeper). If I let them just happily grow along, I worry that I'll have nothing left in my yard in a year or two but 6-7 types of weeds.
Regarding insects... I love the way my garden has popped with an amazing array of buggies (I think the birds do, too). I have seen one critter that looks like a cross between a bumble bee and Mothra from the old Godzilla movies. Its pretty cool. My question is... how do you folks that follow chemical-free permaculture practices keep the insects from entering your home? I've had a huge explosion in the internal ant population, and as a result a significant increase in the number of indoor spiders. (EWWWW!). That's really not wanted at all. & I'm curious what you all do to discourage the bugs from venturing inside?
THANKS so very much in advance,