Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chop & Drop - pruning, mulching and so much more

Chopping and dropping plants, is a great way to maintain your plantings.

The resulting layer of organic material acts as mulch; retaining moisture, shading the soil and hindering weed seedlings.  Over time it is broken down by bacteria and fungi, or gobbled up by earthworms.  These processes change it into nutrient rich organic soil.

Check it out in the video below-

Whether your overgrown favorites, unwelcome weeds or specially designated mulch plants, these all can add to your soil.
  • The Echinacea in the video is pretty close to the blueberry plant. I might relocate it if it were farther away, but I don't want to damage the blueberry roots.  A few of these will eventually fade out of the blueberry patch, but no worries I have plenty for pollinators and goldfinches.
  • Most weeds aren't spread by runners, but if they do I'll leave them on a stone or board for a couple of days to dry out, or you can skip dropping these.  If any have gone to seed, skip these too.  Spurge is one I really take precautions with.  All the others can just be pulled and dropped into the garden bed.  Invading lawn grass can be tossed back into the lawn, if it roots great, if it dies I just added organic matter back into the lawn. 
  • Comfrey is one of my designated mulch plants since its such a great mineral cycler.  It is very popular in permaculture circles and has many uses for the herbalist.  Other designated mulch plants could include horseradish and sorrel.
Timing is another factor with Chop & Drop.  Done when it is cool and rainy, your mulch plants recover well.  Done after flowering before seed set and you can end annual weeds life cycle, preventing weeds the next season. If its hot and dry, and done multiple times you can really hinder regrowth from tough perennial weeds.

Chop & Drop is a basic, yet core skill when establishing permaculture landscapes.

Stay cool and hydrated this week!

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