[permaculture] Perrenial Ground Covers for Hawaii...

Mark Ludwig mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
Sat Mar 9 19:04:40 EST 2002


Wendy,
Why not graze under the trees and keep down what's growing.  Ya know, work 
with what you have, stack in the existing system?  Are the mac nut trees 
tall enough to do this?
Mark Ludwig

At 06:15 PM 3/8/02 -0800, you wrote:

>Hello!  We are working on an old Mac Nut Orchard on the Big Island of 
>Hawaii that hasn't been worked for about 10 years and is overrun with 
>Guinea Grass(8 foot clumping monster weeds), California Grass, and 
>Ironwood Trees(50 foot monsters 10 times worse than the Guinea Grass).  We 
>are at 1,200-1,500 ft elevation and get between 60" and 100" rainfall 
>annually. We are currently clearing away the weeds and are planning on 
>planting food producing trees and understory crops using 
>permaculture/agroforestry techniques.  We're looking for a perennial 
>ground cover to establish underneath our trees (citrus, fruit and nut). 
>Our priorities with regards to the cover crop characteristics are:
>    * Weed suppression and ability to take over other weedy plants,
>    * Low growing and spreading habit (less than 1' tall, ideally) (we are 
> working away from using lawn mowers)
>    * Easy/relatively fast to establish
>    * Enhances soil- through nutrient enhancement and improved soil 
> structure.
>    * Erosion control
>We are particularly interested in information that is specific to 
>Hawaii.  Does anybody have experience with regards to permanent ground 
>covers that we should look into? Does anybody have any recommendations 
>that might be helpful? Is there anyone else that we should contact that 
>might also have some information on this subject?  Any suggestions would 
>be greatly appreciated!
>
>Aloha!
>
>Wendy
>
>
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