[permaculture] Mulch Producers.

Loren Davidson loren at farwalker.com
Tue Mar 25 11:32:07 EST 2003


At 07:39 AM 3/25/03 -0800, James Erbes wrote:
>I am interested in planting some mulch producers. Some
>plants that produce extra mulch that I can use in the
>garden or around fruit trees. I have a lot of branches
>I could chip but chippers are expensive. Any ideas of
>good mulch producers? I am in El Dorado County
>California zone 7 - 9.

I've had a great deal of success with comfrey, both in the Bay Area and in 
Butte County (zone 8). In the Foothills, the comfrey does best with a bit 
of shade in the intense heat of the summer, so plant it in your understory, 
in partial shade - within the drip line of your fruit trees is a classic 
guild association.

Once you plant it, you will always have it - the stuff grows back from even 
the smallest root fragment. So place it carefully. You can hack it back 
several times a year and use the leaves in your compost or just shredded 
and placed under your straw mulch. It's a deep-rooted "accumulator" plant 
that brings up minerals from the subsoil as well.

If you can get your hands on some, try tagasaste. I put some in and it's 
growing shrub-like at my place in Butte Co., with some summer irrigation, 
and surviving handily - one of the bushes is in full bloom right now. It's 
a legume, IIRC.

Question for the list: Does tagasaste need special rhizobacteria to fix 
nitrogen, and if so, where do we Yanks find 'em? I got my plants from a 
fellow permie as seedlings, so I have no clue whether they already had some 
of the right rhizobacteria or not.

Build soil,

Loren


Loren Davidson        Earth steward, healer, singer/songwriter
loren at farwalker.com   http://www.earthspring.org/loren/
AIM: loren334     ICQ: 65291610
Loren's album & music info: http://www.lorendavidson.com
"In gentleness there is great strength." - Sun Bear



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