[permaculture] Re: Branches and small diameter wood

Felicity Wright flickwright at ozemail.com.au
Wed Mar 26 17:58:01 EST 2003

Really interested to read your two postings re- difficulty breaking down of
organic materials in semi-arid areas. We have had the same experience in
South Australia (rainfall less than 20 inches/500 mm). In summer (and most
of Autumn and Spring) everything dessicates. Water is precious and not for
just sprinkling around on the ground.

We have found that purchasing trailer loads of mulched green waste from the
local dump/recycling facility is both cheaper than using bails of hay/straw
and more effective. Found that seedlings were establishing in our mulched
paths rather than in garden beds - gave us the clue that it worked. Had
already been using it as main mulch around fruit trees.

The green waste is a mixture of all sorts of things, so not just woody
nitrogen hungry materials. Touch wood that we don't import anything yucky.
We also use the mulch as a major ingredient in our compost heaps: it's
readily available in large quantities, biologically diverse, already
shredded and with the addition of chook (chicken) manure and anything else
to hand (weeds, straw, whatever) makes terrific compost because you can make
a big pile. Sprinkling the mulch around broad acre is far less effective
because of the high evaporation rate.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Pittman" <pci at permaculture-inst.org>
To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2003 4:47 AM
Subject: [permaculture] Re: Branches and small diameter wood

> I am fortunate to have a landfill that will chip my trimmings and reload
> in my truck gratis.  I use these chips for walkways in the garden and to
> mulch fruit trees.  I am concerned about bringing home disease or bugs
> someone elses' garden, but, knock on wood, hasn't happened yet.  It takes
> few years for this to break down further even tho it is in the wet zone of
> our kitchen garden, worms seem to prefer it under the walkways of chipped
> wood to the straw mulch of the planting beds.  The soil under the walkways
> is richer than the beds after three years, but we are not mining the
> nutrients of this zone with plants. Perhaps I should rotate the beds and
> walkways.

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