[permaculture] heavy clay and cover crops, more on shade

lbsaltzman at aol.com lbsaltzman at aol.com
Thu Mar 19 00:57:35 EDT 2009


I have tried sweet potatos, they worked somewhat, but I can't say the had a dramatic impact on the type of clay soil I have. But just under surface are veins or red clay that are truly pottery grade.

Larry Saltzman


-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher D Cosby (ccosby) <ccosby at memphis.edu>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [permaculture] heavy clay and cover crops, more on shade



Have you considered sweet potatoes for loosening smaller areas? They work 
wonders on Memphis clay and produce lots of sheet mulch material, too. 
I would imagine they would naturalize to a small extent in your California 
climate. 
Small beans, I know, but better some than none, and those small areas could 
serve as islands of tilth for trees, etc.

Chris

Christopher Cosby
Department of Anthropology
University of Memphis
ccosby at memphis.edu
901.827.5937
________________________________________
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] 
On Behalf Of Rain Tenaqiya [raincascadia at yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 2:35 PM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] heavy clay and cover crops, more on shade

Loosening up heavy clay with cover crops is very slow.  Our native grassland 
here is composed primarily of grasses and clovers, in other words, cover crops.  
The soil is too tight and dry for the production and integration of much organic 
matter.  Forking and irrigating it could help.  Gypsum might also help, though I 
hate mined inputs like this.  Dumping a foot of organic matter on top would 
definitely make a difference, especially if it was forked or disced in after a 
couple years, but getting this much material can be a challenge.  Pioneer trees 
are basically the simplest solution, though a very slow one.  Larry mentioned 
planting root crops like daikon, chicory, etc., and this is also helpful if you 
have the water for irrigation.  The solution depends on what you have available.

I forgot to mention olives and citrus as other trees that can produce well in 
the shade of Mediterranean climates, in addition to the usual suspects.  I have 
lists of plants and their sun/shade needs in my book, West Coast Food Forestry, 
which is available from me or online.

Rain



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