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Re: [fukuoka_farming] the efficacy of different mulches

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  • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
    i have been using wood chips since i started natural way of farming . in the old land that was a hay field ,i had the chance to be close to the ferry where the
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 24, 2003
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      i have been using wood chips since i started natural way of farming .
      in the old land that was a hay field ,i had the chance to be close to the
      ferry where the trucks doing maintenance of road ways and electric lines wre
      parked . for free they were happy to unload in my land .This wood mulch
      contains all the species of trees and bushes growing in this aera .The bulk
      is fir , alder, cedar, and mapple . depending of where it comes from the
      composition could vary a lot .
      i wanted to plant right away all the berry bushes so on grass it was easy
      just plant on the sod recover the roots with some earth or allready
      decomposed mulch and bury in mulch .
      for surface rooted things like raspberries it works great .
      i planted lot of strawberries that way just mulching over the grass and
      planting inside the mulch by making a hole in the mulch 20 cm wide ,
      depositing a cone of earth in the middle spreading strawberries roots around
      the cone and recovering with more earth to recover the roots in a cone shape
      then pushing back the mulch close to the crown
      for every other kinds of annual plants i used the scythe to cut large
      pathways and mulching with it the beds in between ( 50/50.in surface ) i put
      a wood chip barrier all around the beds to stop the couch grass to come in
      the bed .
      The first year of a new bed , i was making them by planting with potatoes
      on sod and recovered with cut grass . as they grow along the season at
      harvest i had a bed free of weeds , soft that was happy to receive seeds .
      corn sald as a ground cover and all kind of winter greens growing thru .
      here i don't have big supply of wood chip but i have a naturally mulched
      graden as i kept the original forest environment by just thinning
      established trees while the new ones grow to replace them . so everyfall the
      whole place is mulched .
      when i clear bushes and trees to open space i end up with lot of branches
      and tree tronc to mulch with ( cut by hand ) i pile them little bit more
      around trees .but overwise they stay scattered on the ground and go other
      with the long handle pruners to cut everything that stick out so we can walk
      .
      Last year i planted blueberries in the garden of our new born and it was so
      thick with bushes that i ended up with lot of branches on the ground ,to
      level the surface so we could walk easelly, i recovered with wood chip
      mixed with rock powder .

      i planted kale this fall on that mulch and it is now full of kale that do
      very well .
      the rock powder is very usufull in combinaison with wood chip ,it speed up
      the decomposition process big time
      I get mine from well drilling , free and abondant and also could me of
      differents rocks materials, i have also soap stone powder ( talc ) coming
      from soap stones carvers ( rich in magnesium ) the taste of foods is very
      much improved when using rock powder . for me that is the only material
      that i feel good coming from the ouside of the place .
      In the same vein rock mulches is helping also drastically the decomposition
      of mulch recovered with them .
      contrary to what could be assumed it protect the ground from compaction as
      insect life is abondant underneath and if you move your rock mulche you got
      a nice tilled place to sow .
      I accept by principle from the outside only mulches that people waste (
      like sending to land fill ) it could come from cleaning driveways gutters,
      roofs etc..
      jean-claude
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