I have a patch of sunchokes so tubers are resource that I have in abundance. I know sunchokes are quite heavy feeders, but can they be worse than meadow grass? Let's say I underplant trees with sunchokes. They will use some of nutrients for growth, but I'm not taking this away, they will die and decompose where they have grown. I can use them as wind and sun protection for fruit trees, they will keep soil shaded and moist, I guess. They will provide food for voles, so they wont eat fruit tree roots. In autumn, I can tie a bunch of stems around fruit tree to protect it from rabbit. And I have a soil full of food.
Promlem is if I try and notice it does not work, it is hard to get rid of sunchokes. I'm most concern of how agressive they are, will they consume all nutrients or water and let fruit tree to starve?
Why I'm not trying with other (tested) guilds? I will, I'm not planing to use this combination on whole orchard. Growing sunchokes is so easy that it looks like a good idea for suppressing grass.
Another way to smother weeds might be ground vines such as squashes and melons. They can produce a lot of food for you, as well as chickens and hogs. The chicks can have some fresh food all winter with winter squash.
Once you have them it is hard to change your mind, it is true. Mowing can keep them down.
My JAs grow at least 6-8ft tall and I can't imagine a little fruit tree standing a chance.
It's very windy round here and I tie my JAs in a big kind of bundle, otherwise they'd blow over. Mine would make bad windbreaks, but good tree-squashers...
Can you get chipped tree mulch? If there's tree diseases around I don't recommend it, but a thick, like 15cm, layer straight onto grass (as long as it's not a running variety) will kill it off. When its dead, plant comfrey, sow clover, whatever!
Be careful if you mulch though, it needs to be kept away from trunks or they may rot.
I use windbreak cloth. If I had space, I'd grow a hedge behind it and take it own later, but I don't
they are also good forage
Milan Broz wrote:I have new planted orchard that has several problems. First is grass, lots of it. I plan to schyte the meadow and mulch young trees.
Geese or pigs. Not sheep though.
Milan Broz wrote:Other is wind, so far I have no windbreak.
For now make a temporary shield at the ends of the rows. The trees will grow. We have high winds. You could put sacrificial fast growing trees like aspen on the windward side.
Milan Broz wrote:Another are wild animals, rabbit and deer, they are eating my trees.
Milan Broz wrote:And so on. I have idea to improve situation with sunchokes, if they are compatibile with young trees.
Unless you have something that will feed on the chokes later, like pigs, you will likely live to regret this.
Maybe he went home and went to bed. And took this tiny ad with him:
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