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Re: [pfaf] Katrina damage

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  • william anderson
    Hi, I live in Illinois. In the fall after the frost killed the garden or early in the spring, we often planted rye as a ground cover and as green manure to
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1 8:08 AM
      Hi, I live in Illinois. In the fall after the frost killed the garden or early in the spring, we often planted rye as a ground cover and as green manure to plow or till under. I realize that rye and also oats are grasses but they make good temporary ground covers. In fact I planted some with vetch on a small plot that was unused. Nothing but sand. And the rye came back for many years while the vetch increased each year adding nitrogen to the soil.

      smallen2 <smallen2@...> wrote:
      I have a 6 acre wooded lot that had a great cover with natural pine
      straw and leaves. Hurricane Katrina destroyed about a third of my
      trees. I now have large areas with all this natural cover removed by
      the bulldozers and other machinery used to clean up the mess. It is
      largely sloped about 10-15 degrees. There are not enough trees left to
      naturally recover the aforementioned areas. I have two needs. What to
      do in the immediate future for erosion. And what to plant long term
      that will cover quickly. I have about decided to use pine straw
      initially, but have no idea what to use long term. I do not want
      grass. The area is not close to a watering source. I would like some
      sort of seed of a non-flowering ground cover that will cover quickly.
      Any advice appreciated.

      Thanks. Dr. Mark Allen, 305 S. Archusa Ave.,Quitman, MS. 39355.
      smallen@....




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    • A. A. Pasternak
      Hello Dr. Mark, Best wishes for a speedy recovery in all ways possible from Hurricane Katrina. Before offering the traditional ground cover solutions, there is
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 1 12:27 PM
        Hello Dr. Mark,

        Best wishes for a speedy recovery in all ways possible from Hurricane
        Katrina.

        Before offering the traditional ground cover solutions, there is a way to
        encourage water retention on your slope and maybe do something different..

        "Armed with shovels, we learned the art of digging swales. The somewhat
        archaic word "swale" refers to the terracing of the hillsides for the
        purpose of capturing water run-off and avoiding damaging erosion. With the
        use of simple leveling tools, made from bamboo and a "plumb" line with a
        rock as a weight, it was possible to dig the swales while following the
        contours of the hillside slope. Before we ventured out to dig swales, we
        learned that the U.S. government, during the WPA projects of the 1930s, put
        in many large swales in the arid regions of the Western United States. These
        landforms may be seen today, still working correctly after nearly six
        decades."
        http://www.hopedance.org/archive/issue31/articles/newcomer.htm

        Includes image:
        "The main water harvesting swales should be initially seeded to a legume
        cover crop and cover with a thin mulch of straw to force germination with
        minimum moisture requirement. Then fast growing legume trees planted on the
        up hill side these serve the system by initial shelter from wind and by
        shade greatly reducing evaporation. These trees also fix nitrogen to the
        soil while greatly enhancing the surrounding soil structure particularly
        down slope. They also produce large amounts of nitrogen rich mulch which can
        be cut and placed as mulch around the fruit trees, this greatly reduces soil
        moisture evaporation and as decomposition takes place contribute to the
        fertilizing of the fruit trees also increasing soil organic matter,
        improving soil structure. The legume trees should be prune for mulch at the
        end of summer just prior to the autumn rains as temperatures drop and
        evaporation has decreased and the system generally benefits from increased
        light. After cutting these trees quickly re-sprout new twig growth and by
        the beginning of the next summer when temperatures rise again and
        evaporation of soil moisture is a major problem they are performing their
        function of shade and wind protection. This process can be repeated year
        after year as the system establishes, eventually after a few years the wood
        from the larger prunings can be used for firewood for cooking or heating."
        http://photos.permaculture.org.au/gallery/displayimage.php?album=random&cat=0&pos=-388

        More swale images:
        http://photos.permaculture.org.au/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=search&type=full&search=swales

        ....

        Easy Groundcovers for Mississippi Lawns
        http://msucares.com/lawn/landscape/groundcover.html
        Your slope may not be a lawn, but it needs a ground cover that grows in your
        area.

        However, you need something fast growing for this winter.

        Austrian Field Pea - Pisum sativum - [check page for other erosion control
        plants]
        http://www.bountifulgardens.org/shop/compost-crops.html

        A very cold-hardy over-wintering pea; can take some sub-zero weather. Grows
        on poorer soil than clover but makes less nitrogen. Doesn't compete well
        with abundant Winter weed growth. Fall planting prevents winter, wind and
        water erosion. Flowers later than clover, giving it an advantage since it
        goes later without developing seeds. Peas only suitable as livestock feed.
        Breaks down fast into soil.

        You can get it in bulk sizes here:

        Speckled Field Pea
        http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.asp?item_no=PS11528
        Pisum sativum

        The Austrian variety is usually fall planted except in extremely cold
        climates where it is spring planted. Its viney growth habit provides
        excellent erosion control. The Speckled Field variety is spring planted as
        soon as the ground can be worked. It has an erect growth habit and is
        traditionally grown with oat. Yields 4000-5000 lb/acre dry matter and 150
        lb/acre nitrogen. Legume. Plant 80-150 lb/acre or 2-3.5 lb/1000 sq.ft.

        In the spring....

        This is one of my favourite multiple use ground cover plants:
        http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/groundcoverthymes.htm
        Carraway Thyme http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/thyherbabarona.htm
        is the best they say and is still in stock. Check the "In Stock" section.

        Here's another: http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/oreganolawn.htm

        This is a search of the MS forest commission's website for the term "erosion
        control"
        http://tinyurl.com/c8so6

        Preparing for the Storm
        http://www.mfc.state.ms.us/urban/pdf/smrcd.pdf
        Hurricane resistant landscapes

        Native Trees for Mississippi Landscapes
        http://msucares.com/lawn/landscape/native_trees.html
        at least two of these are fast growing.

        This is a search of PFAF's database for plants with the term "erosion
        control"
        http://tinyurl.com/dzcmd

        This is a search of PFAF's database for ground cover plants with the term
        "soil stabilization"
        http://tinyurl.com/8qz6k

        This is a seach of Garden Web's forums on "erosion control"
        http://tinyurl.com/cx8py


        Kind regards,

        Al

        P.S. Let me know what you did and how it turned out.:-)

        My Urban Garden projects
        http://urbanwild.diary-x.com
        Items wanted and Thanks
        http://tinyurl.com/3vsuc
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: smallen2
        To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 9:53 PM
        Subject: [pfaf] Katrina damage


        I have a 6 acre wooded lot that had a great cover with natural pine
        straw and leaves. Hurricane Katrina destroyed about a third of my
        trees. I now have large areas with all this natural cover removed by
        the bulldozers and other machinery used to clean up the mess. It is
        largely sloped about 10-15 degrees. There are not enough trees left to
        naturally recover the aforementioned areas. I have two needs. What to
        do in the immediate future for erosion. And what to plant long term
        that will cover quickly. I have about decided to use pine straw
        initially, but have no idea what to use long term. I do not want
        grass. The area is not close to a watering source. I would like some
        sort of seed of a non-flowering ground cover that will cover quickly.
        Any advice appreciated.

        Thanks. Dr. Mark Allen, 305 S. Archusa Ave.,Quitman, MS. 39355.
        smallen@....
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