[NAFEX] Growing Mulch
Brungardt, Sam (MPCA)
Sam.Brungardt at state.mn.us
Tue Mar 23 11:20:37 EDT 2010
This does not answer your question because you seem intent on permaculture, but it seems as though coppicing and pollarding are pretty labor intensive.
If you ordinarily mow the area around the trees you've planted, why not let the grass grow to its full height, mow and rake it, and use that for mulch? While you might be creating a habitat for voles, you would not creating bush piles where rabbits may shelter.
Some materials are sometimes available from neighboring farms that is suitable for mulch. For example, the spoilage on top of a trench silo. Or hay or stover that's deteriorated from being left out in the elements. -- Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn. (USDA Zone 4b)
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Evan
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:53 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: [NAFEX] Growing Mulch
This may be a silly question, but as I've begun planting and planning
my modest orchard, I've run into a lack of available mulching
materials (or more likely, I'm just blind to what's staring me in the
face). The orchard's in a rural area and there aren't the abundant
flows of woodchips and leaf-litter found in the urban areas. But, in
consideration of a future with much less energy to spend on
woodchippers, I've been wondering what I could use for mulch.
Right now I'm thinking I'll plant a coppice-or-pollard field
downslope where I can take the shoots and lay as mulch around some of
my fruit and nut trees upslope. I'm not sure which species I'll use,
but possibly a mix of Basswood, Black Birch and maybe even Willow. My
thinking is that if I coppice or pollard them on a fairly regular
basis I can have a good supply of small woody shoots that will act as
a decent mulch, break down relatively quickly and possibly enrich the
nutrient content of the soils around my food-trees (I think Black
Birch accumulates K, P, and Ca; Tilia P and Ca). I guess I'm
wondering if anyone has experience with this sort of thing, what
species you use, and how it works.
In case it's relevant the orchard is/will-be comprised of primarily
Hazels, Chestnuts, Crabapples, and Juneberries.
Or maybe there's blindspot I have and this isn't a good idea?
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