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Good Biomass Plants  RSS feed

 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1014
Location: Northern Italy
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Just wondering what people are using for biomass plants.
Next year I want to plant for calories (to eat) and for biomass (to use for organic material / rotting roots).

I'm looking for either annual plants that fruit and die or perennial that I can chop and drop.

I'm thinking of these...
-Corn/3 sisers
-Amaranth
-Rape Seed (you can eat the leaves, looks like it might have a big root)
-Common Cover crops like Oats, Buckwheat, Clover
-Pampas grass (big generator of grass-ish material with convenient harvesting)
-More potatoes (calories)
-Comfrey (have 3-4 seedlings growing now)
-Some conifer to chop and drop for blueberry plants (good idea?)
-Sunchokes (hopefully next year it will be more fruitful, this year not much is going)
-Weeds/Grass (should be able to harvest a lot of that next year from adjacent field. Just have to keep the mower running!)

Anything else

Thanks,
William
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Oak, juniper, and other trees.

 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Broad beans (aka fava beans). My absolute favourite biomass, nitrogen-fixer, as well as fresh and dried beans. The tops are tasty, too.
It also flowers very early in the spring, just in time to feed the first bumblebees. And the flowers smell yummy
Pampas is a noxious plant in NZ.
I'd get more (sterile) comfrey going as soon as possible.
Will alfalfa grow for you? It's a perennial with a heck of a root system, and harvesting the tops would shear off lots underground.
Daikon: harvest slim ones, leave the rest till massive. Take the tops off with a machete and cover with mulch to rot in the ground. Warning, if not thickly mulched, it can be a bit pongy....
One of the favourite biomass plants in Australasia is tagasaste or tree lucerne. Great stock/bee fodder, nitrogen-fixing, pioneer, fast growing, coppicing...
Downsides: it's not very good in the wind and it's pretty invasive in some places.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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swiss chard is a good edible that has super deep roots and can be chopped and dropped..
 
Aljaz Plankl
Posts: 386
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Pastinaca sativa grows wild on a meadow here and it's a wonderful root crop in first year and amazing biomass in second, it grows back like crazy. It has deep root, another good thing and i like to let it go to flower in second year, bees and others love it. Also i let it go to seed a lot and broadcast it all over the place.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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Sweet potatoes will Produce an insane amount of biomass. The leaves are eatble and of course so are the tubers.
 
James Colbert
Posts: 272
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Vetiver Grass!!! acacia trees, royal empress tree, willow. I second Brenda's assertion about swiss chard. Chard has a huge root system and produces a lot of biomass very easily, plus it can be eaten!
 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1014
Location: Northern Italy
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Wow, thanks.

Sumac grows invasively around here. Yet it looks like it could produce a lot for chopping and dropping. Would inserting that for biomass be something I regret?
Years ago I dug a ton of them out over a week of digging. They transplanted them to fix a berm. I'd rather not spend a week digging things out again, if it can't play nice...

I already have black locust (yay) growing invasively, and I chop/drop that...but it's still not enough.

W
 
garrett lacey
Posts: 72
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Yarrow and Motherwort are the 2 things i find myself chopping and dropping most frequently in my garden.

If those Sumac survive the transplant (never had much luck with that) they will likely spread, so you'd be yanking out suckers every now and then, but if building up biomass is your aim, that shouldnt be a problem.

As a side note, Sumac berry clusters make a pretty tasty vitamin C-rich tea. (i just steep them overnight in some water and strain them) a bit of sweetener is useful.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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French sorrel.. deep root, fast regrowth, nice big leaves.
Elderberry - lots of biomass, fastrotting stems, stump sprouts.
Wllow/Cottonwood - nitrogen fixing, stump sprouts.
 
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